Thursday, February 27, 2014

An Amazing Week!

Shew! What a rest of the week it has been. And it is certainly not over yet!

So the renovation are moving full steam ahead. Yesterday afternoon I got those little butterflies of excitement in my tummy about our impending move. We are both so looking forward to our new home and are *loving* how it's turning out!

For me, it's been quite an incredible experience to see how it's come together. It was difficult before yesterday, all very structural. But yesterday the Laminate Flooring and the Granite Kitchen Counters went in. Now it is really looking like a home!

I am so thrilled with how it's looking. I will admit I was nervous. You pick things from these tiny little swatches, all next to other little swatches of the same product. This is true for absolutely everything you pick!

The closest I got to getting a sort of idea of how a few of the colours would combine was when I took along one of the tiles we'd chosen to Timbercity, where we could use a little swatch of melamine along with a little swatch of Rustenburg Granite ... and hope for the best.

There is no way to see how it is all gonna combine, en masse in your room till it's already been done and paid for. Basically, until it is too late - haha.

But. I am continuously tickled by all of our choices as I see them really coming together. I am quite sure I was positively glowing yesterday afternoon as I wandered the house taking it all in! Even more so since we changed our Laminate Floor colour quite recently at one of our (many) Builders Warehouse visits ... and it was definitely a good move! Shew. Haha.

The tiling is finished now too. Our shower floor is in and the mosaic dado rail. Love ALL of it!

Today is gonna be pretty damn insane tho. The Granite guys chipped out even more of the new kitchen wall and plastering. Huge giant chunks to get the granite to sit correctly. So The Trucker will be fixing that up today. There needs to be a fair amount of touch-up painting. Most of the new lights are in (and they are awesome!) and the ceilings got repainted yesterday too.

The Bedroom cupboards are done, but we still need one or two extra shelves. The kitchen cupboard doors are on and the handles were being put on when I left yesterday :)

I bought our oven on Monday. Managed to get quite the deal! Makro had the oven-hob-extractor combo for R3897. Apparently their National Call Center can't see stock for their combo items (and not a single call center person told me that, they all happily told me that there was NO stock, anywhere in the country!). Luckily I called the store directly to make sure. There was plenty of stock!

Anyhoo, I found the oven-hob combo on the website, on promotion, for only R2699 (which seems to have gone now. Shew what lucky timing for us!). And considering the extractor on it's own is only R599, buying like that made so much more sense! And then I got to the store (Woodmead). Sheesh with that many people wearing yellow in-store shirts, you wouldn't think you would hang around waiting for assistance for nearly as long as I did o_0

Their listed prices were also completely different (oven: R2299, hob R999, extractor R599 ... which adds up to the same price as their all-three combo). So I loaded up the website on my phone and gave them the article code and walked out of there with all three for only R3298. Winning.

On Tuesday evening, I went to @clairam's Birthday SCM. And then yesterday was The Trucker's birthday!

He had to be up early to collect the guys to paint the ceiling. Luckily his mom phoned at 6:30am since he snoozed his alarm! Haha. He headed off and I got up and showered.

I'd arranged to work from home yesterday so that we could have breakfast together and do pressies at a reasonable hour ;) He opened his gifts when he got home. I'd got him a "billfold" from Mat Blac that he'd wanted since he saw it at the Sanlam Food Wine Design Fair. Unfortunately I hadn't been paying attention at the Fair, so had to follow up on exactly which one it was. So I think he suspected this gift, although I had led him astray by telling him they didn't have stock of the thing I wanted to buy him (not a complete lie as the "extra" I'd had my eye on from Yuppie Chef was, and still is, out of stock ;) ).

I must also say, Mat Blac's service was superb and their product came packed nicely. I almost didn't wrap it ;) Haha. The Trucker is thrilled!

And then, I got a little crazy and ordered him something he hadn't even asked for. This is very unusual because I struggle to guess at what he might like! But after my initial Yuppie Chef idea was thwarted, I continued to browse and saw the Pizza Stone and bought it! He adores crispy pizza bases and has taken to pre-frying the base when we make pizza at home. So this seemed like a perfect choice. And we're both pretty excited to give it it's first spin in our brand new oven this weekend!

