Tag Archives: life

Today is the day, and why I can’t give up cheese.

As I wait for the US to “come online” I count down the minutes until my Facebook account disappears forever.

Not discontinued, but actually gone. Deleted. All trace of me removed. I feel a bit weird, but also good. Had a strange dream last night about it – cutting a line, flying out into a grey/black world like a kite let go. I could see lights down below, but I was… free? Alone, but free. I think I had wings, but I don’t remember. I looked down, not up.

Today’s the day.

 

I tried to give up dairy too, as I am a vegetarian (lacto-ovo… sparingly) and I know what goes down in milking sheds/factories.

But then there was macaroni cheese. Linguine pasta with creamy alfredo sauce and portobello mushrooms. Chocolate milk. Ice cream. Whipped cream on apple pie. I know it’s wrong. So very wrong.

I tried soy milk.. it was ok – but tasted weird after a while. I tried almond milk – didn’t like that at all. Even tried rice milk (nearly gagged) just so I could say I had.  I’m not a vegan – I wish I had the discipline, money, time to be. But I am still a vegetarian.  Some days are harder than others (I gave up meat because my conscience/heart wouldn’t allow me to enjoy it anymore, not because I don’t like the taste) and I struggle. But I’ve seen my health/body change already in just a few months of being serious about it again.  Lost weight, lost fat, feel lighter and more energetic. I just get so _bored_ with the options available here.  That’s what makes it difficult – lack of choice and variety.

So maybe when we move back I can get into it better.

Big things ahead. We are hopeful, after such a long time.

 

Stay frosty.

Step Away

So. I did it.

2 Days ago I finally pressed the “delete account” button for Facebook.

Day 3 of Life Without Facebook and I have to say, I still have the habit of sitting down in front of my laptop in the morning and think of clicking the link to check my FB, but it’s waning very quickly. This morning I didn’t even open up my “daily” folder.

I opened email, checked Ello, and then had a chat with some friends on slack (new school IRC, basically – same good old friends and channel though) and continued with my day.

Sunday means dog park play date, and I also made breakfast for my husband who is on 24/7 duty for a week. Fun stuff.

We headed off, breakfast warm and cup of fresh coffee in hand for him too. Dogs said hi, we hung around for a little bit and then met our buddies at the dog park for an hour and a half of running around in the mud and rain. It was great. Dogs were great.

So I am _slowly_ getting used to Life Without Facebook, and I am starting to slip into a _new_ life routine. It’s pretty cool actually. I have moments though, I will admit, where I think about it… but it passes and I move on.

I was on Facebook for 10 years… seems both shorter and longer. I was a beta tester, so I got to iron out the bugs and see it change. Not all changes were for the better. The recent influx of complete idiots (this new generation is just unbelievably stupid… seriously) has also soured it for me. And the privacy issues and copyright issues and the whole limiting access to your network unless you pay them… just nicked my “mafioso” nerve and I’ve just had enough I think.

I had a lot of excuses/reasons for staying on, but I was brutally honest with myself and realised that the people on Facebook would do fine without me – my rescue organisations would be taken care of by my good friend Nicole (Even more so, as she’s a volunteer at many of them too) and my Berner groups are so large now they would barely notice the absence. Besides, my husband is still on it and he’s still in the groups, so he will let me know if I miss anything.

I haven’t posted photos in a long time, and I removed all my information a long time ago.  So it was no big jump. Just a few moments of heart fuzz and then it was all over.

I still have about 11 days left to “change my mind” until they actually delete all the information etc… but quite honestly – I don’t miss it.

I’m getting back in touch with the “old school” – even writing letters by hand (just to my mom for now, but I’m happy to write to anyone who wants me to) and living my life for ME.

Hoping my inspiration will blossom again – for my photography, my sewing, my running, my yoga.

