Alma’s Blog

Modern Housewife Skills as per the Glug-Glug Wine Club

Talk around the Glug-Glug Wine Club dinner table each month always somehow turns to matters of the home.

Now you would think that we had more interesting things to talk about but discussing irons and clothes pegs is actually very enlightening.  It highlights just how stressful it is to runa home and the high level of skills required to do so successfully.

Required skills to be a successful modern housewife according to Glug Glug members

  •            Weatherforecaster: Deciding in the morning if the clouds are going to dissipate or not.  Often the deadline to put a load of washing on arrives and the sun has either appeared or disappeared.  What to do? Bloody Durban weather.
  •           Clothepeg connoisseur:  Apparently you can’t just hang your clothes up any old way. There is a right way and a wrong way. Who knew?  I just hang everything upside down.  It seems right for about 50% of the garments. Oh, and God help the lady that does not fold her washing with military precision when taking it down.
  •       Iron technician:  Not all irons are created equally.  Besides which – steamers are the next best thing, not irons. As far as I am concerned, if an iron last longer than a year it is simply brilliant.
  •       Dishwashing machine expert:  To rinse or not to rinse before packing in?  This argument gets discussed more frequently than the topic of husbands and becomes far too heated for my liking. Watch this space. This could be what starts WW3
  •           Detergent detective:  Finding the latest, new,improved wunder-cleaner is essential. Once found it then requires stalking of the cleaning lady to ensure that she only uses the recommended amount and not the whole bottle in one day. The stalking is essential as the said bottle of phenomenal cleaner costs more than your entire month’s grocery budget.
  •       Pantry science:  Not all tins live up to their expiry dates. Knowing which ones you can use after those pesky dates takes years of experience.  Rotating produce and stock control requires meticulousness attention to detail.  I don’t have a pantry. What a relief.
  •       Human Resources Degree:  Actually, discussing the management of household cleaning staff requires a book, not a blog.  The stories that get shared each month have me either gasping in horror or gasping for breath they make me laugh so much.  I am so grateful for my sweet, short sighted Gladys.

And you thought we just discussed sauvignon, sex, shopping and shoes at wine club,right?

Glug-Glug ladies, thank you so much for always being there as my mentors and tutors as I bumble my way through housewifery. My house is still standing and no-one has died as yet so I must be doing some of it right. 

Perfume and Pompoms

Without startingto sound like a gardening blog, considering my Jasmine post, I love the perfumethat some plants have.  “Yesterday, Todayand Tomorrow” trees emit the most glorious smell.  I have never had any luck with roses but ifone has the patience to adhere to their long list of fiddly and fancifulrequirements – roses will bless you with their beautiful scent.
One of the many Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow trees in my  jungle, umm, garden.

I have thisugly, messy, unruly plant growing like a weed in my garden.  For 11 out of 12 months they serve no purposeexcept as privacy from our neighbours who are so cool we don’t really needprivacy from them.  They also dropcopious amounts of large, elongated, shrivelled leaves. (The plants – not theneighbours.  Really!)  I have no clue what they are called – their Latin,biological and common name all elude me.)

What is sospecial about “plant with no name” is that the ugly brown clumps at the end of theirstalks turn into white laced pompoms and drenched the air with a powerful aromathat can be smelt for miles.  The smellpermeates every inch of the house and the garden.  This only lasts a couple of weeks but I lookforward to those 2 weeks every year.  Theperfume is so potent that one could almost get a headache from it. 
They look like Lamingtons, don’t they?

I am sograteful that these “weeds” grow so prolifically in my garden.  

Please come and visit me one evening (they onlygive off their precious aroma at night) in January/February and allow theglorious perfume to uplift you. 

If you knowwhat they are called – I’ll give you a glass of wine.  Fair trade?

A recipe shared…

The other day I added a sparkly, dazzling, disco-like button to my blog…I’ll wait while you look.  Seen it?  Okay – let’s continue.
This button, when clicked, will take you to a blog called “No, Really, you can eat it” (yes, really) where Melanie shares recipes and all sorts of interesting stuff.

She offered to give me a recipe as thanks for sharing her shiny button.  I advised her that a salad recipe would be appreciated as it is so gosh darn hot in Durban at the moment.

Here is the recipe.  Enjoy!

Gifts and Gratitude

I am a rather simple chick. I have no illusions of grandeur and my wishes are verging on the dulland darn right boring.
  • I wish the Alien would listen to me the first time I saysomething (Not a difficult request surely?)
  • I wish my cats and dog would stop shedding hair everywhere(I am drowning in their hair, people. HELP!)
  • I wish alcohol didn’t give me a hangover (How can somethingso delightful be so punishing?  It’scruel I tell you.)
  • I wish TV adverts weren’t so bloody loud (They are at least1000 decibels louder than the programme you just fell asleep to.)
  • I wish women could stand together and force feminine hygienecompanies to bring down the prices of sanitary towels/tampons (Come on, it’s arip off.  I expect to see cotton wool pricesafter gold and oil prices on business news. It is clearly a rare commodity)

When it comes to my birthday I am therefore totally coolwith just a well-worded card or an e-mail or a phone call.  No mess, no fuss required.  I am over 40 remember.  As long as Chicken Man and the Alien rememberto give me an extra hug and kiss (and exempt me from cooking dinner) I am ahappy camper.
We have a no-gift policy in our family.  One of my brothers does not conform to thispolicy however and, together with his wife, always gets me the most apt and amazinggift.  I was nursing the last fumes in myperfume bottle and VOILA – they gave me perfume for Christmas. I was growing crow’sfeet like ostrich feet around my eyes squinting against the Durban sun andVOILA – they gave me sunglasses. So it goes on…
This year they gave me something that I have wanted since theproduct first hit the market.  Myobsession for reading has never been a secret. So, when I opened their gift to me last night, I could not contain mytears of gratitude.  I have aKindle! 
What more can I say? A fantasy comes true. I’ll ignore the cat and dog hairs and payfull price for tampons as I lose myself in my love for the written word on my new toy.  Thank you Herman and Michaela.
My joy cannot really be captured by Kodak but thank you Vernon for sending me this pic.

The Alien is no longer Alienated

The Alien turned 15 in December.  Of course, all she wanted was a Blackberry.  Every other need and want paled in comparison to her desire to have BBM (Blackberry Messenger)

I stuck to my guns of not getting her one – with difficulty though.  The nagging, tantrums, depression and blackmail would have had the most hardened Marine SEAL crying like a baby!

Her joy when she received a Blackberry from her Uncle and Aunt was a sight to behold though.

The look of love as she clapped eyes on her BB for the first time almost brings tears to ones eyes??

Then there is the “look Mom – I have a Blackberry.  How cool am I?” stage.  Pouting is of course compulsory.

This is followed by the far away stare of an Alien plotting all the possibilities opened up to her thanks to finally becoming a part of the BBM generation.

The Blackberry has been surgically attached to the end of her hand since she received it.  
Quick question: Is there medication I should be giving her or counselling sessions available to ensure that she is emotionally prepared to get through the first day of school without it tomorrow?