Tag Archives: Shopping

Day 26 – some of the things that make me feel warm and fuzzy

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This is very vague, but let’s see…

My nephew hugging me when I get home in the afternoon.

My “it’s complicated” sending me more virtual kisses than I sent him.

Tastee Wheat served in bed.

Being covered with a blanket and having it tucked in around me when I’m lounging/napping on the couch.

Holding hands.

Unexpected offerings of little gifts like magazines, chocolates, flowers, etc.

When something ordered online/won is delivered and I get to tear through packaging.

Sharing cake with good friends.

Genuine compliments.

Warm, sturdy hugs that make me feel loved.

New comments on my blogs and websites.

When my website hits reaches a new milestone figure.

Being invited to events.

Great service.

That’s enough, I think :)

Day 13 – three confessions

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This is another tricky one. There are confessions, and then there are confessions. But here goes:

1. I’m secretly hoping that something will happen to solve my money troubles. Like winning the sweepstakes of the charity I support, or finding a sugar daddy who’s too busy to bother me and still tries to buy my affection, or Standard Bank as a whole being destroyed by aliens, etc.

2. I sometimes think I want to meet a guy who will sweep me off my feet and want to marry me, but the truth is I have already been swept. I just need to see a sangoma or something to try and change his mind (the sweeper, not the sangoma) about wanting to spend the rest of his life with me.

3. As much as I want to go on a shopping spree for makeup, shoes and pretty clothes, I’ve realised that the ultimate shopping experience for me would be being let loose in an Exclusive Books (preferably the one in Nelson Mandela Square or another sizable one) with a couple of trolleys and a credit card (someone else’s) with no limit. And then to rent a store room to be turned into my own private library, since I already don’t have space for all my books, with a comfy char, etc. that could be my happy place on weekends.

 

Day 2 – 10 likes and dislikes

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I couldn’t have chosen an easy challenge, eh? Oh well. Let’s see… Starting with the dislikes:

  1. People who lie. Yes it’s a cliche, but it’s also a huge pain in the backside, and not very nice.
  2. Liquorice. Just ick.
  3. Brussel sprouts. Beyond ick.
  4. Camping. I’m curious about glamping, but I’m generally not much of an outdoor enthusiast.
  5. Water. It really doesn’t taste, well, like anything. Despite this, I try to drink at least 750ml plain water a day. Not so easy during winter.
  6. My current situation, specifically relating to work. But what doesn’t kill me makes me stranger – if that’s at all possible!
  7. Not being able to shop, treat myself for breakfast/lunch on Saturday mornings, and other unpleasantnessess related to my debt and consequent frugality.
  8. Cough syrup and throat lozenges. Loads of sugar and I don’t see the point. How is something that goes straight to my tummy supposed to make my lungs feel better and keep me from coughing up bits of it? Not to mention the revolting taste. May I just say “ICK!”
  9. Driving in Jo’burg. I do it every working day, and the afternoon traffic is enough to drive people around the bend. And I find it absolutely appalling the way bus and taxi drivers are so reckless with their charges’ lives.
  10. Meetings. I generally find them pointless and utterly unproductive. There are exceptions, but the majority? Meh.

And the nice, happy, likey things:

  1. Cake. Obviously. I didn’t get soft around the edges from carrots. Although I like carrots too. But not that much.
  2. Books. Reading, writing (I have so many notebooks that I feel to sorry to write in), audio books, e-books, good old, old-fashioned paper and ink books (they smell the best :))
  3. My friends. I have THE BEST friends. Ever! I don’t have many, but they rock. I like them a whole lot.
  4. Shopping. Or at least, I used to. I’m pretty sure I like it still, but I can’t remember. It’s been a while…
  5. Sleeping. Again, I think I do. I have not been able to do much of that lately either, but I do like being lazy in my bed. Preferably with my eyes closed and my mind occupied with the wonderful and weird dreams I often have. I miss you 8-hours-a-night!
  6. My BlackBerry. And my iPad. And my laptop, external hard drive and most things gadgety.
  7. Chocolates. Not as much as cake. But more than carrots.
  8. Shoes – high heels in particular. Mostly to look at. Sometimes to wear, but not that often. Wonky back and all that, you know?
  9. Jeans. Is there any item of clothing more versatile, comfortable, flattering (if you actually manage to find something for a soft-around-the-edges body that fits properly). I happily wear them all year round.
  10. Zombie everything. Plants vs Zombies, Zombie Farm, remember last year’s zombie calendar? Books about zombies, Pride & Prejudice & Zombie notebooks (currently serving as my headache diary, as I thought is rather apt).

Hold on, cowboys! Only 28 more posts like these. Aren’t you excited?

Warming up to a new home

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So it turns out my mother’s never had a kitchen tea, and as a result we’ve decided to throw one of those instead of a conventional housewarming when we move into her new flat (which has not progressed much to date).

