We have landed running this year - there's been no time to blog, no time to note the events on paper or online as they slam into us and rush on by. But yes - I'm still alive. Here's a post as proof.
We have a new addition to the home - an espresso machine. It was recycled into a load of e-waste but is still in perfect working condition, so in the spirit of Reduce Re-Use Recycle - we're re-using! :-) It's an older model, and has taken a day or two to get the hang of things, but we're managing to churn out lekker cappuccinos to fill that craving for decent coffee on a daily basis. In fact, I have just managed to make the perfect cup for my breakfast. Barrista is in the house!
And business is running. Literally running. Although we had no real break over the festive season, when doors "officially" opened on 3 January, we did more business in the first week than we had in the entire month of December. And it simply hasn't let up. There's no such thing as a weekend. There's barely something that looks like sleep. We have some really big projects on the go, as well as new clients signing up daily - all of which require both delicate technical work and take-a-drill-to-the-wall labour. I've put up a considerable number of antennas this year, climbed towers small and tall, crawled around in interesting ceilings and been the Voice On The Phone for our clients. In between all that I've built a computer or forty, handled many loads of e-waste, driven long hours and hundreds of kms in Olivia the Landy, and still fitted in the most basic of household duties. There's a lot more I'd like to do on the home front, but most nights I'm lucky if I get supper served before 9pm! We've gone too many days without a decent lunch, often had too little water to drink while out on site, and the groceries are a mad dash around the shops before they close or between jobs. It's not ideal - but it's what it is. While I'm coping with that lot, the boys also have their challenges. As I type this (at 7am) they're on a mountain and half way through one of the day's big jobs on a high site. We're in the process of moving to a vastly improved internet connection for our clients - which means the occasional equipment upgrade or tweak. Tweaking and upgrading is currently in progress :-) Unfortunately it comes with the associated really early morning, which one boy bitterly complained about and the other took with an overwhelming desire to rather be back in bed. Eish, the things we do to keep our customers happy. I'm not sure any of them realize the effort required in ensuring when they press "play" on the internet, it not only does something, but does it extremely well.
Back to the home front. Didi the dog is no longer a puppy. Born in November 1997, he's rapidly heading to elderly status. And in recent months he's almost shuffled off this mortal coil. He came down with a cough that got worse - and then when we aquired Codiene-based cough mixture for it, he became addicted to the stuff! He'd stand around coughing just to get dosed. And when we didn't comply, he then started coughing for attention. All this fake-coughing actually made him pretty ill and there was one particular night where I was already planning where I'd bury him... However, rumours of his death were apparently greatly exaggerated - and for the past week he's actually been bouncing around like a puppy. I partially blame the full moon. He sleeps all day, and when the cool of the evening plus the moon make their appearance, he's off. Running around, wagging what's left of his docked tail (unfortunately we got him like that), "sharking" in the kitchen for offcuts, head-butting legs for scratches and generally being a maniac. He's not done yet.
Also on the home front, now that we're in a house that actually has a bit of real soil in the yard (instead of everything being bricked up front and back), I thought I'd try my hand at a some food production. After I'd ripped out the ridiculous inappropriate "ground cover" the owners had hurridly planted between the pavers out back before advertising the place of course - which was a succulent that took over the yard. I replaced that with proper ground cover, some low-growing thyme and a row of chammomile against the wall - then threw bean seeds into a sunny location, couple of spinach seeds elsewhere and sat back to see what would happen. The garden has a spray-irrigation system which my herbs in pots were loving - and pretty soon the rest of the stuff started to grow. Including a gigantic tomato plant in the middle of the arums thanks to my usual practice of composting veggie offcuts by throwing them into the garden. It's called "random gardening" and where I lived a couple of years ago I used to harvest all sorts of interesting things that came up in the ferns :-) The theory of random gardening is that companion plants will grow well together, things that like the particular location will also grow well - and everything else will serve as nutrient fodder. Well, the beans came up, the spinach did too - and the caterpillars arrived to eat the spinach and chammomile. They got posted over the wall to the greater outdoors, never to return. But once I got them under control the snails moved in. Fought them off too. And then, a week or so ago, when we were sweltering in 48 degree heat, I went out to slave away - and for 3 days didn't water the garden. Upon which the red spider mites went "YAY!" and moved in to the tomato plant... I think I may have subdued them but they've left a sorry looking plant behind. I have no idea if it will recover. And in those three days of no water, the beans shrivelled up and croaked. We at least got one good meal out of the 8 plants though - and what came off the bush straight into the pot was a whole lot tastier than the make-up-the-volume store-bought beans added at the same time. As for the spinach - one plant grew in the sun, the rest were planted in too much shade it seems. They never really made it past infancy before the snails took them out permanently.
Then there's all the small stuff that happens day-to-day that I'd love to blog about, simply to have a record of it as my now-40-year-old-brain slows down :-) Things like Favourite Man's foray into the world of Apple with an iPhone. My son's immediate future plans - and an adventure coming up he as yet knows nothing about. Thoughts on my grandfather's farm (sorry Favourite Man - "plot"), which has been on my mind a lot recently. Adventures and discoveries, challenges and discouragements.
But life marches on, and time to blog is at a minimum. In fact, it's time now to get going with the rest of the day's tasks.