Haha, oh, and The Gypsy Cat was absolutely hysterical! I moved the gifts to next to the bed the night before, in case we were going to do pressies in bed (which obvs didn't happen). And the Pizza Stone was a fairly large wrapped box. And she would NOT leave it alone. She wanted to sit on it and scratch at it, before we went to bed and I woke up to her sitting on it still! It was like she was saying "But moooom, I know there's a box in here for me!" (Pity about having to use the flash tho!) Strangely tho, once the box had been opened, she lost total interest in it o_0 Such a funny little girl.

We had a quick breakfast at our nearby Doppio and then both got down to work. At about lunch time, we got the fantastic news that the house was finally registered in our names. We officially own it :)

In the evening I'd booked dinner at one of our absolute favourites, Licorish :) It was superb, as always! Even tho I was feeling a little ill ... I wish I could've eaten more, but The Trucker enjoyed finishing it for me ;)

We started with the Goats Cheese Tempura (amazing, but no idea how one person could eat both, so rich!) and the Butter Chicken Salad (amazing flavours!).

He had the Beef Taster plate for mains and I had the Game one. Love their taster plates! But there was definitely no room for dessert :( It was even more of a treat since we could use one of our The Entertainer vouchers! Can't wait to go back again (there are still 2 more vouchers to use there this year!)

Shew. What a week. Today our carpets go into the bedrooms and tonight we start moving ... it'll be our last sleep in our current spot tonight. It's filled the gap well, but I doubt I will miss it! I can't wait to be in our brand new home. But make no mistake, there is still A LOT to be done! Onwards and upwards.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Goodbye Ed.

It happened. I got the call last night. My Daddy's Daddy died around 20h30. I lost my last grandfather. I have only one grandparent left ... Let me tell you, while I realise I am very nearly a whopping 34 so this should not nearly affect me so, having started life with *six* grandparents (yes, 2 great-grandparents), it still comes as somewhat of a surprise.

I am relieved for him. He has been ready to go for some time now. I think mentally he's been kinda just waiting life out for more than a year now, if I had to guess. He out-lived his wife, my grandmother, by 12 and a half years.

Even expecting it, though, I am sad. Sad for my loss, for my Dad's loss. I can't imagine losing a parent. I am also sad because he was a difficult man to know, and I feel, as I suppose one always does when it is too late, that I should've tried harder.

I do know this isn't true tho. Because after my grandmother died I did try harder. He was not that sort of man. He was what I'd consider a very old school man. Not an emotional man, not one to relish telling stories of the past (in fact, more like one to avoid them altogether). The past had already happened and was no longer relevant to him, I think he couldn't quite imagine or understand why I'd be remotely interested in his life or experiences. Most of the stories of his youth, I got from elsewhere (his one sister is a wealth of story-telling!).

What do I remember about him? I remember his incessant need to mow the lawn outside our bedroom when we were staying at their house as Tweens. At Five AM. In the Morning! Haha. It drove us nuts. He was always and early-to-bed-early-to-rise sort.

I remember him missing every single New Years Eve I spent with them. In bed by 9pm. Why should the 31 December be any different?

I remember his uniform! Haha. He wore the same outfit every day of my life. I am quite sure he didn't own more than one pair of long pants. It was knee-high socks and shorts no matter the weather. See, he is wearing it in ALL the photos ... which range from approx 1983 - 2010!

I remember his old blue bakkie and bumbling down "to town" (the maybe 2kms to the shops in the little town they lived in).

I remember his hair NEVER greying. I dunno why or how (perhaps the brill cream he used that made it hard and never wisp a breath out of place?) but (sorry, Dad), it doesn't seem genetic.

He made his own beer (I wish I remembered more about that). There was always biltong in a little bowl next to the biltong-cutter. Shew we ate a lot of that when we were there. And his delish Ginger Biscuits!

He was a magistrate and they moved around a lot. I remember him still working (considering Gum retired a few months before I was born this seemed somehow peculiar to me) and coming home for lunch.

