I really am struggling to write a blog post right now ….

I am not a big fan of the Xmas season – there is so much pressure to have a good time.  My diary is full of places I must go, things I must do, places I must take the kids and just running around.

There is the incessant need to shop and purchase things, complete your shopping list …. and and and …..

I really start to feel depressed over this time of year.  Xmas means you need to be super happy, and want to spend a lot of time with other really happy people.

The idea of so many social engagements makes me stressed and anxious – but ’tis not the season to climb under my duvet and act like a hermit.

I am a bit overwhelmed by the slight overflow of Facebook status updates of how everyone is so proud of their children.  There are photos of certificates from “attendance” to “trying really hard” and everything in between.  And many “I am so proud” parents.

I am glad they are proud.   I am happy they are happy.

I get a bit despondent by the mediocrity.  I am waiting for the Facebook of parents who are just happy they survived the year and that they wish their child had maybe tried a bit harder.

I realise that might not be the most politically correct thing to say, so I won’t.

I have realised that I have been a bit absent from my blog – and that is just because I have felt a lot very absent of late.  From my life.  A bit like a silent bystander watching me sort of fumble through the day.  I just cannot get my shit together.

I usually avoid listening to the news – not because I am trying to bury my head in the sand, but I have chosen to rather listen to audio books when I drive.  I used to listen to CapeTalk which is a non-stop stream of talk … as you would gauge from the name.

The downside is that I used to feel a bit “over informed” and “over stimulated” by the constant updates, and chatter – and my “inside head voices” never got a chance to just be quiet.

I finished an audio book earlier this week and I switched the news on so that I could do a quick catch up between putting in a new audio book to listen to.

Running on the first news bulletin was the story of the 6 week old baby who had been raped by her “uncle” in the Northern Cape.  It was horrific.

Because my kids were in the car and I do try my best to not hide them from reality, it meant we had to have a discussion about rape.  Babies.  6 week old babies.

And pretty much how fucked up things are right now.

It is so very fucked up.

Then I thought about Melissa Bachman – and how that image was flashed on everyone’s facebook status update and how people wanted to get behind a lynch mob.   I was wondering if there was a way to harness that energy and get people to go up to the Northern Cape or at the very least show as much anger and blood-lust as they did about Melissa.

Who by the way, I still do not give a toss about.

I realised that there was more chatter on Social Media platforms about the hail that there was about the rape of a 6 week old baby.

I remembered that there is a justice system that needs to run it’s course.  And I wondered if it ever would.

I wondered why we can put our dogs to sleep, but we can’t club rapists and child abusers or at the very least put them to sleep.

I wish I could think of a solution.  I wish I had some idea of what the hell we are doing when children are growing up into adults who rape babies.  

Somewhere something is very wrong. I am not quite sure at whose door to lay the blame.

I am not sure whether we are all to blame in some way.  How did we all fail this baby – and the hundreds and thousands of babies and children in this country who are victims of rape?  How the hell is this the world we live in?

What does it say about our country when a woman cannot put her baby down in her room to sleep, and return to find the baby safe and sound?

I wondered whether the campaign called 16 Days of Activism against Women and Children really needs to be retired.  Not because it is not needed, but because it has proven to just not have the legs.

I got angry that so many people get all worked about hail, e-tolling and Melissa Bachman …. but no so much about what is happening all around us.

I got angry that our president and his faction are so involved in a “build a large dream home including marques and crazy paving” project that they have no time, no energy and actually very little interest to do anything about the rape epidemic in this country.

I just got sad, angry, and realised I cannot actually write a post about this in a sane manner.

Interested in buying a bit of real estate? Look no further ….

If you are not yet familiar with this tumblr that posts actual photos from real estate agents, you are missing out on some major hilarity. I laughed until I cried.

Yes, these are REAL photos!!

A testament to these austere times, this bathroom is constructed entirely from other houses’ dead space, overhang, and stairwells.

A testament to these austere times, this bathroom is constructed entirely from other houses’ dead space, overhang, and stairwells.

