Friday, June 28, 2013


Well, it's been an uncharacteristically quiet week for me ... SCM on Tuesday and that was it. I'm still coughing. I think I may actually venture to the doc if I can get an appointment now. I'm afraid if I'm not well in time for my surgery they'll postpone it or something :P

I've also been exhausted this week. I can't count the number of times lately that I have fallen asleep before the end of an episode lying on the couch with The Trucker. I was totally fine when he was off playing Action Cricket, but the minute I'm cuddled next to him, I'm lights out by 9pm. Strange. I've also woken feeling still tired every morning this week. And it's not like I haven't been sleeping, I have. Deep sleeping where you feel like you've slept a whole night between 10min snooze alarms in the morning when you should be waking up! And dreaming (I dreamt about Rex and the vet and for some reason I was carrying Rex in the Pick n Pay on a plate (?!?) this morning. Poor guy, he hasn't stopped sneezing yet either).

It's been cold and wintery and I made my Ostrich Chilli Soup this week. Yum :) Not an everly active weekend planned either. Guess this is the winter-hibernation week ;) Haha.

My most exciting news this week is that we finally have a router that means we have internet at home again - we had to do a whole data sim swap since my MTN 3G no longer works (it doesn't get very good Edge even at the new house, so became completely useless) but The Trucker had a perfectly good Vodacom sim in his tablet. So for a while there we only had internet when he was home with his tablet. Frustrating for me, as you can imagine. But we now have a wifi router with the Vodacom sim and he's taken my 3G one to use in his tablet instead. Oh, and I cancelled my Vodacom contract. It expires at the end of July. I've had this contract since I first got my own cellphone ... moving over to Cell C now, they have far better S4 deals! At least when you switch these days you still keep you number :) Otherwise I'd probably be more hesitant to switch.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Booked and Paid For!

Urgh. Still not 100% better. And I have 2 weeks until my operation ... which I assume I need to be healthy for before they put you under general anaesthetic. #sigh I was beginning to wonder this weekend if I would ever get better. This cough just won't quit. Although I do feel a little better today. Then I realised I left my cough mixture at home. Dammit. The Trucker reckons I should go to the doc. I think I can't keep going to the doc for these niggly things ... see, while I have been sick more often in the last 2 years, I am not used to being sick. So I just expect these things to sort themselves out. And I am used to only going to the doc when things seem super bad. Perhaps if the cough is still here tomor, I will go, that means it's been a week!

Anyway, the weekend was fairly quiet. I got home on Friday afternoon and started watching Eddie Izzard's Glorious dvd in anticipation for his show later in the evening. The Trucker isn't as much of a fan as I am. We headed thru to Sandton Convention Center and watched Force Majuere. I was a little nervous that I'd have a coughing fit every time I laughed - which, I did. But I survived.

I think I even enjoyed it more than the last show he did in Joburg. The dressage skit was brilliant. I wasn't as big a fan of Death Star Canteen 2.0 tho. It was a weird venue tho. There were about a billion people all on seats on a flat floor. At least the stage was pretty high, but we were definitely reliant on the big screens for his performance (and we were seated fairly centrally).

Anyhoo. Saturday morning I definitely needed a late morning snooze. Well, I slept later than usual and we stayed in our pj's till almost noon! We started booking our trip!

Yes, that's right, our trip is pretty much 100% booked and paid for now. We just need to find some accommodation in San Fransisco and book some little things (like tickets to Blue Man Group and The Lumineers!). I. Am. So. Excited. In fact, in 3 months from today, we'll be road-tripping from Los Angeles to San Fransisco in a Ford Mustang Convertible :D

CollegeInstructor popped past on Saturday for a visit. Haven't seen him in ages. And then in the evening we went to watch the rugby with some friend's of The Trucker's.

Sunday was another pretty lazy morning, The Trucker was up early for cricket tho. I got all our grocery shopping done and then we relaxed in the afternoon. Till we took a drive out to his stand ... where he is supposed to be building his house. Apparently there are a few people interested in buying it from him. Interesting times. I reckon he should sell, since we'll never end up living there - it's just too far away.