I remember the way he bawled at his son's funeral. My heart breaks. I am sure there is a lot I am forgetting. Hopefully there will be lots of story-telling and happy remembering later this week. Will hear later today what the plans are, but no doubt The Trucker will end up moving into our new house alone while I am in Cape Town.

Yeah, and that. Things are not going especially swimmingly between us right now. Things seem fine, right up until bedtime when we somehow end up fighting. Over nothing. I think we're probably both frayed by these renovations. And he's exhausted. He didn't get home till after 8pm again last night. Urgh. Life. You are not awesome right now.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Renovation Weekend

Mkay so it wasn't one of the best weekends of my life. It may have been one of the most boring tho o_0

I cancelled all my fixed plans in lieu of renovations and the possibility I would have to head to Cape Town suddenly. And that left me mostly just sitting around with nothing to do. Hindsight is definitely 20/20.

On Friday after work we did the final coat in the last 2 bedrooms of the Plascon Polvin Winter Savana. And we painted the first coat of the Suede Buckskin in the Main Bedroom. And during the day, most of our Kitchen cupboards had been assembled by the carpenter.

Then we collapsed at home.

On Saturday morning The Trucker was up early and off to get everyone working. It was a bit of a disappointment as the tiler thought he still needed to rhinolite, and arrived with no tools. So by the end of Saturday, he had literally only stuck 6 tiles onto the Guest Loo wall o_0

But while we were out doing more shopping (of course!), the Bedroom Cupboard carpenters got started and the bottom Kitchen Cupboards started being fitted.

There wasn't much I could do, so I spent my afternoon at home. And my evening o_0 The Trucker was stuck in there helping until 8pm when the last people left ... they managed to end the evening off by installing our downlighters in the lounge :)

I watched 12 Years a Slave. Oh my word. I can't wrap my head around how cruel people are and were to each other. Even if (by some stretch of the imagination) you thought another person was no better than an animal, what on earth is wrong with you that you think anything about that sort of treatment is even okay for animals!?!

I was also fascinated to learn about Free Blacks (yay Wikipedia to the rescue). Anyway, it's quite a traumatic emotionally draining movie. But good to watch and be horrified by, I think. And I can't imagine trying to return to your regular life 12 years later ... having missed so much, having endured so much. Shew. very hectic viewing, for sure.

On Sunday, it was more of the same. The Trucker was up early, to get everyone started and then headed thru to cricket. While I went to sit at the new house while everyone worked, in case they needed anything. Aside from painting and picking things out, I'm not much help on a construction site, I must say.

After he got back, I went to do the grocery shopping and then had another boring lonely afternoon. Popping in to see the progress once and then heading back in the late afternoon, after everyone had left to do the final coat on our feature Suede wall while The Trucker finished up.

It's looking promising. But not without hiccups. The wall built in the kitchen is about 2cm higher than the cupboards, so that has to be chipped down today. Hopefully the final Granite measurements will be done today. What a hassle trying to get Granite quotes! I phoned about 4 or 5 people on Friday, actually spoke to them, explained our timeline expectations to them. And only one actually sent me the quote back o_0 So we went with the original quote we got from Granite Objects in the end. Based on the pricing I was getting for square and linear meters for the Rustenburg Granite, they were the best price anyway. Here's hoping they get measured today and the granite can go in on Wednesday or Thursday!

I paid the deposit for the carpeting this morning. Also much more than we were expecting. We tried to find a cheaper carpet we liked on Saturday morning, but it ended up being much of a muchness so we're sticking with our original choice, Belgotex Granada Grege. Apparently regardless of the supplier (ours matched Builder's Warehouse, which was the cheapest rate), they have to get the stuff all the way from PE or Martizburg (I forget which). Here's hoping that the carpets can go in on Wednesday or Thursday too!

