Facing The Music

After our busy week last week Norm and I were quite happy to have a quiet night in last Friday. Norm made a delicious low carb cottage pie using cauliflower mash instead of potatoes. He topped it all with a thick layer of mature cheddar. To go with it he served baby zucchini fried in butter.

It was nice to have home cooked food on a Friday as we normally have a take away. Norm is getting pretty impressive with his cooking skills!

After dinner we started watching the People vs. O.J. Simpson docudrama which was shown a while back in the US and garnered great reviews. It is part of the American Crime Story series and I intend to watch some of the other ones after this is finished. We found it funny that even though we knew a lot of the info around this case we were still in suspense. I think the acting is brilliant. We finished the series on Tuesday night as we devoured it.

The weather reports had been predicting rain for Friday and as we were relaxing a call came in over the radio asking for assistance so Norm got dressed and headed out. As he left the sky opened and it poured with rain for several hours.

I thank the Cloud spirits and the Water spirits for blessing us with such abundance.

While Norm was out I looked for something on Netflix to keep me amused on my own. I spotted that they have done a new series of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, this time branding it simply ‘Queer Eye‘. I did enjoy it but they jerk the heart strings and I’m too much of a bawler to watch many of those without getting too sad.

Saturday morning I had an appointment at the hairdresser in the city centre. I was lucky and got parking nearby on Long Street so I only had one near death experience walking across the chaotic traffic. Pause is such an airy gorgeous venue and I joined the throngs waiting for the lovely Leandra to work her magic.

Due to the drought most people are only washing their hair once a week. It is a bit of a bonus when that once a week falls on the day you get your hair washed at the hairdresser. I did not have a cut this time, we just did a half head of colour to cover my roots.

When I got home I asked Norm if he fancied going out for a late pub lunch and then skipping dinner. He agreed and so I waited for him to shower and then we headed out to the Woodcutters Arms in Hout Bay. It was a warm sunny day with a wee bit of wind but we found a table in the beer garden and we settled in.

We ordered drinks and noticed that they had changed their menu and added on a few new items, however we were not tempted to stray from our usual starters and so we did not. I had the jalapeno cheddar cigars and Norm had the Scotch Egg.

The chicken burger I normally order was gone from the menu however and so I chose another starter as a main, the Popcorn Chicken. I just ordered a portion of fries to go with it.

The chicken was nicely moist and not over cooked. The sauce was really bitter. Not sure what was going on there but it was inedible. I just used my tomato sauce I was given for the fries instead as a ‘dip’.

Norm ordered the Fish and Chips with mushy peas. He encountered a lot of bones when eating it but it was a nice large piece of fish and he did not seem to mind the bones.

I had spotted one item on the menu which was new. There was a peanut butter and popcorn sundae. I can’t get the exact name and description as it is not yet on their website. But it was a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream and another flavour I could not quite identify and there was a swirl of peanut butter sauce on the top and the bottom of the sundae. Peanut butter and popcorn are 2 of my favourite things and I was not disappointed in this tasty little pot of sinful deliciousness.

After we finished eating we headed home so that Norm could take the pups out for their daily constitutional. We just had a relaxing evening at home that night.

On Sunday we had invited Caitlin’s childhood friend Lee and his mom Carla over for lunch. Lee is wanting to set up an NGO and Norm has a lot of knowledge in that area so he has offered to assist Lee. Norm and I got up early to tidy up the back garden and Norm did a shop for us. We kept it simple and just did salads and grilled meat. It was a really hot afternoon but it was enjoyable company so we did not mind too much.

When driving to work on Monday morning I heard that there had been yet another fire in the township in Hout Bay. A firefighter was stabbed by a resident while he was battling the blaze. This is such a bizarre thing which happens in the townships sometimes, the very people coming to assist are then attacked. I have blogged about this from an ambulance point of view but it appears to be wider spread than I understood.

Later that day we also heard about a group of girls who had been raped by four men at the beach in the wee hours of the morning. The girls were parked at the beach and these 4 men attacked them. The alleged rapists were all caught which is at least some comfort.

It is not all doom and gloom and bad news however as we just heard that Day Zero has been pushed back to June! The drought has also finally been declared a national disaster so this should free up some funding. According to the statement released by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the government will “strengthen and support the disaster management structures to implement contingency plans and ensure that immediate relief, recovery and reconstruction measures are put in place to enable the national executive to effectively deal with the effects of this disaster”.

The three provinces – the Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape – have already been declared provincial disasters and now they will all be declared national disasters.

On a global scale water scarcity is a huge issue.

In its most recent data (2014), the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said 45 countries were experiencing water shortages, defined as less than a thousand cubic metres (one million litres) per person a year. They include South Africa, Cyprus and Morocco.

The UN’s climate science panel, the IPCC, said in a 2014 report that for every degree Celsius of global warming, about seven percent of the world’s population will see a drop of at least 20 percent in renewable water resources.

Pollution and global warming as well as the population explosions over the last few decades have led us to a dangerous point regarding the resources we need in order to survive.

This week has also been full of some brilliant live music. Both compliments of Cafe Roux, but one was in the city centre branch and the other at the Noordhoek branch.

On Tuesday night Norm and I booked to go to see his former colleague Mae Sithole perform with her band at the Cafe Roux branch in the Cape Town city centre. I love how they make sure that the audience is there to listen and not whitter on to their pals.

We had the best seats in the house. We were on a raised platform at the back of the room and we had a brilliant view of the stage. After we sat down we both started to cough and I had a major sneezing attack. Our waiter, Maya, told us that there had been a fight in a club up the street and the bouncers had used pepper spray to break it up. The intense wind meant that it blew into the other bars down the street and we were all choking. They turned on the air con on high and eventually it dispersed but I would hate to imagine what it was like closer up!

We each ordered a drink to calm our sinus passages and then ordered some food.

Norm ordered the butternut ravioli with sage butter sauce. He really enjoyed this and raved about it.

I ordered a pizza as the menu said they make their own bases and the toppings for the Mexican pizza sounded yummy. I was not disappointed, they do nice thin crispy pizzas with plenty of toppings. I loved the fresh coriander.

To give you a taste, I found this video of Mae performing a while back on the Expresso Morning Show.

Mae’s live performance in Cafe Roux was much more passionate. But appearing at 7am on telly might lead one to be a bit less enthusiastic in their delivery.

Mae’s rendition of Jailer had everyone in the venue on their feet shaking it and singing along with her.

I love this video which was filmed on the streets of Cape Town. It will give you a feel for our city’s vibes as well as Mae’s.

And this is one of my favourite songs of hers which was filmed at UCT, the University where I am currently consulting. I wonder did she write this song about her and her German origin husband Joerg meeting and falling in love?

We chatted to Joerg before the performance and he was telling us about their wedding and his need to pay lobola or a bridal dowry as is customary in many African cultures. I think that Mae is Shona as she is from Zimbabwe. Joerg paid 8 cows for the privilege of Mae’s hand in marriage. As she is such a beauty with an amazing voice and a few University degrees under her belt, I think he got a bargain.