It does feel like a weight off my shoulders. I don’t know why, as I was not really very involved anymore (only checked it once a day for 5 minutes) but it does feel like I’ve let go of something that I didn’t need. Which is a nice feeling. If a little scary for me (if you ever have time to listen, I can try and explain my “unable to sever” dreams/daydreams/thoughts) generally.

Life goes on, and so do we.

 

Stay frosty.

 

 

Silence is not always bad

Doing this #100happydays thing with a few friends – where you try and find at least one good thing about your day.

It’s been… interesting. I will admit that I skipped a day, or two. Not because I couldn’t find anything to feel happy about, but simply because my brain has enough trouble remembering things that help keep me moving each day and I just forgot completely to “take a shot” of something good.

I wanted to take a shot of my dog’s poop – that’s when I realised that I needed to think again. Reason being – my dogs have been so sick for so long, that seeing a “good” poop from them made me happy beyond words. Seeing it consistently for the last few days has really kept a lightness to my heart. Also, seeing Gina’s new energy level and playfulness (like when we first got her!) and Azzie calmness and happiness, makes me feel bad for them that they were sick for so long.

It’s still slow going – taking it a day at a time with this – but they are definitely getting better and this makes me HAPPY!

A happy fur mom.

Azzie has another issue that we now need to deal with – but it’s not making her sick and it doesn’t affect her in any way other than it embarrasses her and makes a little mess. Doesn’t happen all the time, of course – almost random, really – so it’s hard to sort out. Going to try something natural first, before we hit the drugs. Just waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

Husband has been gone “on mission” for a little bit and will be gone for a little while longer. I miss him, of course, and the house is silent without him – especially in the evenings and on the weekends when we let our hair down and listen to music, watch movies, laugh about things or he plays his games and gets loud and silly and has fun with his friends online.

But sometimes, it’s alright, the silence. I focus on things that I would normally ignore – me, for instance, and how I am doing.

Some people find it hard to understand that I really don’t mind being on my own. I’m never “alone” – just, not in the company of people. This is fine with me – I like my own company. I can say/think what I want when I am with me – no filter necessary to either tone it down or make it understandable to other humans. My husband gets me better than most, I will admit, but even for him, some of the things that come out of my mouth, from the depths of my dark mind, even he doesn’t always understand it.

 

I’ve had more memories return, as well, from my youth. It seems 10 years is long enough to keep them locked away and now they are starting, slowly, to resurface. I’ve “dreamed” a few – but I know they are _real_ not just my usual vivid dreams. I “remember” them when I wake up. Things come back to me. I have been a little… saddened I guess is the word, by some of them. Because I could not (cannot) remember most of what happened to me before the accident, when things come back and I can understand them better, see them from an older and wiser perspective – I see things now that I was completely oblivious to when they happened.

One of the memories nearly woke me screaming the other night. I woke up with jaw clenched, hands clenched so hard my nails dug into my palms. I was sweating profusely and my heart was beating so hard I felt like I was going to vomit. And my head hurt so badly I couldn’t move it. My husband slept on, so I am assuming my “noise” was all internal. Which is fine. It’s not a memory I wanted to share, anyway.

 

Head injury, and PTSD, affect us for so long after they happen. Sometimes the recovery can be painful – not just physically, but emotionally and mentally too. New pathways are formed in our brains, which means new ways of seeing things. Some of the things can really suck.

Luckily, one of the good things that came of my head injury, PTSD, and subsequent recovery is that I am very strong, mentally. I am also very close to myself. If that makes sense. I know _me_ and I know what I am and who I am and what I can and cannot handle. So, while I feel like I wasted my youth trying to have things I could never have, be with people who didn’t want to be with me at all, or get myself into situations I should have been smarter about – I learn something from every memory that comes back.

Any fellow sufferers who read this – hang in there. Don’t give up. Be strong. Be yourself. Trust yourself.

 

Before The World Became Smaller

I had a thought a few moments ago.