And today The Trucker is buying our Laminate Wood Flooring. I am not sure when it'll go in. The tiler comes back tomorrow again. I'm off to buy our new Main Bathroom sink this afternoon. We haven't decided on those taps yet (Did I mention that in the Main Bathroom alone, the basin, bath and shower all have a different tap AND the kitchen has another different style too! No consistency, I really don't see a way to get around buying some new taps in my future, my OCD is dying over here)

Oh yes, and then I was pricing oven-hob-extractors online last night. So that's a no to the Thermofan The Trucker had his eye on. And a no to the Ceran Hob I was considering ... since this isn't our "always" house (more likely a house we'll be renting out in less than 5yrs), it doesn't make sense so splurge when we're already over budget. And sometime this week we also need to buy the new shower door and glass wall. Oh great, just called Makro to reserve stock so that I can go buy the oven-hob-extractor we had our eye on ... and there is no stock at ANY of their stores :(

We move in on Friday ... The Trucker's birthday is on Wednesday (luckily both gifts are wrapped and ready and waiting and the restaurant is already booked for dinner!). This is going to be one helluva week.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Blur of Building

Shew, this week has flown by in a flurry. Monday was, by all accounts, pretty awful. A project I was working on had a Go Live in the evening. It started at 6pm. I didn't have much to do so was logged in from home, from 6, periodically checking on the progress until I could do my 10mins.

But we ran into some technical issues, although my part went smoothly. Once the rest got things up and running, the real issues arrived. At 10pm, just after I'd thought it was safe and was lying in bed and had barely switched my light off. I was up, working at my laptop till 2:30am.

And then up again, immediately back on the job, from 7:30 - 10am on Tuesday morning finishing fixing a bunch of stuff that we realised had never been properly tested. Awesome.

Needless to say I lay on the couch like a zombie the whole of Tuesday. I was desperate to sleep, but was clearly so over tired that I couldn't ... and, you know, daylight. So instead I read my book with droopy eyes and watched a couple of series with only one eye open.

Things in The House were not looking good. The Tiler was supposed to start on Tuesday, but his other job was running over and now he can only come tomorrow. The Bedroom Cupboards arrived, but they weren't quite what The Trucker had been expecting ... I presume a sort of flat-pack, pre-drilled, ready to assemble scenario. Instead we got a bunch of cut board (who can tell which piece goes where?) and some hinges. So we started the quest for a carpenter.

Luckily we found 2, since they could also only start this weekend. So one is installing the kitchen (starting today) and the other is installing the bedroom cupboards (starting tomorrow). So, in theory that should all be done by the end of the weekend. Which means we can have our bedroom carpets installed early next week (was sorta hoping that'd be done before the end of this week ... but whatevs).

The new kitchen & shower walls got built on Monday, but then the plasterers just didn't arrived one of the days this week. Luckily they did come back and now everything has been rhinolited and skreeded.

On Wednesday afternoon, The Trucker and I painted the 3 bedrooms. Ah, nothing quite like the realisation that the colour you picked from that teeny tiny square in the shop (Winter Savanna, if anyone is interested, I forget the brand) looks freaking amazing en masse in a room :)

Oh, and I sent the granite measurements to Granite Objects and we got the quote. If we pay the deposit now, once the kitchen is in, they'll come do final measurements (on Monday, fingers crossed) and that should be installed 2 days later.

Yeah, so, I think we'll be okay. I think this weekend will really be telling tho. I am very unhappy about the potential prospect of moving into a building site o_0

This weekend we have to buy the stove and lights and new wall switches. I want to get new taps, but it is 4k for all the taps in the house! And a new basin in the main bath. And we need some little cupboards in there. And a mirror. And ... and ... and ... And, quite clearly, think things are already doing that sneaky adding up thing o_0

Other than that, I went and had a quick drink with @clairam at Blandford Manor yesterday evening for her birthday (today). And that was my whole entire week. On top of feeling slightly snotty!

Ps. No news on my grandfather. Seems things continue much the same :( No doubt next week will be all sorts of crazy (it is ALSO The Trucker's birthday next Wednesday!)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Down to Rubble

So, this looks set to be a rough week. Last weekend I got a call from Daddio on Friday evening, telling me my grandfather (his dad) was not doing so well. We recently (in Jan) moved him down from Natal (where the family used to live) to Montagu (where my uncle now lives). It didn't make sense for him to stay so far away from anyone in the family. Originally he'd been opposed to moving but I think that is old-aged stubbornness.