The staff, the comfy seating, the food, the venue, the performance were all brilliant. The only debit was getting slightly pepper sprayed, however that is not the fault of the venue.

I will give the evening a full on 5 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

After the performance ended we joined the crowds trying to greet Mae and exit the venue. We gave her a congratulatory hug on our way past and we went out onto Shortmarket Street to walk to our car and saw that it was pouring with rain! Giant fat raindrops were falling, with thunder and lightening making a rather spectacular show above us. Normally we would run to avoid getting drenched but I was quite happy to revel in it. It poured with rain all the way home and we were so happy, we just hoped that the weather was not upsetting the pups at home but our dogs are never bothered by loud noises such as storms or fireworks. Norm has been walking them while it was storming over head before and they were not in the least bit fazed.

The following day was Valentine’s Day. Norm and I never exchange gifts but I was surprised by stunning flowers when I got in from work.

He had left the sweetest handwritten message on my card.

I am such a lucky girl. ❤️

We did book to go for a night out however. We booked at the Cafe Roux Noordhoek venue for dinner and to see Alice Phoebe Lou. The show was sold out so I am glad we booked in advance.

When we arrived at Noordhoek Village we were rather surprised that there were huge numbers of people milling around. There was no parking so Norm dropped me at the venue and went to park and I went through to get our seats.

We then discovered that there was a market on. Every Wednesday there is the Village Market from 4-8pm. It looked like a lovely market, however it was directly adjacent to the venue where the music was being played and the noises from the market stalls and the people who were attending it was rather overbearing and we struggled to hear each other or the music when it started.

When Norm dropped me I had first been escorted over to sit in the middle of a picnic table where there were already 2 other couples sitting. I had been having issues with my back for a few days so I was not keen on not having a seat with a back to lean on and when the waiter came over after Norm arrived and offered us a table on the perimeter of the venue which did have a back to the seats we gladly abandoned our new friends and moved over to the other table.

We ordered our food which came pretty quickly. I chose the pulled pork which came on a seeded bun with coleslaw and fries. I did not eat the bun but I did have most of the fries.

Norm ordered the cheddar cheese burger which was really messy but he seemed to enjoy it.

Alice came on at about 8.30. She was performing on the opposite side of the courtyard to where we were seated but we could see her OK.

However people would get food from the market behind us and then come and sit on the wall of the bench we were seated on and yammer on loudly. I shushed a few of them and glared at the rest but it was really distracting.

I found a video of Alice performing one of the songs from her last CD so you can hear her.

And this contains some of the songs she sang last night.

Alice has a lovely voice but she spent a lot of time talking to us and in some instances even lecturing us about one subject or another. She was a bit rambling in her conversation and somewhat distracted. She even forgot the lyrics a few times. As a result of that and the background noise I will only give the night 3 Kitten Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Later that day we heard the horrific news from the USA of yet another school massacre, this one being the worst since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. This is also the 18th school shooting in the US since the start of this year only.

Let that sink in. In six weeks there have been 18 shootings which have occurred at a school. I am so glad I do not have children attending an American school.

However my sadness was somewhat alleviated by the resignation of our president Jacob Zuma. In typical Zuma fashion, he was very late for his own scheduled media appointment. If you can endure listening to his illiterate ramblings and bizarre speech patterns I have embedded the video below.

He jumped ship before the vote of no confidence could occur that was tabled for the next morning in Parliament. Jerking around the bollock deficient ANC and the rest of the country right up to the last minute.

I have my doubts about the proposed new President Cyril Ramaphosa because of the history of his involvement in the Marikana tragedy. I hope as the president he learns to put his constituents ahead of his bank balance. That concept seemed to be a challenge for the last president.

I hope that South Africa can recover from the damage done by Zuma. I also hope that he and the cronies who assisted him in raping our country will be brought to task and justice will be served.

On a more personal level I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. I have another busy one scheduled. But of course, you will hear all about it soon enough.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo

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Mni Wiconi – Water is Life

On Sunday my drumming circle had an all day dance for rain. Norm and I had a lazy day on Saturday as I knew that Sunday would be exhausting and I wanted to be well rested in order to give all of my energy to the drumming.

Norm and I decided to just get a take away and I opted for my fave pizza from Massimo’s.

Lily, Josh and his Dad were at the track all day Saturday and Josh won his race so they were in a festive mood when they got home that night around 7pm. We all sat outside when they arrived home and enjoyed the cooler evening air.

Sunday morning I was up by 6.30 as I was wide awake and excited for the dance. I dressed in a long dress with sleeves as you must show modesty and respect when in a mixed gender ceremony. I packed up my own lunch and a salad and a french stick to contribute to the evening communal meal. I took my own drum, but we all drummed using the one large communal drum.

#Drum #drumming #nativeamerican #Cherokee #indigenous ❤️

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I was not sure how many drummers might be there and whether we would all fit around the large drum but as the drummers kept changing in number as people arrived and left throughout the day it was fine. There were about 30 people there in total between the dancers, the drummers and the people who were in charge of managing the ceremony. The supporters and drummers varied, only some of us stayed all day.

The dance was held at Sacred Ibis which hosts many different events that are open to public attendance. It is a lovely calm space and feels like you are out in the middle of the country instead of less than 5 minutes from my front door.

When I arrived they were still setting things up and getting organised.  I headed down to the field where they had already set up the drum and the arbour which is the area where the dancers dance.

The arbour for our dance yesterday ❤️

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In the centre of the arbour was a large tree which was being used to symbolise the Tree of Life. The dancers would place their prayer ties on this tree and pray to Mother Earth at the tree.

Before anyone enters the arbour they must be smudged with the smoke from burning sage and a prayer said. All of the items used in the ceremony are also smudged. All day there is a designated smudger who goes around the dancers and smudges throughout the day in order to keep the energy pure.

Once the dancers have been smudged they are to remain separate from any one else and must remain in the dance or rest areas. The dancers were instructed to fast from the previous night. They have no food or water throughout the day and the dancing is hot and tiring. It is a real sacrifice.

Once the arbour is dressed, no one may enter except the dancers or the people who are part of the ceremony. The arbour is an open structure made of poles with string woven between them to form a circle. The design is based on the same concept as a medicine wheel. There are openings to each of the 4 directions. Prayer ties and crystals mark each of the gates.

Before the dance the elders must set the intention. The intention for this dance was defined as: “The only thing we truly “own” and that we can give in return for the Abundance that Mother Earth gives to us, is our bodies. For that reason, we fast, dance, sing, drum and pray, giving ourselves fully to Spirit and the Tree of Life, in complete focus and devotion.

This One Day Dance is in love, honour and gratitude of the Water, holding the prayer that our dams be replenished in Cape Town soon. Mni Wiconi – Water is Life.

