Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Sage Singer befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone's favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses... and then he confesses his darkest secret—he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who's committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren't the party who was wronged? And most of all—if Sage even considers his request—is it murder, or justice?

I haven't read a Jodi Picoult in a while now, but I loved this one! I think she thought she threw in a twist there at the end, but she didn't really. The twist was the human aspect of it. Twisting the way you think about people. Or at least making you wonder if something could change your mind about someone ... I still dunno hey. Forgiveness is a weird thing.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Quiet One

Shew. This is gonna be a rough one at work ... but in the mean time, it's still quiet :) So I will enjoy the calm before the storm. Aside from all the load-shedding that led to our servers being off and the fact that half our area (incl my desk) has no power ... so am hijacking someone else's desk in the meantime so I can charge my laptop before they arrive!

The weekend. It wasn't very busy. The Trucker's mom came to visit for the weekend (with her dogs). She stayed at his sister (which is in the same complex, so easy enough). So we headed there for dinner on Friday evening.

On Saturday we didn't see them because we had the annual Xmas Party at DJMike's place. Shew, yet again, what an amazing spread of food! Nice to meet his little daughter finally too (3 months now). And, of course, catch-up with the familiar faces :)

Shew, but I was pretty shattered after that and headed home to nap. And then shortly after The Trucker woke me, our power went out :( So I hopped in the bath with my Kindle and some candlelight ... and the power was back on before I even got out! Haha. Luckily after such a big lunch we didn't need much in the way of dinner.

On Sunday we had The Trucker's mom & sister over for breakfast and then went grocery shopping. It was a glorious rainy Sunday so we settled in and relaxed. Till the sun came out and then we took Peps for a walk. The Trucker had big plans to try making a Cauli-base pizza for dinner. But we lost the power again at 6pm and it wasn't on again yet by 7:30pm so we headed to The Mariner for Sunday half-price Sushi.

Friday, November 21, 2014

4 Weeks till Xmas Holidays!

Friday. Wooo! No idea how I survived a 5 day week - haha. Only 4 more to go till Xmas :)

So yeah, it's been a quiet week. Work. Life. Puppy walks. Little else. My life has been complicated by the fact that The Trucker decided to try this banting lark :/ As you might be able to tell, I am less than a believer in this. He seems to be loving it tho. But it is making grocery shopping and dinner a little trickier.

All my stuff is fat-free or low-fat (yogurt, mayo, milk etc.) and now he's buying butter and coconut oil and stuff that pretty much looks like lard (coconut something or other). He's talking about making "fat shakes". I don't understand. It seems so completely contrary to me. Anyhoo, here's hoping he'll lose some weight (because he's back at the gym now too and it's been bothering him) and the novelty of the "diet" will wear off in a month or two ...

Oooh, but in exciting news, I got a delivery at work yesterday from Bio-Oil. They'd mailed me while I was at Kruger because they'd heard I was pregnant and recommend Bio-Oil for stretch marks. So they sent me a hamper. Wow! I was expecting a sample or something but got a huge box of goodies :)

There is a lovely basket which everyone has commented will be awesome for storing nappies. And inside it was packed with 3 different Bio-Oil samples, a cute little babygro, a hooded towel and a photo album for scan pics. How thoughtful!

We've had Bio-Oil in the house since my boob op. I used it for the scaring then and my scars have healed really well. I also love sprinkling it in my bath because I have quite dry skin. So, naturally, I'm definitely using it during my pregnancy for any possibility of stretch marks ... I rub it on my boobs, belly and hips (almost) every morning and evening. I was also trying the Pregne Creme samples that came with my vitamins, but have worked out now that that is actually what was causing my crazy itchiness! So have stopped completely and switched to Bio-Oil 100%.

No progress yet on naming The Littlest One, but I am playing with Nursery ideas ... so far I am leaning heavily towards a Dinosaur theme. I know that might seem to some to be a strange choice for a little girl, I think it is awesome. I have always loved and been fascinated with Dinosaurs (what kid hasn't?) and as a friend of mine said to me, since I am not a conventional girly girl, why should my daughter be. The way I look at it, this is probably the last time I get to pick her room theme ... if she wants princesses or something when she's older, we can do that then.

