Sunday, January 12, 2014

#18 The little bird has flown the coup...

So the last little chicken has flown the coop! This weekend I “handed” my baby over to his new wife.

Ruan you have grown into a fine young man (I must admit that there were times in the past 28 years that I didn’t think you would make it…with all your health problems when you were a little boy, all the accidents, broken bones and naughty things you have done!) But you made it! I am so proud of the man you have become my son.

Your speech at the wedding made me cry more than once. Not because I am a cry baby (because I am not, as you know) but because I realized that you have taken on board those good values and morals that every parent can be proud of! A parent can teach their kids but in the end it is the child that has to live the values and take on board what is taught… I was so proud of you my son! You have chosen well in your choice of a life partner. May you and Chrisna be forever happy and experience the good things and life. When the less good things come along, I am convinced that you will both be able to handle it with grace and get through the tough times...together. Your faith in God and each other will carry you through, of that I have no doubt.

I have no doubt that your new father and mother in law gave their permission for you to marry their daughter knowing that she will be well looked after by a man that will cherish her and love her and appreciate the beautiful, graceful daughter that they have raise. 

I was also so very proud of my other son, Altus. What a fine man you are! Your speech had everyone crying! What made my heart swell with pride is the way in which you captured the good things in everyone you thanked at the wedding! I always knew that you are an “old soul” and wise beyond your years from the day you were born. You once again confirmed that knowledge. Your speech was beautiful and made me so proud of being your mother! Thank you for making me realize that I have done good by both of you! You are a rock...and an example to everyone you come in contact with.

I love you all and  want you to know, as always, I will be there when you need me. I am so proud of you!

Your mother

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

#17 To my Facebook friends...the end of another year

Once again we come to the end of another year. Time flies whether you are having fun or not!

It was a difficult year for me due to a variety of reasons but I have to thank my Facebook friends for keeping me smiling…and keeping me sane!

Many of my Facebook friends are not “real-time” friends (never laid eyes on them in other words) and there are many different personalities among them.

Here are some of them types :)

 THE WHINERS – nearly every post they make is a gripe about something. The world is too difficult to cope with; the politicians are screwing everything up; the kids are too naughty; the world should just end and finish! (I must admit, I have either deleted these people or hidden their posts) 

       THE GHOSTS – they never EVER post anything on their Facebook timeline  (I probably just keep them around because they play one of the games where I need friends to send me things. That's probably why they keep me too!)

            THE UPDATE ADDICT – They post everything that happens to them! Sometimes I just have to shake my head and say TMI! Actually, I really really do not need to know when you have to take the dogs out to poo or when the light fitting broke! Or even worse – when you have a fight with your life partner! “Just been to the shop” – really? And your point? 

      THE LOVE BIRDS – Forever posting soppy pictures of their partner and publicly declaring their love. Really? Get a room my dear!

     THE PROFESSIONAL ARGUER – They constantly belittle everything someone else is saying; feel that they HAVE to post a counter argument at every occasion; bicker about everyone’s opinion and don’t know when to let go (I must admit, I don’t really have any of these as they were the first to get delete!) 

    THE HYENAS – LOL and LMAO’s at everything. Personally I think they do this because they are just to lazy to type

      THE PROPHETS – Every post they post has a religious reference. I’m really happy that your faith is so strong but PUHLEASE …enough already!!

      The Anti-proofreader -  can really benefit from spell check and sometimes u feel sorry for them cause u don’t know if they're typing too fast or really can’t spell! They normally never know the difference between “then” and “than” or “their” and “there” The opposite of these are the SPELLING AND GRAMMAR POLICE!! 


      The Drama Queen/King -  Always post stuff like, "I can’t believe this!" or "They gonna make me snap today”  hoping someone would be like “what’s wrong?!” But they never finish telling the story.

           THE TRUE FRIENDS – and then there are these – people that you connect to even if you have never met in person. Somehow, even in cyberspace, you find that you have so much in common and you wish they were closer so that you could go and have a cup of tea/coffee with them on a regular basis.

You know who you are!! Thank you for sharing another year with me!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

# 16 I have been lazy...

It's been a while since I have last updated my blog. With the new Galaxy Tablet 3 I think I am going to be a little more willing to blog again!!

There is so much that has happened since the last post, but I have to do some maintenance now and then will get back to blogging!!

See you soon!

Monday, May 14, 2012

#15 After 34 years we just continued where we left each other...

#15 - Class of '78 reunion (Durbanville High School)

Thank goodness there are still people that have the will and the energy to arrange reunions! I have not attended a reunion when Myrtle contacted me and said that she was organizing a reunion for the class of '78, my first reaction was..."I don't think I will be able to make it" Boy am I glad that I changed my mind!

Plaisir de Merle view from the house
So on Saturday morning (12 May 2012) I flew down to Cape Town and joined some of my class mates at Plaisir de Merle - a beautiful wine estate in the Boland. The "home" of our very own Niel Bester - a renowned winemaker in the present day. (And I tasted the wine...jy MAG maar Niel!)

I don't know about the rest, but I was a wee bit nervous to see the old school mates again. Maybe I thought we would not have anything in common any more...or maybe they wouldn't recognize me (after all I only went to Durbanville High for the last 2 years of my school career) But I was excited to see my old friends again! And BOY! did I enjoy myself!!

My two best school friends were there...Nicolene and Helene...and we took off exactly where we left each other in 1978! And the most amazing thing of it all was that they hadn't changed a bit!
Nicolene, Helene, Anthea
Helene still talks the hind leg off a donkey LoL - so much so that we had all finished eating and she had hardly started her food! But then again...we had 34 years' news to catch up on! Nicolene still has that wonderful laugh that makes everyone laugh even if they don't know what the joke is! (Maybe that is why she holds the record among us for being married to the same man for 30 years!) 

A group of diverse people that actually have no more in common than going to the same school...It was as if the years just fell away and once we had worked out who is who (the men definitely changed more than the women! Big bellies, bald heads and the like ;)) we just continued from that last day in 1978 and I couldn't believe that it was 34 years ago we last saw each other!

Doctors, dentists, lawyers, advocates, business owners, teachers, medical sisters, matrons, housewives, auditors, accountants... and all still the same people that we made memories with all those years ago!

The sad part of it was to find out about too many of our class that have passed away in the past 34 years...we remembered them with fondness. A moment that reminded me that life really is short and that we should not postpone things for tomorrow.

I did find out who the guys were that "parked" my little VW Beetle on the front "stoep" - Niel Opperman owned up, but he didn't tell me who they all were...I remember that day...had to WALK home!!

It was great! I am glad I went! And I WILL be there again next time! Thank you everyone...for a day I will remember for the next 34 years (hopefully!) a day I could forget about the stresses of life, the challenges we face as grownups and just enjoy the "feel good" memories of those carefree days when my parents were the ones that lay awake at night, worrying about the important things! (Oh and a day I tasted some great wine made by Niel) I love you all! (Even those who didn't remember me! LOL)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: - Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

#14 Watch your toes!!!

The Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus roratus, is a parrot native to the Solomon Islands, Sumba, New Guinea and nearby islands, northeastern Australia and the Maluku Islands (Moluccas). It is unusual in the parrot family for its extreme sexual dimorphism of the colours of the plumage; the male having a mostly bright emerald green plumage and the female a mostly bright red and purple/blue plumage.
Kabouter (which means gnome/dwarf) on the left is a Vosmaer Eclectus.He is about 8 years old and I have had him since he was 6 weeks old. He has a great personality and talks quite a lot. He has quite a big vocabulary but like a child he talks when it suits him. His favorite sentence is "Dankie Mammie" (Thank you Mom) which he always says in the appropriate place! He is quite the showman and loves to "brag" or show off...especially when we have visitors! He is a fussy eater and as a result he always has problems with his plumage. If I put food in his bowl that he doesn't like, he makes sure that I see how he tosses it out of the cage!
He is the BEST watchdog we have ever had! According to the sound that he makes, I will know if Ruan comes home in the middle of the night, or whether it is  stranger at the gate. He also isn't very aggressive and will go to almost anyone. He is, however, very noisy! Anything (human or animal) that moves within his field of vision, he announces...rather loudly! 
He woke us up one night in the early morning hours (+ 4 am) and when we investigated there was a burglar climbing over the fence! Needless to say, he "saved" us an unpleasant incident!
He hates the pigeons and doves that land on the veranda where his cage is and will squawk until someone comes to chase them away! I have considered giving him away many times because he is so noisy, but have never had the heart to do it! He is quite a character our naughty, noisy Kabouter!

Now this Madam...she is a totally different story! Her name is Beauty (and I think you can see why!) She is going to be 18 years old this year and I have had her from the age of 3 months. She is a Grand Eclectus. My Dad (who was an avid parrot breeder for many many years) bought her for a male he had, but she has a very domineering personality. As a result of this the poor male nearly died of hunger as she kept him away from the food and Dad gave her to me. In the beginning the two of us got on really well, but then one day, when she was about 7 months old, I took her to the vet, who clipped her beak and since that day she tries to bite me every opportunity that she gets! When she comes out the cage she immediately starts scheming how she can get to me and give me a good bite! She has bitten me many times so that I bleed! And to make things worse, since Nico came into our lives, she has adopted him as her "mate" and is extremely jealous. When she is out of the cage I am not allowed to touch Nico, IF I try, she will immediately charge me! (And of course, I tease her all the time!) He can do anything to her, she will not even attempt biting him and she loves most men and will go to almost any man. But women? No ways! You can be sure that if you are a woman, she will take a chance to take a piece of flesh out of you!
Beauty also has a fairly big vocabulary but hardly ever talks. When Nico takes her out of the cage, she might say: "Hello Beauty" but very rarely  says anything. She loves my Mom and when my Mom visits, she will talk to my Mom, saying things like "Hello Ouma" (Hello Granny); Stop it; Hoe gaan dit (How are you). She has also never tried to bite my mother!  She is a very quiet bird, but I guess you have to be quiet if you scheme that much!! :)
Now this photo on the left is extraordinary! In all the years that I have had the parrots, they have never sat together in peace like this!
When I just got Kabouter, Beauty got out of her cage one day (they are in separate cages because of obvious reasons explained above) and got hold of Kabouter's one toe and bit it right off!
He thinks she is the sexiest bird around but she wants nothing to do with him! Today Nico decided that he would take them both outside for some much needed sunlight and took a chance and kept them both on his shoulders. I must just say, it didn't last too long! (long enough to take this photo!) He wants to court her but she just wants to attack him!

I can very well understand why old and lonely people have parrots as pets. They are like a companion and will talk back when you talk to them. They are much more intelligent than most people give them credit for and have extraordinary long memories! They associate certain people and incidents with what they have learnt to say and will normally "say" the right thing at the right time!
They are hard work to have as pets, because their cages need to be cleaned every day and they need fresh food and water every day. If they are "dunkers" (dunking their food in the water) like mine, they sometimes need fresh water more than once a day. They also want lots of attention but give a lot of pleasure back.
I just love my babies! (Even the b!tch that bites!)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Parrots mimic their owners. Their owners consider that a sign of intelligence - Marty Rubin

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

#13 Sport is the Loser...

#13 - The drama that is sport

First we had the Athletics South Africa (ASA) /Caster Semenya saga and as a result of that, the full scale investigation into the ASA affairs. Turns out, the ASA administrators were running the association as their own personal fiefdom.

Now it is Cricket South Africa (CSA) and alleged unauthorized millions that went into the pockets of the administrators. This saga is still continuing! 

In the past few days, allegations of match fixing prior to the 2010 Soccer World Cup is surfacing.

Alleged 'in-fighting" in the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) also features in the media these past few weeks. So much so that the Minister of Sport has now gotten involved!

Which part of "sport are for the people" do these administrators not understand?? Which part of "you are harming the athletes" do these people not understand?

Why are you fighting your battles in the media? In the meantime, little to nothing is achieved at grass roots level!

Maybe I am naive, because for 25+ years I have been involved as a volunteer administrator - which means I have not earned a cent from sport - and maybe sport IS big money? Especially when one reads that sport administrators are earning salaries of over a million rand a year!!

Come on people!! Get your priorities right and DO NOT profess to act in the interest of sport and out of passion for sport when CLEARLY some of you are only there to line your own pockets!!

I get rebellious when I read these stories and the explanation is quite simple... as a "cinderella" sport, tenpin bowling in this country has to fight for every cent we get (and we don't get much!) whilst other "major" sports codes are squandering money in court cases, investigations and huge salaries.

South African sport people are WINNERS! Oscar Pistorius has just been announced as the International Sportsman (with a disability) of the Year! But are the newspapers focusing on these achievements? No! And it really is not their fault that the administrators (or some of them) are giving them NEGATIVE news stories that overshadow the achievements of those they profess to serve!!

Clearly sport in this country is BIG business...I must have lost the plot many years ago!! 

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Sports do not build reveals it! - John Wooden

Sunday, January 15, 2012

# 12 The beauty and CRUELTY of Africa...

I have to apologize to my friends upfront for this very shocking post...but unfortunately as things are right now, it seems to be necessary! And although my main aim for this year is to post things that I am grateful for, I believe that in this case it is necessary to highlight the seriousness of the situation!

Africa is a continent rich in wildlife and although the wildlife has to compete with people and commercial enterprises, there are still some of us that really care for the future preservation of our wildlife species.

Rhino Poaching in South Africa has suddenly reached shocking proportions. And it feels as if everyone is just helpless to prevent it.
 On the left is the statistics for South Africa ONLY on rhinos poached in the passed 12 years. One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to work out that at this rate the rhino will be extinct in a decade from now!! In the past 9 days of 2012, 29 rhinos have been killed for their horns (20 of them in our biggest national park, The Kruger National Park - our jewel!!)

The cause of it really is the MYTH that rhino horn has medicinal  properties, the latest, that it can cure cancer! It has been scientifically proven that it has ABSOLUTELY NO medical or other "wonder" properties! Adding to that the fact that at the moment rhino horn sells for $60,000 PER KILOGRAM (no, I haven't added any extra 0's) on the black market, greed and visions of getting rich quick compounds the problem. It is worthy to note that other than the organized criminal poaching syndicates, the perpetrators are often poor local citizens.

Rhino horn has been an essential ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Despite China being a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and banning the trade in rhino horn and its derivatives in 1993, current rhino poaching levels suggest that the use of rhino horn continues unabated in traditional medicine markets.

Rhino poachers in South Africa are even targeting dehorned rhinos for two reasons, firstly there is still a substantial piece of horn below the surface of the skin and secondly by killing the rhino it increases the price of rhino horn as it becomes a more valuable commodity. It is for this second reason that many poachers are also killing baby rhinos which have little or no horn at all.

FACT: Rhino horn is NOT a remedy for fever, pain, arthritis, or any other medical condition. Rhino horn does not cure cancer - and it is not an aphrodisiac.

Feel free to read the article in the link below on studies proving that rhino horn is just that - RHINO HORN

A SOUTH African game reserve owner has developed a non-lethal poison that he has injected into the horns of his rhinos in a bid to deter the poaching syndicates that are slaughtering one of the country’s most endangered species.

Mr Vergnaud said the anti-poaching formula contained three substances, which were injected into the horns of two female rhinos and a calf at his reserve outside Cape Town late last year.
The first substance injected was a dye that is used to foil cash-in-transit robbers by marking the bank notes if the box they are kept in is forced open.
This would appear on the inside of the horn to spoil it for decorative purposes.
The second substance injected makes the horn visible on an X-ray scanner, which will make smuggling horns through border customs more difficult.
And the final substance is called barium – this has an off-putting taste and makes those who ingest it mildly ill.
“It tastes very bad if you put it into your mouth. You can’t swallow it, it is just too disgusting. Even if someone is crazy enough to swallow it, it will just cause some diarrhoea and nausea, he said. “It’s harmless no one can die from it.”
Increasing evidence links South Africas rhino poaching with wildlife industry insiders. These individuals are obviously in a great position to run wildlife crime syndicates and are typically also well funded and connected within the industry.

There are also rumors that rhino poaching syndicates are penetrating the hunting industry. The hunting industry obviously has access to guns, permits, vehicles and charter aircraft making them target for rhino poaching syndicates.

These rumors seem to have merit because some of the recent arrests have been that of game ranchers, safari operators and professional hunters. 

How do we stop all this? I really don't know! But I will be damned if I do not try at least to make people aware of the crisis! 


QUOTE OF THE DAY: Rhino horn is made up of keratin, the same substance that makes up YOUR hair and nails! Would YOU like someone to pull out your nails and cut off your hair to make a powder that is going to magically cure you from disease?? I didn't think so!!