The Good, The Bad & The Sucky

The good.
I had a great meeting with a wedding client, my baking went well and I finished on time, and my mommy darling and I got to see The Sound of Music together at Montecasino.
We had a really good meeting with the people at scubaversity about the knucklehead joining their Blue Ocean internship programme.

The bad.
Our car. Its getting worse by the day and driving it makes me so anxious and tense. And replacing it is not an option right now.
It was our last few days with our guide dog puppy Lennox. He goes back to SAGA tomorrow to start his formal guide dog training.

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The sucky.
Mother fuckers broke into our house while we were out on Saturday afternoon. They knew exactly what they were after too.
The rented TV AND its remote, our laptops (including our old machines), spare phones, my jewellery box, Glugsters’s clothes, the knucklehead’s suit and, AND – all three back up hard drives. I am so fucking angry and I can do nothing.
FIVE dogs on the property. FIVE. All fine thank goodness, and the cats are fine, but FIVE dogs didn’t deter them at all.
Mother fucking sons of bitches.
Everytime I think about how much I’ve lost I start crying again. YEARS of work data and THOUSANDS of photographs.

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And then today the guy arrived to see if they could find fingerprints. Which is pretty much a futile exercise since the South African forensic database is nothing like what they have in Europe or the USA.

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The Lord Works In Mysterious Ways Indeed…

My faith is not something I discuss openly, or often.
As a Christian, I believe – me, personally, I believe – that there are three things that are integral to how God wants a Christian to live. One is witnessing to people. I don’t witness, not verbally. I feel that since I don’t go to church on any kind of regular basis (which is the second thing I believe is a very important part of being a Christian, fellowship, worship and learning with other Christians), I can’t tell other people how to be a Christian without coming across as a hypocrite… But I do hope that how I live my life will “witness” for me.
Does that make sense?
Prayer is the third thing about being a Christian that I believe you should practise all the time. You need to talk to Him and listen to Him, and you do that through prayer.

I often tell people I will pray for them, and unless I know they would do the same I am often afraid that they may find it a little, um… Whats the word…? Off putting? Irksome? Offensive? I dunno.
Anyhoodle.
I do mean it when I say it, though. And I do pray for my friends and my family, every day.
Sometimes there are specific things I pray for – if I know someone is ill or concerned about something or someone. I ask that my husband and my son will get to and from work safely every day. I ask for healing for my daddy darling and for my mommy darling to stress less. I pray for each of my family members and their partners and children. I ask for things for me too.
And I thank Him. I thank Him for prayers answered and for blessings – my wonderful family, my amazing friends, my animals, the opportunities I am given, our health – the list is a long one.

And my prayers are answered. Thats what the title is about.
He doesn’t always answer prayers with a simple “yes” or “no”, and He doesn’t always do so immediately. You have to keep your eyes and ears peeled for the answers. You have to be patient. And you have to know that He will answer you.

This week was a perfect example and a reminder of that for me.

After our move to the new house, on which we spent more money than we should have – painting, rubble removers, take out, an extra cleaning lady – we were severely short on petrol and grocery money.
Then the TV packed up, and when I got stopped in a roadblock I realised the car’s license had also expired (I hadn’t been checking it). My dad wasn’t well and spent a couple of days in hospital, stressing my mommy darling even more than she usually is.
It felt like one of those weeks when everything just goes wrong! Nothing new, everyone goes through shite like this.
But I asked for help. I prayed for help. Amongst other things I didn’t know where I was going to get petrol money and the car was nigh on empty…

And then I got an invitation to spend the day at a social media event yesterday (Thursday), and part of the invitation was the use of a car. The car I was to use, and experience so that I could blog about it, was delivered on Tuesday night, with a full tank of fuel!
I didn’t get handed any actual cash, but I didn’t have to worry about putting fuel in my car for almost three days!
And my Glugster found someone who came and paid cash for the borked TV, and I got a couple of orders confirmed. Cash came in, meaning I could buy groceries and put fuel in the car.
And my daddy darling only spent two days in hospital instead of a week or more!
Prayers answered!

This week there was a lot for me to thank Him for.

I Nearly Crapped Myself!

My Monday started off pretty well – I had taken care of a whole lot of admin, I was running pretty much on time, and I had a coffee date with an old friend scheduled…
And then on my way back from dropping Kenzo back at SA Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind this morning, a dude in a white Kia – who was profusely apologetic and very embarrassed – was looking at himself in his rearview mirror and drifted into my lane!
I didn’t even have time to think. I saw the Kia heading for me, narrowly missing the one in front of me – and I started to move to the left but I didn’t really have anywhere to go with a steep grass verge and no emergency lane.
As I started to brace myself for an impact, he swerved and our side mirrors were all that touched.
He turned around to return to where I had pulled over, and got out with his drivers license in his hand.