Dance To Heal The Earth is about Restoring the Balance of Life – the Sacred Feminine and Masculine, in Respect, Honour and Healing for Mother Earth and All Our Relations. It’s important to come with an attitude of humility, and a sincere desire to give of ourselves in sacrifice for all the ways that humans have desecrated the Earth. We seek forgiveness for our human family; awareness of and connection with All Our Relations, in order to understand how we may better serve them; and celebration of Life by honouring the Tree of Life.”

There are 5 rounds of dance with the drummers calling in the procession of dancers. There are two rounds of sweat lodge for the dancers where they pray and call in the spirits and guides. The first is the Brush Off Sweat to brush off worldly energies, cares and worries. The last round of the event is a Gratitude Lodge where they give thanks to the spirits and ancestors who joined into the celebration and express their gratitude of the experience.

After each round there is a Pipe Ceremony. The dancers held their ceremony down in the lower fields in the sweat lodge area, under a group of trees, the drummers and supporters held ours in a seated area near the farmhouse under the shade of a giant tree. The Pipe Ceremony is also part of the event, each of the participants pray and give thanks for the day and for being allowed to participate. I prayed for water in abundance.

While the drummers were conducting our Pipe Ceremony we could hear songs being sung in Imazamo Yethu cascading across the valley. It was such a special sound. One of the men there said that it sounded like a Xhosa wedding celebration song as it seemed to be a call and response format with the Lead Man calling and the remainder of the men repeating, then the Lead Woman singing and the women responding. It was so beautiful. I wondered if they could hear our drumming and singing too and what they thought about it.

This is one of the songs we sing, we sing in multiple languages. This song is in Japanese I think.

And we sang the Water Song as well, we sing it at a faster pace which is more suitable for drumming.

The lyrics are “Ne-be Gee Zah- gay- e- goo Gee Me-gwetch -wayn ne- me — goo Gee Zah Wayn ne- me- goo”. Translated to English you see that the words are very appropriate for the ceremony we were conducting:

“Water, we love you. We thank you. We respect you.”

There are 5 rounds of dance in total. With the 2 sweat lodges and the pipe ceremonies added in it is a very long day.

While we were in ceremony the energy was amazing. We could see so many birds circling our ceremony. Thank you to all the birds that came swallows, doves, hawks and the 7 eagles that made the infinity sign over the Dance. A huge white butterfly flew into our drumming circle and skimmed across my head and then swooped down into the circle and flew off to sit on a nearby bush. The butterfly represents transformation and the world is in such a state of transition this is no surprise. It gave me chills.

When the dancers went into the lodge to do the Gratitude Sweat, the drummers all went up to prepare the feast. Everyone brings a vegetarian dish of some sort to contribute and it all gets laid out at the end for us to nosh on.

After the final sweat is completed, the dancers come out of the lodge and the drummers and supporters join them. We all stood in a circle around the fire pit and we were each given a string of prayer ties. Prayer ties look like little ghosts tied on strings to me. They are squares of fabric which have a pocket of tobacco put into the center and are then tied with string. I did not take any pics of my own as phones were banned, however I found this pic which looks exactly like the ones we made.

Most of ours were bright yellow, the colour of turmeric as turmeric was used to dye many of them. Saffron-hued Buddhist robes are dyed with turmeric. Turmeric has been used for centuries in many different cultures. The followers of the Hindu religion see turmeric as auspicious and sacred and use it as part of their bridal ceremonies. Ayurvedic medicine has used it for centuries as well.

We all went into the circle one at a time and dropped our prayer ties into the fire pit and we all said whatever word that came to us. Mine was ‘Abundance’.

After the burning of the ties we all went back into the dance arbour and had a final round of Pipe Ceremony and then we had a closing prayer where we released the ancestors and spirits who came to join us and we gave thanks to them all and to the 6 directions. We gave thanks and praise to the Spirits and the Ancestors, first to the Centre, then to Mother Earth below, then to the East and the South, the West and finally to the North.

After the closing ceremony the procession was led up the hill to the farmhouse where the food was waiting for the fasting dancers. The dancers were allowed to fill up their plates and find seats and then the rest of us had a bite to eat. Everyone was very tired but glowing with the energy we had created.

By the time I got home it was after 7pm and I was completely finished. My legs ached from standing, my arms ached from drumming and my voice was rough from singing.

All I have to give to Mother Earth is my body and I give of this gladly to praise her for our lives and provision of the sustenance we need and to request that we are blessed with abundance of water.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxox

Shadows

The hot weather has continued but despite the mugginess in the air promising us rain it has been scarce. We received a few drizzles again on Friday, we are so thankful to the Water Spirits and the Cloud Spirits. I pray that they distribute water liberally over our dams. I would so rejoice if we had a weekend of rain. I’m trying to practice gratitude for the water we do have rather than stressing and focusing on the scarcity of it. Keeping a positive gratitude is the aim.

We have a houseful this weekend which is lovely. Josh is racing this weekend and Lily and his Dad David came down to stay for the weekend.

Last night we had a braai. It was windy but we were sheltered at the back of the house. Norm cooked chicken sausage, steaks and chicken kebabs and Lily and I made cole slaw and there was potato salad from woolies. Lily made garlic butter for the mushrooms and Norm cooked them on the grill.

Last weekend when Norm and I were at Pick n Pay they had an excellent special on Brie and Camembert and so we picked up some Brie. On Wednesday evening Norm braaied 2 fillet steaks for the 3 of us as I was going to slice them that was enough meat. I put the Brie into some oven proof dishes and drizzled them all with honey and Norm popped those on the top shelf of the gas braai while the steaks cooked. I made a big salad of spinach, cabbage, carrots, cucumber & tomato and for the meat and I made a sauce by chucking in a preserved fig, a green chili, a big shot of lemon juice, a glug of vinegar and some honey and blitzing it until smooth. To serve I sliced the meat and rubbed it with the sauce and lay it across the salad and served a little bowl of it for adding to the salad.

OMG this was so good!

I will try to recreate that again but as I never measure anything my dishes are never consistent. But I try to not get too hung up about that.

I have written before about mindfulness and that I am trying to focus on being in the present and conscious of my internal dialogues. A friend mentioned the work of Tara Brach on The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine website. I subscribed to the site and they have sent me some videos on deepening our connections to others. You can click that link and sign up to the site and watch yourself. I really recommend it.

I also recommend subscribing to Tara’s YouTube channel.

Tara talks about the need for self-acceptance and how lack of this can interfere in our ability to form intimate bonds and relationships with others. I strongly identify with this as I have self confidence issues. People always find this surprising as I have no issues with stating my opinion and to those who do not know me well, I appear to be a confident extrovert. In reality I have this inner voice constantly telling me I am not good enough, that I am inadequate in many of the ‘roles’ I play, from my career to parenting to marriage to just being a woman.

In today’s culture women over 50 are invisible and are often deemed not worthy of attention. In many cultures women are not valued at all regardless of their age. If you have wrinkles or are overweight, you are bombarded with millions of media images of perfection and this can impact your self esteem. With the influx of stories about women being victimized by men and then not believed and even worse of those violators not being taken to task for those violations deepens these feelings of being undervalued.

