Being on Lockdown

For the most part, I didn’t “feel” it. I like being home with my dogs, I like having my hubby home with me, and before lockdown I worked from home full time.
Level 5 and 4 was tricky with the dogs – we couldn’t take them out for training so we had to come up with ways to work them at home, and Jake was home with us for several weeks as the lockdown prevented him from being matched with his person.
My Glugster is working from home full time, and we’ve rearranged the house to create a semi-private office space for him. He’s always been more productive at home than at the office so this has worked like a bomb for him.
My baking business died, though. No social gatherings means no parties, so no cakes or cupcakes needed, I have now started getting enquiries again with level 2 so here’s hoping…

My biggest and still ongoing “adaptation”, for lack of a better word, is going without domestic help. Dora used to come twice a week, and has done for almost 10 years, but with her having kids at home we told her to stay with them till we know its safe for all of us to get back to work. We have continued to pay her, but I suspect – from my “check in” texts to see how she’s doing – that not all of her employers have been able to do so.
I am going to be honest here and admit, which I am sure have done before, that I am the worst “homemaker” on the planet. I really don’t mind doing washing and hanging it out to dry, I don’t even mind ironing. I am happy to make the bed. I like things “tidy”. But I get irritated just thinking about having to un-re-pack the dishwasher and tidy the kitchen, which is almost daily with three of us home and eating several times a day! Thinking about what to prepare for three meals a day drives me bonkers. And my hubby is amazing when it comes to “housework”! He will vacuum the house because even with a mask on it sends my asthma into overdrive. He will tidy the kitchen and help me bring in the washing and he cooks and he gets takeout when its been a crazy day.
And the knucklehead takes care of his own space and his own washing.
I still hate having to do any of it.

Level 5 started at the end of March 2020. Only essential services were open for limited hours and for limited numbers of people. My darling Glugster handled the shopping as I became super neurotic about catching CoViD19, we didn’t go anywhere or see anybody, and my poor knucklehead was practically pacing like a caged lion with not being able to leave our property – especially since we thought he’d be working in Mykonos by then!
The biggest uproar countrywide, including in our house, was the ban on cigarettes. Completely non-sensical and beyond frustrating, we gave in to desperation and started buying the ridiculously expensive smuggled-in crap.
Don’t even get me started on the tripe that spewed from NDZ’s mouth.
As we gradually dropped to level 4, then 3, and now 2, the restrictions were lifted bit by bit, and after almost 5 months I am really looking forward to seeing my mom again, never mind saving money on the knucklehead’s tobacco!
And I can’t wait to take the dogs to our favourite little park again!

There are still a lot of things about our country’s lockdown restrictions that make zero sense, and my admiration for our president’s fast action to try to curb the spread of the virus very quickly waned. For example – when they started allowing church services to take place with a maximum of 50 people in attendance, you could be shopping in a big supermarket with a couple of hundred people!
And you weren’t allowed to visit friends and family, where you could do an in-depth check on who has been where and what precautions had been taken, but a limited-numbers church service with relative strangers was okay!?
And the ban on cigarettes was explained by those in charge as a “health issue” and contributing to complications should a smoker catch CoViD19, and not wanting people to share cigarettes! I mean WTAF?!
And they briefly lifted the ban on booze at one point before reinstating it. Now its lifted again, and whilst I find the queues outside bottle stores more than a little ridiculous, I can’t understand why the people making the rules didn’t think people might share bottles, like they claimed people would share cigarettes!?

Ugh.

Whether we’re in lockdown or not, we’re all going to be wearing masks for a long time. Masks aren’t new to me – I have always worn one when I have to spend any time in a doctor’s waiting room. We’re going to see more than one infection “peak” in our country, as people get lazy and complacent with precautions.

