Rescue animals are not ‘free’

All our pets are rescues, I firmly believe that it is better to save a rescue pet rather than buying an animal from a pet store or a ‘puppy mill’, one thing that might be a misconception is that it is cheaper option.

Free pets are not cheap.

I have been reminded about this truth again this week. My little rescue kitten is sick and she is at the vet, and I realize that this will be costly. No matter what the cost, I will do this all again. I will go back into the field where we heard a small kitten meow for a mother that has died. I will take that horrible bite she used to greet me the first time we met. I will enjoy every day she jumps on my desk and lays down on my laptop and makes it difficult for me to work. I would love the opportunity to play with her at any time she wants. Just if she can get better.

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The problem is that Milly’s mom was a feral cat, and in the area that we live there are a lot of feral cats that have feline aids. We always assumed that she might have it. You can have your cat tested for feline aids, and now that I have found a great vet I know that this is not a death sentence. Even though feline aids cannot be cured, they can receive medication to keep them a bit stronger. If you have a rescue or there are feral cats in your area, I suggest you find out more about feline aids and then maybe get your cat tested.

Now, in Milly’s case she does not only have feline aids, she now also has Lyme disease. Unfortunately, we live in a rural area where ticks and fleas are a constant. We try to keep our pets clean and protected from ticks and fleas as far as possible but not all products are made equal and buying the correct products are costly. (again not free)

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Again, coming to the point that I want to make.

Please, please, please be prepared, do your research and budget appropriately before ‘saving’ that kitten or puppy. This live becomes your responsibility the moment you take it in to your home. They need a lot of love and care, but they also need more than that. They need medical attention at times, they need to be dewormed, vaccinated, neutered and at times medicated. Above this they need food (not cheap, and cats are picky eaters) they will need bowls, toys, and other odds and ends. All of this have costs involved – sometimes expensive.

So, make sure you know what goes into rescuing a pet before committing for life. – Yes, it is a life long commitment. Not temporarily while you are alone, or for a Christmas, or a birthday, or until you move. This YOUR pet now and they are dependent on you for a good life.

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You can quote me

About three or four years into using Facebook I noticed that you could actually ‘like’ your own status. I am not sure if this was always possible and if it came with one of the upgrades, either way. The first thing I thought of was that this is the epitome of narcissism. Who would want to like their own status and why in the world is it even possible?

Things were only going to get worse.

I am not sure who you have on your newsfeed, but lately I have seen people quoting themselves.

I understand that in a very cut-throat world of all things digital people want to make their mark and anyone can share your image, words, songs, videos and then your hard work means nothing. Not even internet fame. If you don’t mark your work then you will get lost in all the content that we fill our lives with. So, I do understand that we like to leave a calling card of sorts. An at sign (@) a username, a page name, your persona or the name of your blog. But this is not what I am talking about.

The first time I saw this was in a comment section of a status – some wise word, words of advice by none other than the individual who posted it. Why, why in the world would you feel the need to quote yourself and put your name at the end of the sentence you just wrote, with inverted commas and everything, like you are a long-forgotten philosopher or an individual who we all look up to and use your name in conversations daily.

We all know you gave this advice, Facebook has kindly provided me with your name, surname and a profile pic of the author of these words. These words that have made an extraordinary impact in my life and has made me richer for reading this morsel of wisdom I could never live without.

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I was hoping this was a once off, I was hoping and praying that this was an inside joke and somehow, I could giggle along and that this person would never think so highly of himself.

I was wrong once again – this was a new trend, or at least one that I am only getting to see now.

Next was a Facebook friend who quoted himself on his status. A very nice one with a status background (or whatever Facebook calls it), with colors to make an even bigger impact so that there was no way I could miss it. He too decided that he needed to note his own name and make sure that no-one makes the mistake of giving anyone else the merits for these profound words.

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If that was not enough it spread to Instagram as well…

Who doesn’t like those inspirational quotes, those amazing pearls of wisdom, those great words that give us moments of motivations and helps us to go on with our dull lives. Especially when they are decorated with perfect wonderful and amazing frames, backgrounds and images that emphasize the miraculous wisdom someone shared at some time.

And again, why do you need to ruin it by posting your name there in this fashion. Why do you think you are in the same line as Nelson Mandela, Paulo Coelho, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King Jr., Socrates, or Mark Twain?

Please note this what not a watermark, this was not a tag to let people know that they can follow this username for more of the same kind of content this was a distinct quote.

“Hopefully silly trends die out as quickly as they start. Hopefully there is still some hope for the human race.

  • Siske van Niekerk.

 

Maybe I am just surrounded by narcissists who like blowing their own horn. Hopefully this is only the people I know and not a thing that everyone does.

Have you seen something similar? If so leave a comment, let me know if you think it is important to leave your mark in the world and if the style makes a difference.