(source: terriblerealestatephotos)

Less Dick and a whole lot more Jane

If there’s one thing I think we can all agree on after watching this, it’s that animated media for kids needs a little less Dick and a whole lot more Jane.

If you can’t watch it on You Tube try this link – http://www.upworthy.com/the-subliminal-message-in-so-many-animated-kids-movies-and-shows-isn-t-about-violence-re2-4c?c=ufb1

http://www.seejane.org/

I am not sure I agree with everything she says, but it has given me “pause for thought” – and I would probably have a closer look at the animation that my kids watch, and the Dick-Jane thing.

Please pop along and vote for The Reluctant Mom’s Blog for SA’s Best Mommy Blogger 2013

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Nominations close on the 30 November 2013.

Melissa Bachman – what has she done to deserve the public outcry?

Melissa Bachman appears to be only slightly less popular than …. actually right now I think she might be the least popular person in the world.  Well the social media world at any rate.

I can’t imagine the mother in a refugee camp in Somalia has heard of Melissa, and my guess she is probably not that concerned about what Melissa is doing in a bush, with a gun and what the backlash is about.

My guess is this woman really does not care.  At all.

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I have no issue with hunting.  I do not like the idea of it – it is definitely not something I would do.  I can sort of see what the driving force is, and why someone would enjoy it, and I am not going to stand in their way.

Hunting is often about “the hunt” and not always about what the person kills to eat.  We have Woolworths now, so I do not have to go and kill a pig when I want spare ribs – I outsourced that to Woolworths and who ever they have sub contracted that out to.

People have been hunting big cats and other game since time began – and it was never about eating the animal, so I find the argument of “well you should eat the lion” a bit weak.

We are constantly surrounded by images that might not be a person holding a gun with a dead animal at their feet, but by a process of elimination one sort of works out that there must have been some animal killing involved.

Is Zuma wearing faux or do you think these animals worn in this image died of natural causes?

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I have no issue with animals being killed.

Actually I do, but as I like to eat roast chicken, love lamb and will not pass up a beef burger for anything, it is fair to say that I appear to be a consenting adult and accept that animals die so I can eat them.

I try not to think of this as I am sitting down to a meal.  But that is unfortunately the reality.  Because there is a supplier and a few other elements in the chain, I have no need to ever associate an animal and the way it died with my pack of purchased meat.

I do not have to eat meat – there are enough alternate means of nutrition so that I would not have to eat meat, and then maybe the baby lamb does not have to die.

I am rather fond of lamb chops, so I will not be signing a petition any time soon to STOP THE SLAUGHTER OF LAMBS.

I accept that people and animals are not afforded the same rights.  As much as I am emotionally invested in my animals, and I am – you really do not know the half of it – I do realise that animals are animals.  They do reserve respect, to be handled in a humane way, and if they need to die then this needs to be done quickly, effectively and with as little discomfort to the animal as possible.

I am able to separate the emotional side of hunting (I do want to ensure we are clear on legal hunting versus poaching – because right now people are going bezerk and blaming Amanda for the demise of the Panda and the Dodo – her PR company still has not issued a statement on that) from the fact that the reality is that far more animals are being killed through illegal means, than the legal means.  Hunting has been a part of what “mankind” does and it will continue to be so until there are no more animals, or no more people.

If someone has acquired a licence, the licence has been granted, the person has hunted an animal they are permitted by law to hunt and kill, the owner who owns the animal has given permission, and the animal is killed quickly and with as little pain as possible – then why are we attacking Melissa Bachman?

I understand that killing animals is not nice.

I understand that standing next to an animal you have killed, and propping its head up as you smile for the camera is probably not everyone’s idea of a great photograph.

The question I start wondering is – how many hunters with their trophies have we seen, and these images are posted, but no outcry about the shooting of these animals?

What is it about THIS picture that is setting people off and making them want to cause all sorts of bodily harm to Ms Bachman?

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Is it because Melissa is hunting in South Africa?

