Saturday, March 26, 2011

And the answer is....

So what did you guess? What was Dear Dog barking so annoyingly at??

No, not that.

or that.

Sorry, try again...

You really want to know?

It was...

Wait for it...

... a caterpillar.

Yup. Huge anticlimax, right?

Big Brave Dog was scared of a small 5cm long caterpillar. It had dropped to the ground and was wriggling in between some leaves. Big Brave Dog was trying to paw it out from under the leaves, but was so scared of it he wasn't having much success.

Mommy to the rescue. By that stage, the poor caterpillar looked so done in that I thought he may as well finish the job. So I dropped it on the paving, and it was instantly pounced upon, and then dropped again. Then Big Brave Dog decided that, before Pathetic Dog got hold of HIS caterpillar, he'd better take it away somewhere else. Which he did.

I then noticed a second caterpillar, so, in the interests of fairness, thought I'd better give it to Pathetic Dog - who lived up to her name and was completely pathetic. A quick sniff, a quick mouthing, and then she quickly dashed off to see whether Big Brave Dog's caterpillar was nicer than hers. At which point Big Brave Dog decided that hers must be better than his, and wanted a swap.

At which point I got rather fed up, grabbed both caterpillars and hurled them both into the nether regions of the field next door. (No sense in leaving them lying around to chomp up more of my plants, right? and I don't have the heart to stand on them.... I know, I'm pathetic too!)

So there we are, ladies and gentleman. My Dear Ferocious Big Brave Dog, who wants to kill anything that moves past HIS gate, or on HIS road, or on HIS field, was scared of a measly little caterpillar.

The world is full of strange facts. And useless ones.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

From the morbid to the manic

I've already done a blog post today about Zoe, so don't want to rehash that here. You can read that over at the Born Sleeping blog. That's the morbid part from today.

Now for the manic: my dog. This evening, he's out on the driveway, barking and barking and barking. Not that insane "GET AWAY FROM MY GATE" bark. No, it's more the "Mom, please come see something weird over here" annoying bark. At first, I thought he was barking at passersby. Then I thought the mouse (rat?) had returned and was taunting him from on top of the roof. At that point I wandered out to see what the deal was. Nope. Not that either. Any guesses as to what he was barking at?

I'll give you a day or so to think of an answer. Closest answer to the truth will win a prize... not sure what sort of prize, but I'll think of something.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

4 years, and counting

I can't believe that on Thursday Zoe would be turning 4, if she had lived. Four. How different life would have been having two little girls, instead of a boy and a girl, and two children so close together, instead of 3.5yrs apart.

Part of me is still devastated to think about it. Part of me still wants to howl with frustration and longing. But most of me has come to accept it - it's just the way things are.

On Friday I went to hear R.T. Kendall preach. (WHAT a blessing - that man is SO gifted!! How I wish I could have been a congregant at Westminster Chapel while he was there.... It felt like a once in a million chance to do so - I mean, how often does someone of his calibre come to Cape Town?) He preached on the miracle that Peter and John performed when they healed the lame man. You know... "Silver and gold have I none"??

Peter and John went to pray.
they met a lame man on the way
He asked for alms and held out his palms,
and this is what Peter did say:
"Silver and gold have I none,
but such as I have give I you.
In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, in Jesus’ name rise up and walk.
The man went walking and leaping and praising God,
Walking and leaping and praising God,
“In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, In Jesus’ name rise up and walk”.

(Doesn't that song just take you back a generation or so?)

R.T. posed an interesting question - given that Jesus must have walked past this guy hundreds of times in his life, and certainly several times during his ministry, and given that he healed the lame at the Pool of Bethesda, why didn't Jesus heal this guy? Then R.T. posed another question - do you ever thank God for unanswered prayer? R.T. went on to explain that sometimes God choses not to answer our prayers because he has a better plan for us. In the case of this lame man, the better plan was to give Peter and John the opportunity to heal him, to give the fledgling church a platform from which to begin preaching, to increase the spread of the gospel.

It got me thinking. I've always wondered why God chose not to answer our prayers; why he chose to allow Zoe to die. Maybe the answer lies in what R.T. was teaching. Maybe it's because God had a better plan. I'm not sure what that plan might be, but I'm in a place now where I can accept that maybe her death was for the best.

I still miss her though. I guess I always will.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Goomy? Goemie?

I don't suppose it matters how you spell it. I'm also guessing that it has a variety of different names, depending on location and the generation one speaks to. What on earth am I talking about? A game, of course. But not just any game. Nope, this is a very special game; one I played for YEARS as a child.

It's a jumping game that can be played alone, as individuals, or in teams. All that is required is a few pairs of pantyhose tied together, or a long loop of elastic (and a few chairs if you're going to be playing alone). There are 4 levels at which the jump "rope" can be held - ankles, knees, hips and just under the arms. Then, the "rope" can be normal width (using both legs), or "skinny" (around one leg or with the body turned sideways to reduce the diameter). Finally, there are about 20 different patterns that I can remember (I'm sure there must be more though) that one has to jump through - and each pattern must be completed at each physical level in both normal and skinny. The final hurdle is that each pattern, at each physical level, in both normal and skinny, must also be completed while jogging.

