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ElizeElvinFoxRyder

elizevdmerwe - It's about nr.23 & Countdown...8

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On 5/7/2019 at 6:23 PM, Tova the Vibrant said:

NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE

Yip, agree. Nope! :D

 

---------------------------------------------------

We voted. It was quiet and in our area, peaceful. Really orderly compared to previous times. I was in town today to fetch our birth certificates from Home Affairs, and they were just as quiet. I was in and out in just over an hour! The whole town was actually quiet. Very few cars on the road compared to normal. It was scary. I assume people have taken Thursday and Friday off to make it a long weekend.

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With regards to the challenge, things are going well enough. I did strength training on Monday, felt it in my thighs again on Tuesday, the boys walked with me to the voting station on Wednesday (just under 2km return), and we took today off: took Rosy to the groomers, took the car to a car wash place, and the boys and I had something nice to drink at a coffee shop there, while waiting for the car wash to finish. Part of the bill went to fund Free Me (wild) animal rescue and rehabilitation centre so I had a good reason/excuse. :)

 

Otherwise not much else going on. We have a braai Saturday afternoon/evening with the next door neighbours again, this time at our home. Hopefully this time the men will behave.

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16 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Good idea to mix voting in with a walk, and  fun idea to stop at the coffee shop

Thanks, we enjoyed doing both and it worked out well. I also got some "social" school work in by explaining the the do's and don'ts about voting to the boys while there. :D

 

Woke up with swollen neck glands and they are becoming a tad sore now (around lunch time). But I did exercise, and we did South Africa work as well as general world work. The latter was 3 pages of stickers that I'd found again while sorting through school files. One page had flag stickers from a lot of countries (about 50+), one page had stickers of well known monuments from those countries (like Statue of Liberty, the Hollywood sign, Eiffel tower...), and another page animal stickers from those countries. Adam stuck the flags on, Rocco did most of the animals, and I did the monuments. We stuck it on our big, wall, world map. We had a lot of fun.

Africa and Europe for example:

258126574_04-EuropaenAfrika.thumb.jpg.f57ac03dbd77c43283ce1df56bfb7d89.jpg

I'm going to read and try to be more quiet for the rest of the day, as my neck are getting rather sore now.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

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WEEK 3 SUMMARY

HEALTH

  • BIBLE STUDY - Some quiet time, not much, and for very short periods, but I am peaceful inside.
  • WATER - Struggling to get more than one bottle in per day.
  • SLEEP - Not a good week for sleep. Think Friday night was the only night I went to bed before 22h00? Some nights a little bit past 21h30. But I'm well rested as I'm getting up later in the mornings, 5h45.
  • FOOD WILLPOWER - Here and there a taste of chocolate. Nothing serious. Food is good. The boys and I have a new food routine.

STAYING ACTIVE

Strength Monday AND Friday mornings. That short walk to voting station and back. Nothing more.

 

THE PLAN...COUNTDOWN - 8months to go -

  • Finances: Dailies done. Monthly this week - not done *sigh*.
  • CV & cover letter: Got it, job sites updated. Cover letter adapted to Brandt's satisfaction, but he is unsure. He told me Friday morning that he was sure he had applied with the new CV for the job in Petone. I had however updated the job sites Thursday evening and I hadn't seen anything, so I asked him whether he did it after I updated everything, and he said no. So I deduced that he hadn't applied. So he said ok.... he will see. I left it there. Original 'job' for me has been DONE.

  • House plans updated: Spoke to the draughtsman. We have to think about our options and what we want to do. DONE for now.
  • Fire arms licenses research: DONE.
  • Driver's licenses research: DONE.
  • Kitchen cleanup: 3/4 DONE. Only the pantry cupboard, and that is also only the bottom half. Almost...
  • Home Affairs: Passports DONE! Fetched our birth certificates. Marriage certificate is "being processed".

