24 February 2014

Random Thoughts on a Monday

Yes, thats me sporting a new pair of +1's. Can't say I need them all the time just yet but reckon within the next year or two I will be glad to have them to hand. Especially in the evenings when I am trying to surf my iPhone is the blurry light.  I am not unhappy about this development as I have been waiting patiently to be able to sport the intellectual look.

It has been a good yet challenging week. Highs and lows like everyone else I guess. Highs include my usuals good friends, good reads, good coffee, good runs.

Lows include misunderstandings with people close to me and my lad going down with croup. Both have been resolved so I guess I can now count THAT as my high for the day?

This weekend I stole an hour and headed out to a nearby beach bar with a good friend and just chilled and took in the beauty of a summer evening in Cape Town.   I never do solo stuff on the weekend because its always been 'five tribe time' but lately every minute of my life seems to be 'all about the tribe' so I have decided to start to be a little more selfish. Yup, true story. I need to take time out and do my own thing and see my own people; even if it takes up time on the weekend.

My back hurts at the moment and I am unhappy about that. I have a race on Sunday and I really am aiming at a PB so this better sort itself out. FAST. It's nothing serious - I really just need to do more stretching and all that horrid boring stuff. Getting old is for the birds. To run I have to stretch - the trade off is worth it but the resentment is always there.  (rant over)

I bought another little desk (Dolly Varden knock-off) for Faith this weekend. Facebook is really paying off in spades….the little trade/swop group I am part of has really been useful! I plan to completely refurbish it and vintage-ise it for her. I will post before and after pics. I am, once again, in the throws of a myriad of refurb projects. I should have more time this week as Rachel is off on school camp for 3 days! Schooling just one child is totally going to be like a holiday!

17 February 2014

Unconventional Monday lessons

As a mom to young girls it is high on my value list to make sure they understand the scam of the media when it comes to woman and beauty.

The 'Real Beauty' Dove ad campaigns are a great tool to use to keep this light yet poignant. My girls already look at beauty magazines with a healthy dose of cynicism; they are asking the right questions and beginning to critically assess information to which they are exposed.

I do not think we will change media depiction of beauty any time soon, however we can change the way our young people react to media.

And then of course there are the more mundane lessons to be learnt…..

this is always more fun on sunny, wind free days

She makes tacos for the family every weekend and has become a master mince-maker!

15 February 2014

Valentines Run

Russ and I decided to mark our Valentines Day with the  LoveRunning 10k trail in and around Kirstenbosch. 

When my alarm went off at 0530 I realized what an awful decision it was. 
Grief, I love booking races. 
And I love finishing races but I think I may really dislike all the in-between bits. 

Suffice to say we arrive at the Gardens at 0640 - it was the most magnificent morning. The crowds were not scary, parking was easy and there was not a single queue for the toilets. 
Any runner will know what a miracle that is! 

The queue for registration took all of 10minutes.
Happy smiley faces, completely unaware of the trauma ahead of us.

Heading off at 0730 into already 28 degree heat.

The route profile should have warned me but I chose to be optimistic!

This is somewhere around 5kms and 40 odd minutes into the race.
I was beyond exhausted at this point. The thought of being only halfway seriously messed with my head but I truly found serious guts and got up and carried on.

Egging on a friend.
 By this stage (8kms) I had found reserves of strength I didn't know existed. This is my neighbor and a running buddy (a road runner) who was not feeling the LoveRunning vibe at all. Just after this shot was taken Russ and I ran the last (fast) 2kms to the finish - I have never been so grateful to see a finish line in my life.

Post race pic - we survived to tell the tale.
I did feel more schnookered than I look!

A year ago I ran a 21.1k. This was harder than that. And again, like the half marathon, there were no medals for this race. I think that is just all kinds of wrong, don't you? ;-)

Will I do it again next year? Damn straight! 

07 February 2014

School of Life

This past week has shown me the good, the bad, the ugly and the supremely fabulous sides to this thing called informal education.

Learning in our co-op group is inspiring for everyone

  • Rachel having a bad day. Slamming doors, accusations of favoritism, competition and general revolting attitude.
  • Faith have a bad day. Self-loathing. Self-pity and general annoying nonsense. Please note they do not co-ordinate days; would make it much easier if they simply had their  " I hate you, school, life " on THE SAME day but they are not quite that thoughtful.
  • Technology failing me and hours being hijacked while I try sort out problems.
  • Curriculums proving to be less than one had hoped  ---- realizing you could have acquired  much more fitting content (for free!) elsewhere.
  • Drowning in all the other parts of life that need attention from chores to shopping to admin.