The first video from Tara is discussing ‘How to Shift from Self-Criticism to Self-Acceptance and Love’.

It is impossible to feel negative about ourselves and still form a strong bond with another person. The two are mutually exclusive.

The second video is discussing ‘How Self-Acceptance Rewires the Brain for Deeper Connection’.

Three points which Tara mentions as a way to help us change our sense of self are:

  1. Learn to Observe your own thoughts. (Mindfulness)
  2. Mindfully Feel your feelings.
  3. Offer a gesture of care to your inner self.

The idea that Tara puts out there is that what we hide from others (and often even hide from our own conscious thoughts) can block us from forming deep bonds.  Hiding what you do not like about yourself impacts upon your ability to have a healthy relationship with another.

This is aligned to what I have been reading from Jung about the shadow archetypes. Jung believed that the Shadow archetype represents all that we are ashamed of, all that we do not like about ourselves and all that we keep secret, the unconscious parts of ourselves which we repress. As long as we repress this part of ourselves we cannot grow into a complete mentally healthy person. We have to become conscious of this aspect of ourselves and bring it into the light. Jung’s philosophy is that the act of making the shadow conscious is the starting point towards psychic health and individuation.

It is not the same as the Cherokee concept of the Shadow Walker. A shadow walker is someone who can walk the line between light and dark, life and death. So both conceptually refer to a division in the person, but very different in actuality.

Many therapists and psychologists believe that shame is the root of most addictions. Addictions in turn can then become part of our shadow self and something that we hide. We also hide various other behaviours which in turn can lead to deep feelings of shame and self loathing.

The 12 Step recovery groups have a slogan ‘we are only as sick as our secrets’. This refers to the idea that feelings of shame and regret about actions taken while not in recovery can quickly derail a person in their attempts to get clean or sober.

For me I know that my issue is around both self acceptance of my physical self and my strong personality.

Aging and weight loss have riddled my body with bags, sags and lumps and bumps. This makes me so self conscious that I cringe at the idea of anyone seeing me undressed, even my darling loving husband who loves me unconditionally whatever my weight.

This is not HIS issue or HIS feeling of revulsion I am experiencing, it is just a thought in my head. I do not have to buy into that thought, I can choose to let it go.

So for me to implement the 3 step guidance that Tara gave in the second video I will need to first witness the voices in my head and listen to what they are saying. To acknowledge that these are just my self destructive thoughts and they only exist in my own head, these are not what anyone else is feeling.

Secondly, I need to name the feelings which are triggered by these thoughts. Am I feeling shame that I have taken so little care of my physical shell? Am I feeling embarrassed that I am not toned and sleek? Am I feeling other emotions? What are they?

Labeling these emotions activates a different area of our brain. We need to think of the emotions as waves and let them just roll over us while mindfully acknowledging our suffering.

For an empath, the need to ‘dampen’ down our deep wells of emotion is a survival instinct. If we allow ‘in’ everything and tap into some of that energy it can be incredibly overwhelming and even depressing. We need to learn the skills to master it and not allow it to ‘stick with us’. To feel the empathy but not let it overwhelm us.

The third step is to offer comfort to ourselves. Tara suggested closing your eyes, putting your hand on your heart and offering emotional and even verbal comfort to yourself. When something which causes us pain rises, to even verbalise ‘ouch’.

Imagine the joy of yourself healing from these useless negative emotions.

To move away from self judgement to self acceptance is the goal.

An easy way for most of us to relate is regarding dieting or food issues in general. We set a goal for ourselves to lose weight, this is sometimes driven by feelings of self disgust or lack of worthiness. If we ‘cheat’ on our diet, we then have even more feelings of self disgust, sometimes leading us to give up completely on our goal. Instead, we should just write that off as an oops and carry on with no guilt. Just pick yourself up and go back to the original goal. It is only one meal. But if you self sabotage repeatedly then you need to address those issues. Why do you not feel worthy of self care and healthy food? Is the weight some sort of protection?

Some of these feelings of lack of self acceptance run very deep, the roots may be buried in childhood. We may have to keep hacking at those roots with a metaphysical machete.

Consciousness is our first step. I am willing to take that step, do you want to come along?

Kisses from the Kitten xxoxoxoxox

The Sacrificial Kitten

I feel like I should have some sort of large neon flashing light counting down to when the water runs out in Cape Town on my blogs. “It is X amount of days until Day Zero” announced in some deep ominous voice when it opens, a bit like all the silly nonsense we had on our MySpace blogs. Day Zero is a moving target which is based on our consumption, the rainfall and the dam water levels. I did mentioned that the City of Cape Town (CoCT) does have such a countdown. HERE is the link again and you can see that the previous date of 12 April has now been pushed back a few days to the 16th of April. This is as a result of people conserving more and that tiny drizzle of rain we had this week, so we gained 6 days.

I also discussed how Day Zero will only impact some people in Cape Town. An article about township residents and water has confirmed these views. If you have lived most of your life with the restriction of ‘use only what you can carry’ then you are already water conscious and far less precious than most of us are. Many people do not even have a bath or a shower in their home so they are not worried about not being able to do either of those things when Day Zero arrives.

Now we are watching the infighting at the governmental level and blaming of each other regarding taking responsibility for the water crisis. The National government (the ANC) are responsible for ensuring that the provinces have an adequate water supply and the local government (the DA) are responsible for ensuring the water is distributed to the residents.

Both are pointing fingers at each other and neither seem to have a clue what to do to get us out of this mess. National government is saying that the residents are wasteful and do not look after our resources rather than acknowledging that the population has outstripped the supply as discussed in a previous post. Local government is trying to ride that same old pony to the bank and is trying to put the financial burden onto the citizens. Neither of these actions are helping.

It is amazing how little water one can use when being very aware and cautious. I managed to wash up about 4 sinks full of dishes on the weekend using one small pan of water. I put a tiny bit into a second pan for rinsing and I washed them all in the same pan of wash water. It is not ideal but it is what we must do.

Humans need to start thinking more on a global scale than just to the limits of their vision or the ends of their noses. We all need to think about our footprint on Mother Earth.  I saw that California is proposing legislature which will make it illegal for restaurants to offer plastic straws. After their one-time use, non-biodegradable plastic straws often end up in our oceans and waterways where they break down into smaller, micro-size pieces that are discarded into our environment. They are oftentimes mistaken as food by marine life. An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic garbage ends up in the world’s oceans every year and an estimated 90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs. I rejoiced about the new proposed legislature while others I see online are saying ‘we have bigger issues like child abuse and crime to deal with here in Amuricah!’ uh yeah and that is why those are both illegal too you imbeciles.

People.

In Cape Town many restaurants have taken a voluntary pledge to not use single use plastic items which are not recyclable and to ban plastic straws completely.

