An email I got which I want to share…   58 comments

I got this email and enjoyed it such that I thought you all might enjoy it….

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I hate it when he plays “Mount Everest.”

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Menopause sucks.

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Who the heck is “Sugar Lips?”

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Those brownies were Far Out!!

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NO! We Don’t want any Magazine Subscriptions!

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There’s a ringer competing in the Hogtown Olympics.

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I’m not Over-Weight, I’m Under-Tall!!

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You do have an odd perspective on things.

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Lunchtime at the Corncob Cafe.

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Okay, I caught him, now what do I do with him?

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I hate this game.

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Flight ‘Hum-One’ coming in for a landing.

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Hi, I’m Celeste, I’ll be your Aura-Concierge today.

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Just act natural and blend in.

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Where’s my Coffee?

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Whoo-o loves ya, Baby?

Hope you all enjoy this….

Posted 25/11/2013 by linda in Linda's Thoughts

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Back Home Again.   42 comments

Well we’re back from our trip having shorten our planned route and visitations. We were involved in an accident that “rearranged the aero dynamics of our car” (Rob’s explanation of the car). Fortunately no one had any serious injuries, Rob is however now donned with a neck brace for whip lash. And the car is being returned to its former glory at some Auto body shop.

I took these photos of a “sand artist” while at the beach one day, I think he is very talented and makes his living from people donating into the hat, he seems to do alright.

Well we are temporarily back till the car is fixed and then we are on the road again. They say it will take till next week so I’m not sure when Rob will hit the road again.

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I love the way the poacher is in handcuffs..

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Not a fan of snakes but this one got both man and wife..

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This is a model of one of our soccer stadiums that was built for the world cup.. (I think)

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Sharks, Dolphins, Mermaid and a man without an arm… shark food.!!!!!

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Now I can get back to reading some blogs as well….

Posted 18/11/2013 by linda in Life with Rob

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A Baby’s Hug   36 comments

Got this as an email and just felt I should share it here….

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, ‘Hi.’ He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled.. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. ‘Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy.. I see ya, buster,’ the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks,
‘What do we do?’

Erik continued to laugh and answer, ‘Hi.’

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, ‘Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.’

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. ‘Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,’ I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s ‘pick-me-up’ position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, ‘You take care of this baby.’

Somehow I managed, ‘I will,’ from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, ‘God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.’

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, ‘My God, my God, forgive me.’

I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, ‘Are you willing to share your son for a moment?’ when He shared His for all eternity. How did God feel when he put his baby in our arms 2000 years ago.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, ‘To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.’

Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow-man that identifies who you are.

This one is a keeper.

‘It is better to be liked for the true you, than to be loved for who people think you are……’

Posted 25/10/2013 by linda in Linda's Thoughts

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Third surprise, Breast Cancer.   46 comments

One week after joining Rob in Port Shepstone in Natal, I found the lump in my breast that had been there for five years, seemed to be getting bigger. It had never been painful before, but now my arm was irritating the side of my breast.

Five years earlier when I’d found this lump, I’d seen our family Doctor, he had done the syringe bit, painful I might add, removed fluid and sent it for testing. The results said the lump was benign.

I asked for the lump to be removed anyway, but the Dr. said it was unnecessary, as this was just a cyst and not dangerous, it was an occurrence in woman approaching menopause. But to be safe I should return yearly for tests just to make sure, this I did religiously.

Now not knowing any Doctors on the coast we asked around and luckily one of the woman at Robs work told us who to see. The Doctor was a member at Rob’s golf course and agreed to see us. Again the syringe test to remove fluid and sent off for testing. The awaited phone call was a few days in coming, but when it did, it was cancer. Why, what next, was this to be the start of a new chapter of our lives.

I was devastated, only eighteen months after the Oncocytoma, this could not be happening and I phoned Rob asking him to come home. When I told him the news shock was written all over his face, we sat and really didn’t know what to say to each other. I think our thoughts were the same.

The Doctor wanted to remove the lump as soon as possible, so we made the arrangements with the Medical Company and a date was set.

In the hospital the day of the operation the Doctor came to speak with us both, he was going to remove the lump as well as a good part surrounding it, also lymph nodes from the arm pit which would tell him if the cancer had spread. He also said that if he found things that did not look good during the operation, he would recommend the total removal of the breast, in fact he would recommend a double Mastectomy.