-----------------------------------------------

Had a great time with the neighbours again last night. They came over around 15h00 and left just after 21h00. Chatted again about all sorts! Started off with emigrating update. He is the police officer, who is studying further. They are so down because they just can't afford moving, and he won't be able to get a police job, meaning she will have to be the breadwinner, and he is very upset about that. Anyway... It was nice to just sit around the fire and relax, chat, laugh. I know they take Mother's Day serious, so I'd bought a bag of Lindt fruit filled chocolate balls, as well as a slab of Godiva chocolate for after dinner. None of us (kids included!) actually had much of it. We savoured the few pieces we had, and about half was still left when I went to bed last night. Not when I got up this morning, though... :D

 

Other neighbours (the ones also emigrating to NZ) also had a braai, and we listened to their music (good taste :D ) for some time last night before finally going to bed. Had a w.app chat with J about emigrating, on Friday morning. We found out about how the process was going for each other. For the first time she opened up and told me more personal things, how she wasn't sure about coping, etc. Her husband is going over first, and she'll stay behind with the kids till the end of the year. But she'll be moving to a smaller, more affordable place as soon as he has gone over. Which is soon. I promised we'd stay connected through both Fb and w.app if she didn't have a problem with it, and I'll be there for her. She mentioned that her father in law was an attorney and they were getting their certified copies done through him, and we could maybe consider it as well, as certified copies done by the police dept. aren't accepted by NZ immigration anymore. If we didn't have someone else who could do it for us. I'll get his information from her at a later stage.

 

Brandt got up early (5h30) this morning to marshal cart-racing this morning. He made coffee, but left it in the machine. I got up a little later (7h00 ish), poured myself coffee, fed the pets, the boys got up, sorted themselves out with instant cereal, and I went back to bed with my coffee. Fell asleep, snoozed till past 9h00, got up, finished cleaning the kitchen, made the beds, had breakfast and put the first load of washing in. Now I'm catching up with you lovely bunch :love_heart: of people. Wish I could give all of you a serious hug.

 

*HUG*

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What a pleasant mothers day!

 

I've often thought its sad how often I talk to my neighbors.   for awhile, my one neighbor had a brother who was really passionate about growing tomatoes.

we have (have had) a BIG garden and there was quite a lot of talk between us.

 

they were very Old.  in particular he was in his 80's.  (he's now sadly dead).  he would chat about stories of the old days in the area- about boy scouts, about his home before they dammed the river upstream of warren (there were three old towns that are now under many feet of water),etc.

 

in this modern life; its easier to just go and do your own thing than talk to your neighbor.

 

and that's a little sad.

 

 

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4 hours ago, TGP said:

I've often thought its sad how often I talk to my neighbors.   for awhile, my one neighbor had a brother who was really passionate about growing tomatoes.

we have (have had) a BIG garden and there was quite a lot of talk between us.

The first couple who lived next door (where the policeman-family is now) when we moved in, where already pensioners at that stage. They moved out ten years later. They saw the boys grow up those first couple years, and often had them climb over the wall for a treat by them. We also chatted a lot over the fence. Well, both sides we actually had nice neighbours at times. In between there were not-social-with-us neighbours, which was fine too. And now we have people on both sides again that we chat to, although the one couple is real life friends and we visit there and they here, while the others are w.app friends/chat only. We go with the flow.

 

Not much other than a couple break-ins one street up from us. Dogs were drugged, and the two thieves caught on security camera sporting a shambuck and hammer.

 

Oh Brandt has finally applied for the position in Petone *oh man!* *roll eyes*. His name is also up with various 'municipalities' (they call it something else there), who send CVs of "well qualified individuals" around their Economic Business Groups in town, to see if any business might be interested in someone who wants to emigrate to NZ. We should know something by the end of the week. At the latest by the end of the month. If this one doesn't pan out, he'll apply for the position in Queenstown on south island.

 

So here goes... :blink::nevreness:

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I wish you guys great luck and I hope brant finds a job that inspires him and that he likes.

 

OTOH;

I'm not entirely sure I understand the commentary about Petone.

 

this is a specific place in New Zealand, right?  is it a particularly good one?? 

a brief google really said very little about it...

 

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11 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Sounds like a lovely weekend!

Thank you, it was good all round, from visiting to having some peaceful time.

10 hours ago, TGP said:

I wish you guys great luck and I hope brant finds a job that inspires him and that he likes.

