Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Small Subjects

So I’m really trying to get more involved in the different challenges that are out there, to try and ‘expand my knowledge’ of the bloggerverse, but actually I’m pretty useless at photography and thought that this would be a fun way to see what I could do :) I don’t own a camera or even a digital camera; our digital camera was stolen in 2009 or 2010 and we never bought a replacement. We did however continue to pay it off until about 2011 or 2012; I forget *sigh*

Anyway, back to this challenge that I’ve decided to partake in. Cee is a blogger that I follow, and is one of the most interesting people that I’ve come across here on the interweb :D I’ve seen her numerous photography challenges, but decided to participate in this particular challenge, simply because I love black and white. I personally prefer sepia, but there is something about black and white photography that just captures me (see what I did there, huh huh huh?!).

Anyway, when I took part in the Midmar Mile in February this year, I snapped a picture of the race after mine. I posted a copy of the picture but in colour in my post about my swim, but decided to repost the same picture, this time in black and white.

Swimmers making their way across Midmar Dam

Swimmers making their way across Midmar Dam

Then I came across this little gem in my picture library on my cellphone. A 3 week old baby bunny in my hand. I don’t have huge hands, but that same bunny now takes up both of my hands and then some to pick him up!

3 week old baby bunny

3 week old baby bunny

I also have a picture of one of his siblings (ironically enough black so it was obviously meant to be) poking his head out of their ‘warren’ in my husband’s office.
3 week old baby bunny

3 week old baby bunny

And that concludes my submissions for Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Small Subjects :)

G

paying it forward

A few weeks ago, I ran out of petrol. It was awful. It was humiliating. I was stuck. Thanks to the kindness of a total stranger (and my wonderful brother) I was able to get back on the road.

I believe in paying it forward.

Picture credit - www.hereisthecity.com

Picture credit – http://www.hereisthecity.com

This morning, after I had dropped my daughter at creche, and my sister at work, I drove past a young woman and an elderly man standing outside their car, hazards lights flashing on the side of the road. I gazed back at them through my rear view mirror as I drove down the hill, and then remembered how awful it was when I broke down. I drove down the hill and did a u-turn, and promptly drove right back up the hill. I put my hazards on about 100m before I reached them, and I could honestly see the relief in this young girl’s face when I stopped behind her. I stuck my head out of my window and asked if she was ok.

“I’ve run out of petrol and I left my cellphone at home. You’re the first person that’s stopped, and I’ve been standing here for 10 minutes.”

I actually almost started crying. I told her to get into my car, and I drove her to the closest petrol station. She luckily had a container with her; I wasn’t so lucky! When I dropped her off, both her and her grandfather were so relieved and happy and grateful, and I’m really, REALLY happy that I got to be a part of it.

I believe that what you put out, you get back.

So don’t pay it back.

Pay it forward.

G

Share Your World – 2014 Week 16

Ok, I’m a little late to this (what’s new) so technically it’s week 1 for me. But I don’t want to confuse anyone (I confuse easily, whether it be myself or others) so I’ll start at week 16. ‘Cause I’m badass like that ;)

How many places have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities.
I have lived in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa my whole life. I have had 6 physical addresses in total, but have only lived in 2 cities. Ok maybe 3. Durban, Crestholme, Sunningdale (Umhlanga) and Drummond. Wait, that’s 4.

See, confusing.

What type of music relaxes you the most?
Adele. Oh I love that woman. Her album ’21′ is permanently in my cd shuttle in my car, and I play it at least 3 times a week. Otherwise ((I’m ashamed to admit it) actually I’m not) the music from the Twilight movies. Some of those songs and ballads are just so beautiful, you can’t help but like them.

If you could instantly become fluent in another language, what would that language be and why?
isiZulu. Living where I live, the majority of the people speak isiZulu, and half the time they’re swearing at me, so it would be great to be able to swear back at them, and actually know what the hell I was saying.

If you could fly or breathe under water what would you prefer?
Now THIS is a toughie. I know that most would choose flying because of the freedom it brings, but I’d choose breathing under water. I absolutely adore the water; I can think of nothing better than hiding away under water, never needing to surface again. Lonely, yes. But also freeing.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I’m grateful that my daughter had a wonderful Easter, and that she’s finally getting over her cold that she’s had for about 2-3 weeks. This week I’m not looking forward to much, because Friday is payday, which only reminds me of how broke I actually am ;)

Thanks Cee for some great questions – catch you next week!