Daddio and The Peeb went up to Montagu to visit him this weekend. Things are not good. So not good that I am probably going to be making an emergency trip to Cape Town before the end of the week, although I won't get to see him again before he dies. Seems he stopped eating a week and a half ago (Dad says if he has a teaspoon of yogurt a day it's a lot!) and is just skin and bone. Sleeping thru his last few days. It is time. I am sad, but I know he's tired and has had enough of this life. He has been saying he's had enough for quite some time now. It's still sad, but only for us. Not for him. They're giving him some pain meds (in case, since they don't really know if he's in pain) and the doctor says his kidney's have started to fail. Mom has cancelled her birthday party which was supposed to be this coming Saturday.

It feels like a weird limbo. I haven't really made plans since we're spending most of our time on the renovations (which sadly means The Trucker will not be able to join me when I go home for the funeral), but I still feel like we're just quietly waiting now.

But, aside from the damper that put on my Sunday, the rest of the weekend was pretty good. Well, Friday was Valentines Day but that didn't go so swimmingly.

The Trucker and I started out the day with a bit of a fight. Not a screaming shouting one, but a Whatsapp back and forth "discussion". No wishing of Valentines Day here :P But then I got home in the afternoon and we sorted everything out and got on with things as planned. Luckily by the end of the evening we were definitely full of the loves for each other again.

Usually I just do a simple dinner at home for the two of us, both times an outdoor dinner with candles and what not. I decided this year that we should celebrate at the new house. Although the inside of the house was a giant pile of rubble, the outside stoep was clear and we went down early to enjoy the sunset.

I took along a bottle of pink Pongratz and ordered a Pepperoni Pizza (ah, memories of America) from Pizza Perfect since we needed something easy to eat and, of course, red Lindt balls for dessert. It turned out to be a lovely evening in the end.

On Saturday morning, he headed to the new house to get started on clearing the rubble (they'd spent the last 2 days chipping out tiles, taking out flooring and the kitchen and bedroom cupboards). I popped down before I headed off to brunch. The place is such a mess! It's insane what they've done already. Yip, gutted the whole place (I have included some photos from Renovation Day 3, from Saturday morning: Above is the view of the kitchen & lounge and to the right is the main bathroom toilet & shower).

On Sunday they built the new kitchen wall and today they'll plaster it while another guy finishes chipping out the bathroom tiles and The Trucker paints the walls where the new bedroom cupboards are going. This afternoon I'll probably start painting the feature wall in the bedroom (it's a slightly darker colour and we're using that suede paint). There is not a lot I can do to help here ...

And then I headed to brunch at Papachino's where I met up with @louisabouwer, @Arkwife and @RubyLetters. Awe, so awesome to see the girls! And their kiddies (how beautiful is that photo I took of @Arkwife's newest addition? Too gorgeous.). A fabulous way to spend a morning :)

After that I ran around, getting the guys clearing the rubble some lunch and checking out some nursery's for the trees we want for the garden. We're putting in Acacia's and some Potato Tree bushes. The Trucker wants a Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (he loves that plant!) and I went to look for the ground cover they've got at the place we're staying now that seems to have survived the bunnies :)

And then I went to actually do some gardening for the rest of the afternoon. I cut away so much of the overgrowth. Yoh.

We were exhausted by the time we got home, the rest of the evening was spent in front of the TV. We watched The Thomas Crown Affair again. I love that movie. We'd heard the trademark song (Sinnerman by Nina Simone) on an episode of The Blacklist during the week and it triggered us both wanting to watch the movie again! Still brilliant.

On Sunday morning we headed to breakfast and then straight to Builder's Warehouse to buy the paint. After that, I did the grocery shopping while The Trucker went to check on the building of the new kitchen wall.

In the afternoon, I tagged along to watch his LMS Cricket game. It's been ages since I went, but I didn't want to be home alone yesterday afternoon. It was a really nice (although long) afternoon.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Let the Renovations Begin!

Yes, folks, you read that right. We're one day short of being exactly half way thru February and we *finally* got the go-ahead to start the renovations.

On Monday we were hoping to get an addendum signed by the owner giving us the go-ahead to start before the Rates Clearance Certificate came back ... but no one could get hold of the owner, he was out of the country and not answering his phone (well, he answered the first time, the signal was so bad, they got disconnected and they never got hold of him again). Neither was his wife who they started trying to contact on Tuesday.