Is it because Melissa has killed a lion?

Is it because she shot the lion and he was 50 metres away from her – which allowed her to be safe, but was not such a good outcome for the lion?

I can’t quite put my finger on it what about this image that is making people shit in their pants.

I had a quick look around and there are dozens of hunting safaris offered in South Africa.  I have no idea how many hunts are done each day, I have no idea of how many animals are killed – but here are a few:

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I cannot find one outcry group or facebook page about this guy with his big cat.  One would think that this image would make people want to grab their forks and torches and at the very least find this guy and set his jacket on fire.

But, no, not a peep – anywhere on the interweb.

Not one person called him a c&nt – not one!!

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These images are all on Lew Harris Safaris and everyone there really looks happy and it appears to be a well established Safari (one of dozens I saw)

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None of these images appear to have caused much of a stir.

My question is why are none of these “old boys” being targeted for hunting in South Africa, with a licence and through a legal channel?

Is it because they are all wearing khaki?

Could it be because they are almost all wearing hats?

What could it be?

Melissa Bachman is not THE problem.  And neither is the fact that she shot a lion.  This lion was never going to roam the veld and impregnate lionesses, he was bred to be hunted.  A bit like my lamb was so I could eat him or her.

Instead of dealing with this issue in a sane manner, people are attacking her and making derogatory comments about her breasts, and various other parts of her anatomy.  I have seen the “c” word being used quite liberally –  pretty much a “full on hate campaign” is running riot – and it is everywhere.

I am not suggesting that Melissa Backman is my favourite person.  I do not know her, and for  me she is a non-entity, pretty much as I am to her.

She is on par with all these people pictured above with their animal trophies.

What good will come out of attacking her?  If you have an issue with the fact that animals are hunted in South Africa, then take this up with your government or your representative – or which ever department is issuing licences.  Will joining a facebook group really do anything of value?

Possibly have a  investigation about why hunting is permitted, what are the benefits, what are the risks, and so on.

Driving Melissa and her ilk away from our shores, is not going to save one lion, not one wildebeest, and not one cheetah.  Not one.

Based on what we as South Africans are putting out there into the world of “people who may be interested in visiting South Africa as a tourist”  the general consensus is South Africans are brutal, and we feel it is okay to behave like animals when someone legally shoots an animal.

We seem to be okay with a rape-scenario to sort out Melissa, have indicated she should maybe take AIDS with her instead of a trophy and various other pleasantries.  It is like common sense has gone out the window, and people are frothing at the mouth and recalling Bambi flashback moments.

If you think that all this social media “tarring and feathering” of Melissa Bachman is going to do one thing towards animal conservation or shut down one legal game farm, then you are seriously deluded.

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I have been reading various blogger’s posts on the issue around Melissa Bachman.

Some of them have had some brilliant insights.  Some have been tasteless and stupid.

Then there are a few that make me sit and go “hey, I hadn’t thought of that” – I saw this post by Jani Allan at My Grilling Life and this section that made for an interesting take on this rather well worn, and beaten subject:

Trophy hunting is an obscenity beyond the obvious one. Trophy hunting for lion is killing healthy members of an imperiled species.

Do you know or even care that when an adult male lion is killed, the destabilization of that lion’s pride can lead to more lion deaths as outside males compete to take over the pride? Read National Geographic and learn a few things. I know I did.

Once a new male is in the dominant position, he will often kill the cubs sired by the pride’s previous leader, resulting in the loss of an entire lion generation within the pride.

Trophy hunting by definition is counter-evolutionary. It is based on selectively taking the large, robust, and healthy males from a population for a hunter’s trophy room.

These are the same crucial individuals that in a natural system would live long, full lives, protecting their mates and cubs and contributing their genes to future generations.

I am hesitant to suggest that the image of Melissa Bachman as a hunter who is hunting in South Africa and killed a lion, has incensed people because she is a woman.

I am hesitant to make that jump.