G

mommy why are your boobs so wobbly?

Mommy, why is your tummy so fat?

Mommy, why are your boobs so wobbly?

Mommy, why do your legs look bumpy in that dress?

And the list goes on and on and on. I follow Emily, a fellow blogger whose mostly mommy and child related posts often have me in stitches, or deep in pensive thought. She posted this earlier, and I could relate to it. Apart from the pregnancy bit (not yet at least ;) ) I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The amount of times I’ve been in a dressing room (I hate dressing rooms) and M-L has been with me sitting so quietly on the little chair in the room, when out of nowhere, as I’m standing in the garish light, all of my flaws exposed, she quips “Mommy, why is your tummy so fat? And why does it have all of those lines on it?” Cue instant scarlett tones of red creeping up the sides of my cheeks (who needs blusher) and a mad dash to get dressed and vacate not only the dressing room but the entire shopping mall as quickly as I can.

M-L has lately taken to playing with my boobs (hell, someone has to so it might as well be her) and I have actually become oblivious to it. I’ll have her on my hip, looking at something, or talking to someone, and either my husband will sternly tell her stop, or whomever I happen to be talking to awkwardly halts the conversation, as the image of my 4 year old juggling my wobbly boobs has forced the person to completely forget what the hell they were talking about. I honestly don’t mind (read – don’t care) but I do understand that it’s not right. For example, yesterday M-L did the same thing to her teacher as she was saying good-bye to her. I wish I could have snapped up the look on the teacher’s face when her assets were juggled. Maybe she too has forgotten what it feels like ;) But in all seriousness I did speak to M-L, telling her that it was wrong. She doesn’t quite understand why yet, but we’ll get there.

I think my best embarrassing-mommy-moment was about 18 or so months ago, when M-L and I were in the queue at the supermarket, and 2 ladies were behind us. They weren’t from our province, as the language that they were speaking was unlike I’d ever heard of before. It was beautiful, but very fast, and actually mindboggling. M-L was sitting on the till counter, watching these 2, listening intently, when she just opened her mouth and tried to imitate the women. What came out her mouth was of course gibberish, and might have actually been highly insulting in some other language that I wasn’t aware of, and it was at that point in time that I vowed to never take her out shopping with me again. The 2 women looked at each other, smiled and then laughed. M-L of course laughed right back, and the 3 of them had a gibberish filled conversation for the next few minutes. I did ask the ladies where they were from (I’ve since forgotten) and what language they were speaking (also, no clue) and explained to them that M-L was just trying to copy them. They said that it was no problem, and that they really enjoyed ‘talking’ with M-L. Once we left the till, I couldn’t get out of the supermarket fast enough!

I think that’s one of the most beautiful things about children; they are so open and honest and raw, that us adults who are so closed and hidden and guarded from the world, don’t actually know how to handle what they sometimes say. Without sugar coating it, my tummy is wobbly and fat and has lines all over it. My boobs are wobbly (thank god for decent bras) and I don’t wear anything with a thin material on my legs because hey, they’re lumpy!! But we as adults will find some way of twisting it, whether to better someone (or ourselves) or to bring them down further. Kids, they don’t give a shit. They say it like it is.

The problem is, if I say it like it is..

I won’t have a job..

I won’t have a husband..

And I sure as hell won’t have my sanity!

;)

G

oh look, another sm blunder

The definition of social media

The definition of social media

So I typed “definition of social media” into Google, and this little graphic defining social media came up. SM = social media. Twitter falls into the SM category. According to Statistic Brain, twitter has 645,750,000 active, registered users on its website. That’s a fair amount of people. So with so many people on ONE website, you would think that people would think, or better yet READ what they want to post before actually posting it.

I missed the whole US Airwarys tweet debacle last week; I’ve seen a censored picture and actually thought it was brilliant. For the woman that posted it first. Not so much for US Airways. Then there was the whole Justine Sacco twitter disaster that happened at the end of December 2013 which I did in fact take offence to, because that woman unfortunately played right into the American stereotype, that us people who live in 3rd world Africa, ride around on elephants, have lions in our backyards, and of course must have AIDS. Yes USA, we have stereotypes about you too. We won’t talk about the AIDS epidemic happening WORLDWIDE then shall we? BTW, worldwide INCLUDES the USA.

