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Mrs Van

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About Mrs Van

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    Ranger Big Sister
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  • Birthday 10/06/1974

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  1. I'll check in from time to time, but it seems that me chatting on NF is causing issues here at home. Anyway... going on... I'll check in.
  2. We had something very similar for the boys at that age, just other colours. They played it into pieces. Woot! Woot! Little Bit, for all the reading.
  3. Finished with book B (Self-loading rifle or Carbine) and the open book test. Started book C (Shotgun). I've typed all the questions and answers on the computer (as I've done for every book - my way of studying). All the repeat questions I can answer basically off by heart, but those specifically related to the fire arm (making safe, loading, unloading, diagrams with parts) I need to go through more. Then basically fill in the open book test and I'm done. I can only book appointments for the formal tests when I have a car to travel to the fire arms shop and offices, which is in Howick (about 15-25min via high way). It's their club we belong to, which gets together in a rural area once a month. I am hoping to get hold of our local police station today, specifically the lady in charge of licenses, to find out what is happening with my pistol renewal. It has now been a year since I applied for a 'renewal' on the new fire arm, and I should have received the documents (competency and license cards) within three months of applying. Brandt's rally (off road) race is still on for this weekend. He'll only be away for Saturday. My calves are feeling it a bit since last night due to the walking on Wednesday. All those down- and uphills, and the fact that I'm not used to walking so much, so fast. Last night I heard metal scraping noises somewhere in the neighbourhood. It sounded like someone was dragging corrugated iron sheets around or off something. I looked around but couldn't see anything happening close by, so decided that it must be from down by the railway (1 block down the road in a ditch). Then about 30min. later (~2am) people across the road decided to entertain everyone with their music while driving away from home, going who knows where at that time of night. And low and behold about another half hour after that Brandt jumps out of the bed because he thought he heard someone chopping wood, or bumping wooden blocks together or something - hard knocking sounds. He went out looking through our garden, but also looked into the neighbours' gardens over the fences, accompanied by the dogs of course. Nothing. A couple months ago people broke into the garden storage house/thing in one neighbour's garden (also stole their gas BBQ standing on their stoep), and before that they tried in the other neighbour's garden, but didn't get far due to their big dogs barking. We are not happy that they might be using our garden as pathway again. That was one of the reasons we replaced the back outside light with a stronger 30W LED light beginning of the month. One that lights up the whole back garden when we switch it on. Due to all the shenanigans of last night, I only got up around 6h30, made coffee (new coffee machine arrived yesterday), let the dogs out, got back in bed, and got up around 7h00 to finally have that coffee, feed the dogs, and let Brandt sleep some more. It's now 7h30. Here is our new coffee filter machine. Very basic. Due to the regular electricity outages, we don't want something with a lot of electronics (boards and programmes, etc.) as it breaks more easily. This one is sturdy, basic, and makes a big pot of coffee if necessary. And most important, our old permanent filters fit 100%.
  4. I walked Adam to art lessons and back, and then there and back again (not in the Shire, but it was a nice enough afternoon) to fetch him. One round trip is approximately 1.5km, so I did 3km this afternoon. Now I'm enjoying my rib eye steak and a mug of coffee. I'll skip Friday's strength training and then do sword training with Rocco on Saturday, seeing as he won't be fencing for two, three weeks. That way we all get some form of exercise in. Brandt's rally for this Saturday is possibly postponed as the weather bureau is expecting snow and rain showers. We'll just have to see.
  5. So... car troubles galore. The Mazda wouldn't start this morning. Brandt fiddled in front and decided it must be the coil taking strain because of the spark plugs/ignition leads giving problems, etc. etc. We are waiting for the spare parts which have to come from overseas, but he could find a coil here in South Africa. It should be here by end of the week, and if that is the problem we should be able to drive again next week. Then again, I'm scared that driving before having all the parts replaced (specifically the ignition leads we are waiting for, which is the main culprit it seems) might damage the car again, and the new coil, so I would rather just wait until everything has been changed and fixed. In the meantime I cancelled the boys' sport for the week as I won't be able to take them. Brandt quickly took me to town to hand in the over locker and sewing machine to be fixed/serviced (what I was going to town for this morning), then dropped me off at home, and left for his client in Hillcrest (just under an hour's drive away). I was able to speak to Francoisana over the phone this morning, and much to her and my shock, I burst into tears. She is doing well, and staying with her younger son and his family until she can cope on her own. When we have a car again, the boys and I will ask to pop in to see her. I'm not sure how long she'll be there for, as she seems to be recuperating superbly after the hip replacement. Mom-in-law is also doing well after her hip replacement the week before Francoisana's. She and Brandt have compared x-rays from their respective metal parts . This is the boys' off week from school and they are enjoying it! Staying up late, playing games, still exercising at home, although now they can't go to the outside sport this week/month. And on that note... I did not exercise yesterday (Monday), but I have been studying, and doing extra finances (due to all the overseas buying etc. - want to make really sure about what our situation is day to day). Adam and I will walk to his art lessons on Wednesday as it is relatively close to our home. Hope you have a better week than mine has been so far.