We all have to make sacrifices for the good of others. Norm and I discussed on the weekend how much water it uses to make a frothy coffee. We have already had to feel the environmental guilt from using the pods, but now to realise that it takes a bowl of water to wash the milk out of the frother after each cup is making me give up my machine coffees. I will heat the milk in the microwave and try to avoid the resulting horrid little slimy bits you get from heated milk.

Sigh.

On Friday when Norm came home with the dogs from their walk Navajo was limping. He was right as rain when they left home but he came home and refused to put his back foot onto the ground and tucked his leg right up into his body. We all tried to keep him still to see if he had a thorn but we could see nothing. If we touched his foot he yelped.

My boy ❤️ #navajo #swissshepard #shepard #dogsofinstagram #tongue

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When we got up on Saturday morning Norm took him to the vet. The vet could not look at it properly and due to the yelping when we touched it he wanted to sedate Navajo and do an x-ray to make sure there were no fractures. That is now over R3k we have paid at the vet this month. Norm had to leave him and so he came back home to wait for the call to say Nav was awake from the sedation. Norm went back to collect Nav a bit later and the vet had given him a cortisone injection in his foot and he seemed much happier to put it down to walk on it, but he was high as a kite and was rather amusing when trying to navigate round the house. The vet thinks he just strained it.

Today we heard that Lily’s Weimaraner Bacardi is unwell. I would appreciate a positive thought or prayer for his healing please.

Baby sitting ❤️

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My friend Melodie popped by for coffee and a chat on Saturday afternoon. It was really warm and windy out so we sat out at the back of the house, the patio there is really protected by the wind. Norm had bought some choccie biscuits and a small cheesecake for us to have with our coffees on his way back from the vet.

It was lovely having Lily down for the weekend. On Saturday Lily and Josh went to a Havana themed birthday party at the Grand. Norm dropped them off so that they could Uber home and have a few drinks.

The Grand is right on the beach and it is a lovely venue. They are such a cute couple those 2. Lily borrowed the dress from Amber and Lily bought Josh his outfit that day and he borrowed Norm’s hat.

Summer loving ❤️ #havanaparty #taigs30th #thegrand

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When Norm returned from dropping off the kids he decided to pop down to The Kitchen Takeaway for something for our dinner as there was just us two eating. We ordered the Ribs and Prawns combo. Both of those choices tell you how much Norm loves me as he hates to eat food that he has to touch with his hands but I had ordered it as a combo and we only realised it was for 2 people when he arrived and so he sacrificed his own choices in order to share mine.

Awww.

It was delicious.

After dinner Norm and I sat down to watch a bit of telly and the next thing I knew Josh and Lily were arriving home. It was well after midnight and we had obviously both nodded off in front of Dragons Den. We all headed sleepily off to bed.

When we woke on Sunday Nav ran around and jumped half up on the bed. He had not been able to do that the previous day as it hurt to put pressure on that back foot but on Sunday he seemed much better. He did still yelp when we gave him a yogurt container to lick as he tried to hold it with a front paw which resulted in putting pressure on the back foot and he cried loudly and looked a bit sheepish at us. But once he got his balance back he was fine and spent the day without any further protests.

Norm and I hung out around the house until Lily decided to head back up the coast and then we showered to go out. I did my once weekly hair wash but still managed to keep the water usage to a minimum by not waiting on the cold water to heat and by having it drip down rather than pummel me with water. Norm is tracking our consumption daily to ensure we are below the current 50l per person per day targets.

As we were getting ready to leave Lily rings to say she has just discovered Josh’s truck keys were in her handbag. She was about an hour up the road and had to turn back, thus adding in so much wasted time to her already long journey. Poor Lily. She also left all of her dirty washing but we will keep that for her return. 😉

Norm and I finally headed out to hit the shops about 1pm. We decided to pop in for a spot of lunch at Tashas in Constantia and were lucky enough to get a table outside with a view of the mountains. It even had a bit of shade for my wee scotty.

Considering how hot it was outside we were happy for the shade.

We both ordered the Apple Goat Cheese salad for R114 which was described as: goat’s cheese served on ciabatta toast, caramelised apple, baby gem lettuce, micro herbs, walnuts, red onion & rocket tossed in a balsamic & olive oil dressing.

We just scraped the cheese off of the toast but I had a naughty nibble of the corners of the crispy ciabatta. It was a delicious combination of flavours and I really enjoyed it.

After we returned home Norm heard that another hiker had been stabbed in the St James area which is popular with hikers. The attacker had posed as a security guard and was wearing a uniform. This would have led the victim to think that the stabber was there to assist or to protect them, not to attempt to murder them.

Two weeks ago, nine hikers were robbed and stabbed in the St James Peak area, by two men who appeared to be hikers. The duo had joined the group and hiked with them for about half an hour before attacking them.

Obviously the person or gangs who are performing these robberies are planning their approach, it is not just opportunism which is the impetus for many of our crimes. This is deliberately going there with a plan to do harm. I do hope they catch these horrendous cowardly ‘men’ as they seem to target the older or more elderly hikers.

It doesn’t sound like your usual tikhead (aka meth-head).

Unfortunately this is yet another area where local government have thrown their hands up as the Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has washed the province’s hands of responsibility for the murder. He has pretty much said ‘Nothing to do with us!’ as technically any crime remains the constitutional prerogative of the South African Police Service (SAPS) which is ‘owned’ by National Government.

I guess that title of ‘Community Safety Member of the Executive Council’ is just a suggestion?

On Sunday afternoon after we got home from the shops I put a beef roast into the slow cooker. That made for a gorgeous roast dinner on Monday evening. To go with it I made fondant sweet potatoes.

Sunday evening it was still really hot so we bought some chicken kebabs at the shops to braai on the grill. Norm made those with grilled corn on the cob and I made a few salads to go with it. I even pickled some cucumber in vinegar.

Late on Sunday night we read about Cape Town fire fighter Ashley Kruger’s death while she was on duty fighting a blaze on Table Mountain. City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Theo Layne said 37 firefighters, a city-contracted helicopter, four fire engines and three water tankers were involved in extinguishing the blaze with assistance from Table Mountain National Parks. The fire fighter was a friend of a friend so it is particularly upsetting when you can put a face and name to the death of a hero. RIP to Ashley’s friends, her wife and her family, they at least have a bit of consolation that she died being selfless and heroic. The ultimate sacrifice.

On Monday when I got home from work I was so happy that I had put that roast into the slow cooker as I arrived home to no electricity! The entire valley was without electricity all day.

Luckily we have a gas cooker and so I could cook the sweet potatoes and reheat the roast. It was incredibly hot outside and a roast was possibly not the best meal for the weather but it was what it was.

When I left work on Monday it was 38 degrees C! That is 100.4 degrees in American.

Norm and I sat outside in the moonlight trying to catch a bit of a breeze. The dogs were baffled as to why we were sitting quietly in the dark and why we were on the front stoep.