I’ll whisk her off to Menlyn against her will one Saturday morning to sign up for a gift registry at every home ware shop we come across, which we will then send out to everyone in our address books.  And ask all of those people to forward it on to everyone in their address books.

You see, we have no pots/pans, cutlery, mugs, glasses, plates… we pretty much have our clothes. And a few bits of furniture. We’d both like new beds, but I’m not sure I’ll have space in my new room for a bigger bed, so I’ll settle for a new mattress.

But for the time being we wait (not so) patiently for the plans to be approved, the inspector to give the thumbs up, so we can build our new home.

Stupid universe

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Stupid former sister in law. Stupid former father. Stupid life. Stupid stupid.

Every time I develop the intention of saving a bit of money, something happens. If it’s not the x-rays and doctors’ bills that fall into my self-payment gap, it’s a gross wardrobe failure, necessitating the urgent scheduling of a bit of essential and expensive shopping. Except, without the backup of a credit card, neither the shopping nor the payment of bills have happened yet, although arrangements have been made to pay the x-rays over three months. (I’m still anxiously awaiting the shock of two orthopaedic consultation bills.)

Meanwhile my mom was happily planning on buying the bath for our new flat, when she received news that a) the settlement amount on our home is about R20 000 more than she planned and b) she needs to pay close to R3 000 to the social worker assigned to my nephew’s case. Because my brother’s first wife is a fucking bitch (FB). There, I said it.

The social worker told both my brother and the FB that neither of them are allowed to tell my nephew the outcome of the mediation; that the social worker will tell him when his parents go in to sign the parenting plan. And then FB told him the morning before they signed. I feel she should pay that R550 penalty because SHE broke the rules. She also refused to drive with my mom to the social worker’s office, saying she’ll get in the car with anyone but my mom. I contemplated taking to Twitter to find her a chauffeur for the day. In the end the social worker went to FB’s home, charging an additional R790 (which I feel that miserable cow should pay for too). And for going through the plan again to ensure everyone’s familiar with the content, she charged the balance of the money my mom has to pay. And despite the plan stating that no party is allowed to bad mouth the party or their extended families, FB has got plenty nasty and untrue things to say about my mom to my nephew. There should be a fine for that too, but she’s so stingy, trying to get any money out of her is simply pissing in the wind. Have I mentioned she’s a fucking bitch?

So ja. Mom and I are both a little down in the dumps while I shake my fist at the universe, demanding… well, I don’t demand. But dammit, we need a break from all this misery!

Another emotional rollercoaster

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Last Wednesday I went to see the orthopaedic surgeon about the constant and rather debilitating pain sprouting from my lower back again for the last three or so months. After some pulling, prodding, twisting and x-rays, the diagnosis was an inflamed nerve. Something about Schmorl’s nodes on L1 and L2. Dispatched with a script for seriously hectic pain killers (specific for this neuropathy) and a week-long course of cortisone, as well as instructions to return in three weeks. I ended up locking my car’s keys still in the ignition (terrible and recently often recurring habit) when I stopped to pick up meds.

A week later I can report the following: despite strange and unusual shooting pains on the right side of lower back on Sunday night/Monday morning, I have not experienced any significant pain in my back or left leg since Saturday; x-rays are bloody expensive, and since my medical aid isn’t paying for it, I’ve fortunately been able to arrange to pay for it over three months; did not take any Lyrica last night – just to see how the pain is doing underneath all the chemicals and because I’d like to spend a day not feeling hazy; this is the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced in my life. The last bit is relevant because the colder it gets, the worse my back spasms and my leg hurts. I’ve also noticed that despite it being pain free, I often still rub my leg, just above the knee, usually when I’m feeling emotionally unbalanced. Except for now. I’m rubbing the knee because the pain is definitely still there under the Lyrica-induced relief.

Over the weekend mom and I bought some groceries (in bulk from Makro). In hindsight, my mom has had some panic attacks at the thought of how much money we spent. Considering that for the past 11 months she’s been mostly living of bread and tomato sauce, I can see how this was a shock for her. I did try to keep expenses down by choosing moderate amounts, rather than big amounts, but she chose the 9kg washing powder when I considered the 5kg, etc. So yes, we (she) spent more than what I was aiming for. For my part I spent bit at the butchery, but my days are long and cold, and I have no desire to go hungry, or in good conscience, let my mother go hungry either. How we’re going to make it to the end of the month, I’m not sure. It’s times like these that I miss the false security of credit cards, overdrafts, revolving credit, etc. It has been almost two months since I gave all of that up, and will be paying for it for about another six years (unless some miracle happens). If I still had my trusty Visa I’d have bought for the groceries without blinking. I have no desire to buy clothes or shoes or anything frivolous like that (although I need a few winter tops, evidently – after three years the couple of shirts I have are a little worse for wear, and have I mentioned that this is the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced?). I’d spend money to feed us.