  6. Again, nothing challenge related except I won't be doing my exercises today or tomorrow. Brandt left around 9am this morning and will only be back after 9pm tomorrow night. I went to town to buy stuff, and have the car aircon people check whether they've fixed the Mazda aircon or if there is still a leak somewhere. They seemed to have fixed it, but I have to take it back when they can have the car for a day so they can find the electrical problem to the aircon fan. It isn't getting electricity through. We've also managed to order parts for the Mazda from Estonia (Eastern Europe). It should arrive via courier in two weeks' time. The only things we can't order are gas filled, or things under pressure, as the couriers don't send those via plane; and they don't ship via ship. Now we know these parts are 100% for the Mazda, so there shouldn't be fitting problems. The boys finished up their mini-term today, and they'll be off from school next week. I am proclaiming that I'll be studying AND playing games on the computer for most of this weekend. Oh, I actually have to fix some clothes as well. And I'm going to sleep in tomorrow - Saturday morning. No getting up early! Huh, just realised that I'll have to get up to make coffee, then I can climb back into bed and enjoy coffee in bed. Seriously time I taught the boys to make coffee with the filter machine. That (all of it) seems like a plan! Have a good weekend.
  7. Nothing challenge related, just life. Running on a bit more than fumes, but I really would like to take a nap sometime today... Neighbour's puppy was in their outside room most of yesterday and his sporadic crying worked on my nerves. At one time I went to the fence between our properties, that is closest to that room (about 5m = 5yards) and just spoke calmly so he could hear me. He quieted down. Their big, adult white shepherd X also came to the fence to greet me. They are keeping the puppy in that room during the day because they are scared someone will jump over their very low front fence and steal him. It is a high probability. Us looking after him on the days they aren't working from home, won't help, because we treat and teach our dogs totally different to how they do, so that would also just cause more trouble for the future, not taking into consideration that we have two small dogs and a cat of our own. Second issue, that time came, late, peri-menopause, and as has been the rule of late, goes on through the night, so I basically woke up around every two hours to go to the bathroom. Then the cat decided around 4h30am this morning that he was very hungry. He ignored Brandt and pushed against me, spinning and rubbing his head against me, until I finally got out of bed (5h30 ish) and fed him. He wolfed his food down. I got back in bed, set the alarm for 6h15, but got up again around 6h05 when the dogs wanted to go out as they've heard people moving in the street. Yes, the neighbours were getting ready to leave, the people across the street were packing their truck to start their day (transport/selling business), etc. So I gave up trying to get those extra 5min. of snooze time in and got up. Sat on the stoep with a hot cup of coffee a little while later. Then started my day in the kitchen. This morning I have to finish proofreading a book for the Australian author I've helped for years now. She sent the book late Tuesday evening, and we (the other proofreaders and I) have to have it back to her by late this afternoon. I'm 90-93% through, so it's just finishing up, and rechecking one or two chapters I'm not sure I checked thoroughly enough last night. This same author also recommended me to a friend in Aus, whose husband is writing his debut action-drama-little bit of horror story. The wife contacted me about a month ago, and I'll be proofreading that book (85,000-90,000 words) as soon as it has gone through the last big editing phase. The first edits left him apparently with a tremendous amount of work to correct. This will probably only happen around July/August this year. Luckily the boys can just go on with their school work, working mostly independently from me. When they get stuck with something they ask me, I help, and they go back and do it. The curriculum changes we made last year, and this year has taken a lot off my shoulders as they work on the computer, watch video lessons, and the programme tests and marks automatically. Their Afrikaans and English writing, literature, and reading I still have to help with, but again, the new programme works in small increments, so they feel much more confident and able to handle it. Adam's Sharks research paper for English writing is already on 20+ pages and he isn't even halfway yet. He just actually enjoys working on it, especially the way they set up the day's work. Rocco is flourishing with Math and has taken it upon himself to help Adam when the latter gets stuck. I keep an ear out, but for the most part Rocco knows what he is about. This afternoon I'm taking Adam to swimming. He had art lessons yesterday and finished a drawing of Vincent van Gogh. Tomorrow I have to get a couple things in town, as Brandt will be away for a racing event from late afternoon till late Saturday night. The same next weekend. Love ya, but leaving you now with VvG to ponder on (if you want to).
  8. It's an old car - 2001 model and for some or other reason seem to have other kind of original parts than other 626 models. *shrug* It's frustrating, but what can you do?