Why are all these images I have posted above here – which are all taken in South Africa on a variety of hunting safaris – why have none of these been targeted with such venom and loathing as this one of Melissa Bachman?

Why have smear campaigns not been set up to “name and shame” these men – or is there something that Melissa has done that is different that has upset people?

Nominate Reluctant Mom for SA’s Best Mommy Blogger 2013

sa-best-mommy-blogger-competition-2013-nominate-me

The damage Type-2 Diabetes can do …..

I read this post by Debie Hive over at DeBie Hive on Friday morning and it stopped me in my tracks.

I will admit ignorance regarding Diabetes 2 – I thought it was something that you could sort out with a walk around the block, and cutting deep fried potatoes out of your diet.

This is an outstanding post featured recently on DeBie Hive’s blog – she is a phenomenal writer, and definitely worth stalking.

The Damage Type-2 Diabetes can do – The story I haven’t written yet.

Two years ago today, I kissed my mother, told her that I loved her, then sat in a waiting room alone and cried.

On that day, so very coincidentally on World Diabetes Awareness Day, her life was changing irreversibly. All of our lives changed that day.

They’d already changed so much in such a short period of time.

I thought I had lost her the month prior, though that time for a different reason.

On November 14, 2011, I told her I loved her, not knowing if it would be the last time.

The afternoon before, I had called a dear friend of mine who is a pastor. She came without asking any questions and sat with us as we bowed our heads, held hands, wished for guidance and peace.

She did just that. She brought us peace. I can never repay her for that kindness.

By then, the choice had been made. It had to be made or a certain ending would rapidly come. The word choice is a bit misleading when the only choice is to choose or die.

It was gangrene. There was no question anymore.  The tips of her toes had blackened, and the telltale signs were spreading upward too fast. We’d waited and hoped, she’d gone through several prior surgeries to try and save the blood vessels. Days when she was sedated in the ICU with gigantic metal wires in her femoral arteries trying to pump medications directly to the blocked arteries. None of it worked. We’d exhausted every other option.

Weeks had gone by like this. Trying to save the leg, her in excruciating pain when she was conscious enough to feel it, knocked out most of the rest of the time. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent sitting in hospital chairs, waiting for her to wake up, hoping to catch the doctor, asking questions that never had the answers we wanted to hear.

Then it was time.

The surgeons were called.

For all the time spent waiting, we knew that time was rapidly speeding up. We had to do it now, or risk needing to go higher. The higher the amputation, the more disabling it would be, the harder the recovery, the more life altering.

It was all going to be hard no matter what.

It had already been hard.

My mother had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about two years before that day, though she didn’t want to accept her diagnosis. In reality, she had probably been walking around with it for a long time before then. She lived in denial of it, refused to accept it. She didn’t want to hear doctors say that smoking was especially dangerous with diabetes, that her clotting disorder put her at an exceptionally high risk for circulatory problems, that she could lose her legs, that any number of other things could happen…so she didn’t. She willfully ignored it all, even though she had already had a DVT many years prior. We tried all we could think of to help her come to a place of acceptance. We all tried.

Every so often, she would try. A little. For a little while. Until it got hard.

It always got too hard.

She didn’t want help. She didn’t want anyone going to the doctor with her. She didn’t want anyone helping her figure out what to eat. She didn’t want anyone asking how her numbers were. She worked pretty hard to keep us in the dark about it all. She changed doctors frequently, she refused to let us talk to them. All we ever knew was what she wanted to tell us, except for when she was in the hospital and we’d find out the hard way.

Read the rest of this blog post here — it is long, but every word is perfectly crafted, and worth the extra cup of tea you will have to make to get to the end.

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Nominate Reluctant Mom for SA’s Best Mommy Blogger 2013

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Are your children PLAYING with Lucifer’s Testicles?

I love it when single, childless people have an opinion on parenting and child development.

Could you please discuss marriage with us, too?

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In a non related matter, I saw this book, and I thought it might make an excellent stocking filler — especially if you are hoping to find yourself as Johnny-No-Mates by the 26th of December.