 

OTOH;

I'm not entirely sure I understand the commentary about Petone.

Thanks!

Lol, Brandt and I have been looking at this job in Petone for the last 5 months. Petone is a suburb in the greater Wellington area, which is on the southern most part of the northern island. That green, and dark blue area (on the map below) is the Wellington region, and then there is Wellington (city) in Wellington area. Wellington is also the capitol of NZ.

image.png.ad46ede25ac55d9356190431694a8618.png

13 hours ago, elizevdmerwe said:

position in Petone *oh man!* *roll eyes*

He's been saying "I'm going to apply this week", for the last month at least! Then he pulled back, waited for something, became unsure, then said no, he'll definitely apply that night. Then he decided to wait till he got his CV back from the agency... Then up pops a lot of questions about why that specific job has been available for 5 months already when other jobs went like sweet cakes. It's been stop and go the whole time these last couple of weeks/months. And I understand it, I truly do.

 

I actually wrote an email Sunday night (Monday morning in NZ) to the lady who did his CV, as they have a recruitment partner who is based in Wellington city. We've chatted a little bit via email as well as in Fb groups w.r.t. jobs in NZ the last couple of months, so I gathered my courage and asked her whether she could perhaps find out for us why this job was still available? She said that it was sometimes normal, because companies in NZ don't just look at an applicant's qualifications, but also whether the person will fit in with the dynamics of the company/office. Whether they think the person will fit in and get along with the other people there. She suspects that they've had some applicants who had good enough qualifications, but it might be that personality thing that is the cause of this job still being available. Or the visa was refused. She then (again) urged Brandt to apply for the job anyway, as Delphi developer positions are very scarce in NZ. Especially senior jobs where they say off the bat that they'll pay above the normal starting level. She will however, get back to us after Wednesday when she has had a chance to personally meet with the recruiting agent and ask him whether he knows anything. The position isn't advertised through them, so we'll have to see whether they know anything.

 

So last night Brandt looked over my shoulder while I filled in the application form on his behalf. And he has thus finally applied for the position. The only other senior level Delphi developer position available is in Queenstown (city on southern island) for a totally different company. He first wants to hear back from this company, before applying for the other position if necessary.

 

----------------------------------------------

We watched YouTube videos about New Zealand till around midnight last night. At first just more beautiful touristy videos about what to see, what to do, then switched over to more personal videos relating the real life situation if you lived in Wellington specifically. They were a little old (made in 2014-2017), but I think is still very much applicable, specifically with regards to the attitude of people or bosses specifically. However the one guy's videos focused more on jobs and how difficult it was to really live and get going if you were employed in the hospitality industry. He was a bouncer at various upmarket bars and/or restaurants. He had a few choice words about how employees (especially lower skilled immigrants) were treated, which we've read about in general, which is why Immigration New Zealand has changed some of its protocol. To make sure that immigrants employed in these sectors were treated better and fairly.

 

There was a video by another guy (both were from USA, but have been living and touring through NZ for years), who gave a more "office work" related experience review. Also in the hospitality industry, but well... different. Not family specific, but he gave more information w.r.t. friends who had families and how they coped, and how he would rather use his money saved to bike (motorbike) around over weekends to see the country, than spend it at night on going out, restaurants, theaters, etc. I found more videos made by families (from UK and USA) detailing their experience since immigrating to NZ, which we might watch at some time.

 

Was understandably tired when I got up this morning as I only had about 6hrs sleep. Both the boys and Brandt decided to sleep in though, so I took the time (peace and quiet and it was still dark outside) to sit on the stoep and have some quiet time. Yesterday morning I just prayed quietly. This morning I quietly sang some bible/church songs and it was... good. Instead of me reading more bible stories to the boys this morning, we're listening to some of our old children's cds with bible songs. Nice listening to it playing in the background.

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Nothing new. Nothing seems to have changed anywhere. Just a Dear Diary to get these feelings out of me...
 