  9. Here you are! Enjoy the wedding and travel safely. Have a great mini-vacation.
  10. I was actually not sore at all after Saturday's Sword Training, but the crick in my neck/back shoulder is more likely from sleeping funny. It is better after some more neck stretches and rubs. Also... didn't exercise Monday, but did it today (Tuesday). I was just tired Monday due to our one neighbour having a new puppy. He seems to wake up and start to moan/cry/funny bark/make a racket from around 4am. I nearly used tiredness as an excuse again today, but scolded myself for looking for a way out of exercise, so went on and exercised. Got the boys off their chairs as well, and they did their exercises too. Monday --> done Tuesday: Star Jumps - done High Knees X - done Deadlifts: ALL sets done! Even the heavy one, 34kg, which is the heaviest I've lifted in the last year or two... or three?! Arnold Presses & Skull Crushers circuit - done Side Lunges - done Pushups & Mountain Climbers circuit - ALL done, and full pushups, not on knees, BUT the first two sets I went down almost fully down, but not quite. The last set I got about just before half way down. My arms were tired. Hang - NOT done. I couldn't grip. Downward dog - done Sit-twist stretch - done No fencing for Rocco today as the coach cancelled. That gave me the opportunity to take the car (old Mazda station wagon) in to have someone look at the engine/computer settings, and/or the spark plug leads, and then to go to the aircon place across the narrow alley from them, to have the aircon serviced, etc. At the first mechanic shop the original owner had sold up and I had a hard time trying to explain to the receptionist what I needed checked. The owner/mechanic came over and I explained the situation to him. He told me I was looking for the previous owner, and although they couldn't do the checks I needed, they could have a look old-school-like (no diagnostic machine) and see what they could find. The car is miss-firing on start, and doesn't have power. They think the spark plug leads need to be replaced as they are sparking on the engine, so their rubber cover is broken and spark/electricity is coming out. Brandt thought this might be the issue, but is having trouble finding parts. The mechanic didn't charge me anything! So across the alley to the aircon place. Explained the history and they said they'll check. Put a machine on to check for leaks, couldn't find any. So they serviced the aircon, found that the aircon fan wasn't turning, and they put dye in the unit to do a "dye test". If there is a leak, they'll see it when I take the car back on Friday. The receptionist (owner's wife) gave me the name of a used parts shop in Durban where we might find spare parts. It's been the one thing after the other with the car lately, but then it is a 2001 model and the first owner didn't look after it properly. We've been fixing it up since we bought it a couple years ago, and replaced the front shocks last month. Just that change already makes the drive totally different. Doesn't feel like your insides are trying to hop out of your body when you go over a speed bump anymore. The only place we could find a lot of the spare parts for this car, was in Estonia, Eastern Europe! Unfortunately they can't send anything that is gassed/under pressure via courier airplane, and only via postal services. For our province/town, postal services are out! Doesn't matter whether you have insurance or a tracking number, there is an 80-90% chance your parcel will not arrive, or it will get here missing something. That is if you get it through customs which are years behind schedule. The only way we send and receive things in and outside of the country, is via courier. On a personal note: made an appointment to see the ob/gyn for a long overdue checkup, and they could only fit me in, in July. Then... My friend Francoisana fell yesterday and broke her hip. She should have had the emergency hip replacement this morning. Her daughter in law (old friends of ours) will let me know tonight how it went. R said I could visit, but visiting hours are limited as well as who are allowed in (ICU department). Either way she'll let me know how things are going. This hit me very hard, as Francoisana's health is seemingly failing rapidly the last couple months. I've taken her to town for appointments, or to the shops, whenever her children couldn't, and a couple times she came over to get out of her house and visit (and be peaceful) here with us/me. She was diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimers about two months ago, and I was supposed to take her to the dentist this week. R checked, but there wasn't a dentist appointment made yet. In March I helped her with her insurance claim because she couldn't remember who to phone and suddenly couldn't remember some English words to talk to the people. She just started crying. I was able to do everything online for her, and made a note that an Afrikaans assistant should phone her. A while before that her medication hadn't arrived and I had to phone to get that sorted out. Her children work full time, and they help where they can, and I'm closer, so *shrug*, I really don't mind. It's just hard/sad to see her like this. PS: Ironing is good to work through things in your mind.
  11. Hope this works out. I'm also having car issues the last two weeks, but getting spare parts for our old Mazda station wagon is seemingly impossible. For example the only place we can get rear shocks are from Estonia! Yes, in Eastern Europe! And they don't fly, they can only send via postal because it's under pressure. And postal here is a no go. Anyway... I'll lament in my post; actually just saying good luck with musical cars. Oh no, hope Sra Tanque gets better soon. Glad you won over the migraine.
  12. If it is important to you, your health, your emotions... it is worth setting time aside for it. I find setting my cellphone's alarm for a set time repeated during the week, helps me to keep to my goals. Hope you have a good week.
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