  • Watching the lights come on after hours of struggling. The pure delight on a kids face.
  • Finding a new way to learn an old boring concept.

  • Taking our ancient history lesson into a local forest. Setting up 'camp' with a friend and watching our kids play for hours while laughing about the chicken she (and our kids) are currently 'mummifying'. Yes, the kids wanted to understand how mummifying works….and am truly grateful for a friend who is willing to take on this activity. >_<
Early stages of mummification….5 weeks to go!

Mr in his element! We went after school hours so he could join in the fun.
Even teen girls can get excited about dirt!
Working together to build a communal shelter.

    • Having amazing support in friends who teach my kids while I get to disappear for a trail run at 0830 in the morning!
      Russ doing the 'out and back' as I really struggled on this run….road running has made me weak!

    • Joining with other kids to be part of something big. like Ted. Ed. 

    Kids watching other kids presenting TED talks.
    • Watching my kids build relationships with older/younger kids - Faith is so excited to be able to 'start a business' with a teen lass (who Faith simply adores) who shares her passion for vintage, one-of- a-kind clothing. They are putting together ideas of how to remake old into something new and funky.This would NEVER happen in regular school where the two of them would not have spoken to each other. 
    The two arty fashionistas in our group.
    • This morning Faith and I are home pottering around. Fridays are easy days - we take them as they evolve. 
    • Rachel has gone with school friends to the Da Vinci expo at the Waterfront. In a few weeks time she will be headed off on camp with her Grade 7 friends. The school has kindly still included many of the homeschool kids in their camps. 

    The thing called school is much like this thing called life. You take it all. The good, the bad and everything in-between. You simply choose how to ride it all out.

    01 February 2014

    And That Was January

    The month has flown by. I am really struggling to keep blogging and am hating that life is passing me by. I just took a look at my old FiveBrowns blog and it was so nostalgic - I need to keep the pace up here even though my kids are not saying such cute things anymore. ;-)

    I think bullet points will have to account for January. With scattered photos here and there! It has been a big month with many highs and a few lows. 

    Chilling on the beach with another homeschool buddy

    Fishing off The Kom - showing off his shark

    Special times with Lisa on her flying visit from Luxembourg

    A morning in Kalk Bay with the birthday girls!
    • Levi is now in Gr 2 with a new teacher that he finds somewhat insipid compared to last years firecracker of a teacher. He says she is too nice and doesn't push him hard enough. I said I would happily fill the gap and sent him to his room to do 2hrs of maths. (not) 
    • His 3 best friends from last year have left the school. He is not happy. Two of them are now home schooled and the fav is now at another local primary school. We try to keep in touch but life happens and weeks go by. It's tough.
    • The girls are both home and working well most days. The do seem to tag-team having bad days though and I have asked them please to consider co-ordinating their 'freak-out' days more wisely.
    • Rach is working more independently; she is very excited about her Cambridge science program that arrived recently and is looking forward to getting stuck into the chemistry module.
    • I do not have enough hours in my day. Seriously. And yes, I could simply send my kids back to school but that is not my solution right now. When people ask me how I am doing  I totally give headlines. If I 'complain' (i.e. tell the whole truth) they simply say 'Send your kids back to school'. Well meaning, I am sure, but annoying nonetheless. It is a bit like when they complain about regular school / extra murals and me saying 'Just homeschool them!" Grrrr( rant over)
    • Ruach is proving challenging. Russ doesn't have enough hours in his day either. We are both working from home and yet see each other less than ever before. I have to say though that after a year of adjusting I do love having him around. He was away for a week this month and it was not good.
    • Social Savvy is born. Take a look.
    • I had a dodgy mole removed. All is well but the sun gives me pause more often these days but….
    • We are spending many more (safe) hours on the beach. The exclusion nets means we can bodysurf or simply frolic in the waves!
    • Levi had his first fishing experience off the Kom and caught a little shark.
    • I am running again. I took most of the month off just to regroup and do other things. My re-entry needs to be on the trail. Am really hoping to be able to find a consistent partner to join me on the trails as my dog is no longer young enough to join me. Fortunately there is a trail within the estate that is short but challenging so I can nip out while the girls are working.
    • Sadly we lost my Oupa Grootjie this month. He had not been well for somehow this never quite removes the shock of loss.
    • We celebrated my moms 70th birthday late this month. It was really rather spectacularly special and deserves a post of its own.
    • We also celebrated my sisters birthday during her holiday from Luxembourg
    • Milestone for Rachel too - two Valentine 'date' invitations from boys in her class. She politely declined as her Dad is taking her out for valentines day. *so not ready for this yet*