Spoiler

 

We had protests for most of Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, because the people were unhappy with the ANC party being voted in again. "But we didn't vote for them! Why are they in again?!" so they rioted, lit fires, broke shop windows, threw stones at cars, etc. etc. The usual...(Thornville to Pmb downtown area)

 

And whoever is active at night in our area, had the audacity to run through our property Tuesday night (00h35). He/They ran between our property and the neighbours', on the garage side of our house. Zuzu and Rosy woke up, started barking and ran straight for the front door, which is on that side of the house. We checked through the windows, switched on lights. The dogs calmed down, and we went to bed. Got a message from neighbours Wednesday morning. Their bedroom is on that side of the house, maybe 3.5ft from the fence. Jolene had woken up from the person/-s shuffling against the fence. She was too scared to wake up her husband, then asked us whether we were ok, as she heard the commotion from our side.

 

And again last night. Again around midnight. A block or two down people were angry because someone had tried to break in, and we woke up from the dogs barking. This time we let them out, switched on all the outside lights, then Brandt took the heavy torch and his firearm, and went out. About 10min. later the dogs were calm after having run up and down the fence, Brandt was back inside and everything was locked up. This morning there are a couple of messages on the group about attempted break ins last night.

 

 

I did strength training on Tuesday, walked on Wednesday. I'd forgotten my water bottle at home though, so struggled a bit in the heat (32C). I got three glasses of water and very diluted juice from D at Lego, which she always have ready outside for the kids, which helped, but was a bit dizzy and extremely hungry. Yes, really, really hungry! Anyway, got home and the rest of the afternoon was quiet. Had quiet time and bible study again this week, also managed to go to bed on time, although I didn't manage to sleep through any of the nights (Dear Diary explains that).

 

The Purple Crested Loeries (turaco) are out and about, which is funny for this time of the year. The Vervets are also around in huge numbers eating fruit where ever they can find any, which is normal for this time of the year. And everything else is seemingly going back to 'normal' as well. Except electricity... we still have electricity!

 

image.png.760389c133db165908e787afad65bf0d.png

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wow.

 

do you think the break-in (at your house) was part of the election protests?  do you have a feeling that YOU specifically are being targeted??

 

wow. :( glad your ok.

 

... also kind of curious.  do these people KNOW you?  do they know you have kids, a good heart,  and even a little gun training??

 

I'm not sure I'll ever understand the pyche of a criminal. but I guess the USA has them, too.  what it also has is clearly LE that serve and protect.  SA must lack that.  do you even call the police when a breakin like this happens?

----

 

... I LOVE the birds though. So pretty!  you know my dad was pretty talented at telling them from their song.

its TRICKY but slowly I've tried to learn some of it.

 

do these birds have a distinctive song?

 

generally I love learning the names of birds- I ought to do more of that!

 

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Glad you guys have dogs and firearms to protect yourselves.

 

I've seen those birds at zoos. So pretty. Around here we have Chickadees, woodpeckers, and lots of crows!

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1 hour ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I'm glad y'all are already making plans to get out of there.

Yes, me too. Just wish when these things happen that the moving plans would move up and get a move on.

1 hour ago, TGP said:

wow.

 

do you think the break-in (at your house) was part of the election protests?  do you have a feeling that YOU specifically are being targeted??

 

wow. :( glad your ok.

Sorry, I didn't write that very clearly. The riots took place in town, about 10-15min. drive at a quiet time, away from us. The break-ins are in our neighbourhood. I don't think they have anything to do with each other, other than general lawlessness, and the idea by some people that they can do what they want and get away with it.

 

With regards to us being targeted? Neither us nor the neighbours have the idea that either of our houses are being targeted to be broken into. We think our properties are being used as "gateway" to get away quickly, without being seen, or to get to other properties unseen. We notify the neighbourhood watch when things like this happen, but it is very difficult to search properties in the dark, no matter how many flashlights you have. Thoko told me today that "someone told her" that the thieves climb in the trees, then hide in the canopy while people are searching for them on the ground, behind bushes, etc. Then when people move away and things are quiet, they climb out and get away. Brandt knows about that so he looks there too.