This news was given to us just before the op and we immediately agreed, to do what was necessary. I was surprised at Rob’s reaction, after all he is a “boob man”, but I think, like me he wanted the cancer gone no matter what the consequence. On my way to the theatre I prayed; “God I am in your hands, whichever way you want this to go, please give me the courage to handle it.”

When I came round my chest was heavily bandaged and to be honest I wasn’t sure if I had a breast anymore. The Doctor did not take long to arrive to tell us that everything looked good and the nodes seemed clear, but the last results should be in the following day. I still had my boobs, praise the Lord.

The following day I’d gone to the toilet when there was a knock, I called that I was busy, but the door opened and in marched the Doctor. Here I was sitting on the loo with the Doc sitting talking to me (very embarrassing). The results were in and all seemed fine the cancer seemed not to have spread. Radiation would be the following step after the healing of the wound.

I met my new oncologist, a woman that was to take me through the next step, radiation. She felt that from the Doctors report and the pathologists report chemo would not be necessary, but the taking of Arimidex for five years was her recommendation.

The Doctor had told us this might be a forthcoming from the Oncologist and had told Rob he would not allow his wife to take it. He felt this was still a test drug and that the results were not that conclusive enough, to warrant the “hell” it put women through.

We discussed this and Rob felt it was my choice as I had the cancer and not him, he would go with whatever I decided. After many thoughts I decided anything that gave a half chance of the breast cancer not returning was worth the effort.

The radiation started, we had to travel 100 kilometres to a hospital in Durban every day for six weeks. Rob had asked permission from his employees and they stood completely behind him. So every day we travelled through, fortunately the hospital was on the side of town from where we came so we tended to miss the heavy rush hour traffic.

Our first visit was by far the worst, a waiting room full of people waiting their turn, and not knowing what awaited me did not help matters. But everyone in the waiting room looked so serious and sad, Rob’s first comment was it seemed like God’s waiting room. The treatment only took ten minutes, from getting undressed, one minute of radiation and then getting dressed again to going home.

Six weeks of this made me think it was going to be easy, the only thing was the air of sad and gloom in the waiting room. Now Rob being deaf, tends to talk loudly and I’m for ever having to give him the sign to talk quieter. He would enter the waiting room and greet everyone in a loud and booming voice, this surprised many, but when we sat, chatted and laughed it tended to bring a smile to the others faces who could not help but overhear Rob’s conversation.

On one occasion he even fell asleep while I went in for treatment, and this had the room more than smiling, especially with his snoring. Things seemed to be cruising along until I developed a sore under the breast, it became raw and almost blister like. This was apparently normal and they gave me a treatment and a gauze type sheet to place on it.

Rob would have to do this as I could only see it by lifting my boob and using a mirror. My “boob man” husband who normally would not have needed any encouragement to touch, was now afraid. I think the application and removal hurt him more than me and he had to do this every day for 30 odd days and at the end he became quite the professional.

The last day of treatment was the day before Christmas and I asked Rob to take me shopping for gifts for the staff that had administered the radiation. They had all been so good and friendly and for some reason enjoyed Rob’s happy way while in the waiting room. In a way I was sorry to see the end, not for the treatment, but because of the people I was going to miss.

Through all of this, my faith is what kept me strong, support from my family and of course, a sense of humour.

The Arimidex began after this and I’m not sure I would recommend this to anyone, yet I would, if it was going to save a life and stop the dreaded breast cancer from returning.

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I Thought you Might want to Know…   46 comments

A friend invited me to a house-warming party and just as I arrived, this man with longish hair, a droopy moustache and legs that reached right up to his belly button, walked up to me and asked me to dance. Two minutes into the dance he asked me to marry him, I looked at him laughed, and asked him how many beers he had consumed, he in return told me that he was dead serious, and that he was going to marry me, he then stood back bowed, and introduced himself as Rob.