We made nacho's for dinner. And yes, that is a photo of GypsyCat in the bunny hutch. Crazy thing.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Regular Awesome Over Here

Too tired. Seriously. This has been a pretty decent (thankfully short) week. I am in desperate need of a late morning lie-in tomorrow (wish it had been today!).

On Tuesday I pretty much hibernated. There was no SCM and The Trucker was away for work in Mpumalanga & Limpopo. So I got home from work, took some more meds and curled up under a blanket in front of the TV. I didn't think I'd stay awake past 8pm. I had dinner (yummy tomato soup) at 6pm! But The Trucker had decided instead to drive home that evening instead of staying over somewhere so I waited up ... and we both had a still-earlier-than-usual night (he'd been out the door at 4am for his road trip).

Wednesday was uneventful, we made a Sweet Potato and Chicken curry on the spur of the moment from Curry Me Home. It was delish :)

On Thursday evening I'd planned a Surprise Date Night for the two of us. And can you believe I managed to keep it a secret all the way till the restaurant sign! Haha. It's not that I'm a bad secret keeper (when a secret is important), it's just that I get nervous about if he'll enjoy what I've chosen or be disappointed. I should trust myself more and know that he's a pretty easy going guy ... and even if he hates it he'll put up with it for me (like going to museums in Philly ;) )

I'd booked us a table at Beefcakes for The Dreemz Drag Show. I'd tried to go ages ago, in Cape Town, with The Divine Miss M ... but we tried to book too late. And since then it has opened in Joburg too, so I thought it'd be a fun night out :) I'd also heard the food was delish. We ordered a cocktail to start and then some chilli poppers ... which were pretty good, although a little burny for me. And then we each ordered a burger. Sheesh they were huge. I should've gone with the topless option (no top bun) since I left that anyway. I had an ostrich Buffy the Hamburger Slayer without the mushroom sauce. It is probably a lot better with the sauce tho, but I still enjoyed it :) It was far too much food for me tho. The place was jam-packed and the show only started at around 9pm, which is why I'm so tired this morning.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it didn't exactly hit the mark. It was a shorter show than I was expecting, and I thought they'd be doing their own singing. It was still a hoot and all three really are brilliant characters. Holly Diamond was my fave. And sheesh but the make-up they wear, I swear those eyelashes were a foot long! Haha. I definitely recommend this as a fun night out in Jozi :)

What else has been potting ... we should be actually making payment for our holiday to USA & Bermuda this weekend :D We did the Flight Center price check and it looks like online will be the way to go. Now we've gotta investigate our Credit Card travel insurance and move some money around. Super excited.

The Trucker's excitement has also increased since I discovered, after the disappointment of Slash not playing in New York while we're there, that The Lumineers (The Trucker's new favourite band this year) will actually be playing in San Fransisco on our last night there :) This trip has really gonna have some amazing highlights!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I do love a long weekend

Cough. Splutter. Wheeze. Dammit. I appear to be getting sick again. The Trucker thinks it's a little hilarious because I told him I never get sick. Truth is I never used to get sick ... but I think since last year and starting on my daily allergy-induced asthma meds, I do get sick more. Not because of the meds, but probably because they hide the fact that I am actually getting sick so there is no chance to nip it in the bud early and avert it. Anyhoo. I would very much have liked to spend today in bed (not least of all because it is freezing as well), but there is plenty at work to be done and not enough people to do it right now. So it just wasn't an option this morning.

Righto, so yes, it's Tuesday. We had a lovely Monday public holiday and long weekend here :) YAY. And I had a pretty fantabulous weekend. Although there was far too much drinking! I am definitely not even smelling a drop of alcohol (except perhaps in my cough syrup) till Surprise Date Night on Thursday (I organised this one and can't wait! So far I've even still managed to keep it a surprise, go me!).