 

Maybe these last two incidences was someone new targeting the neighbourhood, and they were trying their luck. Who knows? They definitely don't break into houses where dogs are allowed into the house though. It usually is a property that doesn't have any dogs, or a property where they can get to the dogs without the owners realising, i.e. where the dogs stay outside at night, and can be called away to be drugged or poisoned. Our dogs are part of our family. When it gets dark outside, I close and lock the security gates on the stoep, with the dogs inside the house.

1 hour ago, TGP said:

... also kind of curious.  do these people KNOW you?  do they know you have kids, a good heart,  and even a little gun training??

I don't know if any of the thieves know we have computers and fire arms in the house. They most probably do because workers and beggars talk a lot among each other. But as far as I know neither Thoko, nor Eric knows that we own fire arms. We are very careful not to ever have it out in the open around them. My firearm is either in my bedside table drawer when they are here, or in my handbag, never out in the open. If I go out, it is either in the safe or on me. And we NEVER leave a key to the safe at home if we aren't there.

 

Any thieves would know we have kids and dogs, because all houses are ALWAYS scoped out, and they (kids and dogs) run around in the front garden, playing. We've had a couple incidences previously where guys had walked past and called the boys to the front fence, while they were playing out in the front garden, but the boys called Brandt or myself, and in most instances the people walked off quickly, or asked for water. We also don't take kindly to people loitering. We then walk up close to them (not touching/grabbing distance), and try to take photos with our cellphones. Almost everyone try to hide their faces: half because they believe the superstition that the camera flash might steal their sole/spirit (then they can't join their forefathers one day), and the others don't want their faces recognised. People haven't been loitering close to our property for a very long time. If it's a group, you phone the police, make a note about it on the community group, and someone gets in their car and does a drive around. More often than not those people get up and leave.

 

Mani (was my domestic worker until she retired) told me on more than one occasion that she spread the message that Brandt and I are able to take care of ourselves, and shouldn't be messed with :D . I've practiced self defense in front of her a couple of times, with and without the boys, but I don't like doing that in front of Thoko or Eric. Makes me uncomfortable. It also helped that Brandt had once (years ago) physically dragged a guy off our property into the street, where the police picked him up later (Brandt stood next to him while waiting for them). Things like that tend to stick in minds. So if good workers can scare off robbers by spreading such stories, "shrug". Both Thoko and Mani told other workers that I pray over our house so it is protected, and all black people are very superstitious. You don't want to anger the wrong forefathers. And yes, they apparently also told people that we help them, and others (beggars), when we can, so it might also be helping in keeping people from breaking into our house. Who knows? These are opportunistic thieves, I think. If the syndicates or groups come back, it would be a much more serious and dangerous situation, especially if they think we have computers and/or fire arms. They are ruthless and work in a totally different way.

 

1 hour ago, TGP said:

I'm not sure I'll ever understand the psyche of a criminal. but I guess the USA has them, too.  what it also has is clearly LE that serve and protect.  SA must lack that.  do you even call the police when a breakin like this happens?

LOL, yes USA definitely has them too. There are a lot of YouTube videos on the topic, specifically to either prepare people on how to act/defend themselves, or to show how police took care of the situation. I definitely watch the first on a specific channel, to learn how to act, or not to act, in specific situations. And to be honest, I watch the latter as well to get some satisfaction that criminals somewhere are being caught, and get their just desserts!

 

The police here are a divided bunch: some are really trying to do their job, others are just there for the paycheck - if they don't help criminals directly, or under the table, they just don't care enough to actually do anything. But then again... more often than not criminals are better armed than the police! So can you really blame them that they don't want to put their lives on the line if there is a good chance of them being hurt or killed? The police who do act, are often those who are paying for their own bullets to train with, and sometimes the detectives, etc. use their own cars to get around. Our neighbour is a finger prints/forensic police officer, and he said openly that he is given 30 rounds a year which he has to use for training and when at a crime scene to gather evidence. Police who are expected to go out on call get more bullets per year, 150-300/year, depending on the department, and the person in charge (in our town). I know three members in our shooting club who are currently still on the police force, who pay for their own training/practice and -bullets. They keep the bullets issued by the department solely for use on the job. There are just too few police for the number of civilians who are criminals. As far as I know there aren't really riot police anymore. Maybe in Cape Town and Johannesburg they have small branches that practice to handle riots, but it isn't generally available throughout the country. It should be, but it isn't. Was stopped in 1994.