Eventually at about 10pm the electricity was restored and we could put the fans on. The weather did finally cool off a bit about bed time and there was even a tiny bit of rain on Tuesday morning.

For dinner on Tuesday I shredded the remainder of the beef roast, added beans and spices and made chili con carne.

It was good, but not amazing because some of the kidney beans were still hard. I boiled the chilli after we finished and it was fine for lunch today.

I am attending an event on Sunday called “Dance To Heal The Earth – One Day Dance in Honour of The Water.” Dance to Heal the Earth is a profound focal point for discovery, initiation, healing, and manifesting our intention, in alignment with the Great Creation, Mother Earth and the Core of our Beings. Every movement in the Dance is a prayer of profound focus and intention.

“All living things will take part. Dance to Heal the Earth! Let your feet beat a healing rhythm into the earth. Let your feet beat a strengthening rhythm for those who struggle the hardest. Let your feet beat a life-giving rhythm for all peoples, regardless of race or national boundary, regardless of whether we’re human or whether we’re the trees, the air, the fish, the birds, the buffalo, the bear, the crow. Our dance is a prayer, and our songs, rhythms and our breath give life.”<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
i)

I will take my drum and sing to support the drummers. If there are not too many people who want to drum I will join on the large communal drum, but I’m not good with being crowded so I will take my own just in case. Either way I am really looking forward to it.

I read a quote today by Cheryl Strayed that reads:

“Our work, our job, the most important gig of all, is to make a place that belongs to us, a structure composed of our own moral code. Not the code that echoes imposed cultural values, but the one that tells us on a visceral level what to do.”

To me that sums up exactly what I am trying to achieve, to have my heart beat aligned to the beat of Mother Earth, to align my compass to the direction of what is right and just.

The Throne

I never thought I would get excited about a toilet. As a Virgo even the mention of a toilet makes me cringe. However the looming presence of Day Zero is a bit of a game changer and makes you think about things which we take for granted every day.

Such as elimination of waste.

Norm was tasked with getting us prepared for the very likely possibility that we have to live without running water to our homes. He went to several stores and all of them were out of stock of 25 liter water containers as well as ‘survivalist’ toilets. He put his name down to be contacted and they rang to say they had stock on Tuesday and over R3k later we have the containers we need as well as a toilet.

We are currently restricted to 50 liters consumption per day per person. To put this into perspective, here is a video from several months ago on what 87 liters looks like when going about your daily life. Imagine this being restricted to the proposed 25 liter per person per day.

Or to try and determine what you are personally using, there is a calculator page where you can input your consumption and it will give you an idea. I think you will be shocked at how quickly it mounts up.

Here is a more recent video which discusses the restrictions in US measurements but despite only being released a few days ago it also is out of date as the parameters change almost daily.

I already only wash my hair once a week and my ‘showers’ are more of a 2 minute quick, cold sprinkle of water than an actual shower. I use makeup remover cloths each night to avoid using water to wash my face. We have buckets in the shower to catch our grey water and this water is used to flush the loos or water the few plants which have survived the drought and lack of irrigation. We have pipes which attach to our guttering down pipes which route any rain water into our pool. We limit our dishwasher to when it is so full you cannot get in an extra spoon. As a result our pantry smells revolting. Anyone have tips for destinking a sitting dishwasher? We can’t waste water rinsing every dish so there is left over bits on some. It’s rather horrid, but we are doing what we can.

We have hand sanitiser by all of the sinks to reduce the water we use washing our hands. We try to avoid using much water to cook. Or we are clever about it. Last night Norm washed the spinach over the steamer then used that water to steam the broccoli. That bit of water will go into the garden today.

It made a gorgeous dinner too. 😍 He stuffed chicken breasts with Brie and wrapped them with bacon. He added a bit of cream to the spinach.

Back to whining about the drought after that brief interlude……

Meanwhile we witness other people using their garden hose to wash their cars. I have not washed my car in months and months. It used to get washed weekly.

However the panic only seems to be among certain residents. When I chat to my African colleagues about Day Zero they say ‘bring it on’. The point of view of some people is that it is only the people who live in ‘expensive houses’ who will be impacted by this issue. I was chatting to a colleague who said that the people who live in the informal settlements already have to walk 3 or 4 blocks to reach the standpipe at the location so they already conserve water. If you have to walk and carry every bit of water you use then you will value every drop.

When Mzudumo and Cordelia arrived at work on Tuesday, Norm had a talk with them about the water restrictions. Neither of them had a clue about Day Zero. They know to conserve water as Mzudumo isn’t washing the cars or watering the dead garden and Cordelia is asked repeatedly to not waste water.

Norm is now measuring our consumption via the water meter. He tracked how much we used on a day when Cordelia was in as she mops and does the laundry and dishes and therefore uses a lot of water. Norm has now given her a spray bottle of diluted cleaning product to use for cleaning rather than a bucket. We asked her to only do 2 loads of washing, one of whites and one of colours.

We will track our consumption daily and identify when we might be going over our designated amount.

Many people have wondered why the city doesn’t just apply the same principals to the water supply as they did to the electricity supply. From what I understand the water pressure fluctuations causes issues with the aged infrastructure and results in new leaks. It can also cause issues with the geyser etc from what I’ve heard but I know nothing about plumbing or building.

With all of this added anxiety and stress I am still trying to manage my crazy lady hormones and emotions.

#BabySteps

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It is not easy.

Traffic is my bugbear. I now listen to my Robbie Robertson’s CD Music for the Native Americans and practice my ho’oponopono prayers and that calms me.

But it takes a focused approach to living consciously and being aware of our emotions. I try and analyse whatever emotion I am feeling and then decide whether it is helpful or harmful and then let it go or use it to channel into something positive.

However not all frustration and anger are ‘bad’ emotions. I believe that the turmoil on Mother Earth is a catalyst for change. I feel a huge change coming, I hope that the  feelings of anger which so many people are feeling is building up to a positive transformation and bringing so many people into the light.

We just have to wade through the dark to get into that light.

Keep heading towards that light people. We will come through this, just as we come through everything that life throws at us.

That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

The Spirit of Water

We had yet another spooky experience last week. In my last post I mentioned the voices which woke me on Wednesday morning. On Friday night as Norm and I were going to bed Norm came into the bedroom and looked at me a bit oddly when I walked in from the ensuite and said ‘were you just on the balcony’? I said that I had been in the bathroom taking off my makeup and asked him why did he ask. He said ‘are you serious?’ and I said ‘of course, why would I lie about being on the balcony?’

I said jokingly ‘Maybe you saw our ghost.’

He looked a bit spooked and said he had seen a woman with long dark hair wearing a white gown standing on the balcony.

What?!

When we first moved into our house we had a few odd occurrences with spirits and we did a few energy cleansing sessions before we could get the main spirit to move on. I never saw the spirit manifest, I was aware of her energy but I did not see the spirit. Caitlin however did, she saw her standing on the landing walking into the bathroom. Caitlin got the feeling that the woman had drowned.