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We each have desctroyed side mirrors, and some damage to the window and the door where the mirror slammed back onto the car, so we’re both okay thank goodness.
And he’s licensed and insured, as I am, so the insurance will take care of the rest whilst we get panelbeater quotes.

It took me about an hour to stop shaking!

The @FordSouthAfrica #KugaLaunch

~~As per my Ladybloggers pledge, I was not paid to attend the event nor was I paid to write this blog post, and all opinions contained herein are mine and mine alone.~~

Being invited to a product launch or an event of some kind is ALWAYS a pleasure, and a Ford vehicle launch is no exception. Getting to drive a fabulous new vehicle and being put up in luxurious hotels is simply glorious!

On Tuesday morning I was flown to Cape Town courtesy of Ford South Africa, and even though @TanyaKovarsky and @laurakim123 were both on the plane, I ended up between some much older people who didn’t stop talking… But its my own fault for trying to practise my mingling skills!
Once we arrived in a rather chilly CT, we were plied with coffee and snacks whilst waiting for the full complement of bloggers and journos to arrive, and I finally got to meet @cupcakemummy in the flesh!
Then after an intro to the all new Kuga, we quickly partnered up and made a mad dash for the keys with everyone trying to get a first drive in the top-of-the-range Titanium.

I really could go on and on and on, but I am going to try and keep it as short as I can without leaving out too much awesomeness…

Kuda introducing the all new Kuga to the gathered bloggers and journos

Kuda introducing the all new Kuga to the gathered bloggers and journos

@laurakim123 looking fab behind the wheel of the all new Kuga

@laurakim123 looking fab behind the wheel of the all new Kuga

@Cupcakemummy experiencing the slightly spooky Park Assist

@Cupcakemummy experiencing the slightly spooky Park Assist

Look ma! No hands! Moi trying out the Titanium Park assist!

Look ma! No hands! Moi trying out the Titanium Park assist!

@cupcakemummy getting a golf lesson - apparently she managed to hit a duck...

@cupcakemummy getting a golf lesson – apparently she managed to hit a duck…

The Spa at Arabella where I had a magnificent neck and back massage

The Spa at Arabella where I had a magnificent neck and back massage

Nothing like a road trip in an awesome car...

Nothing like a road trip in an awesome car…

How divine was my room!??!

How divine was my room!??!

A bit of a messy panoramic view of the scenery outside my hotel room balcony

A bit of a messy panoramic view of the scenery outside my hotel room balcony

The breathtaking entrance to the Arabella Hotel & Spa

The breathtaking entrance to the Arabella Hotel & Spa

Arrival at Arabella Hotel & Spa

Arrival at Arabella Hotel & Spa

From behind the swimming pool waterfall at Arabella Hotel

From behind the swimming pool waterfall at Arabella Hotel

We spent the night at the Arabella Hotel & Spa, where we were not only afforded the luxury of some precious free time but were treated to either a massage or a golf lesson! Guess which one I opted for… 🙂 We were also given a chance to try out the park assist functionality first hand (see below) and before heading into Hermanus for a glorious outdoor dinner in a Forest Theatre with an operatic duo providing entertainment, we covered the business side of the launch with presentations by Ford’s Dean Stonely and Kuda Takura.

My dinner company @laurakim123 @cupcakemummy @TanyaKovarsky

My dinner company @laurakim123 @cupcakemummy @TanyaKovarsky

The opera duo who entertained us at dinner

The opera duo who entertained us at dinner

So typical of social media users at a function!

So typical of social media users at a function!

As I knew it would, the Kuga impressed me no end.

The new Kuga looks a lot more aggressive than the previous Kuga which should make it even more appealing to the husbands of the moms who will fall in love with this car!