 

When we know someone was on the property, but we have no evidence? No, we just put a note out on the community group. If people break into houses, stealing? Yes, you have to notify the police, otherwise people can't claim from insurance. You must have a police case file number. Also, IF, and it is a small chance, but if the police do catch the criminals and/or find loot stashed in the forests, and you have not reported a break in, you can't claim the property back if any of it is yours. And remember that if you don't have burglar bars in front of windows that can open, or security gates in front of doors, you can't claim from insurance. Your gates, and doors must have locks that are not easily breakable, and must show signs of having been forcefully broken, or you can't claim from insurance.

 

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3 hours ago, TGP said:

I LOVE the birds though. So pretty!  you know my dad was pretty talented at telling them from their song.

its TRICKY but slowly I've tried to learn some of it.

I used to sit on our stoep trying to identify the birds that visited our garden. We had a great variety due to the berries and fruit trees on our property.That was before we got a cat. Now we hardly ever get a great variety of birds, so whenever something like the Loerie shows up, I make time to watch it. They have a very distinctive call "ko-ko", and I know the call of some other birds, but not many. That is something I'm not very good at. I'll also remember that a bird might be a sun bird for instance, but not which specific sun bird.

40 minutes ago, Elastigirl said:

Glad you guys have dogs and firearms to protect yourselves.

 

I've seen those birds at zoos. So pretty. Around here we have Chickadees, woodpeckers, and lots of crows!

I think knowing we have dogs in the house is a great deterrent against opportunistic thieves.

They are very pretty. There is also the green one which is actually better known than these purple crested ones. We get a woodpecker around here every now and again, but I'm not sure it is the same ones as up there, and of course we have the crows! Those big ones with the white chests! They can become quite a menace.

 

From left to right: Kuifkop houtkapper or Crested barbet / HoepHoep or Hoopoe / Witborskraai (literal translation means white chested crow) or Pied crow.

image.png.d9953d1aaeb0dd3e43c63b99caace359.png  image.png.c2be351ffef53bb0a92315dd9ef9afe0.png   image.png.07d7721054c657d1c9a71d4f5ce8c9ec.png

 

I also got a couple photos of the Vervets for you guys (ok, for @Sloth the Enduring I always think of him when I see them :D ), but my cellphone camera really isn't that good. See if you can spot the 5 in this photo. Ok, as I saw them in real life, I know where they sat... so it isn't fair. I tried to go closer, but the mothers were very protective of the babies, and got aggressive really quickly, so I backed off. There was a troop of 20+ all over the back garden this afternoon. Even the dogs thought it not safe to chase them, so they stayed well away.

vervets.jpg.31b885ee26ffe25e6496cfdb548dab64.jpg

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1 hour ago, elizevdmerwe said:

Our neighbour is a finger prints/forensic police officer, and he said openly that he is given 30 rounds a year which he has to use for training and when at a crime scene to gather evidence. Police who are expected to go out on call get more bullets per year, 150-300/year, depending on the department, and the person in charge (in our town). I know three members in our shooting club who are currently still on the police force, who pay for their own training/practice and -bullets.

I have officers who get given so much ammo every year they get bored and give it to other people.

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37 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I have officers who get given so much ammo every year they get bored and give it to other people.

Wow, I'd stand in line to get some ammo! If Brandt didn't reload our ammo, we wouldn't be able to shoot as much as we do. Brandt and I each use between 150-200 rounds each per day that we go to the club range privately. That's why my shooting has improved so much. On a club shoot, when there are lots of people, you don't get much time to shoot. The target practice takes 40 rounds, and whatever else they have set up usually takes at least 45 rounds. And that is once a month. I can't think how someone in command can even contemplate not giving officers enough ammo to practice with. It's their lives at stake, not to mention the lives of innocents they are supposed to protect!

