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Honey… I’m ho-ome!

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Been there, done that, did not get the t-shirt. :)

My last post was all about my excitement over my impending visit to my daughter in Canada. Well, I’ve been, and I’m back!

The three weeks flew by, and as I got ready to head home, it felt unreal¬†that my holiday could be over already…

(Why does one always feel torn? Or is it just me? What I mean is – before I left, I was torn because I was going on holiday without my SO*, and after 3 weeks in Canada, I was torn again, this time because I would have loved staying longer to spend more time with my daughter and son-in-law, but I was missing my SO so much, I had to come home… :(

Anyway…about my trip…

I LOVED IT! :)¬† I’ve wanted to see Canada for many years, and now I’ve done it. And may I say, what a beautiful country it is! Of course I haven’t seen the WHOLE country, that would probably ( ;) ) take more than 3 weeks, but what I’ve seen has left me happy and content, because it was all that I expected, and more!

At the top of Sulphur Ridge.

At the top of Sulphur Ridge.

Besides enjoying being with Xan and Stef, and getting to know the area where they live, as well as the city of Edmonton, they spoiled me beyond any expectations, and for that I thank them from the bottom of my heart. They took time off work and drove me around all over the place! I got to go to Drumheller and see the amazing countryside around it, I was fortunate to visit the absolutely fantastic Royal Tyrrell Museum ( dinosaurs) which is well worth a visit, even if you may think you are not really into dinosaurs. And… I got to see and experience The Canadian Rockies!

Oh. My. Word.

Beyond beautiful. The beauty of it often left me speechless, and definitely in awe of the power and wonder of nature. I could go there again, and again, and again, and I will not tire of the awesome beauty. I was fortunate enough to experience these magnificent mountains from a tourist’s perspective, as well as on a more ‘personal’, intimate level, as we drove around and stopped at numerous sites, and walked and climbed to a point where I thought I was not going to make it. But I did (with a little help and encouragement from Xan & Stef!), and I’m glad I persevered. The rewards were such that I hope if I forget everything else in my old age, I will remember that.

So, thanks to my SO, my daughter and Stef, I can tick another couple of boxes on my Bucket List: Canadian Rockies – CHECK. Banff – CHECK. Jasper – CHECK.

I will not ‘check’ Canada just yet, as it is such a vast country, and I feel I need to see a bit more of it before I can say I’ve seen Canada!

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(Next time, I might write a bit about the things I found odd about Canada…)

*SO Significant Other

3,2,1!!!!!

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Up, up, and away...

Up, up, and away…

The final countdown.

Three more sleeps, and then I’m up,up and away!!!

I cannot understand how one person can be such a mess of emotions… Super-excited. Stressed. Worried. Sad. Fortunately, I’m not feeling all of that in equal measure!

I am super-excited. I’m starting to pack today, which is not something I normally do. I usually leave the packing to the last day, but this time I can’t help myself. I want to get on that ‘plane, and fly off to far-away places, and of course, to my daughter!!!!! Cannot wait to spend some quality time with her, to see where they live, and how. And of course, to explore new places (for me!) with her and her hubby.

I am stressed. I haven’t traveled on my own for a very long time, and it is a veeeeeeerrry long trip… Another reason why I am starting to pack now, is for the fear of forgetting important things, which stresses me out too. And I’ve got a few important things to do here before I go, and I’m not sure I’ll get it all done.

I’m worried. I do believe that I’m the only one that can look after my cattle the way I do! I know I’m probably wrong, but that’s just the way I feel. I’m worried to leave them and not be there if something goes wrong.

And I am a little sad. It’s sad that I have to leave my SO* here and go off on my own. He is the reason why I haven’t traveled on my own for so long. I know I will miss him terribly.

But all in all, I’m ready to go! Its been some time since I’ve been off to explore a new country, and Canada has been on my list of ‘places to see’! And I’m sure that once the wheels of the ‘plane leave the ground, I’ll be all excited, and forget to be stressed, or worried. Maybe just a little sad…

SO* Significant other

A FEW MYSTERIES… (OR NOT?)

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I find some things quite inexplicable.

For instance: I’m supposed to have 110 followers on WP (pathetically few, I know!). I write something, and 4/5 people read my blog. ??? I know that I am supposed to blog everyday and comment at least 200 times on other posts to get a huge following, but still…out of 110 supposed-to-be followers, only 4 read what I write? How does that work?

Another example: I’m busy most days, so I look forward to really relaxing in the evening after an early dinner. I start off sitting on the couch, watching TV, and I slowly slither down until I’m comfortable – completely flat on my back! I have never liked falling asleep in front of the telly, and I still don’t, so I try and go to bed when I feel my eyes refusing to stay open any longer. I get up off the couch, and drag my half-asleep body to bed. And then, when I get into bed, I’m WIDE AWAKE! Why, oh, why!!!!??