Have a friend with kids who you have absolutely no interest in ever seeing again?  Then these books are for you.

Are your children PLAYING with Lucifer’s Testicles? by Dr Daniel Cameroon.   I personally would be intrigued to find out which titles were rejected, before this one was decided on.

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If you already have a copy of this awesome book, here are two more you may want to look out for – these are actual books.  That adults sat down and wrote.  And published.

Nancy Boy Chrissy the Bedwetting Sissy

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This book “Daddy, why did Jesus kill Grandma” is also a colouring-in book …. well that is okay then.

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Here is a page from the book – feel free to print it out for junior to colour in.

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Seriously these are book – pop over and order if you’d like:  http://www.landoverbaptist.org/eastereggs.html

I will be honest Melissa Bachman doesn’t bother me half as much as the crowd that put these books together.

Please pop along and vote for The Reluctant Mom’s Blog for SA’s Best Mommy Blogger 2013

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Nominations close on the 30 November 2013.

Will it count if I tell you that the “i” on my keyboard is not working and I have had to type this using ASCII code.  That is how committed I am to this Blog!!

Maybe parenting … and mathematics … is not for everyone …

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Please pop along and vote for The Reluctant Mom’s Blog for SA’s Best Mommy Blogger 2013

sa-best-mommy-blogger-competition-2013-nominate-me

Nominations close on the 30 November 2013.

Face Slimmer Mouth Exercise Mouthpiece …. found a satisfied user

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This goes back to a previous blog post …..

The Married Kama Sutra: The World’s Least Erotic Sex Manual

An illustrated “sequel” to the famous Kama Sutra: a humorous guide to the positions of married life.

For centuries, lovers have found inspiration and advice in the ancient text of the Kama Sutra.

Now, Simon Rich–“one of the funniest writers in America” (The Daily Beast)–and Farley Katz, “an inventive mind along the lines of Roz Chast” (The New York Times), have unearthed a valuable new document–a guide to the positions most common after marriage.

From “the interrupted congress” to “the beaching of the whales,” here are the poses, positions, and games married lovers play to keep the spark alive–and the dishwasher properly loaded.

Complete with four-color, full-page illustrations in the style of the original Kama Sutra, but with modern, domestic accouterments  dirty diapers, TV remotes, and wine glasses aplenty.

A brilliant gift for Xmas or pretty much any day.  I am putting my copy next to my favourite book “Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach” – these two should really be sold as a set.

Here are some examples from the book:

Married Kama Sutra

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Exclusive Books stocks The Married Kama Sutra – pop along to your closest book store and see if they carry this one.

The list of Bizarre Things all women have done at least once ….

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1. itsjill

Do shower math when you wake up to see how long you have to sleep and if it’s even worth showering or go back to bed and put your hair in a bun for work.

2. klcna

When hairs fall out in the shower I don’t want to clog the drain so I put them on the shower wall and do a little swirl so they are neat and ready to be put in the garbage when I’m done.

3. bekahrama

Laughed or coughed so hard when you’re on your period and more blood or a blood clot comes out. Then you have to do a quick waddle walk to the bathroom cause you feel like you just turned on the faucet.

4. cupcakegiraffe

When you think nobody is looking, you readjust your bra, stick your hand in, pull ‘em up one at a time, straighten the band and straps, and add an extra squeeze to make sure everything is in its place.

5. circus_snatch

Sit in a strange position when farting, so the fart bubble does not go up the cooter.

6. MoreNutella

Tried on a shirt that was too small, then started to panic in the dressing room after realizing how restrictive it is when you can’t get it back off over the boobs.

Start thinking that you either have to 1. buy the shirt and live in it now, or 2. they’re going to have to use the jaws of life to remove it.

7. flying_pekinese

After shaving, wear silky or satin-y PJs.

8. femmenon

I roll around in my bed going, “SMOOOOOOTH!”

9. JMango

Open my mouth really wide while putting mascara on. Also, redoing updos 30 times even though I’m pretty sure it looks the same every time.