That said I'm not really sure how much "theme" we'll really stick with ... since as I said previously, we won't be in this house very long after she is born. (I said she! Still excites me :) ) And I don't want to limit any other cool things I find ... so we'll see. I may just go with a theme of "Everything, Go Crazy!" haha. Who can tell ...

These are the things really inspiring me at the moment (all found on Etsy):

Thursday, November 20, 2014

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield

Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst-and enjoy every moment of it.

In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff.

You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth-especially your own.

This wasn't the book I was expecting. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, but it was a lot more "self-help" than I realised it would be.

Still it's an interesting story (the bits that are more story and auto-biographical) and he sounds like a guy who's without doubt had some incredible life experiences. And I think he did some amazing stuff education-wise and exposure-wise for life-in-space while he was on the ISS.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lack of Interest

So I'm in a weird lacklustre space about the whole "online" thing at the moment ... I'm just not that into blogging or instagraming or tweeting.

I don't really know what to do about it. I *need* to get my Turkey posts done. And I have one on our long weekend in Kruger to write. But when the evenings and weekends roll around I just lack the interest. I feel like I have this long to-do list (but it feels like admin, not fun) and I don't want to do any of it ... so I don't. And then I feel guilty about it ... but still not enough to do anything about it.

That said, I did manage to sort thru and select my favourite photos from the last of our Turkey trip and our Kruger trip. So I do feel some sense of achievement ... but not like I really made any sort of dent still.

Maybe it's hormones, maybe it's the end of the year. I don't know. But if I get quiet (or terribly boring), now you know why.

The weekend was okay. I went to after-work drinks with some friends from work. Was lovely to see one of the girls' new house (wow!) and catch-up with everyone. You don't realise how little you actually see / socialise with people at work when you're busy. It was really nice.

On Saturday we were up before 6am (wtf!). We headed out early for breakfast and went to browse Baby City, looking at prices for cots and prams and car seats. We're going to Mama Magic at the end of November, and apparently they have great specials ... but I wouldn't know what the normal sort of price is before now. Sheesh. So many options.

Which got me thinking about nursery themes (do you really need one?) ... at the moment I'm thinking Dinosaurs ... or Wild Animals. Nothing too girly about tho haha. And we won't be painting the walls or anything (cause we'll be moving to Cape Town and renting the house out). So it makes it a little tricky.

It also got me thinking about the whole baby shower thing. It feels weird asking people to organise it for me ... I mean I guess I'll have one at work. And then I realised this weekend I should probably do a Cape Town one with my family and friends there ... that's an easy one to ask someone else to organise since I'm not there (have picked a date for that, now to find out if I can fly - Kulula says it should be fine, but will confirm with the gynae). But I feel weird for the Joburg one. I have so many different groups of people. Anyway. Just another thing on the list.

And I've been getting Maternity & Newborn photo shoot quote. Shew. I don't know how you decide. They vary greatly in price and what you get (time and photo number wise). Just add it to my to-do / to-think-about list. Sigh.

After Baby City, we headed to Meoli and I'm very pleased to have a new pair of comfy maternity pants. Skirts are easy, but Joburg's been so overcast and drizzly lately, I needed another pair of pants (the ones I inherited constantly need pulling up, so not great for any kind of walking around!).

And then The Trucker went to play cricket for the afternoon. And I went to buy Gypsy a pressie ... Pepper got some new toys earlier already! I bought a pot and some catnip seed ... we'll see how it goes haha.

We had a lazy evening at home.

On Sunday we woke up before 6am again ... but went back to sleep till about 8am. Then we headed off to get the grocery shopping done, before The Trucker went to cricket again.

We bought Pepper a kong because we'd read you can make them popsicles to keep them entertained while at work so I made a mix of chicken stock and treats and froze one for her to try. It worked wonderfully and she really enjoyed it ... for the solid half hour it took to finish it. Haha. It definitely had her attention 100% during that time!

And that was our weekend. In a nut shell. I guess I had more to say than I realised ...

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