Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hello friends.

 I cannot believe I even still have people who visit this page regularly! It's been a year since I could write and yet you faithful ones are still here, visiting and rereading old posts ... Thank you! I am truly moved. 

This time I do have a legitimate reason though...


So here is the story for those of you that would like to know :-)

Last year (2014) from around July, I started finding my energy levels were not what they had always been and put it down to overwork. I was finding it more and more difficult to manage a full work day and my house full of children. I was also getting more and more stressed because I felt TLC had lost its momentum and really needed a recharged vision but I could not think of a way to get this done.

Finally in September 2014, I could no longer carry on. My physical state was in severe fatigue and my heart and mind were depressed. I announced to management my intention to step down out of the knowledge that I needed to take long leave and regain some perspective.

I spent from October 2014 to January 2015 (Yes, that's 4 MONTHS!) sleeping 12 to 18 hours a day, I developed headaches, dry mouth, sensitivity to light, sore throats, mouth ulcers, coughs, ear aches and nausea! These symptoms would appear and disappear randomly  but definitely the fatigue was the worst thing I have ever experienced and I honestly thought I might die!
I was only able to manage my children’s basic needs and bless them they were so good to me.  I was certainly not able to spare any emotional energy on the goings on outside my front door let alone further afield. 

The doctors diagnosed Infectious Mononucleosis  :-)

and I was none the wiser until a chance conversation with another doctor in April this year suggested a set of very expensive specialist blood tests. Desperate to know what was wrong with me I went ahead.

Unbeknownst to me, I was severely ill with 2 strains of Rickettsia (a debilitating but treatable, blood disorder of the Lyme disease family) a disease often misdiagnosed as Chronic Fatigue syndrome.

The Blood tests revealed besides these two infections, I also had 4 other blood infections, the most serious of which is called Q-fever and is the only one with a possibility to recur after treatment.

THE GOOD NEWS is, I am on treatment and getting better now. The doctor estimates a year to two years of recovery and I feel so much better already just knowing what it is!

 I am back in the TLC offices from 8am to 1pm and seeing to my 16 children’s needs from then onwards.

I hope to keep blogging from now on and share with you some exciting new developments that we are working on here at TLC.

Thank you all once again for your love and care and most of all for your faithfulness in friendship.

God Bless You All

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How are you?

Hello friends

I am trying something new today :-) I am blogging from my phone! I have been feeling so bad about promising to be a better blogger and then just not getting to it :-( one of the problems has been the slow connectivity of our network and the other the fact that I am now house mom to 17 little bodies which for some or other reason keeps me tied up ALL the time ;-)

So that worked for all of a few minutes until I realized I cannot get my photos to the right size for using here! So I will type first then load the pictures from my laptop and hopefully there will still be a blogpost to read at the end of the day!

Mom left for the family meetings in Germany and Denmark last Thursday, she was delayed by 3 days in getting away because the German embassy had some issues doing the visa for Paul. Anyhow they finally got away and I hear they are having a fabulous time.

Things are just awful for us financially at the moment. The department subsidy was late and the national lottery has not yet released the second half of what they promised us so we are once again behind on our payments and losing sleep and hair about things like school fees and petrol. Ugh! I know I am a goose most of the time :-) I just wish I could produce those famous golden eggs!! LOL

Our beloved Bernard, TLC's faithful groundsman has retired after 15 years of service to us. In a very moving Farewell message, Joshua (now 21) related some of his favorite and enduring moments with 'Malome' (which means 'Uncle' in Zulu). He told of the moulding Bernard did on his character and how in so many ways Bernard was the father he looked to. His message had us all fighting the tears.

The winter has officially arrived in Johannesburg and things are feeling pretty chilly, especially around the early mornings and evenings. Our winter corn has been harvested and we are husking the corn off the cobs and making feed for the chickens and cows.
We also planted the new winter grazing in two paddocks so we are eager to see how this works out for the cows and how it benefits the reduction of  our feed bill.

Rhys' chicken project has now got a dedicated buyer and things are working very well in this regard. TLC gets chicken and beef from its farm and the new mainhouse gets all its milk, eggs and butter needs from these efforts.

One new way we are trying to bring a little money in is by selling off all our extra items that have been donated in the idea of a 'charity stall' at the local flea market. We have only done this twice so far and have a few ideas of how to increase our profits so if anyone has done a seasonal clean out of cupboards or storerooms please send the things our way - we can definitely see a way to help us out of this money mess by doing this.

Our full nursery of babies are growing up and eating so much good now! We seem to be forever peeling, chopping, steaming and pureeing trays of vegetables. If anybody comes to visit perhaps pop a bag of gems, squash or apples in your boot for us ;-)

Here is a Sunny picture of the children on our amazing new Jungle Gym donated to us by the Noyen-Melendez family. The children spend hours on it everyday and it has helped spread the noise out a little further from the mainhouse which is nice for everybody too :-)

And then just for a laugh here is one reminder of how life goes with a house full of teenagers.

Every now and then I find an awesome picture on our Family Group on WhatsApp. The kids are so creative and so VAIN I can't help but laugh.

Here is one example:

I Love you all