She had long dark hair and was dressed in a long white gown.

Is this our previous spirit back in our house? If so why is she back? What message does she have and is she attached to the house, or to me or to someone else in the family? Did she blow back in with the crazy winds? Caitlin has a theory it is because we have done renovations and put the house on the market as that often upsets spirits who are attached to a home. I did ask the ancestors of the land to release us from our contract with this house and allow us to move on. Maybe that alone disturbed things.

I will do a spirit cleansing with some sage this weekend. If she has a message for me I hope she makes it crystal clear as I am not too great at interpreting without the message being very clear. Even then I can be a bit obtuse.

After that bit of excitement we had a very lazy weekend. I spent it doing a great deal of not much at all. It was still warm outside and so we stayed inside, well out of the heat. The walls of our house are thick. concrete and keep the house cool in summer.

I played games on my iPad or watched my current series Grace and Frankie. I’m currently obsessed with an online puzzle app. It’s crazily addictive.

I made a simple salad for our lunch on Saturday. I boiled eggs, added rolls of sliced ham and maasdam cheese. Maasdam is a swiss cheese made of cow’s milk. It is my personal fave. I just added lettuce, avocado, sliced a raw zucchini and some tomatoes and sprinkled it all over with chopped red cabbage and carrots.

Norm and I had toyed with the idea of going out on Saturday night but we were quite happy in and Josh had come home from the track so we thought we would just get a take away. We went to The Kitchen Takeaway and I was naughty and ordered a free range chicken burger and chips. Every time I do so I always wonder why as I struggle to swallow the bread. It gets ‘stuck’ in my esophagus, almost like my body is rejecting it’s arrival. So why do I do it to myself? The next day my digestive system complains terribly, but still I do it over and over again.

Silly Kitten.

On Sunday I decided to try out another of the items I purchased from Banting to Go. I baked the muffin mix. The mix costs R49 but it made 12 muffins. You add either milk or yogurt, I used 2 tablespoons of full fat greek yogurt. You then add 100grams of fat/oil, I used butter. You then beat these together with 5 eggs and once all are mixed together you add the powder and blend.

These were a hit! I will try out a few variations on these, maybe add cheese and bacon to make a savoury version or chopped nuts and cinnamon to make a ‘sweeter’ type of muffin. It won’t be any sweeter in reality, but if the mouth tastes cinnamon and nuts maybe I can convince myself it’s a Cinnabon. No?

I topped mine with a ton of butter, a tiny drizzle of honey and sliced cheese. I took one to work today and just had it with a tiny bit of sugar free peanut butter. They would be nice as a base for a poached egg too. These are so handy to have in the cupboard.

The weather has been rather mad. After weeks of heat we woke yesterday to an overcast day which promised us rain but did not deliver.

Bit cloudy in the bay today

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We had the same overcast weather today, it’s very cool but still there is none of the much needed rain.

Recently we have had major winds which of course will blow away a large amount of water from the dams. You may scoff at this idea, but that would only be if you have never a) experienced Cape Town winds or b) owned a pool in Cape Town. We really saw this for ourselves when the water restrictions meant that we had to stop the weekly pool top ups from our pool service company. When the restrictions came into place we had to buy a pool cover, it was one of the first items the CoCT (City of Cape Town) publicised as a requirement to adhere to their new policies.

As mentioned on my last blog, the proposed levy based on the value of your home has been scrapped. 55,300 people lodged a complaint about this proposed levy on the CoCT Public Participation page which allows residents to have their say on various campaigns. The City listens to some, but some of the proposals are going to go ahead regardless of what the residents have to say. I know this to be the truth as we had our complaints ignored in the implementation of the TRAs in Hout Bay near the cemetery. A TRA is a ‘Temporary Relocation Area’ and just means a site where evictees are intended to be accommodated on a temporary basis after some sort of emergency. In Hout Bay the fires in the townships were the emergency situations which triggered the crisis and the need for relocation.

The fact that the City has not managed to successfully implement anything in the last few years to mitigate the risk of the province running out of water boggles my mind. I will try to give a bit of background in order to help you understand why I am so frustrated.

Water in Cape Town is supplied from a number of dams in mountainous areas close to the city. The dams are recharged by rain falling in their catchment areas, largely during the cooler winter months of May to August, and decline during the warm, dry summer months of December to February during which urban and agricultural water use increases. In fact a huge amount of our water goes to agricultural use.

Since 1995, Cape Town’s population has grown from 2.4 million residents to an estimated current figure of 4.3 million, representing a 79% population increase in 23 years whilst dam water storage only increased by 15% in the same period. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry predicted that the growing demand from the city would exceed supply by 2013 without water conservation and demand management measures by the city, and that further water sources would be required by 2019.

The government ignored this warning and instead has alternately blamed residents for the shortfalls, they have blamed the weather, climate change and pretty much everything they can, when in actuality the blame lies solely on their own dry, dusty doorstep.

They have been aware of the risk that our population would exceed the amount of water which the city has available as well as the issue of the drought and have been harping on about water conservation since 2015, but what have they actually done?

It took until October 2017 for the City of Cape Town to issue an emergency water plan to be rolled-out in multiple phases depending on the severity of the water shortage. The stricter monitoring of consumption identified many leaks in our ancient infrastructure, some of which took months for the city to identify and rectify. Those should have been identified and resolved more quickly.

Last week the CoCT drilled its first test borehole into the Cape Flats aquifer, hoping that the earth’s natural underground reservoirs would provide an extra 80 million litres of water per day.

The City has also decided it is time that they focused their attention to the roll out of the plans to distribute water once Day Zero arrives and they turn off the taps. This projected date has now moved forward to April 11. I do not think the city can cope with this scenario.

So far they are planning to issue each person who queues at one of the designated water distribution centres 25 liters of water each day. Have you ever tried to carry a 25 liter container full of water? What if you do not own a car? What if you are infirm? How will the indigent or disabled access their water? How will they avoid people double dipping into the supply process and taking more than their share? How will they stop people with wells from selling their water? How will they police people selling water as safe to drink when it’s from a source deemed unsafe for consumption? How will businesses function with the toilets not working? Hairdressers or salons, car washes, so many businesses need water to function.

Turning off the taps will be catastrophic and will lead to even more unemployment when companies have to shut their doors if they cannot function with no water.

How will people manage to perform a job if they have to spend hours queuing for water every single day?

What about Schools or Hospitals? How will they function without water?

The health risks associated to lack of clean water do not bear thinking about.

How has our beautiful Cape Town come to this level of crisis?

How has our beautiful Mother Earth been the victim of such abuse?

Those who have a duty of care to look after both are only looking after their own self interests.

I pray for protection over Mother Earth and I try to practice Ho’oponopono as often as I can.  I give my apologies for the harm we have done to her. I pray for forgiveness of the violations and abuse that humans have done to her body. I give thanks to her and I tell her I love her.

I pray to the Cloud Nation and Water Spirits to release the waters onto Cape Town and the other areas on Mother Earth which are suffering from drought. I pray for the blessing of rain.