10. wadyflamers

Kegels. Kegels in meetings at work. Kegels in the movie theatre. Kegels at dinner with friends. Kegels everywhere. If you’re talking to me, and I’m sitting, I am definitely kegeling.

11. Drenken

Instantly every girl who reads this does a Kegel.

12. amandalauren

Got on all fours in front of a mirror to see what doggystyle looks like from the dude’s perspective.

Not bad.

13. antichrist_superstar

When you wear a tight pair of pants and there is the seam that creates a little bulge right in the crotch, when you sit it presses against your vagina nicely, so you wiggle back and forth a bit to enjoy it. I can’t be the only women that has felt it or enjoyed it.

14. febreeze358

Don’t have a tampon when you start your period… fold up toilet paper, place in the middle of underwear, struggle to pull up pants without dislodging the padding, walk unnaturally in an attempt to not mess up the paper… failure. Just… failure. Bloody, shredded paper in your underwear when you get home.

15. fandabidozichu

Cup shower water in my boobies then unleash the water torrent on my walls/toes.

16. KlaireBop

Spending 30 mins in front of the mirror trying to get the “cat eye” liquid eyeliner just right. So far I’ve never succeeded.

17. Waitwhatnow

Place hands in crotch for warmth.

18. thenewchornogrophers

That amazing back/stomach scratch when you take your bra off after a long day. Best feels ever.

19. reighbooker

I stick my hand down my pants all the time- watching tv, playing on the computer. It’s not sexual, I just hold my lady while I watch Netflix.

20. rcmeadows

Measure to see if our hair can cover our boobs/nipples in a playboy manner when just down. We all do it, I am sure of it.

21. sociallyawkwardjess

We masturbate to fall asleep quicker. But once you have one orgasm you’re like, oh wait, I can have another. So begins a vicious cycle.

22. KMKSouthie2001

Enjoy the rush of freedom and lack of constriction that comes from taking one’s bra off at the end of the day. Be free, my titties!

23. RosieJo

Sometimes I look down at my nipples and think they’re too soft and big so I flick them to make them small and pointy.

24. scoopl

Double checked to make sure I didn’t accidentally put in two tampons. Let me die of embarrassment now.

25. _dreamline

When trying to poop in public we try to pretend we’re not in the stall and act dead silent if someone comes in. We won’t poop until they’ve left the bathroom. If they came to poop there is usually a poop stalemate. Nobody wins in a poop stalemate.

In other situations in a public wash room: keeping the flusher held down while taking a tremendous dump to avoid smell and noise. Don’t deny you haven’t done this!

26. goatcheese

Purposely don’t shave vag when going out to avoid a hook-up.

27. iamseriously

The period check. When you’re sitting down, you “accidentally” drop something and while you’re bending over to pick it up, you sneak a peek between your legs to make sure you’re not leaking.

Also, indiscriminately doing the “check” for ANY fellow female who asks, regardless of who they are — even your worst enemy or someone you’ve never met before.

28. HiOnAir

Period Paranoia: Make unnecessary trips to the bathroom before or during period time. It’s lik hammertime, backed up against a wall, shuffling to the bathroom- except a lot more sad.

29 Missionblack

Squatting like a baseball catcher to stretch out freshly washed jeans.

 30. bobtail

Only shaved what’s necessary. Knee-length skirt? No need to shave higher!

Please pop along and nominate this blog – http://www.kidzworld.co.za/competitions/mommy-blogger.html

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Racist card or valid question?

I saw a post on a Charity facebook page that had posted several photographs of children receiving presents, and opening them – the children all (I assume all, I did not go through them and do a tally) were non-white.

After a particularly lovely photograph of a black South African young boy opening his gift with a smile that could light up Cape Town, Jane Doe had posted the comment: “sal ons ander raskinders se glimlaggies ook sien asb.”

The English translation is loosely “Will we be seeing the smiling faces of children of other races please” – my translation skills are not on University level, but that is sort of the gist of it.