We started Friday afternoon with sundowners ... I had had a rough week and day in the office and was desperate to get out of here and not stay for a Friday drink at the office. So I headed home to meet The Trucker and we went to Col'Cacchios and sat on their balcony watching the beautiful sunset view. @clairam and @obitadicta joined us a little later. And one thing turned into another as we moved our drinks inside and stayed for dinner, sharing 4 pizzas (Celebrity Chef David Grier's The Adventurer, a Smoky Babe, a Morituri and a Da Terra, which was my least favourite). Yummy. Was lovely to see them since they were headed off to Mauritius for a sneaky week in the sun on Saturday morning, Jealous!

On Saturday morning we were up early with the arrival of the gardener. But he helped me get the bunny hutch all cleaned so well worth it :) We got our grocery shopping out of the way and headed off to Sun City with @Toxic_Mouse and his girlf around 3pm. Kings of Chaos, baby. It wasn't as bad a drive there and back as I was expecting. We made good time, and on the way home the girls slept :) The concert was great! I didn't really know what to expect, it was The Trucker who really wanted to go to watch Slash (he loves his 2 solo albums). And while Slash didn't perform any of his solo stuff (even tho Myles Kennedy was there as a vocalist), it was still a fantastic show. We did get momentarily excited about going to see Slash and Myles Kennedy again (this time it would be Slash's solo stuff) in New York when we're there in September ... but we were looking at 2012 tour dates :( Very sad.

And on Sunday we had a very lazy morning ... breakfast at Doppio and then headed off to a friend's house for a Cheese and Wine. Shew, we had such a great afternoon (it started at 2pm) and only got home around 22h30 ! Drank *way* too much but had such a blast. But that meant I was feeling very sorry for myself on Monday. Thank goodness for public holidays with nothing to do! The Trucker had a little work to do, and I pretty much parked myself under a blanket in front of the TV for most of the day drinking Creme Soda :)

Haha, another thing we did this weekend was investigate the idea of a Vegas wedding. Bwahahaha. Okay, so we wouldn't go the whole legal route (although you can, but it's a hassle) ... for now I'm trying to find out if we can just do what they call a commitment ceremony, where you don't actually apply for the marriage license. A wedding, as opposed to a marriage, I guess. Just for the fun of it, it's always been something I wanted to do in Vegas, I kinda thought it'd be like a 5 or 10 year renewal of vows, but the truth is were going to Vegas now, and we don't have any vows to renew yet. We looked at the Elvis options, but since neither of us is particularly a fan, we've decided to aim for the Drive-Thru option. Haha. Investigations continue ... Sadly we don't have time (or money) for one of those Neon Graveyard photoshoots ... omg I would *love* that.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Almost Booked

So, I guess it's been a pretty busy week here. Monday was a quiet night at home. But we celebrated our Bermuda visa's which I collected from the VFS Sandton offices earlier in the day. YAY. Our holiday planning began getting much more serious this week (more on that later!).

On Tuesday, I skipped SCM and went for a catch-up dinner with @WhizBangLouLou at 1920. She'd never been before. I couldn't help myself but order the same Chicken Trinchado I'd had last time. Yum :)

On Wednesday I cooked at home. Sheesh, I seem to be doing that a lot again lately :) I guess I really have settled into the new house and it's bigger kitchen and the dishwasher - haha! I made Pesto Chicken with Caramelised Aubergine and Roast Tomatoes (cut those pesky olives right out of the recipe!) Sadly there are no photos :( But it did plate quite nicely :) I will definitely be trying the caramelised aubergine again sometime. I think I cut the pieces too smaller (I cut it into "rounds" and then quartered those) and I think our oven is way hotter than it should've been (recipe said cook at 200deg C for 40mins ... I took mine out for a bit in the middle and then popped them back in to heat up before serving). I will also remember to spray & cook the baking tray next time :P Haha. They added a nice sweet flavour to the dish and the roast tomatoes worked out far better than I was expecting! Maybe a little less pesto next time (I used a jar of Basil Pesto Princess, so it was all a very nice green :) )

And then on Thursday we decided to go and try out the new YuMe that has opened in Bellairs. I'd never tried a YuMe before, but have been watching this one get ready over the last few weeks and picked up a menu on Tuesday that I'd been poring over.

Okay, so I will say that even tho sometimes the idea of other foods turned into sushi sounds like a yummy idea, they very rarely, in my opinion, actually work out. But I was still very curious to try a few of their combinations. We should've gone on Monday evening, they have a special where all plates are priced as a Blue Plate.

We tried a smorgasbord of different things. We tried some halloumi spring rolls and some prawn dim sum and then I tried a hand roll (Prawn Paper Roll) for the first time ever (because they were wrapped with rice paper instead of seaweed ... I don't like the seaweed touching my tongue, okay? Which is why California Rolls are fine, but I won't eat Maki). It was all okay, it was nice to try. I liked the 4x4 rolls and the Moshi Moshi "Hello" rolls. But I really didn't like their Smoked Salmon Roses ... or their Adidas Roll (needs avo!).

I will probably still go back, I want to try their Noodles. And I'd definitely go back for dessert, loved their Kawasura Rolls :)

And that was our week.

And now onto the holiday planning. So I reshuffled our itinerary a few more times ... turns out once you factor in the actual flights you can get (somehow I thought there would be far more availability on routes in America and that you could get from just about anywhere to anywhere else quite easily), what we'd planned was no longer feasible. I tried switch the America journey around, all this stopping in New York for one night here and there was not in my plan, but even that wasn't ideal.

So I ended up finding the only ideal solution was to drop Washington from the itinerary altogether. I realised that with a wishlist of 4 must-see places (okay so they were pretty much all museums: Natural History, Air & Space, Holocaust and then the Zoo), I could never do it in the time we had. And I don't want to feel like I have to rush thru a museum because I have to be fitting in the next one. And I hadn't even allocated any time to the traditional touristy things like Lincoln Memorial or any of that either (lower on my list, but probably still gotta be done). So I grumbled and admitted that with the 10 year visa and The Trucker's love of USA, we'd probably be back, and I could tack on a proper 2-3 days in Washington on another trip and do it properly and not feel rushed.

So we're still Amtrak-ing to Philadelphia for a day so that I can go to the Mütter Museum (life list item) and we can get a Philly Cheesesteak from the original spot. Also may have to look into adding in the Penn Museum if we have time (since I did just give up all those Smithsonians)! So far it all looks like it's gonna work out perfectly <3 I am too excited. Just wanna get things booked now. But we are waiting till Tuesday (The Trucker has a connection at Flight Center who is on leave till then) to see if we can get a better price than booking online directly with the airlines, it's a tricky decision ... to wait or not, with the current state of the rand and potential for flight prices to fluctuate ... #sigh. Not for the fainthearted, this, but I can NOT wait. Sadly tho it does seem like it's going to be more expensive than we were expecting ... but it is going to be an amazing trip :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Belated Anniversary Weekend

Oh. My. Word. My weekend was perfect. And wonderful. Spectacular. And all sorts of other good words. When life is good like this, it really is amazing. My heart feels full to bursting and everything is warm and fuzzy. Happiness really is the most special emotion <3

I'd booked us a "surprise" weekend away for our anniversary, quite a while back. Okay so the word surprise is in quotes because I suck at keeping things as a surprise for The Trucker! It's a combination of being too nervous to go ahead and book something without checking with him and the excitement of what I have planned ... I struggle with it even for surprise date nights! Haha.

Anyway, so before I booked, I'd actually told him where we were going. He doesn't really get as excited about things as I do, so it doesn't really matter when I tell him. But this weekend, on our drive home, he did tell me what a good find it had been :) And really, it was! Unfortunately we couldn't get the weekend closest to our anniversary, in the cottage I wanted. So we pushed it out to this weekend instead.

I'd found the place absolute ages ago on a Getaway post and it sounded perfect. Nice and close ... altho not nearly as cheap as the Getaway post led me to believe. I booked us the Rock Haven cottage at Thabela Thabeng.I would highly recommend this to anyone needing a quiet, private, romantic weekend away less than 2 hours drive from Joburg. It was superb.

We arrived before sunset on Friday evening. Our hosts were very friendly and we had a look around the little "museum". I knew nothing about this area at all, let alone heard of the Vredefort Dome either.

It is self-catering, which I've come to discover is a bonus with The Trucker <3 We ate so well this weekend. Bacon Carbonara pasta for Friday night dinner, with Gluhwein and then strawberries for dessert. We cooked up some Harissa Eggs for breakfast on Saturday morning and then made simple sandwiches for lunch. Dinner on Saturday evening was Peanut Butter Ostrich burgers (omg these were amazing) while we sipped champagne. We rolled home. Because on top of that we (I) had to buy gingerbeer and koeksisters from the little farmstall :)

Our room was on a separate ridge from the others, completely private. One whole wall is mountain rock (which makes it chilly, but still very awesome!). There was a fabulous fireplace that got used every evening (and Saturday morning!) and the most divine big bath that looked out across the view. Ah, it was a special weekend.

On Saturday morning we took their River Walk, which is about 3km of flat walking past their Pecan Nut Groves down to the river and back. And then we took a little drive to see the tiny town of Venterskroon (possibly the smallest town I've seen!). Nothing much exciting to see here. So we huddled up in bed for he rest of the afternoon, napping and reading and watching some series on the laptop, keeping warm.

Just what we needed. A weekend where we were forced to do nothing. The Trucker even finished his book!

The only real downside is that I probably did more dishes than I've ever done in a weekend before ... but for the amazing food we ate, it was well worth it.

Folks, if you are looking for somewhere nearby to go for a quiet getaway, I would highly recommend this place. A babymoon or a brief honeymoon (I was thinking it'd be perfect for about 3-4 nights before you jet-setted off somewhere ... or if your honeymoon is postponed till a significant time after your wedding) or just a romantic weekend away. Perfect for recharging your batteries ... even better, I'd guess, if you like hiking. We were not feeling that energetic this weekend ;)

We had to check out by 10am on Sunday morning so decided to stop for breakfast in Parys en route home. Well we couldn't find anywhere that looked appealing in Parys and ended up at the Wimpy instead.

It was nice to get home fairly early. We collected the keys from The Trucker's sister who had been pet-sitting for us and raced home. I tell you, this whole going away thing has changed a lot for me since we got the Gypsy cat. Awe. I miss her so. It's much harder than leaving the bunnies behind. Because she is so very happy when we get home, you just know she missed us! And I was having bizarre dreams about her and the ginger cat who seems to have taken an interest in her and our garden and chasing the bunnies :( It was not pleasant.

We got our grocery shopping done and got loads of washing done and had a nice relaxing afternoon ... until The Trucker had to go out and get some work done. See why it's so important to get him away to relax properly! Haha.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Already June!

Shew. I have been sleeping very weirdly this week. I think Sunday night threw me. I have been exhausted but unable to fall asleep ... and then this morning I felt like my alarm kept buzzing me out of a really deep sleep. And I'd fall right back into it before it went off again. It's devastating when you have to wake up from such a deep sleep and it's still so dark.

Anyway, the week has been okay, nothing too exciting. SCM Dinner on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday we had a nice one at home. I made @ironyandgum's quiche. It was pretty delish, much thicker than my crustless quiche, which I can't even remember when last I made! I made her's with salami, spinach, corn and tomaraisons. I loved it. I loved it even more as leftovers with salad last night! Haha. Even The Trucker enjoyed it ... except the tomaraisons, he picked all of those out, thought the flavour was too overpowering.

Aside from that it's been a quiet week. It's been a rough crazy-busy one at work. And there is still a whole day to go :( But I am super duper looking forward to this weekend. We're going away for our Belated Anniversary Weekend <3

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Flesh and Bone by Jefferson Bass

Anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton founded Tennessee's world-famous Body Farm--a small piece of land where corpses are left to decay in order to gain important forensic information. Now, in the wake of a shocking crime in nearby Chattanooga, he's called upon by Jess Carter--the rising star of the state's medical examiners--to help her unravel a murderous puzzle. But after re-creating the death scene at the Body Farm, Brockton discovers his career, reputation, and life are in dire jeopardy when a second, unexplained corpse appears in the grisly setting.

Accused of a horrific crime--transformed overnight from a respected professor to a hated and feared pariah--Bill Brockton will need every ounce of his formidable forensic skills to escape the ingeniously woven net that's tightening around him . . . and to prove the seemingly impossible: his own innocence.

Well, you know I do love a good Body Farm novel :) This one definitely headed in a direction I didn't see coming either. Hard not to just go straight to the next one, now that I have them all on my kindle,  but I do like to mix it up a bit.

* This book is part of the Body Farm series: Carved in Bone (2006), Flesh and Bone (2007), The Devil's Bones (2008), Bones of Betrayal (2009), The Bone Thief (2010), The Bone Yard (2011), ~Madonna and Corpse (2012), The Inquisitor's Key (2012)

Monday, June 03, 2013

Settling In

Yawn. Another Monday morning working from home. This time because I needed the extra little bit of sleep after the Chevelle concert at Carnival City last night. Seriously folks, a music concert on a Sunday night (and all the way out there!), what are you thinking?! But more on that later.

The weekend was pretty good. Busy in a very different way than usual. On Friday I headed home and whisked Gypsy off to the vet to have her stitches out. Such a good girlie :) And she's doing just fine. She does seem to be loving her new found freedom too. And so far she is very good about arriving back home as we do, or as soon as she spots us. Except for Sunday where she managed to get herself stuck on the other side of our garden wall, meowing her head off (and me returning the call to try and tell her where we were). Eventually she figured it out ... silly cat.

I decided we were having home made Kung Pow chicken for dinner. It turned out quite nicely :) Although I did alter their recipe a bit. We used 4 chicken breasts (2 just didn't seem likely to feed 3-4 people, let alone just The Trucker & myself) and I added chopped yellow pepper, chopped baby sweet corn and carrots. I also made some egg-noodles that I stirred in before we served. It was very yummy. Sadly no Szechuan peppercorn but I used our Phu Quoc Pepper instead. It was delish.

Saturday morning the landlord arrived with our "extra" gardener. He's paying for this guy to come every 2nd Saturday. So anyway, that was helpful because he helped move the big plants that were just left outside our front door around into the garden.

I started my morning off with a trip to the vet with Rex :( I took him earlier in the week because he has been sneezing. And he was still all snotty ... so I took him back. He got another injection and now has 5 days of antibiotics. Poor boy. 

After that, The Trucker and I stayed in all day unpacking and sorting thru all his stuff that was in the garage (so much kitchen stuff. We currently have 4 kettles and 3 microwaves and more tupperware than a party!) Haha. It was an exhausting day. Although it did start with French Toast for breakfast :)

So when we were done, we decided to go to Gourmet Garage for a late lunch (since we hadn't had anything yet!) / early dinner. Yum. I haven't had their Peanut Butter Burger and Chili Cheese fries in a while. So tasty!

On Sunday we weren't up too late because the landlord was bringing around his plumber (our snag list was topped by the spare loo constantly running). That took far longer than we expected because they brought the wrong parts and this involved the landlord coming to fetch the plumber, take him to Builders Warehouse and bring him back again. There went out breakfast plans! Instead we lounged around the house, sharing our history, looking at old photos we uncovered during the move (okay, The Trucker only just found his, I always know where mine are!). It was the first time I've seen baby photos of him :)

Then he headed to cricket and I went grocery shopping. I can't remember what I spent the rest of the afternoon doing, but it was exhausting general, around the house bits and pieces.

At around 4pm, @clairam and her boyf came over for a pre-concert drink and to see the new house. And then we all piled into the car and headed off to Carnival City. Wow, that is one crazy colourful place. It looks like a clown threw-up. But the concert was quite good. Never been there before, but I far preferred it to the dome (except for distance). Much smaller arena and brilliant sound & lighting. But, the downside is being so short. Why does no one building these places with a sloped floor ... or with a stepped floor? I could barely see for the most part. I wasn't too bothered by that since we were really there for The Trucker who loves Chevelle, I barely know them.

Anyway, now to make it thru the week and then we have a romantic belated anniversary weekend away to look forward to <3

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