The risky business of being unemployed

 

A little while ago I wrote a post on being unemployed and how I have been treated in interviews. I decided not to post this article as I knew it was filled with potential to damage me or my future endeavours.

I was kind of shocked and surprised to see that a woman went all out in her post (on a well known free classifieds site) about more or less the same thing I wrote about a while back. Shocked because she had the guts, but not surprised that she feels the way she does. Before I go further here are a few screenshots I took of her post.

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I have tried to leave out any way of identifying her since I know this was probably not the smartest thing to do. (Even though I am kind of glad she did)

I assume that most people have been there at one stage or another in their life. Where you send out CVs to as many possible job offerings as you can and hope you get an interview.

The process can be so discouraging.

She is battling to find work, like so many others in South Africa. No matter what your field of work, age or sex it seems to be the same for most job seekers.

What to do when you just do not seem to be getting anywhere in your job search? There is the post above and then there are the ‘begging-for-work’ posts. Some have gone viral and actually had a positive result for the ones who literarily go out and look for a job. The first one I saw was about two years ago and got quite a bit of coverage in local newspapers and other websites. Here is a picture of the most recent one making its way to my Facebook news feed.

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Two different approaches to the same problem. One using Social Media in a positive way and the other with the possibility of a great negative impact on your job search. I just hope that the first add goes unnoticed. As Spiderman, knows ‘great power comes with great responsibility’. This also rings true when it comes to using social media or any other online platform.

Somehow it does lift your spirit (a bit) to know that you are not alone in your struggle, but what are we to do? Should we all take our boards to the street and ask for jobs in our respective fields? Should we milk the general public for as much empathy as we can possibly get? Usually, the writing process leaves me with some sort of answer. With this particular problem, I am still waiting.

It sucks, looking for work sucks. Being rejected sucks.

So to all those out there who are going through this, good luck. Do as much research as possible about CV writing and how to nail that interview, and if you have an answer on how to land your ideal job please share it in the comment section, maybe we can all help one another.

 

This is not background music

 

This Sunday on The Voice I came across one of these songs again. A favourite that has been tweaked. I am not fond of remakes but some people just have a way of taking something we have grown used to and renew it. So that we can listen and not just hear it (again, as if for the first time).

When I saw Richard on The Voice the first time I was less than impressed with his attitude, he seemed very full of himself and in his pre-interview (before his blind audition). I was sure that I am just not going to like this guy. Just because.

I quickly swallowed my words after hearing one of my favourite listen-not-hear songs. He was amazing. The song was amazing, and thanks to DSTV I could rewind it and play it over and over again. Bon Iver’s Skinny Love has always been one of these songs that kind of paralyses me and can not do much until I give it the attention it deserves. Richard took this to the next level with his rendition.

I was so amazed by his rendition that I even tweeted about it, and I don’t tweet often.

I don’t have DSTV, so I only watch it when I visit friends who do. This Sunday Richard blew me away again with his version of Sound of Silence. On this gray Monday, I am listening to the song again and I am battling to do anything worthwhile, this includes writing this post.

This song grabs you, you have to leave everything that you are doing and pay attention to the message it has to offer. (For me) This does not happen often but when a song and a singer like this comes along you are grateful for these few minutes that you can break away from the mundane and just be.

 

The great trek on the N1 

So many ‘Vaalies’ make this journey every December. For me this was a journey to my new home in the Western Cape.

Thanks to an awesome friend the kilometers flew by. We started of early on the 28th of April. In a car that is even older than I am, but we had no worries or hesitations. This Opel Kadet has done this trip before; we didn’t have a problems then so why would we have any now? I was a responsible adult and checked everything before we attempted this long drive so I was confident that my amazing car would get us there.

"Let's go get lost let's go get lost" – RHCP

A post shared by janine🇿🇦 (@your_nienness) on

 

Some of the ‘perks’ of driving with a car this old is that we didn’t have an aircon or working radio but who cares if you are two women with a lot to catching up to do? Janine is an amazing friend that she would do this for me; I mean can you imagine my pitch? No aircon, no radio, old car, but you will be able to see the ocean for a few days? Not many people would do this. This I know for a fact since I had conversations with a few friends about this trip, no one jumped at the opportunity.

 

#day2 of our epic #roadtrip

A post shared by Siske van Niekerk (@siskevn) on

 

We were very responsible: every 200 km’s or so we stopped for our coffee fix and off we went again. Janine’s addiction to coffee is worse than mine. I am also proud to say that I didn’t take too many naps while Janine was driving (which was most of the way).

 

Third #coffeebreak

A post shared by janine🇿🇦 (@your_nienness) on

 

When it was my turn to take the wheel Janine got extremely bored, I knew this because she  was trying to entertain me, while I was trying to concentrating on the road.