Every day this week The Trucker or I (or both) of us has spoken to someone on the legal team, to follow up on either the Rates Certificate or the Addendum (or both). Whichever comes first, we didn't care. We just needed to get moving.

It was a stressful week, I won't lie. Yesterday I had a little break-down because I no longer had any faith we'd even be able to start this week. I was mentally crossing things off the list, you know "well, we don't have to do the guest loo immediately" and "maybe the spare room and study can wait till afterwards".

But we got the email late yesterday afternoon (I was home from work, so it was probably after 4pm) along with a phone call from the lawyers. We got hold of the estate agent immediately.

Although we don't have the "proper" keys (since the owner is out of the country still), we have the go ahead to start renovating and we have keys to one of the doors and this morning The Trucker will be taking some guys there and starting to rip everything out!

First the kitchen and bedroom cupboards, then all the tiles and wooden flooring (in the main bedroom) and then knocking out some little bits of wall ... I can't wait to pop past on my way home. Seriously, it is like a massive weight has been lifted. Although my sleeping hasn't gone back to normal (haven't had a solid night yet this week).

This weekend we'll buy the paint. The new cupboards are ready to be collected. Now, this is really real. We have 17 sleeps till we've gotta be out of the rental. Hopefully we'll be home before then :)

Other than that, the rest of the week has been quiet. I went to SCM on Tuesday. I am really enjoying it again, which comes as a really pleasant surprise :) I feel like I'm rediscovering old friends, even tho I didn't have a very long break, I did skip quite regularly in the last few months.

Half of The Trucker's birthday present has arrived and is hidden in my drawer at work. Gotta find the other half still ... it is currently out of stock. Boo. And I booked our anniversary weekend away in May.

Yes, I am feeling freaking awesome this morning!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Therapy by Sebastian Fitzek

No witnesses. Twelve-year-old Josy has an inexplicable illness. She vanishes without a trace from her doctor's office during treatment. Four years later, Josy's father, psychiatrist Viktor Larenz, has withdrawn himself to an isolated North Sea island in order to deal with the tragedy. No body.

Then he's paid a surprise visit by a beautiful stranger. Anna Glass is a novelist who suffers from an unusual form of schizophrenia: all the characters she creates for her books become real to her. In her last novel she has written about a young girl with an unknown illness who has disappeared without a trace. Where is his daughter?

Can Anna's delusions describe Josy's last days? Reluctantly, Viktor agrees to take on her therapy in a final attempt to uncover the truth behind his daughter's disappearance. But very soon these sessions take a dramatic turn as the past is dragged back into the light - with terrifying consequences.

I read this quite quickly, the perks of a lazy weekend :) And I quite enjoyed it. Although it did feel like it was trying to be a bit more twisty than necessary. I didn't exactly see the ending coming, but I had a vague idea of where it was headed.

I reckon it'd make a better movie than book (said no one ever?) since there are some definite moments that have some serious movie scare-factor. But I didn't find the book particularly terrifying.

* This is one of my Featured Book Reviews, sponsored by Penguin Books.
Read more here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Yeah, I guess it was a pretty good one

Monday. Again. Yoh. Time is a very strange thing.

Anyway ... the weekend. Right. So I did call the lawyers on Friday morning after my blog post. They tell me they haven't received a single Rates Clearance Certificate ALL WEEK (our conveyancer alone has 32 outstanding!). Apparently there used to be a whole lot of people authorised to do these certificates, but then the Council discovered fraud and cut that number down to 3 (assume that's when it went from 5 days to 8 days waiting). And now they seem to have found more fraud with those 3 ... and so they are "investigating" which means they seem to not be not be issuing anything at the moment.

What a freaking balls up. And I can't even find anything online about this. It is about to have a severe impact on our lives since there is not estimated date on when they'll get the certificate at all now, and they can't lodge until they do. So we are having a special addendum drawn up on the Offer to Purchase today so that we can get our renovations going. The seller has paid all the outstanding rates, the lawyers have documented that, so I can't see that there will be anything that could go wrong at this point ... other than the freaking council, of course. Bloody Government. Such a Catch 22. Yay, they're actually doing something about the fraud, but boo that their entire service grinds to a halt. Pfft.