Letters. Letters are awesome. Handwritten, filled with the smell, feeling, sound and visual treasure of someone taking the time to put pen to paper specifically for YOU. Or you, taking the time to do the same for someone else. Making spelling mistakes, trying to stay neat and tidy and legible, trying to write with a flow and ease that makes sense to the story you are telling.

So personal. Special. A treasure.

So, while I know that it will be hard, and that there will be times when I think “I can’t do this” or I feel guilt for abandoning my charities and rescue organisations and awesome groups of like-minded people – I am removing my Facebook account. Once and for all.

It’s time.

I will, of course, keep my email open, and since G+ is so wrapped up in everything else, it will remain simply because I cannot remove it – so I will have chat too.

So if you need me, come find me on G+, or better yet, send me an email – if you know me, you know my email address (or at least ONE of them!) by now.

Best ever – write me a letter, or send me a postcard.

We don’t take the time to enjoy these simple joys – I plan on doing just that.

With the new year, everyone also chants the mantra “new year, new me” – but I am going for somewhat of an _old_ me – before the world became so small, and everyone knew what everyone else had for breakfast.

The world, OUTSIDE, is still so beautifully FILLED with awesome things to see, and taste, and smell and DO – I want to get OUT there.

I will, most likely, remove my twitter account, and other peripheral “social media” accounts – there are just too many, I feel.

I will, however, also keep my blog going – it’s been a hard slog to get here, and I don’t relish losing the access I have to vent and rant and air my views on things.

This is just my opinion, my choice and who knows, I might be dragged into the next social media “new thing” by my “friends in the know” as I’ve been a “beta” tester for so many of these before – but for now, I want simplicity. I want old school. 

I want hard copy and tactile communications. I want to throw myself into MY LIFE, not watch other people’s and wish I could do the same. I want to put my efforts back into things that make ME happy – my photography, my health and fitness, my sewing, my baking and cooking, my amazing husband, my incredible dogs. I want to LIVE LIFE, not sit and watch it pass by!

We do, truly, LIVE ONCE – I don’t want to regret the “I should have” moments.

 

*tthhbbbbbt*

 

A

My Friend Lizzie

My New Zealand friend Lizzie (aka Elizabeth Charleston) has been through hell and back. We met many many years ago in Cape Town, and for many reasons (our mutual love of horses, the outdoors and being awesome) we became friends, despite all the crap going on in our lives.

A few years after my massive head injury, she suffered one herself (her horse fell on top of her, causing many injuries, including the head injury that basically stopped her life in its tracks) and we found ourselves consoling, complaining and comparing reactions and stress factors and triggers. Her friendship helped me overcome some terrible psychological issues thanks to the PTSD from my head injury. When she came back to Cape Town for a short visit, we spent quite a few mornings sitting on the stoep (porch) of the house on the farm I was watching for a friend – sipping tea and watching the early morning mists rise off the grass paddocks and the Guinea Fowl flapping and dancing in the dew covered grass. These quiet mornings were therapeutic for both of us.

She’s been through some rough times since then (a secondary knock on the head set her back quite a bit) but she bounced back, and is slowly (as all head injury sufferers will understand – slowly is the best way, or the wheels fall off) climbing back on the (proverbial!) horse of life. She is a staunch advocate and spokeswoman for  THINK! Head Injury Awareness in New Zealand and has made huge ground breaking steps in both removing the stigma of this “invisible” injury and making people more aware of the help they can get, and the steps they can take to live a “normal” life.

She just started a blog and I wanted everyone to check it out – she’s only written one post so far, but that’s the way it goes :)

She is an interesting and clever woman – just give her a chance to “recharge” :) – not to mention one of the most beautiful women I know :)

 

Leaving behind passwords

These days, with the all powerful social media dug into everyone’s life like a burrowed tick – gorging on information: the blood of the internet – there are some “moments” and some awkward issues that you don’t really think about until they appear in your life.

One of these: the death of someone in your family who also happened to be active on social media and online in general raises its multifaceted head quite a bit in my life.
My father passed away over 2 years ago now, and he was a big geek: very active online with multiple projects going on and lots of group involvement. He had a Facebook account and a LinkedIn account and probably many others, but these are the two that I interacted with him on. Knowing my father as I did, I know for a fact that he was highly secretive. There was no way he would let anyone know his passwords – especially to social media.

So now he’s gone: his Facebook account is still “active” and so is his LinkedIn account. His birthday still appears as a Facebook reminder, he still gets “endorsed” on LinkedIn and invited to various groups (I’ve seen him included in various mass invites that I seem to be included in as well) and told to Like pages. People still leave him messages on his wall and leave comments on his photos or anything else he had posted before he died.
My question is: who do you trust with your keys? Who do you tell where all the bodies are buried? You do not know when you will go. You simply do NOT. It could happen any time. We are never prepared for it, really. So at what point do you tell your best friend/partner/spouse/brother/lawyer that in the case of your death, there’s this brown envelope in your desk that has all your passwords. “Please clear my browser history, bro.”

Also – if you ARE entrusted with someone’s passwords, when is the time right to delete their accounts? When do you mark them as “gone” or put an end date on their timeline?
I understand a last will and testament for your possessions, money, etc – but what about your online life? Your gaming avatars? Steam? Your Xbox live account? Your email account?
What about those?
When do you let go? When, and how, do you let their online friends know that you are deleting the character? Or do you just leave it alone? What needs to go, what can stay as a reminder in the ether of the person lost?

Mohawks, robots, suits, hairy dogs and country roads.

Thought I’d do an update post as I’ve done lots in the last few weeks.

Firstly – I shaved myself a Mohawk  Why? Because I can. It’s hair, it grows back – and mine grows like a weed :) Plus I thought it would look cool with the blond ends and dark roots…

Here’s the process: Did it all myself with no mirror, so it was a little hectic. At one point I asked my husband for help (as he is the one who kept suggesting the hair cut!) but when he started clipping and then stopped and said “I have no idea what I just did…” I said thanks, but I’ll take it from here :)

 

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Secondly: I completed TWO sewing projects successfully!

I finished the entire 1940’s suit (jacket, pants, skirt and blouse) and sent it off to the client – she LOVES it and is very happy with it! I was so relieved as it was my first major project for someone!

 

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I also finished the skirt for another client – 1950’s style soft pleated skirt. Buttery soft linen, which she chose, from a pattern that she also sent me.

It took me only 3 days – and that’s because of various interruptions. I could probably complete one of those in 2 days if I worked flat out.

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I was pretty proud of myself – and pleased with my work.  I would have worn any of the pieces, so I think that’s a sign that they are well made, as I am very critical of my own stuff.

Waiting on word from the lady who ordered the skirt… but she has been very busy recently, so I am sure she will let me know when it arrives!

 

Thirdly, we got a Roomba! We’ve waited a long time and did lots of research on which one to get, and finally Ronald arrived last week.

He has been put to work and is diligently dealing with dog hair and bird seed – he gets cleaned every time he is used and, as they state in their guidelines, kept on power when not in use.

He’s awesome :)

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Fourthly – Spring/Summer has finally arrived in Germany (in our area, anyway – floods everywhere else :/)

It went from 3C/12C to 23C/35C in a matter of days. The dogs are shedding like mad to cope, so we are grooming almost daily and the fur just keeps coming…

Also trying to find a combination of tick collar/tick spray/drops to counter the rather nasty ticks they have here in our area. We have lots of forest and natural undergrowth, plus lots of deer and other wild animals… so the ticks are rampant, no matter where you go.

Even sticking to the roads and just letting the dogs sniff the edges, I still find ticks on them – despite having tick collars and (natural) spot drops on them. So now I am going to try the tick collar combined with a tick spray that will hopefully sit in their fur and stop the ticks from staying on.