Clearly some people made a poop in their pants – others just went befok!

There was the standard response of “a child is a child no matter what their race” …. and that is true, but that was not what she was asking.

I saw further comments about the original comment on other facebook status updates.  I did not make the connection until I saw the original comment and where it was posted, and then the penny dropped.

I am not sure if the person who posted the question was asking because she felt that non-white children had only been featured on this facebook page.  

Or whether she really was curious where the white people were.

Or that she was taking issue – or just making a comment – that there seemed to be very little in the way of white faces being presented.

Or that she felt that unless she saw a white child now, she was going to rethink why she had “liked” this page.

I am not sure – what her frame of reference was for the question.

The children registered are probably representative of the population of South Africa as a whole.  My guess is that there would be far more coloured children in the photographs from the Western Cape, than say for the Gauteng area.  

I would suppose.

Whites are the minority – and make up less than 10% of the South African population.  And based on this, one would expect to see far less white faces in the photographs than say of children of colour.

The question did not rile me that much.  It does (for me) bring back the issue that race is a very sensitive topic in this our rainbow nation.  One has to tread very carefully with what you ask and how it is phrased.

I think is the “lesson” when reading posts, comments and pretty much everything on the interweb is that you really don’t know the tone that the person was using, what they actually meant or anything more about her other than these 9 words that make up this comment/post.

I have interviews with candidates who for the most part black South Africans or black foreign nationals.  I am often taken aback when one of the candidates starts a sentence with “You know how black people are….” or “You know how those people are ….”

Clearly the right answer from me is “er, no …..” – it seems dangerous to have any other reaction.

On non related news I took this photograph of Isabelle and Kate (Katelyn) yesterday in a moment where they seemed to be sharing a private joke … and no, I do not know why there is a piece of ribbon pasta lying between them.

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You should date an illiterate girl ….

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Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.

Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi, and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale, or the evenings get long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.

Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.

Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail, frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.

Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, god damnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.

Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.

Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.

Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. I hate you. I really, really, really hate you

Originally written and published by Charles Warnke – see more of his stuff here ——->>  on 19 January 2011.

Images from Santa Shoebox Celebration Days ….

I decided this year to volunteer at the Santa Shoebox Celebration Days – it’s the days that the boxes are handed out to the children at the centers/schools/educares who had registered to take part.

It was far outside my comfort zone.  The idea of entering a room with dozens of people that I did not know would create a large degree of stress and panic, and a good dose of social paranoia.

I mentioned in a previous post that Santa Shoebox is an unbelievable initiative – the awesome and unbelievable behind the scenes work of the mostly-volunteers – and it is.

Every time I find out more or meet someone else who is involved I am amazed at what they do – these are always people who have busy lives, work, juggle kids, and somehow in all of this find time to volunteer or give a little of their time and energy to this project.

The logistical planning, adjusting, finding new boxes, getting the right boxes to the right centers on time is quite awe inspiring.

The centers register quite some time back (I think in June) and submit their names.  Between then and the Celebration Day children leave the center, or join the center and there is often quite a lot of checking, rechecking and running around to obtain more boxes.

Today’s center was in Elsies River and there were 72 children – by far the biggest celebration day I have ever taken part in.

There was no way I could do the Celebration Days without the motley crew of wonderful people who jumped in to help – Judith Cross, Sue Biller, Juanita Sharon Africa, Caroline Rolo, Thelma and her mom.

Cindy Erasmus came along to today’s Celebration and brought along a cake donated by Shoprite that was big enough for 100 people!

Thanks to the all the Santa Shoebox Organisers, co-ordinators, donors, suppliers and volunteers – and the thousands of people who donated wonderful boxes and items to be handed out, and who work tireless on this Project all year long.

It is  an unbelievable initiative.  

Watching the children when they receive their boxes is a very humbling and moving experience.  Knowing that each box handed out and opened by a child, was specifically made for that child by a special person, family or maybe even another child was unforgettable.

