Sunday, September 21, 2014

MY ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Other Fun Stuff

Birthday Cappie
August is my birthday month and it's no secret that I like to spend a whole week celebrating. However this year it became a month-long celebration which was quite frankly, fantastic! I'm a Leo and Leos love to P-A-R-T-Y!  The pre-party started with me going to the 80's evening at Stones with some girlfriends. It was a blast (from the past!) We danced to EVERY song and sang until we were hoarse, well I was.

On my actual birthday, I was woken by Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato who were wildly excited to bestow large numbers of carefully-wrapped gifts upon me and I have to admit these 3 know how to shop for goodies I like!! Later I was taken out for a birthday brekkie by my bestie, followed by a family dinner at one of my favourite kiddy-friendly venues - yay! One of my fabulous friends sneaked past my home, while I was out, and dropped off a beautiful arrangement of flowers, imported chocs and other spoils. The next night was birthday date night with Hubby, who took me to one of my favourite restaurants. Then I had various lunches, breakfasts, picnics, coffee dates, dinners and other birthday treats for the next few weeks.

August ended off with a long-overdue trip to Harties (Hartebeespoort Dam). Our old stomping ground. We started off with breakfast at The Home of the Chicken Pie and then made our way to the dam. It was unbelievably windy. We went up the cable car and the view was spectacular! It was well worth the visit and the kids had a ball!! Tomato held a snake (ewww) and we walked around all the places that we hadn't been to in ages. We ended off at my favourite "farm stall" Jasmyn and stocked up on fruits and veggies and divine raw honey and nuts - yum. All in all it was a fabulous day!

 The next day was the best present by far, a gift from my nearest and dearest friends - my very first visit to see Madame Zingara which was truly amazing! The food was great (I had the signature steak with chocolate and chilli sauce), the service was very well executed and the staff and all the performers were there to have fun and to attend to our every need. The experience was fantastic! We danced and really had a ball. I was made to feel so special for my birthday month, I am so very grateful to be surrounded by such special, loving, giving people in my life.

Along with all the festivities, came the nomination that I had avoided like the plague - the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. Now don't get me wrong, the marketing behind this challenge was phenomenal and I now, along with a plethora of others, know what ALS is!! However, it was freeeeezing in South Africa and whilst I loved watching everyone else have a bucket of icy water dumped on their head, I was pleased not to have to do the same. So I was therefore NOT happy when I got the nomination but thankfully there wasn't a time frame specified, in which to complete the task. (I know the rules stipulate 24 hours but seriously, who is going to come and bust me, the Ice Bucket Challenge police?)  So I waited a while until the weather warmed up a bit, which was about 10 days later. It was still darn cold. In hindsight, I should have waited until September because the weather has gone from "dead of winter" to "middle of summer" in about 5 days!! We've had temperatures of 31 degrees C for the past few weeks. Tomato loved pouring water over my head.

Let me mention that it sounds like fun but holy cr*p it was cold!!! I literally couldn't take a breath, which took me by surprise so instead of the planned calm reaction, I spluttered and choked my way through it - lovely! It was not what I had expected. I thought it would be cold, but not THAT cold!

Here is the proof for you non-believers..........

Unfortunately along with the highs, came the lows. A friend of mine who went for a routine check for cancer, after she beat it 6 years ago, was told that some cancer cells were discovered. We were all shocked. We had joked about the rigmarole she would have to go through to have this strange test and planned some get-togethers to get her through the tests, never for a moment thinking that the results would come back positive! It makes me suddenly really grateful for the time I have and the wonderful people in my life, when the C word is bandied about. Medical science is amazing and fortunately the cells can be cut out but it is still an operation and a damn scary thought for my dear friend and for me just thinking about it. I am convinced that the surgeons will remove all the offending tissue and she will be back to her old self in no time, but it is frightening all the same.

I should do this...During the past month Dot-the-Domestic, the second mother to my children, and cleaner extraordinaire, became very ill and was unable to work for two weeks (shock-horror!!) So Lettuce and I became the "crew" at home to get the place back to ship shape condition. We washed, we wiped, we cleaned and had quite a bit of fun.

On one of the days, I was tidying upstairs and he was very quiet downstairs, which is always a sign that something is up! So I sneaked downstairs and found him like this.

Nap attack!
He was obviously making someting and then suddenly a nap attack!! It took me a while to find him amongst all the toys!

So even with all the challenges and scary moments, the last 5 weeks have been very full. Tomato has taken up Judo and is loving it, Bacon is practising hard for her school concert and Lettuce is being the brother that little girls love to hate. He torments them and sprays them with water, he trashes their room and is like a little hurricane in the house - a very cute hurricane because he is always sooo apologetic when he does something wrong or hurtful and kisses everyithing better.  But of course it doesn't stop him from doing the same thing again a few minutes later, but he is a real sweetie pie. I am blessed.

Here comes trouble!!