Also: I like eating regularly. At least breakfast, lunch and dinner, but my ideal is to eat a little something quite early in the morning, something mid-morning, a taste of something for lunch, and so on. But lately I don’t get around to eating this regularly. :( It is difficult for me. I then develop a hunger that cannot be described. I also get grumpier and grumpier, the longer I go without food. And then, at last, I get home and I can eat… I unpack the fridge and nibble on something while I make myself brunch – what will it be? Toast with cheese and prosciutto? Boiled eggs with toast and cheese? A full English breakfast? After being hungry for so long, I sit down with my food and tuck in. Yum! And after one slice of toast and cheese, I’m full. No. NOOOOOOOOO!!! Why?

And I’ll end with this one: after one of my very busy days, working with the cattle, I’m bone-tired, and super-filthy. On the way home I envisage myself slipping into a warm bath filled with bubbles, where I will soak for an hour, to get rid of the aching bones. Everything happens the way I imagined it, up to the point where I should lay back and relax for an hour. The minute I’ve scrubbed all the dust and cow poop off my body, I have to get out of the bath. I’ve tried and tried to lie back and relax consciously, and it works for a minute or four, and then…that’s it! Out I get! WHY???!!!!!

A bit filthy after getting stuck in the mud... :)

A bit filthy after getting stuck in the mud… :)

Discipline

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Today I am going to raise a few eyebrows, I’m sure. I am going to stray from my normal, boring, run-of-the-mill ‘what I did today’ style of blogging. I’m going to get on my soapbox about something I feel very strongly about…DISCIPLINE, OR RATHER, THE LACK THEREOF.

When I was growing up, it was the norm that children were to be seen, not heard. While I do not totally agree with this concept, what it did teach us, was never to interrupt a conversation (ie. manners). It taught us that we had very little say in everyday decisions, like what mom was going to make for dinner, whether we stayed home when mom went shopping, or went along, how to behave while shopping, and VERY important – how to talk to adults when we did get the chance, and talk to people in general.

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I wonder when it happened, and why, that parents relinquished their status as the grown-ups, the ones with the ‘power’ if you will. And I don’t mean POWER in a negative way, but I mean that the adults have the final say, for goodness’ sake! Why do children have the power to make decisions in families these days? Why do parents constantly give in to their whims, and their tantrums? They are the CHILDREN!!!! You, are the ADULTS, the mother or father, the leaders of the family. You are actually the ones to say, NO, you cannot have a toy and candy today, we are here to buy groceries. And you can roll around on the ground and shout all you want, YOU STILL WON’T GET IT!!! NO, you cannot stay up until 11 pm to watch TV, you’ve got school tomorrow. YES, you are allowed to go and visit your friend today, but be back at home by 10 pm. YES, you can go swimming, but take your sister along.Etc.

Not pretty, is  it?

Not pretty, is it?

I get the impression that parents are actually scared of their children. And make no mistake – the kids know it! WHY? Have you noticed their size? What can they actually do to you? Scream and shout? Are you afraid that they might be upset with you if you take a stand?

Can I tell you a secret? If you give in to your children all the time, if you allow them to do what they want, if you allow them to rule the roost with very few or no rules, chances are you’ve got brats for children, that nobody enjoys being around. Chances are also good that they will be no-good lay-abouts when they grow up, or worse – criminals.

Please understand – I am not saying that kids have no say in anything. Love and discipline actually go hand-in-hand. Children need love, and lots of it, but you as parents are supposed to be the ones that make rules, so children know what their boundaries are. You are the ones that have the right to make the majority of the decisions, you are after all the ones with the experience, the ones that work for your money, so you can look after your family. Act like you are the adults, and teach your children to respect you, and other people, and other people’s property.

A lack of respect for other people’s rights and property is a big problem today, that is why bullying is such a huge issue in schools these days, theft is for so many children a way of life, and education is going down the drain because children ignore teachers, and intimidate them to the point where the schools might as well close down for all the ‘education’ that happens there!

Guess what? It all starts at home. Bottom line. Don’t you dare blame the teachers, or the system. Point your finger at yourself, and lack of discipline at home.

Angry young man...

Angry young man…

<!–mo

COUNTING THE DAYS!!!

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Oh my, oh my… I am excited. Nope, that is an understatement. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself!!!! Why? – I hear you ask.

Weeeeeelllll… I AM GOING TO VISIT MY DAUGHTER IN CANADA, God willing!!!!!!! In less than a month! Yaaaayyyyyyyy!!!!!

Okay, enough exclamation marks for the moment.

My SO* is an undercover angel, I’m sure of it, because last year in August, my birthday gift from him was a trip to go and spend some time with my daughter, who has been living in Canada for the last 2 and a half years. Although my reaction was to get on the plane immediately, I had to contain myself, as a whole heap of calves were due to be born from August onward, and also summer is a notoriously difficult time when farming with cattle, so I had to wait until now. Which is pretty perfect timing if you think about it, since it will be mid-winter here, mid-summer there!

So, visa is sorted, ticket is bought, and I am due to leave for Canada on the 27th May. Big smile.

Now I have to wait…

I wonder if you remember that I told you before – I am very impatient? If you missed that blog – I am a VERY impatient person, and I hate waiting, but in this case, it is probably not a bad thing. I am busy knitting my youngest son a sweater for winter, and obviously I have to finish that before I go, since he will need it while I’m away. I also need to do a last few important things on the farm before we can ‘relax’ for winter. I am also hoping to spend some time with both my sons, and very important, I need to spend some quality time with my SO, as I know that I am going to miss him terribly…

Here is a picture of my children when my daughter was here on a whirlwind trip recently.

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SO* Significant Other

LOSS

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Hi there!

I somehow keep thinking that I’ll be able to write more often, and then when I look again, months have gone by and I’ve done absolutely nothing. What a pain!

Because I have not been writing often, I find it very difficult to find something to write about, but something that’s been on my mind lately is ‘loss‘, and how I cope/don’t cope with it.

There are, of course, different kinds of loss. Sometimes loss can be really insignificant, like losing something you’ve been working on on your computer, or a key, or your lipstick,etc. Other times the loss can be devastating, like divorce, or a child moving to another country, or losing a limb in an accident. Sometimes it’s just a bother, other times it changes your life irrevocably.

How one deals with this loss, is of course what matters.

I’ve had to say goodbye to my only daughter 2 years ago, like some of you might remember from my earlier blogs (https://zelmare.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/vitamins-please/), because she moved to Canada. It was a very difficult time for me, to adapt to her not being ’round the corner’ anymore. But I did it. I’m not saying that I don’t miss her anymore, because I do, and some days intolerably so, but I am now at the point where I can live with it. We all make choices in life – they chose to go, and I chose to accept it. If I didn’t, I would be SO much more unhappy. But it did change my life.

You might also remember that I started a new life about 3 years ago. I moved to a new town, and I started cattle farming. I discovered that I love cattle, in fact I’m very passionate about the whole cattle-farming business, and the well-being of each and every bovine on my little piece of land.

And this is where my latest struggle with loss has started.

Of course, when one works with animals, and lots of them, you have to accept that sooner or later one or more of them will die for some reason. I have found that difficult from the start, but I’ve coped with loading some onto a trailer to be taken off to the slaughter house – just. I’ve coped with the odd one here and there dying of some disease or other – barely.

But now, I’ve lost too many of these soft-eyed creatures in too short a time. I’ve had to see a cow go down in the chute, and we had to put her down after 5 days of caring for her, and trying to get her strong enough to get up and look after her calf again. Then I’ve lost the most beautiful little calf to a disease despite every effort to try and pull her through.Then one of my cows aborted for no reason. Then, one of our most beautiful young bulls was bitten by a snake.

To be honest – I’m not coping too well with these losses.

And, to top it all off, our bull, Adam, which I also introduced to you here on my blog a couple of years ago (https://zelmare.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/adam/), might also have to be put down on Monday. We found him lying in the camp last week Friday, and he has not been able to get up since. We have no idea why he went down, or why he is not getting up. We’ve treated him every which way, fed him, coaxed, prodded, pleaded. All to no avail… And he can’t lie there indefinitely. So, the deadline is Monday. :(

And I find that I can’t work through all of this at the moment. I know I have to, but right now, I don’t know how. Maybe it is because I feel that they are in my care, I’m the one that is supposed to make sure they thrive, and I’m not doing such a good job of it… And I know, a month or two from now, I’ll wonder why I was such a woos today, because I’ll have worked through it all, and I will be going forward, coping with it all.

But not today.

To plan, or not to plan…

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Somehow, very little in my life goes according to plan.

Being religious, I do believe things happen or don’t happen for a reason. And that, however much you plan, things might not go your way if your plans don’t fit in with the ‘Big Plan.’ So basically, planning doesn’t help much, except you cannot go through life without some plans – how to make a living, where to live, who to spend your life with, etc.

At the moment, I am home alone. I LOVE time alone, like most of you probably do, but sometimes the opportunity to do my own thing and be on my own, fills me with less excitement than at other times. I THINK it has to do with choice.

I love being alone when I need time to recharge, rethink, and revamp, but then I want to be able to choose that time. I am alone at the moment through absolutely no choice of my own.I HATE THAT. And when I feel like this, I find it very hard to make the most of my time alone. I feel sorry for myself instead… How pathetic is that.

Tonight is the finals of the 2014 World Cup Soccer, as you well know, and I have to watch it alone. Fun!!! :( Not only am I alone, but my SO is in Cape Town, and although he actually hates soccer, and has only followed the soccer through me, he is watching tonight with a house full of family and friends.

And the last bit that makes it worse tonight than it normally is – my youngest son was with me for 3 days, and I loved every single moment of it, but he had to leave today. I’m feeling so sorry for myself, you will not believe it!

If I could PLAN tonight, it would have been very different, believe me! And even then it probably would have a few twists and turns… :)

But hey, maybe a few glasses of wine, and I’ll feel a whole lot better! And I promise I won’t write a thing again until it’s something positive and upbeat!

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