In the team version, every member of the team must complete each sequence before the team can advance. In addition, during 'running' every team member must continue to jog on the spot, even if they are not actually jumping. Should one member stop, the team forfeits their turn.

It's a fabulous game that gives literally hours of entertainment as one negotiates the different levels of difficulty. I haven't played since I was in primary school though - a good 20 plus years ago. So what made me think of it? Nellie's Grade R teacher gave us some exercises to do with her at home to improve her low muscle tone in her pectoral girdle (upper body), and lo, and behold! Goemie is mentioned (though not in as much detail, or with that name, of course)!

I was amazed at how much I can still remember of this game, and how excited I got about the prospect of teaching it to Nellie. I wonder whether I can still do it all - it's a lot easier to jump neatly when you don't have wobbly bits all over.... (as my husband helpfully pointed out yesterday: I would do well at belly dancing because I have one of the most important requirements - a belly. Hmpf!)

Isn't it amazing though how memory works? I can't remember all kinds of other things, from far more recently, but I can remember something from more than 20 years ago with such clarity. I guess repetition must have something to do with it, and I certainly did have plenty of that where this game is concerned!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 11: Something people compliment you on

It's been a while since I posted from the 30 day meme topics, but this one seems to just jump out at me.

In Jan I finally took the plunge and cut my hair. Now I look more like a pixie than ever - pointy chin, small face... if only I had the large eyes to go with it! :)

But since then, at least once a week, I get a compliment on my new hair style.

I can only think I must have been looking REALLY terrible before then.

So why didn't you people TELL me?? Hmm?? You're supposed to care.... if I looked that bad, how could you let me walk around looking like that?

Well, at least I look better now. :))

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


At 8am this morning G had an interesting appointment with "Qqqqqqqqww".

Yup, it seems that Nathan has learnt how to enter appointments into Daddy's cell phone.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The WCED on Twitter

I am often disparaging about the WCED, and the national education dept as a whole, because I feel that (as an organisation) it is incompetent, meddlesome and increases teacher stress by increasing teacher workloads.

However, every now and again there are individuals within it that utterly amaze me. When I come across them I feel compelled to laud them, not just because they deserve it, but because I feel that I need to give praise as much and as often as I can, given that I run the organisation down so often.

So... I was AMAZED to read this blog post by a WCED top honcho about why you need to be on Twitter. I was amazed because he actually operates in my universe. I was amazed because he writes so eloquently. I was amazed because he works for the WCED and yet operates in my universe while writing eloquently (and no, that's not the same point as the first two!)

Go Hendrik Mentz!! You rock!!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Blogging? What's that?

The past few weeks have been so manic that I'm feeling completely disconnected from my online communities. I no longer know what's going on in people's lives - both on- and off-line. I hate it.

I've been chatting to friends at other schools, who all say the same thing. So what is it about 2011 that makes it so much busier than 2010 was? Maybe it's the shorter holiday? Maybe it's the staff development weekend away on the first weekend? Maybe it's my new responsibilities? Maybe it's all 3? But then, why would teachers at other schools say they are feeling the same sort of pressures?

Who knows.

All I know is that I can't WAIT for the end of term, and that I feel completely disconnected from the world.

Actually, having said that, this morning at church I felt like part of a community for the first time in ages. It makes such a difference having people to greet that you know and love.

And speaking of church, I had a minor epiphany this morning. Know how sometimes you get reminded about a particular truth, but it strikes you in a fresh way? Yup, that happened to me this morning. I saw an ex-boyfriend coming in the door. He hadn't seen me. Inside, I felt myself shrivel up, because I just kept wondering what he would think of me if he saw me - whether he thought I was being a fraud, or not. (As with most break-ups, ours was not a pleasant affair. And maybe he's more mature than I am, but in my mind, he's still stuck as being that particular person, and I wasn't a particularly nice person back then. God knows why my friends stuck with me.)

I then saw someone a few rows ahead of me and found myself wondering whether the person was male or female... Clearly I was distracted from worship.

Anyway, then I heard God's small whisper, asking whether it mattered whether the person in front of me was male or female, or whether s/he was a trans-sexual, or had had a sex change, or was trans-gendered, if her/ his worship was heartfelt. And as I realised that it didn't, it struck me that it really doesn't matter what others think of me. What matters is what God thinks of me. I don't have to keep beating myself up for my past mistakes, or my past personality issues. What matters is how God sees me - right here and now. It really doesn't matter what other people think when they see me, or observe me - whether during worship or at any other time. What matters is what God thinks.

God knows I'm only human (not that that's any excuse, but he knows it anyway) and he knows whether I have been trying to live by the Spirit or not. He is the only one who is capable and authorised to judge, and I can trust him to judge not just fairly, but to judge in grace.

That's really freeing.

That also means I can stop trying to assess and judge others- which is also really freeing.

I know, I know - this is old news. But this morning, it became REAL to me in a fresh way. Now... let's see whether it's still real to me tomorrow morning, when the rubber meets the road.