But over here in little old South Africa, we too have our SM open-mouth-change-foot moments. @RBJacobs is a representative for FNB (First National Bank) on twitter. I bank with FNB. @RBJacobs has assisted me more than once via twitter, and has always been efficient, polite and also throws around a joke a 2 every now and then.

His joke this morning however, hasn’t gone down so well.

I admit that when I first saw the screenshot, I was shocked. I was annoyed. I was like wtf?! The tweet has since been deleted, but unfortunately the damage has been done. But you know what? If this joke (as distasteful as it is) was told between you and your mates around the braai (bbq) you’d laugh. Admit it. Because deep down inside, you’re look at this tweet, and you’re giggling. On the outside you’re the epitome of outrage, but inside you’re laughing.

One of the best tweets I’ve seen thus far regarding this whole debacle (actually there are 2) are as follows:

Screenshot_2014-04-22-14-45-10 and

This is my favourite :)

This is my favourite :)

@maddog_sa has also written a blog post regarding this whole tweet debacle, which puts a whole new spin on it. I honestly hadn’t thought of the tweeter from a ‘human’ point of view, but in actual fact even though ‘their’ name is @RBJacobs, representing FNB on twitter, there is most definitely more than 1 person running that twitter account, under that name.

I personally am not offended by this tweet. Shocked yes, but that is because it’s just not what I’d expect from such a professional. As mentioned above, I have dealt with this @RBJacobs persona several times before, and have had nothing but superb service.

But I personally feel, that with SM, the backlash and ‘oopsies’ and “I was hacked” excuses are going to prevail. And twitter isn’t the only SM platform where ‘oopsies’ like this have taken place.

But twitter is the only SM platform that I actively engage it, because there is seriously never a dull moment.

So chin up @RBJacobs.

And leave the joke telling to the comedians.

G

asbestos; the good, the bad and the ugly

A few days ago I received a mail from my contact page from Heather Von St. James.

What a remarkable woman. She is based in the USA, and 8 years ago, was diagnosed with Mesothelioma; a rare and deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. She had given birth to her daughter Lily just 3 months prior to her diagnosis, and was given only 15 months to live.

Heather lives by the motto; with hope, the odds don’t matter. I knew that asbestos was bad, hell I even knew that it had killed some people. But I didn’t realise it was THIS bad. Heather has created an awareness page, and you can reach it by clicking here. It is shocking that the USA has not yet banned all use of asbestos. Here in South Africa, it was banned in 2008, and you can read a write-up about why here.

It is a miracle that Heather survived; that and the fact that medical science is pretty darn amazing.

The good – Heather survived and has made it her life’s mission to educate people about this deadly disease and its cause
The bad – the fact that asbestos is still legally in use in the USA and around the world
The ugly – pretty much the same as the bad

I feel privileged that Heather contacted me for my assistance in raising awareness for this awful disease and it’s causes. I feel that so often we focus on the more ‘common’ cancers; breast cancer, lung cancer etc and don’t actually realise that there are so many other forms of cancer out there. Just look at this graphic regarding the various forms of cancer that are out there:

There's more to cancer than a pink ribbon

There’s more to cancer than a pink ribbon

I sincerely hope that you do click over to Heather’s awareness site, and that if you have asbestos in your homes or workplaces that you’re able to do something about it. ANY exposure to asbestos is detrimental to your health.

You can connect with Heather either via the link above, or via her Facebook page, link here.

G

why i love my daughter’s first selfie

I don’t like selfies. I don’t take them, unless I absolutely have to. Thus I don’t have a great many selfies on my phone.

My daughter on the other hand loves the camera, whether she’s in front of it or behind it, but she does prefer the front, as most 4 year olds do.

Whilst browsing through my phone about 3-4 months ago, I came across about 84 photos that she had taken on my phone, without me knowing. Most of them were actually in focus, and of actual things, like the tv, the dogs, the chairs, but the one that stood out for me was this one. (see below)

Thanks Instagram filter!

Thanks Instagram filter!

She had figured out how to turn on the front camera on my phone, and took her first ever selfie.

I absolutely love her inquisitive little face, even though there’s only half of it in the photo, but my absolute favourite part of this picture, is the picture frame in the back centre of the photo. Without even realising it, my daughter took, in my opinion, the perfect photo.

And that is why I love my daughter’s first selfie.

G