Tuesday, 30 June 2009

PHOTO DISASTER and a HELP! request!



I had the most awesome photo post all edited & ready for you today (well, in the late hours of last night actually but it would have registered with today's date as it was just after midnight) &, as I was about to click "send by e mail" (in Picasa) ALL my photos flew off into the sunset! Yup, you read right...they just flittered away into oblivion. I've never seen such a thing in my life. Strange, but true...Today is a new day & I am over it (it DID take 24 hours to recover...) I have NO idea why Picasa decided to turn on me after all my months of love & loyalty but there you go...can't even trust a photo program! Needless to say me thinks Photoshop Elements is now just too long overdue & I am cooking up a scheme as to how to acquire it asap...

So, with no photos, this will have to be a newsy post, as it is too darn cold to start editing photos all over again...Durban is COLD. So cold I am having to sleep with my electric blanket on ALL NIGHT!!! Very un-environmentally friendly (ummm, I think that should be not environmentally friendly...heck, who cares, you know what I mean...) but there is nought for it as our duvet is light-weight & has sufficed for the last 3.5 years here & an electric blanket is cheaper than a wool one! Quite ironic really - just shows you how technology has advanced to become so affordable. One would imagine that something natural would be less expensive.

Yesterday I was FULL of flu. So full of it that I imagined I would be spending a large amount of time in bed today. That was not a happy thought as I haven't been out of the property since I returned from hospital on Wednesday. I was determined to venture out today so started downing every conceivable source of vitamin C, including a new one for me - HOT TODDY "Fast Recovery" &, true to their word, I woke up this morning feeling 80% better! My maid left for her annual leave of one month on Friday & I was absolutely dreading it. I know that is going to sound awful to my foreign readers but I also know that my local ones will be able to relate ;-D As Africans, we have to bear a lot & suffer in other inconceivable (to foreigners) ways, so I make no apologies for enjoying live-in help. I have certainly paid my dues in this area as I have gone through dozens of house-helpers, most of them lying, thieving, disloyal people. I now have Mercy, who is a real life angel. Our angel of mercy LOL.

When I count my blessings daily, I always count her twice!! So I was just DREADING her departure & envisaging filth & squalor. Well, I have to say (rather proudly) that I have been coping remarkably well! I have so far done 4 loads of washing (out in the laundry room in the freezing cold) & I have ironed half of it! I think I am pretty slow as it took me 2 hours, but dh & I actually got to chat for a change, while I did it, so it ain't all bad...I cleaned the whole kitchen, it is all sparkling like a Handy Andy advert & I even weeded out front & swept up all the leaves! I'm sure the novelty will wear off soon but I can't believe I actually quite enjoyed it???!!! The kids co-operated (3 out of 4 as one was with a friend) The boys were fine but Chelsea is going to have to marry royalty as she is most definitely THE laziest person I have ever met, and trying to get her co-operation was hardly worth the effort in the end...unreal...is this normal teenage behaviour or what?

Seriously...I can't believe her attitude as we have ALWAYS made our children do age-appropriate chores around the house but I have had to up the ante now as I have no Mercy/mercy - 'scuze the pun ;-D What do you expect of your kids? Surely I shouldn't be expected to "do it all"? Chelsea would like me not to set foot in her bedroom & considers things like making the bed & emptying her waste paper basket "not necessary" ( her own words LOL) Surely not? I can't BEAR not making my bed. And it's not because I'm 42. I have ALWAYS hated an unmade bed. She tells me that housework is "a waste of time" but it's not as if she has anything better to do as she spends her days a) listening to her ipod b) watching DVDs c) Talking on MXit d) On Facebook e) With friends.

I DID get to go out today at long last & have some very interesting observations to share re: where I went (other LSS) but that is for another post. Does anyone have any brainwaves as to how to get teenagers to co-operate? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease. I am at my wit's end. She has a great life (she would no doubt beg to differ). She gets to go out both night on the weekend & a few (3-4) nights a week during the holidays. We share lifts with her bf but that still equates to a there/back trip for dh. Usually a 20 minute drive each way, at least.
She has a decent clothing allowance every month & a small amount of "going out" money over the weekends. She works hard at school & achieves good grades but is quite happy living like a tramp! I can't believe she shares my genes as I am Mrs Psychotically Tidy. Perhaps therein lies the answer...


11 comments:

Vicki said...

Well she would do it hard at our house! LOL. One DD always misses putting out her washing so now she does her own. They all have to keep their rooms tidy, and clean the bathrooms/toilets
when asked. The oldest pay us "board" money which she queried and we were then able to rattle off a list a mile long as to what we provide her with now she has left school - she shut up in a hurry especially when the transport was mentioned. With mine - grounding works as does docking the pocket money/allowance.

topkatnz said...

Helen, Helen, Helen ... how do you get her to do other things?? ... it's called parenting with currency ... yes, she does lead a very cushy life ... try taking away those priviledges, adding them back ONLY for each job done; after all, if you are busy doing housework all day, you really can't run after her so much! ... also appeal to her sense of love and respect... how much does she love you? does she think it fair that you have to do it all? ... there is no excuse for slovenly living and poor personal standards ... you are spoiled her BIG TIME ... AND the things you put in place now, should continue when Mercy returns ... the world is changing, she has to know how to look after herself ... Oh, and making a big thing of rewarding the boys, in front of her, for their help is a good idea too ...
My kids do heaps around the house - they have always made their own beds(before they come out of their rooms in the morn, and before breakfast); dust and clean their rooms; Ashlee cleans the bathroom and loo; Mitchell empties the dishwasher, vacumns and cleans our ensuite. They both share cat feeding; and add in other jobs for money ... their pocketmoney gets docked if they don't do their regular jobs ... just like a grown-up hun!!LOL

Desire Fourie said...