On Friday evening, The Trucker went to gym and I headed to the Randburg Golf Course for sundowners with @clairam and friends. Lovely way to end the afternoon. We didn't do much else in the evening.

On Saturday we had a fairly lazy morning at home, eating breakfast and clearing the old hutch (now that it's officially no longer in use) and cleaning the new one. And then we headed out to do a little house-admin. Looking at lights and getting more stuffing for our old Coricraft couch.

It didn't feel like a very productive day, actually. In fact, it wasn't a very productive weekend at all.

In the evening I decided on Rocomama's to surprise The Trucker. Wow. We'll definitely be going back. What a great little burger joint.

The menu's are order forms, nice and simple. We both had one of their Peanut Butter G-Shakes. Yumyum. And then the burgers arrive looking quite superb. You can actually see every perfect layer. I did a build-your-own and The Trucker went with the Bacon-Cheese-Guac burger.

The fries come in these cute little baskets and we were reminded of Shake Shack. Now, if only they offered Chilli-Cheese fries or Sweet Potato fries (hint, hint!!), I reckon there'd be no need to ever go anywhere else!

Delish. Go try it :)

When we got home, we watched American Hustle. Jees, Louise. What is up with Movies these days. Over 2hrs long. Yawn. Neither of us really enjoyed this movie, it definitely dragged for me ... I dunno, movies just aren't cracking it anymore for me. This was a star-studded cast but yeah, nope. I wouldn't suggest any one else sit thru it.

On Sunday, The Trucker was up and out the house before 6am for his Photography Course Practical at Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. By the time I got up and out of bed, he was on his way home. So we headed out for breakfast and got our grocery shopping done (oooh, didya see? Lindt has a new flavoured bunny and it is yummy!). And then he was off to cricket for the afternoon.

For dinner we tried something new ... remember that Cauli-rice I made before? Well, we decided to give it a try as a pasta substitute this evening. Winner. He made a spicy tomato & chorizo sauce and I made the cauli-rice. Dinner was delish and filling. We'll definitely do this again. And then he made us Peanut Butter smoothies (with Woolies Vanilla Frozen Yogurt). All round delisciousness!

So, yeah, I guess it was a pretty good one.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Fingers Crossed

Mkay, so it's Friday again. You'd think mebbe I'd have something worthwhile to say ... nope. Not this week. 2014 has been a pretty quiet year so far, it seems.

I didn't do much of anything this week. Oh, but I did go to SCM on Tuesday evening. That was good fun :) Realised I did miss it. Although I still don't see weekly attendance from me ...

And other than that? There were some Boot Camp appearances :) But mostly I have been feeling a bit blue this week. Had a fairly out-of-synch week with The Trucker, but that is all sorted now :) Was feeling a little disconnected.

Valentines day is coming up and I'm torn as to what to do. Obvs we're sticking with (my) tradition and it'll be a nice quiet dinner at home ... but which home? Should I do something in the new house? Will we have lodged by then o_0

Oh yes, there is another bone of contention right now. Clearly the first week of February (did I mention this is the *shortest* month of the year?) is pretty much over. And we haven't lodged yet. They said getting the Rates Clearance certificate usually takes about 5 working days, but the council is being a bit slow so it's taking about 8 ... but ours was paid up and requested on the 24th of January. Today is 10 working days (!!) Pfft. I have big hopes for today. Please keep your fingers and toes crossed.

We have to be out of our current place by the 01 March. This is not negotiable. If we have to move before the renovations are finished ... well, I don't really know how that'll work o_0 Not worth thinking about right now anyway. It's Friday, it's going to be a good day :)

Oh, but back to my real question ... I always make something simple and delicious for our quiet Valentines picnic ... and we have no Everson's this year (yet?). But have no inspiration on what to make. Ideas, send them my way please :)