I am hoping the mask requirements will stay in place for the future – though I’ll have to start wearing armour of some kind so that I can handle being repeatedly elbowed in the ribs by my hubby when I yell at people in the shops to cover their noses with their masks! 😀

M-M-M-M-M-My Corona…

Since Covid-19 started spreading around the world, I’ve been nervous.
When it got to SA, I was more than nervous, and the faster it spread the more nervous I got.
For about two weeks before our president announced an official lockdown for South Africa I have been careful, and my hubby and son have been home with me since March 16th. I’ve only been popping to the shops when absolutely necessary – my Glugster usually going for me. My business has completely shut down, as have many others – no social gatherings means nobody needs cupcakes.
I’m not paranoid – I’m asthmatic. I am one of the people they’re talking about when they say “at risk”. I have been asthmatic all my life. Yes – I aggravated it with smoking, and I have pets – but I am also allergic to more than 70 plants and grasses, so I’m always on meds, and for the most part its under control.
If I do get flu, I rush to get it under control before it turns into Bronchitis because once I’m coughing, I’m screwed.
I’ve been hospitalised for my asthma five or six times as an adult, at least three of those times because flu turned into Pneumonia. And I’ve been lucky, I’ve always had medical aid and someone to look after my kid and my family and my animals while I’m hospitalised for a week at a time. :/

Now do this – take a deep breath, as deep as you can. Exhale as much as you can, and inhale again. Do it again. Do you ever think about being able to do that? Actually test yourself to check how your lungs are doing?
Unless you have experienced it, I cannot describe to you how scary it is to not be able to breathe. To not be able to yawn. To not be able to speak more than three words at a time. To be left breathless by pulling a T-shirt over your head.
And this is BEFORE I end up on a drip and oxygen and physiotherapy!
Its terrifying!

Even before the Corona virus started its mission, I was careful. I loathed touching an ATM, an elevator button, escalator banisters… I would wear a bandanna over my face if I had to sit in a doctor’s waiting room. People’s sidelong glances are hysterical, but I don’t want to catch whatever the people in the waiting room might have!
Corona has made me even more careful.
In the last week, a small part of me has even wanted my husband and son to stay two metres away from me if they’ve been in contact with other people, but I have to shake myself sane because I am already THIS close to being a complete germophobe!

Every morning I wake up wondering if I am going to start feeling COVID-19 symptoms today. Wondering if anyone I’ve been exposed to in the last week has passed it to me.
Every time my Glugster or my knucklehead goes to the shop I add 10 days to my count, hoping they weren’t exposed to the virus while they were out.
If my chest gets a little tight in the day, or I sneeze or cough, I hope like hell that my nearest hospital will have a bed and oxygen for me if I get sick…

This is not about you. This is not about a lockdown impacting your holiday plans, or you being stuck at home with your kids.
This is about NOT spreading a clearly dangerous virus, which you ARE able to transmit even before you feel sick, BEFORE you even know you have the virus.

STAY AT HOME!

#Coronavirus #COVID19 #StayHome

Being Peri-Menopausal, and Pissed!

Why in fuckity does nobody talk about this insanity, except in jokes!?

Fair warning – if you find bodily functions TMI – especially the female kind – you may want to read something else today.

I have blogged about getting older and being peri-menopausal before, here and here, but today I am especially baffled by why I was never warned about this properly!
Growing up – depending on your family, and your culture – you will most likely be taught about “the birds and the bees”, and periods, and how your body will change.
Someone will give you a book, or someone will talk at you while you cringe and blush – but they stop talking when they get to the part about having babies, and how not to have babies!

WHY!??!?! The first time most women find out anything about being peri-menopausal is when they’re right in the thick of it!
The only time you hear about peri-menopause on TV or in movies, is when someone whispers about a woman “going through the change”, or jokes about hot flashes. The peri-menopausal women are portrayed as crazy and best pandered to, or avoided entirely. And they are often depressed about about becoming menopausal.

To be honest, for many women peri-menopause can be an insane period,* and you don’t have to be over 50 to experience it – I had just turned 36 when this shit show started!
For almost 10 years now, I have alternated between a crazy unpredictable menstrual cycle, having no period at all for a few months, and then having a few periods where I bleed like a stuck pig. Thank heavens I work from home – I can’t imagine going through 4 pairs of panties in a single morning whilst being office-bound!
This after my monthly visit from Aunt Flo has been a breeze all my life – I never had crazy cramps, or serious PMS, or any other complications!
As if that isn’t enough to push me to the brink, add to it that when I’m not having a period, I go from feeling like I have a furnace in my head, to having palpitations, lightheadedness, and vertigo. Then I have night sweats for a few days, where my hair and pillowcases will be drenched in sweat as soon as the sun goes down. I’m an emo, stabby bitch FAR more often than I would care to admit, and I suddenly have high blood pressure, when it has been low my WHOLE life.
AND my libido has taken a nose dive. That REALLY bugs me.

Before you ask – I’m not using any kind of hormone replacement therapy because of the prevalence of cancer in my family, and because most days I am pretty much fine.

I am actually looking forward to finally being menopausal though, because that means this crap is finally done with – but that is at least a year away. Again. It looks like my shrunken ovaries are determined to push their luck as much as they can!

*pun intended

Being Too Social


Social media has turned us all into introverts – its not that its “too people-y” outside, its “too people-y” in our own heads!

I wrote a post on this back in May 2011, and if anything, its gotten worse – and we do it to ourselves!

Having an active social life that includes “real life” friends and family as well as an online existence has become normal. Its unusual to meet someone who is not on Facebook.
In the days before the internet, our social circles were a handful of close friends, if you were lucky you could include your family. If you were really lucky, you had a best friend too. These were the people you invited to birthday parties and special celebrations, the ones you called if you had news. These were the people with whom you shared your life, and it was done face-to-face, or over the phone.
Announcements of life changing events didn’t happen every day, and if something big happened – a baby, a loss, a new job – you had ample time to process it emotionally before the next proclamation (in theory, ‘coz shit happens), and these announcements were shared personally, without the need for a disclaimer to not share it on social media until you’d had a chance to share your news yourself.

I know I bounce from one emotion to another a lot more often in a single day than someone who doesn’t use social media. If I woke up on the wrong side of the bed ten years ago, I would probably have stayed in that mood all day. Now if I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I can scroll through Facebook and within an hour I have laughed, been disappointed, excited, annoyed, gone back to feeling grumpy, posted about it somewhere, felt better because I got it off my chest, and then gone back to being grumpy because nobody noticed!
People we used to talk to face-to-face now post their news online, and because of social media algorithms we don’t see it. Then we overthink everything without really giving ourselves the chance to finish thinking about the last thing, and then we feel guilty because we’re suddenly laughing at a cat video, when we haven’t yet finished mourning something else entirely!
And for heaven’s sake – you can’t change social media algorithms with a status update!

I love how social media allows me to be the centre of attention sometimes, and keeps me grounded and aware of just how blessed I am, and I hate how it makes me feel left out. I hate how it has allowed me to believe I have better relationships with people than I really do…
I love how I have also discovered things I didn’t know I would be interested in, I have had my mind changed, and I have been educated, but I hate how it also makes me feel less than…
Social media has done more to break down the barriers between races and cultures than politics will ever do, but it has also increased those tensions.
It is an awesome and powerful double-edged sword.
It can empower you and make you feel like you actually have a voice on this overcrowded planet, but the emotional overload is why people don’t want to talk on the phone anymore, or commit to an invitation, and I miss that.

…come play on my roller coaster

Being a Bird Watcher

The birds in our garden…

It’s magical.

A pair of Crested Barbetts have taken over the dead tree that had Black-collared Barbetts nesting in it last year, and I’m pretty sure there are chicks in the nest.

A pair of Hadedas have a nest in a thorn tree overhanging our garden, and have a clutch of three new chicks – the umpteenth time they’ve hatched chicks in that tree.

Yesterday and today, a pair of fluffy Bulbul fledglings have been following their parents from tree to tree, chirping softly while they wait for their next meal and squealing with mouths wide open when their parents are near!

All the trees, and the various berries (mulberry, syringa, privet) makes our garden very bird friendly! We’ve had Muisvoel chicks, Hoepoe fledglings, Loerie fledglings, Masked Weaver chicks! I just love it!

I miss sharing this with my dad so much. He would have loved the the Crested vs Black-collared Barbett battle!