 

But then again, we are talking South Africa --- Africa! My friend's husband is a career soldier in our army. He and his men were sent to another African country as peace officers to protect UN medical staff or such, with only their hand gun and enough ammo each for two magazines! They were attacked by rebels (armed to the teeth) and had to call for outside help. I think she said some French military and a small USA military group had to come bale them out 'unofficially'. This happened a couple years ago. And once upon a time we had soldiers to be reckoned with, trained by British SAS (well the special forces guys). Sad...

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A trouble free night with no attempted break ins ANYWHERE in our suburb :D Hopefully tonight will be two in a row. :sleeping: Brandt is now checking out the garden with his torch, etc. before locking everything up for the night.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

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One night with no trouble. More shots, more break ins, but no more riots or protests. No one even tried to go through our property. So ... I would call that a win for us.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------

WEEK 4 --> CHALLENGE SUMMARY

HEALTH

  • BIBLE STUDY - Most weeks I had some quiet time/bible study in the day.
  • WATER - Struggling to get more than one bottle in per day, except on really hot days. We still have days above 30C, even though it is definitely autumn and moving on to winter.
  • SLEEP - Not  too bad, except for the last two weeks where I went to bed late about as often as I went to bed early. Sleeping in on the weekend definitely helps.
  • FOOD WILLPOWER - Small slice of Tiramisu on Friday. Chocolates was a problem, but not too bad. First two weeks of the challenge was a lot better in everything than these last two weeks.

STAYING ACTIVE

Strength Monday AND Friday mornings. 3.6km walk on Wednesday.

No exercises during week 2, otherwise I did something or 2x strength workouts every other week of the challenge! Also managed to walk at least once a week.

 

THE PLAN...COUNTDOWN - 8months to go

  • Finances: Dailies DONE. Monthly - NOT.
  • CV & cover letter: DONE. Waiting for reply on application. Thought they would have acted faster than they are doing. :(

  • House plans updated: DONE for now.
  • Fire arms licenses research: DONE.
  • Driver's licenses research: DONE.
  • Kitchen cleanup: One top cupboard left. I had a quick look through. Brandt's old skydiving and some other gear is in there. Can't do anything with that now. Some baby things like a feeding seat and other toddler things! Then only things that need to be sold, like a yoghurt maker we got from someone, but never used. Basically DONE.
  • Home Affairs: DONE, except for marriage certificate.

In Summary: Went average to well. Good enough to keep me going and coping. I actually felt a couple of times as if I had some free time and could just relax. Which is good. Next challenge will follow the same plan.

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Dear Diary... A social worker from the retirement home phoned just now.

Spoiler

 

She was very nice and wanted to know the background and relationship between my mom and I, as my mom has been having a lot of trouble and feeling thrown away since she was put in the home. Told her the history in short, till the time she lived with us.

 

She wanted to know why and how things changed when my mom came to the home, as in the beginning I fetched my mom every other weekend, it seemed like things were fine. I told her that I was trying to build up a relationship with my mom again, but realised it won't work. Told her about the anxiety attacks before I had to fetch my mom. The anxiety attacks when my mom phoned or messaged me, often constantly. Told her about seeing dr. C and her conclusion. Told her the absolute truth about my feelings: that I still care about my mom, that I still want what is best for her: I want her to have friends and do things, but without me. I don't want her to expect me to give her all those things she wants needs from friends and people directly around her, she must make and live her own life. I care, that is why we are paying for her accommodation and giving her extra money. I want her to have a life, but not as a part of my life. Told her I am very protective of the boys in this regard (probably because of my experiences) and I don't want her to manipulate them again, like she did when she stayed with us. I told her (social worker) a lot of the time I get feelings of guilt and feel that I'm being selfish, but I can't be what my mom wants me to be, and she can't be the mom that I want, or need. And I'm just not willing to try to have a relationship with my mom.

 

She said she understood, and that our conversation gave her a lot more clarity about how to handle the situation with my mom. I asked her to give me advice of how to handle things, and she said she'll first see how things go, as she now had a totally different picture of what is going on, but she'll keep me posted.

 

 

Edited by elizevdmerwe
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1 hour ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Something like that will probably happen with each new SW. Your mom is really good at convincing people of her version of events as long as nobody ever compares notes.