Glad to hear you up and moving even doing chores ... you must perhaps not try to do too much too fast, but I know its easier said than done. Hugs from Desire

Jenny said...

Agree with Heidi: in our house we all live in it so we all do the work. When chores don't get done, the cell phone, PSP, and other media is banned. The work soon happens

Cindy said...

Yes Helen, you need to stop letting her live the privledged life. She cant leave the house or have friends over until her chores are done. Her allowance could be based on chores done. We are age appropriate in our house too but at the teen ages they can pretty much do everything you do. So my suggestions is to not do it for her and take away her privledges until the chores are done. Our 2 eldest (left home now) learnt the hard way. We only expected them to clean their rooms and set the table, wash up, take rubbish out. But they started to slacken off, so then they had to do their own washing as well, and then later their own ironing and those became their permanent jobs. I was happy to relinguish. If they get away with it they will continue to not do it. Be strong.
As for photoshop elements - i love it. I have never used picasa so cant comment but i use elements, not as a photo organiser as my folders in My Computer are very carefully organised, but I just open my photos in elements to edit. When I have finished with the photos from one month I burn them on CD and store them away. This stops my computer from getting overloaded. I used to have an external harddrive but it died and i lost all my photos from 2006 to xmas 2008. I use elements to organise all my digital elements though, which is great because i can find them by designer as well as type eg paper, flowers etc.
Anyway, hope things settle down for you.

jax said...

We live in South Africa and have a cleaning lady twice a week - who only does the floors, bathrooms ironing and windows. Both children make their beds every day and keep their rooms and bathrooms tidy. They feed the dog and set (clear away) the table for dinner every night. They take their cups and plates to the scullery when done during the day. It has always been like this and we haven't had a problem with it - we always took it forgranted and don't thank them for it. Yikes! better start appreciating their involvement.
SOrry about Picasa, must be extremely frustrating for you.

Mickey said...

Just hang in there, they will grow up one day! Remember, it's their battle. You are just a puch bag. It's not about you.
Take care girl,
Mieke

Helen Tilbury said...

THANKS to you all for your great input. You have all really given me clarity on the situation. Vicki - I have had a long "lecture" session to Chelsea today & told her how it's going to be from now on & her eyes nearly popped out of her head! I am going to forumulate a proper written schedule for all the kids to follow & rate their pocket money accordingly so they will just get less if all the jobs are not done. I can't wait!! Heidi, LOL girl...I started first thing this morning with her & Jack having to hand me cell phones & Ipods & Reilly & Cami not allowed to log onto the computer & the mini DVD player & DS in my possession until the bedrooms & bathrooms were spotless!! She had plans for tonight so I told her she wouldn't be going until her jobs (that I'd been giving her for days & were either half done or not done at all) were finished. She spent hours working but was sighing & muttering with it, so I told her any more verbalisations & she wouldn't be going at all! That shut the poor girl up & she pulled her weight well. She complained that it felt like she had been working all day, & I said that tends to happen if you rise at noon! and that they would no longer have cellphones at night when they went to bed as I discovered she was talking on MXit to her friends until 2 or 3 in the mornings. No wonder she has to sleep 'til noon!!! Desire - I had a bit of a crash & burn afternoon where I felt really ill as a result of all my running around so I took a nap before getting back to it! I am a hopeless patient & the flu seems to be rearing it's ugly head again so I am pumping myself full of fruit again! Jenny I agree with you wholeheartedly, but getting African kids to come round to our way of thinking is easier said than done. Unfortunately there are still a lot of spoiled kids around here who don't have to do it, but sometimes I wonder whether all the kids are just too embarressed to admit to the chores, and perhaps they are secretly all doing them but think it uncool to confess! Cindy, love it when you stop by...Chelsea should be very capable but because her heart is not in it anything I give her to do turns into a hassle for me. If she is sweeping she forgets where she has put the dustpan & brush & doesn't just put it back where it lives under the sink so then she holds us all up while she spends an hour trying to find it. I've really never come across anything like it! It's probably my biggest parenting challenge to date...Jax, your kids are exceptionally good & you should appreciate them because they are NOT the norm for South African kids from what I hear! Mieke, yes, I know they'll grow up soon & I don't want to regret them not having as carefree a childhood as possible, which is probably why I'm too good to them!

Lynette said...

LOL! Now this is a fun read...my daughter just turned 20 and only started saying she loves me now...before this she "hated me, I was ruining her life, I was torturing her...etc etc....Thank the Lord they grow up.

Michelle Ramsay said...

If my children didn't do their chores like putting their washing in the wash basket, it didn't get washed!! I got to a point that I was tired of nagging and left their rooms as they were and shut the door. It killed me to do that, but I was not going to stress about it. Now that Leanne has moved overseas and is in her own place she realises what I had to do and appreciates what she left behind.

Vicki said...

Love coming back to read your comments - go you with Chelsea. I am impressed.