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The Ford Kuga (official photo)

The Ford Kuga (official photo)

The Ford Kuga (official photo)

I did the first half of the drive to Kleinmond with Harassed Mom navigating, and I only almost-stalled it twice (being used to driving an automatic), and then we switched halfway there with Laura-Kim driving the dirt roads! I was first to drive the Titanium the next day as well – on a different route – with the half-way switch meaning Laura-Kim had her first go at driving an automatic.
On the drive to the hotel we drove the 1.6EcoBoost Trend with a 6-speed manual gearbox, then on the way back to the airport the next day we drove the 2.0TDCi Titanium which is an automatic with the SelectShift option.
The Kuga is an SUV, so its a big car, but it doesn’t feel like one when you’re behind the wheel. And with an urban fuel consumption of 8.3L/ 100km for the Trend and just 7.4L/ 100km for the Titanium, it won’t feel like a big car when you’re refuelling either.
The new Kuga is longer, lower and narrower than its predecessor and it handles like a dream. The power is great and there is almost no lag when you put your foot down to overtake, or to *coff* experience its power a little bit. The steering wheel is small enough that you don’t feel like you’re steering a tractor and the doors are sturdy enough to give a nice “thunk” when you close them but you don’t have to dislocate your shoulder to pull them shut from inside. Its spacious and comfortable, and the automatic gear changes are seamless. The Kuga’s front seats can be adjusted six ways, with lumbar support, and the back seats can be reclined! And all the Kuga’s come with the push-button start which I love.

www.ford.co.za

www.ford.co.za

Even the Kuga's engine looks classy!

Even the Kuga’s engine looks classy!

The Kuga's trip computer has several different displays

The Kuga’s trip computer has several different displays

The Kuga's dashboard and centre console (official photos)

The Kuga’s dashboard and centre console (official photos)

And it has an incredible FIVE STAR EURO NCAP safety rating! Do you know how hard it is to get five stars!??!

The Ford Kuga Titanium with Rooiels in the background

The Ford Kuga Titanium with Rooiels in the background

Looking at the Kuga from a woman’s “…ooh look another cup holder…” perspective, there are eight of them! More than enough in the front and the back and there are even trays in the back that fold down for the passengers to use! And with me loving all the fiddly bits on a car- there is hidden storage under the back seats, the centre console space can hold a 1.5L bottle, and there’s a 230-volt inverter in the back of the car for laptops or chargers! The seats fold flat quite easily, and the load floor can be adjusted for when you need a level surface – like transporting boxes and boxes of cake and cupcakes!!

The Kuga Titanium's Hands Free Tailgate

The Kuga Titanium’s Hands Free Tailgate

The tailgate on the Titanium opens on its own power, you can open it with the remote for when your hands are full, and on the Titanium you can add the mind blowingly fabulous Hands Free Tailgate functionality where you can open AND close the door with a swish of your foot under the bumper!

The Park Assist functionality is an optional extra on the Titanium, and its a fantastic-futuristic-slighty-creepy option at that. Using the sensors in the car to tell you when to brake, you take your hands OFF the steering wheel and it neatly parallel parks itself. Sitting in the driver’s seat watching that steering wheel spin is a slightly surreal experience and it had Cupcake Mummy and myself giggling our heads off in disbelief.

Here’s a video demonstrating how the All-Wheel-Drive was tested on the Kuga (AKA Escape in North America), AWD makes driving easier but its also a phenomenal safety feature..

I would go out tomorrow and buy myself a Kuga if I could. In Frozen White or Moondust Silver.

Ooh! And do check out these links to the blog posts written by some of the other bloggers who were at the launch – Cupcakes and SailorsWiscellaneousRattle and Mum and Harassed Mom!

That Will Teach Me. Dammit.

We had a shirty start to our morning… A crazy conflagration of bad decisions and rushing meant I ended up at the vet with our Riddick.
🙁
We were running late so I didn’t put his roadie on.
The knucklehead was getting hot and irritable with Riddick’s shedding and opened the back windows.
Riddick took it as an invitation and jumped out into oncoming traffic, catching a glancing blow from a taxi on his right shoulder.
Glugster and the knucklehead then tried to catch him as he ran off whilst I pulled off the road, so everyone was in a bad temper when we parted company…
I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad that we were standing still and the opposing traffic was moving slowly!

Man alive I can’t tell you how panicked I was, watching my half-blind puppy run through traffic whilst I sat behind the wheel of my car!

My silly pickle is okay thank heavens – he’s limping, the pad under his dewclaw is torn and his foot is a little swollen but the vet doesn’t suspect anything is broken. The pawpad will heal on its own, its not stitched or anything, and he got a shot for pain. We have some anti-inflammatory tablets for him for a few days and if the limp or the swelling gets worse I have to take him back to the vet.

I could kick myself. I KNOW he’s not supposed to be in the car if he’s not at least benched if he’s not wearing his roadie.

I called my Glugster and the knucklehead to let them know Riddick is okay so they don’t worry about him all day.