We tried a tick/flea shampoo as well – didn’t work. I don’t WANT to use the nasty chemical ones, but clearly that’s all that works on these mean little suckers!

We did discover two gorgeous new and interesting walks in our attempts to avoid the long grass etc – so that’s a bonus. We also sorted their kiddie pool out – although Gina managed to make a hole or two in the sides, so the water doesn’t really stay in for long!

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Procrastination, my old friend.

It’s amazing how many things you can find to do, to avoid doing something that needs to be done.

I even do laundry, clean the kitchen, and plan out dinner or bake something.

What am I avoiding?

Crepe de Chine.

It’s a magnificent fabric – soft to the touch, smooth and silky. And that’s the problem. It’s slippery and slinky and it HATES needles.

Luckily I ordered extra, just in case – as I have had to re-cut the sleeves. Their shape was completely off when I had finished.

I’ve never had to sew a silk fabric before. This is all a learning curve of massive proportions. I’ve done loads of research on tips and tricks when dealing with silk and other slippery fabrics – another way to put off actually DOING the sewing of it!

I now feel more ready… but of course, we are MOVING tomorrow. Of course. The wonderful military life.

Will take me another couple of days to set myself up again. At least I have a couple of weeks to do this. I want to do it RIGHT, first time around.

 

I’m such a damn perfectionist that I am driving myself nuts here.

 

Today Is A New Day

Everyone has mantras. Things we say to get us through a difficult day.

Yesterday was a pretty crappy day – not all for me, but mostly for my husband – and thus, for me. I feel everything he feels. I honestly do. We’re connected.

 

So today, when I had a quiet moment to myself, I came up with this one:

Today is a new day – start fresh

Today is life – it’s happening now

Yesterday is gone – you can’t change it

Tomorrow does not exist yet – you can’t worry about it

Go out and Live, damnit.

Furry mom moment #656372

We got up at some terribly early hour this morning and got everyone ready to go.

Azzie was THRILLED to go for a car ride – Gina was her usual serene self.

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Open windows for the slow parts of the ride and then we were on the autobahn and on our way.

It’s about a 35 to 40 minute drive and Azzie was finally settled by the time we were 5 minutes out, of course :)

She’s my wild child.

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So we got there early (as suggested) and waited for them to open the doors. Got in first, first in line, so we sat in the waiting room and filled out forms and Azzie and Gina said hi to the other waiting patients and then _kinda_ settled a bit.

I was then asked to go to the exam room with Azzie for her quick vitals check. Gina gave her a nose kiss before she headed off.

Azzie calmed down enough for the tech to check her pulse, but her heart was still pounding from all the excitement. I did tell them she gets very excited and they just need to give her a moment to settle…

I said they need to do all the finicky stuff when she’s out, otherwise they will have a crazy little bear on their hands!

Only thing they can’t do while she is sedated is taking blood… Good luck with that, I told them.

Luckily, they are true professionals with years of experience and the vet herself was taking the blood, so I am not worried. Hopefully they can give her something to calm her before they start all that kind of stuff.

The vet finally arrived (she had been stuck in traffic) and she checked Azzie over quickly and explained what she was going to do, etc.

Azzie was very respectful of Dr Gundel – a little unsure as well. But I have heard great things about the Dr and I was very happy to hear we would have her as our vet. Then Dr G said it was time for me to go and for them to go take blood and get Azzie ready for her surgery. My heart nearly squished its way out of my mouth I had such a sudden rush of fear/worry/anxiety for my precious little furry child. Is that what moms feel like? As Dr G led her away and I walked off down the corridor I felt like crying! It was crazy! I felt so bad for the poor little tyke – head down, tail down, slinking along. She went semi-willingly – there was no lead tugging – so I am hoping she is not too traumatised. My poor baby.

So today I will be keeping my phone close, but hoping that I hear nothing – because that means it’s all good.

We will see her again later this afternoon.

Hope she forgives us!