As much as I love a bit of steampunk, I pray that the day does not come when we have to live like post apocalyptic survivors.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

Setting the Bar

Many of the schools returned this week for the start of the new school year and it made the roads all full of chaos again. If I did not know better I might assume it was the children doing the driving.

I still find a January to December school year odd having grown up with the American system of starting the new year in September after the 3 month summer break.

It was Lily’s birthday on Tuesday. She had a lovely dinner out down the coast with friends and family. This pic came up as a memory for me – I know where I was in 1991 as I stayed in the hospital for a full week! Lily was a huge baby at almost 5 kilograms and she was face down with the cord around her neck. She was purple when she finally emerged. The gynecologist had noted that her stats were low and they raced off to an operating theatre and he literally reached in with his giant basketballer sized hands and grabbed her and yanked her out. Luckily I had previously agreed to an epidural after the nurse had said to me that the baby was the size of a baby calf. If I had not had the epi the doc said I would not have been able to cope with the pain.

#OnThisDay in 1991

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Lily was the only one of my 3 babies who was a wee chubster. We called her Buddha Baby as she had rolls of baby fat on her arms and legs. You can certainly not guess that by looking at her now she is such a slender, stunning girl.

Norm was great about keeping us fed all week despite the ongoing heat. He has become a master on his braai. He cooked fillet steak, mushrooms and roast veg for us on Monday night. The fillet was nicely crusty with a bit of char on the outside but very pink inside, just the way I like it.

There was even enough for me to take for lunch the next day as my appetite has lessened now that we are doing low carb again.

On Tuesday we have Cordelia in to clean and she leaves quite late so we just got a take away that night, however we both avoided the chips and we had veg and salad with our protein.

On Wednesday night Norm also cooked outside as it is still very warm. He grilled pork sausages, mushrooms and halloumi and I cooked red cabbage on the stove. Pork and cabbage go so well together.

Thursday he got very adventurous and made the sauce for a lasagna. I emailed him the instructions and he did the shopping and cooking. The sauce was divine and we layered it with chunky cottage cheese, sliced zucchini and topped with mozzarella and baked for about 30 minutes.

I had an odd experience on Wednesday morning. I was deep asleep and I heard someone calling ‘Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa’ over and over in my ear. I finally emerged into full consciousness and turned over to face Norm, except he appeared to be sound asleep. We are the only ones home at the moment. The dogs were not disturbed, despite Norm saying that he had heard me talking to someone just before I woke up. I never remember my dreams. I do have recurring incidents where I am sure I am astral travelling as I am partially conscious but unable to move. I am always ‘dreaming’ of someone on the other side and I do believe I am there with them in that plane and that is why I cannot move here in this plane. But this was not one of those incidents, I have no memory of the incident other than of waking and hearing the voice.

I had that same experience once before when we were living in a very old house that was full of spirits. But then the voice said ‘Mom, Mom, Mom’ and I knew in my heart that it was the baby I had miscarried prior to Trevor. That house had a lot of spiritual things going on, from seeing shapes out of the corner of my eye to the lights blinking on and off when I tried to communicate directly with the spirits I felt and saw in the house.

This experience was different. I have no idea what this one was……I have to confess that it really spooked me.

That night as we were cuddling before falling asleep I told Norm he was the ‘Best Husband in the World’ and he said that was not correct. He said that if he were the best in the world then he would be taking us around the world on holidays every few months and I would be able to retire.

I guess it depends on what you see as a priority in a relationship. I dated very wealthy men when I was younger and I did not choose them, I know my idea of what mattered to me in a husband and a relationship changed after my divorce. I wanted a good, kind, loving man who treated me like I was a goddess and who would love my children as if they were his own. What I got was exactly that and I will always be thankful for him in my life.

Even when I want to kill him I cannot imagine my life without him.

The fact that he is also handsome, sexy, Scottish (oh that accent) and has an MBE were just gravy on my already overflowing plate of luck. He also is proud of my intelligence, he would never try to diminish me or ‘dumb me down’ just to make himself feel superior as some men do. He is also a feminist and believes as I do that women should be who they are, not what the man in the relationship wants or needs them to be in order to not threaten their fragile male ego. He would never try to change me.

Even when he wants to kill me.

I tried out the Banting on the Go ‘Crackling Crisps’ this week that I mentioned in my last blog.

They were OK but I won’t buy them again. I could not finish the packet. They have a funny sort of chemically aftertaste which is pretty ironic as I had assumed that they were just your normal pork scratchings but without the chemicals. They definitely needed more salt.

And less of the aftertaste.

Pixie has been somewhat off her food, she did not want to eat her dinner at all on Tuesday night and she seemed so tired. But she is always smiley.

But it was very hot that evening and she did go for a walk. Of course now that the vet has said she is fine, any concerns I have are discredited by Norm the eternal optimist.

I do hope she is OK and that I am just overly paranoid. I so love this little girl.

Regular readers will know that the Western Cape is suffering from a severe drought. It was just announced this week that from the 1st of Feb the government will be implementing Level 6B water restrictions. This means that Capetonians will be expected to keep our water consumption to less than 50 liters per day per person.

What level 6B Water Restrictions mean. Buckle up Buttercups

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This is an unachievable target as 60% of the people could not reach the previous target of 87 liters per person and most of us have no hope in hell of meeting the new targets. The City has sat on it’s hands and done nothing to proactively deal with this crisis and now they are all in a panic as the day when the taps in the city are turned off looms ever closer. April 21 of this year has been set as the estimated target of when we will run out of water (aka Day Zero).

This is all rather terrifying and yet I still see trucks being brought into the suburbs to fill people’s swimming pools. There were 2 in my suburb alone on the weekend. Where do the idiots buying this water think it is coming from?? I find some peoples lack of community and even common sense rather shocking.

The lack of action by the DA government is shocking and the mayor has been under review for multiple reasons. I hope she is removed from post as I think she is almost as bad as Zuma when it comes to doing what is best for her own interests rather than the interests of those she has been appointed to represent. The fact that they were trying to raise the rates everyone pays each month to compensate for the lack of forward planning has enraged most people. Under the proposed drought levy, some 52 510 Capetonians were set to temporarily pay a fixed rate of R150 a month to make up for the City’s R1.6bn loss in revenue from reduced water consumption. Rather penalise those who exceed the targets rather than try and recover the additional revenue needed by using the value of one’s property to drive the levy.

This afternoon the City of Cape Town voted to both limit mayor Patricia De Lille’s powers to handle the drought crisis, and to introduce punitive tariff measures for residents. The idea to add a levy to our rates based on our property value was voted down.

I’m delighted on both fronts.

Josh came back to Cape Town today. We all got a curry from Indian Oven in Hout Bay. It was delicious as always.

We have been relaxing tonight listening to the mad winds that are howling outside. It has at least cooled things down a wee bit.

I hope you all have a good weekend.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxo