Being More of an “Old Lady”

If you read THIS POST, you’ve already read about how when my now 27 year old son* was growing up, we had many, MANY conversations about sex, PMS, and babies, and more recently, a chat about menopause, and mood swings.
Because I am peri-menopausal.
Yup.
Officially old.
For about two years already.

Fokkit.

My cycle started going bezonkers in 2010 already, after being a perfect 25-day countdown for years, and its only gotten worse… I highly recommend downloading an app, BTW!

The forgetfulness, peri-menopausal the brain fog, is REAL!

So for about eighteen months I battled crazy night sweats – literally waking up with my pillowcase and my hair drenched with sweat. The sun went down, and I started sweating. I took to sleeping with a frozen 2L bottle of water at my feet, and our aircon was on ALL the time! My poor hubby!
And I was SUPER emotional for a while, but I think that has gotten better… I still cry almost every day over losing my daddy darling, and my precious Riddick – although that is real heartache over my loss, not just menopausal emotions…

The night sweats seem to have stopped, but they were replaced with hot flushes! Think of every cliche you’ve ever heard about hot flushes – they are spot-fucking-on! It feels like I’m blushing, but furiously! Thank goodness its short lived, but it happens several times a day and night! I literally strip my shirt off as fast as I can!

And just for fun, for about a month now, I’ve been battling little bouts of crazy lightheadedness and vertigo. Several times a day I get dizzy, to varying degrees. Sometimes its mild, but sometimes it feels like I am going to fall off my chair!
I think I would happily have the night sweats back if I could get rid of the dizziness!

All of it drives me nuts!

And I have to marvel at how life changes… Currently, “Aunt Flo” is the latest she has ever been – more than two weeks. My poor menstrual app has no idea what to tell me, and the other day my Glugster and I had a little chat about how we’d feel if we discovered we were going to have a baby.
The likelihood is zero – been there, done that, paid the specialists to tell us so – but we realised that its not what we want anymore. I mean, I’m going to be 45, the knucklehead is all grown up, AND we have ZERO medical aid this year! 😀

 

*What the hell!??! My son is heading for thirty!!!

Being Concerned About Children’s Pictures Becoming Memes

Picture it. You are scrolling through your Facebook or Twitter feed one morning, while you sip your first cup of coffee, and suddenly… there’s a face you recognise.
Its an image that has been shared by a Facebook “friend” you have only a vague memory of meeting or ever speaking to, who found it on their friend’s feed – someone you don’t know at all.
Its been liked, and commented on, and shared numerous times already by this friend’s friend’s friends – never mind the attention it got when it was posted on The Divine Side Of Parenting, or the Dads Who Babysit Badly Facebook page*.

Its your child’s face!

It’s YOUR child!

Its the picture you took before cleaning up the mess he had made, ‘coz it was so typical and funny and you knew your family would get a laugh.
Its the picture you took because your little princess looked so cute all pink and smiling on her tiptoes after her bubble bath and you knew her granny would love it.
Its the picture you took ‘coz they were smiling in an especially cute way, like they had just been mischievous and your timing was perfect.

And now it has a caption on it. In bold white text.

There are quite a few very well known memes on the internet that are made using pictures of children. They have many different captions ‘coz there are some very clever and funny people in this world. Some of those captions are mean and crass and offensive.
And they are on the internet forever.
You’ll know them if you see them (I have deliberately blurred the images so they won’t be shared yet again). Do you think their parents shared them as memes, or in the hopes they would become memes? What about when these children are Googled by prospective employers one day? The internet doesn’t go away. It can’t be deleted.

You’ve seem them before, haven’t you? You may even have commented on them, liked them, and shared them and thought nothing of it.

Think before you post pictures of your children online. It doesn’t matter if your Twitter feed is private, or what your privacy settings on Facebook are – they are changed all the time, nothing is safe.

And remember that pictures of naked and semi-naked children are considered child pornography when posted online in South Africa. Yes – even babies, and yes – even when posted by the child’s parents.

And I don’t give a crap how justified you think your cause is – you may NEVER post pictures of someone else’s naked children without their permission!
It was an incident exactly like this that got me onto this subject today – a woman photographed a naked child, and shared it publicly on Facebook because she didn’t like the circumstances under which the child was naked – she was all “I won’t rest until I find out what was going on…” and “I won’t rest until I find this child’s parents…“.
This is not how you take action, FCOL. How dare you.

*not actual Facebook pages

You may want to read:

Being Among the Shrooooooms

Every summer, our garden is full of mushrooms. Last summer, even with the little rain we had, I would go out some mornings and full a plastic shopping bag with big mushrooms that filled the lawn.
I pick them because even though it seems the dogs ignore them, I don’t want to chance them eating something poisonous by accident.
The ones I’ve seen the most of mostly look like these:

This summer, I noticed a few other mushrooms in the flowerbeds, and the more I looked, the more I found!

These I found growing in a small clump together, about 5cm tall, with the biggest one (left and top right) about 10cm across. They are white and look almost velvety.

I think these are all the same kind of mushroom… They have grown in the flowerbeds, in the shade, about 5cm across, and they are about 3cm tall. They’re quite delicate to the touch but the white stalks are sturdy. Maybe a ‘Common Ink Cap’?

These are growing in the flowerbeds where its coolest, maybe 2cm tall, and pale yellow. They are very delicate and they don’t last the day.

This one is all alone, growing on the side of a dead tree stump, in full sun. It looks velvety, and its about 5cm across. I think this is a ‘Turkey Tail’.

This one is all on its own, in the cool shade, about 10cm across and about 3cm tall.

And just out of curiosity, I didn’t pick them all the morning like I usually do – I waited to see how fast they grow, since I would go out in the mornings and find them everywhere! I didn’t use anything to give some perspective, but I think you can see how they’ve grown in the space of about 11 hours.

I think this is a ‘Green-gilled Parasol’ or a ‘False Parasol’, but it could be a ‘Shaggy Parasol’

I think this is a ‘Green-gilled Parasol’ or a ‘False Parasol’, but it could be a ‘Shaggy Parasol’

And the more I looked, the more I found – six or seven different kinds! Some of them look similar, so I may not have found as many as I thought… 😀 There was even one that was all spindly and wispy, and when they “died” they seem to turn into goop, an oily black slick on the mulch!

I did a bit of Googling to see if I could work out what they were, but I’m battling to ID them! Does anybody know shrooms?

A Year in Review – Forty @NocturnalWenchy Questions

I haven’t done one of these in a few years now…

  • What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
    Had a Christmas without my son…?
  • Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    I never make them. I know I won’t keep them.
  • Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Nope. First time in many years!
  • Did anyone close to you die?
    Yes… ?  My Granny darling in January, and my Daddy darling in August.

  • What countries did you visit?
    I didn’t cross any borders.
  • What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
    Money! And yes, I know what that sounds like!
  • What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory?
    January 3rd and August 7th ?

  • What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Puppy Patrick graduating as a Guide Dog, and having a few of my cakes make it to the CakesDecor.com home page!

  • What was your biggest failure?
    My own laziness.
  • Did you suffer illness or injury?
    I spent a week in hospital with asthma complications, and I had sinus surgery.
  • What was the best thing you bought?
    I got several new cake decorating tools!
  • Whose behaviour merited celebration?
    Our knucklehead! ? He’s a PADI Dive Instructor now working at a resort! We are unbelievably proud of him! 

  • Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
    I invoke my right not to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me. ?
  • Where did most of your money go?
    The vet… ?
  • What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    A few of my cakes make it to the CakesDecor.com home page! ???
  • What song/ album will always remind you of 2016?
    I can’t think of one…
  • Compared to this time last year, are you:
    • Happier or sadder? Sadder
    • Thinner or fatter? Fatter
    • Richer or poorer? Poorer
  • What do you wish you’d done more of?
    Visited my parents.
  • What do you wish you’d done less of?
    Bingeing on junk food.
  • How did you spend Christmas?
    My Glugster and I spent it at home with the animals, after I had a bit of a meltdown and bailed on my family.
  • Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
    My family, via WhatsApp group.
  • Did you fall in love in 2016?
    I fall in love with my darling Glugster every day! ?
  • How many one night stands in this last year?
    Are they still one night stands if I’m happily married to the guy? ?
  • What was your favourite TV program?
    There are a few that I watch – Game of Thrones is up there. And Orange is the New Black.
  • Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    I can’t think that I hate anyone, as such… I do have a very strong loathing for a couple of people, and that list doesn’t change.
  • What was the best book(s) you read?
    I didn’t do a lot of reading… I miss it.
  • What was your greatest musical discovery?
    Deezer!
  • What did you want and get?
    A new ring! My darling Glugster got me a gorgeous ring with three bands and Swarovski crystals to wear on my ring finger! ?

  • What did you want and not get?
    A car… Renting a car certainly makes maintenance easier, but we can’t have the car we would like.
  • What were your favourite films of this year?
    I saw Fantastic Beasts with my Glugster on the big screen and that was awesome, and I saw Finding Dory with my mommy darling and my sisters and that was great fun!
  • What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    I stopped counting at 40, but I got to sleep in, a clean kitchen, breakfast in bed, and a chilled day at home with my Glugster and my furchildren.
  • What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    Not having to pinch pennies… I grew up being frugal, I have no problem with that. What I hate is panicking when the petrol light comes on.
  • How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? *snort* I have no such thing. I wear whatever fits me.
  • What kept you sane?
    My husband. My precious Glugster.
  • Which celebrity/ public figure did you fancy the most?
    I don’t really “follow” celebs or read gossip magazines so by the time I find anything out its old news.
  • What political issue stirred you the most?
    I am frequently rendered speechless by the antics of the South African government, but I still can’t believe that Trump is the president of the USA!
  • Who did you miss?
    Nathan… My Granny darling… My daddy darling… And my knucklehead, who works far from us now.
  • Who was the best new person you met?
    Hhmmm… We spent the year fairly closeted at home, but I met a few new Guide Dog puppy raisers and they are such incredible people!
  • Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
    Everything matters. Everything.
  • Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. 
    All I Want For Christmas Is New Year’s Day.

Clearly I’m Getting Old.

I must be, because I’m reminiscing about “The good ol’ days…” and muttering into my coffee about “Thats not how we did it back then…”

I’m talking about blogging. And heaven knows my blog has gotten quiet since my son grew into an adult and said I couldn’t write about parenting him anymore.
I still write about my animals, and my cake art, but those are on seperate blogs to this one.

Seeing Facebook group posts like “Hi! I’m new to blogging! How do I get 10K readers?” or “Hi! I’m new to blogging! How do I make money?” and one of my favourites “Hi! I’m new to blogging! How do I get free stuff?” makes me want to ask them if they can even write worth a damn.  🙁

Ugh. I miss what blogging used to be.

Make no mistake, I’ve had my share of some AWESOME freebies. I still get invited to an event once in a blue moon and I blog about them. But I got lucky because I was there when SA businesses started asking bloggers to talk about their products, before you had to be an “influencer” with an audience of thousands.
But that isn’t why I started blogging.
I STARTED blogging because I wanted to share my life as a single mom.
I DISCOVERED I could make friends – many of whom I treasure some eleven years down the line. Hell, I met my darling Glugster, my husband, through our blogs!
If I remember correctly, there were easily fifty local and international blogs I was reading on a weekly basis at the very least back in the day. I loved reading them and leaving comments*.
Very few of those blogs even exist anymore. And now there are only a few blogs I still read, and I can’t remember when last I started reading a new one.

In the early days, before Facebook and Twitter (and and and), we didn’t use our real names, and we were super neurotic about people discovering our identities, and being stalked and murdered by the weirdos on the internet.
Now the weirdos are loud and proud, and everyone uses their real names.
Bloggers I got to know long before blogging was a business, or social media was a career in South Africa, have succeeded in turning their blogging into a business. These people are incredible writers and/ or photographers, and their work is worth paying for.
I am not a writer, not by a long shot. I am a blogger. 😛 And there is a big difference. I have seen my writing turned into a masterpiece when edited by a writer, so I do know the difference. And I am a happy snapper, not a photographer.
IMHO, if you want to blog to make money and get freebies, then you had better be a good writer, and at the very least a half-decent photographer, and work on your blog daily, to get and keep “influencer” status.
It takes WORK.

But I do miss the days of reading about each other’s adventures just for fun.

*I am a serial comment leaver, I will comment if I read your blog. It never occurred to me to lurk