Oh yes, I forgot ... the drama on Monday night. The Trucker had collected his niece from school, who I introduced to Fluxx, because her mom was having car trouble. And when she came to collect her, I was putting the bunnies away. Smudge still has not caught onto the "bedtime" routine so I still need to pick him up and put him away, unlike Lily who gets herded in at night. As I leaned down to pick him up, the underneath of my arm touched on what turned out to be a Slug Caterpillar. Don't worry, I'd never heard of them either! I took a photo in case we needed to go to the Emergency Room o_0 OMG It was freaking sore. For about half an hour. The Trucker dutifully inspected it while I squirmed to make sure no hairs were stuck (there were none) and lathered Germolene on. It turned an apple-sized area quite pink before returning to normal before bed. Shew. I highly recommend staying away from these beasties in future!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Martian Race by Gregory Benford

When the rocket launching the Mars Transit Vehicle into orbit explodes on the launch pad, killing four crewmen, the President announces the U.S. will redirect its energies to near-Earth projects. The manned mission to Mars is officially dead. That is until billionaire John Axelrod steps in to fund the project. Although the risks are high, several young astronauts sign on. But these new pioneers are not alone -- a European-Asian airbus will be making a similar expedition. Now the race is on to get to the fourth planet first. Both teams reach the Red Planet, but with disastrous results. Now the problem isn't who will return to Earth first, but if any of them will return at all.

So, interestingly, this was actually first published back in 1998/1999 ! Which makes it even more interesting to me, because it was recommended to me when I was chatting to @benguela about the whole Mars One thing, which currently fascinates me. Not enough to offer myself up on the one-way trip, but enough to be keeping a semi-regular eye on it and consider purchasing one of the T-Shirts while we were in America (I didn't).

So, let's consider that when this was written, 2015 and 2018 (the primary years that the story-telling takes place) were more than 10 years away ... and now we are practically on the cusp. This book is brilliant, I loved it.

It was fascinating and interesting ... and not "too Sci-Fi", as The Peeb would say.

Monday, February 03, 2014

More Rain

Yup, can you believe, it is raining again. The same sort of torrential rain we had on Friday for almost the entire day ... and didn't have this weekend, when I was home to appreciate it. Ah well.

So, it was a pretty good weekend. I started my Friday off with my first Applied Kinesiology appointment. My mom recommended it and her lady comes up to Joburg for 1 week a month. It's quite surreal.

I'm not gonna say I understand it all, and I dunno if it "works". Mine got off to a rocky start what with my body "telling" her I had some issue from a past life ... which is something I don't believe in o_0 Anyhoo.

On Friday evening we stayed in and had a very lazy night in front of the TV. Saturday we had a bit of a run-around not doing much of anything, and then I cleaned the big (old) hutch out and removed all the levels in the hopes that it would improve our in-hutch bonding process. We had great success this weekend and they are now 100% hutched together. In the new hutch even (which I was gonna wait a week or so for, but the rain got the better of that idea). Happiness most certainly is 2 happy bunnies :) Awe.

On Saturday evening we headed to Saigon in Rivonia, where I'd booked us in for a 90min Swedish massage and dinner using more of our The Entertainer vouchers for each. Makes for a superb date night, let me tell you :)

The massages were definitely an improvement on the last ones we'd had and quite relaxing. And dinner was delish! We had such Vietnam memories :) Starting with Vegetable Crystal Salad Rolls and Chicken Crispy Spring Rolls. I had the Caramelised Pepper Pork for mains and The Trucker had the Beef Hot Plate (and a serving of noodles to share). Both were very tasty! And to end off, we each had an iced Vietnamese coffee. Made with condensed milk and proper phin filters :) Lovely.

On Sunday morning, The Trucker's cricket was cancelled (okay so it did rain on Saturday night) but we were up and got our grocery shopping out of the way early because I was expecting Louisa and Nicola over a little later.

Was lovely to see them again, even tho Nicola was having a bit of a sad day ... I think it's quite tricky to explain why some animals are scared and don't want to be picked up to a 4yr old. She definitely took it personally :( But eventually all was good and it was lovely to see them both for a bit.

And The Trucker spent the rest of the day working while I didn't do much of anything ... I wasn't feeling 100% yesterday afternoon/evening.

Oh yes, and can you believe that this weekend was a year since *this*? So yesterday was officially our back-together anniversary ... Adore this boy!

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