If you didn’t donate a box this year – or building a box is not something you can do – consider purchasing stationery, tennis balls, cars, children’s clothing on sale after Xmas or when ever – purchase items on sale – anything that can go into the boxes for next year, keep them in a bag, and donate this on to Santa Shoebox Project for 2014.

Every item is used, and often “emergency boxes” need to be packed and provided at the last moment.

Random images from the various Celebration Days:

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Pop along to their Facebook page to see if there is a center in your area that still needs some help: https://www.facebook.com/SantaShoebox

Or visit their home page to get some ideas of how you can take part: http://www.santashoebox.co.za/

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then there was that time you married your sister ….

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Protected: How your blog post can get you fired or never hired …..

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The annoying and persistent begging starts ….. cloaked in humility of course ….

It is that time of year again – the Kidzworld Mommy Blogger Competition has started.

I cringe slightly as this is about the same time that I start  appealing to your ability to click on the badge and Nominate Me.

I will do it subtly (not so much), so that I do not sound as desperate as I feel when I am faced with these things.

The next step will be my constant pestering that you “please, for the love of gd go and nominate me …”

When that is done,  there will be ever more begging and pleading, with some grovelling.  I may even promise tasteful nudity – and repeat updates on my Facebook status of “please pop along and vote” or something of that ilk.

I will always appear to sound non-nonchalant and “oh I do not worry about that sort of thing … ”

Heads up.  It is all a lie.  Of course I care.  You get a shiny badge, bragging rights, and on-line vouchers and a batch of books!!!

I would like to say that I am above this.  I would, but let’s have an honesty moment.

I would like to take this opportunity to prepare you for the “oh my heavens, I am just honoured to be nominated” or there might be a bit of “oh for fuck sake just go and vote —- after all I have done for you” which will eventually end in “I really no longer care if you vote or not it is a stupid competition….”

This statement will be associated with constant and annoying re-checking and hoping that I at least make the short list.

I will constantly keep wondering if I was a bit nicer, swore a bit less, and really made more of an effort I could climb over the dead and bleeding bodies of my competition … and was far nicer to sponsors would that have helped?

I will tut-tut, avert my eyes and say things like “oh that silly competition … it really does not count for anything …. really I am so not bothered..”

I am the Sally Fields of Mommy Bloggers — pick me, pick me, you must really like me –please do not leave me standing her in my stupid PT shorts and no bra -because-I-have-no-breasts-and-my-,mom-refuses-to-fork-out-for-a-crop-top-which-looks-like-a-bra PT shirt.

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Yes I do realise this entire post sounds like I need to pop back to my Dr Pill and ask him to up my Serequel and Serdep … but there you go, it’s been that sort of week.

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Here is the Nominate Button – there really is absolutely nothing in it for you, this is truly all about me — I would like to say that you win a lucky draw or something, but it seems not.  This is all about me and my four year old child The Reluctant Mom Blog vying for first place with all the other really pretty and talented children/blogs vying for your vote.

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You can pop along to the site and read about how the competition works, and all of that jazz, but here is the Executive Summary:

1.  Click on button and nominate Reluctant Mom – I will be doing this until the 30 November 2013.

2.  The blogs with the most Nominations will be sorted into the top 10 or top something number.

3.  There will be a new button that will really try to convince you to go and VOTE assuming that The Reluctant Mom is shortlisted – this will go on until 15 December 2013.

4.  There will be several days of checking and re-checking my email and hoping that I get somewhere in the Top 3.

5.  Then it is finished.  Everyone takes their bow, there is a bit of air kissing, and a fair amount of “shit, I lost, but hey the winner blogs are really fantastic” …. oh I am so honoured just to be on the short list.

6.  Everyone goes home eats too much cake and drinks too much wine!

 

Seth just realized: marriage is not for him.

I saw this thread someone on the interweb and I followed it to it’s source – and found a blog post that is seriously an “ah hah” moment.

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Marriage Isn’t For You

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. 🙂 I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.

Read the rest of the blog post here —–>> 

 

Original blog post and image credited to :