I hate driving! And I would not have been able to do this trip without a friend to keep me company and help with the driving.

 

#entertaining yourself in the car 101. Take lots of #selfies 😄

A post shared by janine🇿🇦 (@your_nienness) on

 

We slept over in Beauford West and took on the last 500km or so to the small fisherman’s village after an amazing night’s rest.

 

Kfc, wifi, dstv, a beautiful bath, crisp white linen… all our needs covered at the end of the great trek.

A post shared by Siske van Niekerk (@siskevn) on

 

The last 200km were probably the hardest just because we knew we were so close. I only made one wrong turn, that was probably my fault. I really wanted to blame the GPS for this mistake but never the less we made it!

I am here!

This is home now.

 

End destination.

A post shared by Siske van Niekerk (@siskevn) on

 

Janine stayed on a few days to make the whole trip worth while. This is also the reason that I am only writing now. We had a lot of fun exploring the Western Cape and some of what it has to offer. I hope that it was just enough fun to encourage Janine to come and visit as often as possible. There is still a lot to see and I would love to have more adventures with Janine.

 

#fragrant #chickentikkamasala to fight off the #chilly weather #butternaan #spicyfood #yummyness #indiancuisine #curry

A post shared by janine🇿🇦 (@your_nienness) on

My brief #lunchdate with a #giraffe at a #pettingzoo … #giraffewhisperer #nailedit 😄😄😄

A post shared by janine🇿🇦 (@your_nienness) on

@your_nienness was nie impressed met die voeltjie nie, maar hy het baie van Janine gehou

A post shared by Siske van Niekerk (@siskevn) on

Baymax saying hi

A post shared by Siske van Niekerk (@siskevn) on

First coffee break

A post shared by Siske van Niekerk (@siskevn) on

Caffeine addiction just got more colourful

My Facebook feed was all about the latest craze today, and this one I can on board with.

Combing two of my favourite things, coffee and wonderful splashes of colour, yes please! Barista Mason Salisbury has just made my day with his amazing creations. The only down side is that my coffee intake would surely double as soon as this craze hits South Africa.

 

This just goes to show that art and coffee really do make a great combination.

 

According to Business Insider, the technique uses food dye to help train baristas. Not that I will attempt something like this on my own. They make it look effortless, but looks can be deceiving. So please South African baristas make it happen here soon.

On being a bitch (And being okay with it)

 

So I have not blogged in a very long time – one of these days I will get to the nitty gritty and tell the whole world what has been happening this past year and a half, but for now I just want to get back to an epiphany I had a few weekends ago.

So it all started with a panic attack because someone accused me of having an ‘attitude’. Yes, I might have had one, but not on purpose. It was not like I was going out of my way trying to make life difficult for this women. On the contrary I actually thought I was being polite to start off with and after I realised she didn’t really like me much I just tried to stay out of her way.

So long story short we had a fall out, where I tried to explain that she can not make assumptions about me and my actions as she does not really know me. What I really want to tell is that she said that if I do not change my attitude she would loose her cool (not her exact words but the general feeling) I then said she should go ahead. I am over taking responsibility for other’s reactions. If you want to loose your cool, then do it, but take responsibility for the way you react don’t keep someone else responsible for it.

Okay, the rant part of this post is over – I had a panic attack because all the times I have been called a bitch came flashing back and I just could not handle it anymore.

I do not want to be a bitch, who does? Who wants to be known as the horrible women who always looses her cool and is never pleasant to be around? There might be deeper reasons why I really do not want to be called or referred to as a bitch, whatever the case might be- I just could not take it anymore and I cracked.

So the afternoon turned to night and the a few glasses of wine later (okay only one, it does not get much to get me talking) I tell this story to a girl I recently met. She looked at me AND without thinking twice about it she bluntly says “you are a bitch”.

Maybe it was the wine, or that I had no more tears to cry, but at that moment it dawned on me: I am a bitch and so freaking what.

I am a strong women who will stand up for what she believes in and will not allow anyone to walk over her. This is not a bad thing, if this was not true then I would not still be standing.

Unfortunately I had to fight to be where I am today, sometimes I had to fight harder and uglier than I wanted to, but there is no use in hating myself for this. Or trying to keep someone else responsible. So what if you call me a bitch, if that is your perspective, cool, whatever, this is me. This is one part of who I am, this is one part of who I had to become to survive in a hard world that was not made for sweet little girls.

And at the end of the day you might be lucky enough to find a fellow bitch who just gets your bitchiness and who will enjoy a glass of wine with you (or whatever activity that makes you happy) and makes you feel okay with your inner horrible self.

So to all my bitches out there, you are not alone. More importantly to the one I bumped heads with, don’t worry, I get you, you obviously had to fight as well, it’s all cool.