Yes, I thought something like that, when she (SW) said at the end she now has other information which changes the way that she handles my mom's situation. I spoke to Brandt about it, and you know what... he really listened! He said one thing which hit me: even if I'd wanted to be there for my mom and help her I can't, because I'm not emotionally in a healthy enough position (w.r.t. her) to handle it. I need to take care of myself, and she and the social worker has to take care of my mom.

 

---------------------------------------

So the burglars struck again during midday, this time stabbing and cutting someone badly. Reading about the whole incident, how difficult it was to get hold of an ambulance, how long it took for the police to arrive was upsetting. What was heart warming was that an off-duty paramedic living in our neighbourhood immediately rushed over to help, and men from the neighbourhood watch, who were home for lunch, also went over to try and chase and catch the burglars. I wasn't home at the time, but I don't think I could have helped. The person eventually got to the hospital and I think is doing ok. We haven't had any further news.

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On a good note: Rocco's dance teacher is so impressed with him. She says he has improved so much this year, and she loves helping him. More often than not he has been the only child in the class. Adam has also had an influx of YouTube subscribers to his videos, and he either received good support or up-building critique. He has made three new friends via Steam, one of which lives in Barcelona and is 21yrs old, but sounds like a really nice guy. Yes, I can hear when they talk over their mics :D It's nice when you get young adults, who are willing to spend time with younger kids, to help them out, show them around the games, how to do things, etc. What I'm proud of Adam for though is that one kid he met, was swearing and using God's name while they played a game online on Steam. He is about Adam's age. Adam quietly asked him to please not swear so much, and not use God's name, as he believes in God and it isn't right to use His name. The boy then apologised and immediately tried to stop swearing. A word slipped out every now and again and they would joke and apologise, and "forgive" and say "it's ok, I know you didn't mean it", to each other, and laugh and go on playing, seeming to still have a great time, not getting in each other's faces about it.

 

I'll start a new challenge later.

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Your boys are awesome, and you are a great mom.

 

Praying for your safety. One thing that helps me when I'm worried  is remembering this part of the Heidleberg Caetchism (which is from Scripture) …..He also preserves my life in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed all things must work together for my salvation. (I also remember the same thing applies to my loved ones) Remembering this is a good reminder that God is sovereign and in control of my life

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On 5/20/2019 at 7:19 PM, Elastigirl said:

He also preserves my life in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed all things must work together for my salvation. (I also remember the same thing applies to my loved ones) Remembering this is a good reminder that God is sovereign and in control of my life

:love_heart: Thanks EG. Yes, He is in control, and just remembering that things are happening around us, but not to us, is proof of that fact. We are very blessed and safe in His hands.

 

--------------------------------------------

Not much else has happened. It was a quiet Tuesday in our area.

I realised after driving home from dance Monday afternoon that I'm becoming a tad aggressive. We're having a lot of road works (the start something new before the election to show the people we do actually do things from government), other roads were blocked off because of protests or damage, so road choices to get somewhere and then home, are few. Add to that the normal mentality of some drivers that the orange light means you must quickly slip over the traffic light, no matter that it will now block the other traffic who were hoping to go when their light turned green. I sat patiently (ok I was gnashing my teeth) through the first green light that I couldn't drive, being the first car in line. When the light was just about to turn green the second time and I saw another Orange Light Opportunist thinking about crossing the intersection, I pressed on the hooter and inched the car forward. He braked hard, then smiled and stayed behind the line, not crossing into the intersection. It helped that the guy in the car next to me had the exact same reaction as I. So when the light turned green, we inched our way forward across the first lanes, head on a swivel for cars in the other lanes, who might want to skip the red light. It happens very often nowadays. Last week I sat at that very robot/traffic light, for three changes of the green light!

 

As I mentioned above, some roads are still blocked off due to protests, etc. But it isn't affecting us in our immediate neighbourhood. I'm not sure whether we'll be able to go to Lego today, as the roads outside of town (Howick/Merrivale) were blocked off on Monday, due to riots. I'm really happy to just stay at home at the moment, to be honest.

 

Brandt hasn't heard anything from the company he has applied with. We were maybe too optimistic that once he hands in his CV, they'll just grab him up. Now to have patience and stay positive.

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