I went home after the party and of course my Mum being still awake, wanted to know how the party went. I told her that there was this very tall silly, actually stupid man, who kept on asking me to marry him. She looked at me and asked in a shocked voice “you didn’t say yes, did you?” My reply was that I was not THAT hard up, and that I probably would never see him again

Well, the next day Rob and some guy walks in to my place of work and started chatting, I promptly told them that I was very busy, but Rob being Rob, would not leave until I had agreed to see him again. Ye, ye, ye, I was weak, Mmmm…. I could say that I agreed just to get rid of him, but that would be a bit of a lie. Later on I found out that the guy with him, was his best friend, and that he had brought him with to see what he thinks of me. I looked at Rob and said “You know what, I now feel like a racehorse being looked over before being bought.” Rob thought I was upset and tried to talk his way out of it, I started to laugh and he realized I was joking.

Three weeks later he asked me to marry him, and I said yes. My friends and family thought that I had lost my mind, that I was moving too quickly, and that it would not last.

Six weeks later we were married, Rob in a purple suit and a huge bow tie, me in a pastel green mini dress, (I know….have a good laugh…..) with my big hair do and all. But we were sooo… fashionable, or so we thought. Remember, it WAS the 70’s…….

Now forty years later, we have been blessed with three great kids, two daughters and a son, our eldest daughter being from my first marriage. The Lord has also blessed us with five gorgeous grandsons, and two beautiful granddaughters.

It has not always been easy, we had more ups than downs, but when the hard times did come, we stood together and battled through together.

I still think he brought his friend to check my teeth, just like you would a well-bred horse…….

When we were In America I made him work… I’m in the buggy…

FXCD0058

Posted 09/10/2013 by linda in Life with Rob

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Too Busy for a Friend…..?   43 comments

I received this by email today and just felt I had to share it…

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the rest of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one-handed in the papers.
That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that person.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. ‘Really?’ she heard whispered. ‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.
Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.

The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin. As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. ‘Were you Mark’s math teacher?’ he asked. She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Mark talked about you a lot.’

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon.. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher. ‘We want to show you something,’ his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket ‘They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.’ Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.

‘Thank you so much for doing that,’ Mark’s mother said. ‘As you can see, Mark treasured it.’

All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, ‘I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.’
Chuck’s wife said, ‘Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.’
‘I have mine too,’ Marilyn said. ‘It’s in my diary’
Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. ‘I carry this with me at all times,’ Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: ‘I think we all saved our lists’

That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be.

So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

Posted 08/10/2013 by linda in Linda's Thoughts

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A Very Fishy Story! Rob and his Shenanigans.   45 comments

Rob and I lived in the city for years, but had chosen to buy a farm in Lydenburg, Mpumalanga. On the farm we had a few dams, one of which had fish (Black Bass) living in it. Now Rob and I are not great fishermen, we tried to fish just about every spare time we had, but to no avail.

This was very frustrating for Rob and I, there was one Bass that was much bigger than the others, he tended to lie near the surface where we could see him; so Rob and I named him, “Mr. Big”. Now Mr. Big was a crafty old Bass, we would dangle the hook in front of his mouth, and he would move to the side of the hook, then again we would dangle it in front of him, and again he would swim to the side of the hook. Anyway, months passed and still no luck.

We had just finished a days work, when I told Rob I really would love a piece of fish for supper, the only problem was we lived 40 kilometres out of town, and in those days the shops still closed on a Sunday. So guess what? Rob had no option but to go fishing. So off he goes with his fishing rod to try his luck, while I went home to soak in a lovely warm bath.

About an hour later Rob comes home full of the joys of spring, and shouts out to me that he has at last caught the fish, and that he would clean and bake it for us. He hands me a glass of wine and promptly shooshes me off to the veranda while he got on with the cleaning and cooking.

Eventually he calls and tells me dinner is ready. Well!! I must say that Rob had cooked the fish to perfection, I enjoyed every mouthful, until the third last bite when I nearly broke my tooth on something hard, not wanting to hurt the chefs feelings, I said nothing, it did look a bit suspicious though. I took another mouthful and lo and behold it happened again. I couldn’t keep quiet any longer, so I told him what had happened, he looked at me and promptly started laughing, he laughed so much his tears were splashing all over the place, and I thought that any minute now he was going to fall off his chair.
I asked him if he was going to share the joke with me, he got this guilty look on his face and said “Love the damn fish would not bite, so I shot Mr Big with a shotgun ”

Now I know why I was kept out of the kitchen. The poor fish probably looked like a sieve, and Rob had known, if I knew it was Mr. Big, I certainly would have said no to dinner; specially if I knew he had been blasted from the waters with a 12 gauge shotgun.