Last night, after mom recovered from her panic attack and told me that when we move into our new flat there are likely to be no cupboards, no floor coverings and that the only room finished will be the bathroom, it was my turn to have an attack of conscience. I’m worried that moving into an unfinished place will mean we never finish it; at the very least not in a way that my mom wanted, and this was her chance to get her own little dream place. But she had to modify her plans to ensure that there is a room for me, because I’m too pathetic to take care of myself like someone of my age is supposed to. So the larger flat is going to cost more than what she’ll have left from the sale of the house (which seems to be going fine – oh, I never blogged that; the house has been sold, and plans for the flat will hopefully be submitted no later than next week. This means we’ll be moving in with my brother and his family at the end of the month at the latest).

And so I started my “everything would be so much better if I were no more” cycle of thinking. Because I’d not have to worry about medical expenses, painful limbs, thinning hair, uneven skin tone (when I get depressed, I get depressed about *everything* in my life that’s wrong); I’d not be the reason my mother spends thousands on groceries, or several thousands more on modifying her new home. In fact, if she were to get her portion of my life insurance designated to her, she’ll be able to pay for everything relating to her new place without a second thought. Similarly, my best friend would not have to borrow money against his car and work through the night to try and make ends meet.

But here I am. Pouring my misery into a blog post instead. And because I have no choice but carry on, I’m pondering how to make changes to what has become a stifling routine.  Or maybe I should just carry on and risk death by boredom.

The downside of weight loss

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Before I moved to Johannesburg, I cleaned out my cupboards and chucked everything I haven’t worn in years. My tendency to insulin resistance has led to my weight climbing sneakily and although there was a time where I weighed less but looked infinitely worse, my dress size became one I was very ashamed of. Of course, being tall helps and the few people who do know what size I wore were genuinely surprised by the number. I didn’t for a moment think I’d need my “skinny” clothes again.

When returning to Jhb after the Festive Season, I decided that a drastic change is in order. So starting on 10 January, I did a two-week extreme weight loss kick-start, by cutting out carbs in all shape of forms. That lifestyle is by no means healthy or sustainable, and I decided to choose my carbs carefully. I made a radical cut in the amount of sugar I consumed: no more soft drinks other than Sprite Zero (mostly as a treat over weekends); two teaspoons of sugar in my coffee and tea (when honey is not available), as opposed to the usual four; diluted fruit squash (just enough to make water taste more bearable). Breakfast is mostly protein based, and lunch features whole wheat pasta or brown rice with lean protein and mixed veg. Dinner doesn’t happen real often, and is usually little more than a handful of rice crackers and a cup of instant soup.

In 14 weeks I’ve lost a total of six and a half kilograms. That’s 700 g more than my first target, three and a half kilos from my second target, and nine and a half kilos from my ultimate target. That is a lot of weight to shift still. And I’ve come to realise that weight is just a number. Why? Because the real change is in my body; this is both good and bad.

The good is the confidence that steadily increases every time I try something on from the very back of my cupboard; something gorgeous, but just a little too tight in places. Now it fits perfectly. Well, mostly. My winter wardrobe is no longer constituted of jeans alone – two pairs of black pants and one lovely green pair now fits my curves – and that is good, but also bad. I only have three pairs of jeans that fit at the moment (something very unusual as it is my wardrobe staple), and they are starting to get a little too loose around the waist.

That brings me to the bad. Last winter I only bought a couple of long-sleeved tee-shirts to wear with my jeans under short-sleeved tee-shirts. This year I’ll have to buy at least two new pairs of jeans, at least two new bras, and in all likelihood a new winter coat/jacket/blazer. For me, finding the perfect pair of jeans is an absolute nightmare. I’ve thought about trying something other than my trusted wide-leg option, as I am more confident about showing off my legs, but I still have doubts. And although this is a versatile basic in any wardrobe, jeans tend to be a little pricey. Still, probably not as expensive as my preferred brand of female support: La Senza. I just love the quality of their bras. Their strapless bras (which come with removable pads, fabric and translucent straps last time I bought a pair) and their t-shirt bras (offering great cover and wider straps for curvier girls) are the best. I usually buy each style in both black and nude. I should at this stage perhaps mention that I’m not as particular about the sexy lacy numbers in my cupboard, since their function is mostly seduction, and when they do get worn (which isn’t often), they don’t stay on long. The exception is the exquisite designer lace corset I bought a few years ago.

So as much as I was hoping to treat myself to a pair of new boots this winter (if my feet are cold there’s no warming me up), I suppose I need to get my priorities straight. I was looking forward to buying new clothes once I’ve gotten to a stage where I’m content with my body – which is still a bit of a way off – but this in betweenness is not making me happy. At the same time I’m not too keen on wearing slouchy oversized clothes – not only does it make me look neglected, it keeps me from seeing my amazing transforming body and keeping me motivated.

Now that I’ve gotten my sulk in writing, I shall put it aside and do what needs to be done, when I’m able to do it. Eye on the big picture, so to speak, and all.