Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year Resolutions for 2008

Scroll down for Luna's Free Association Week 256

I joined a swap that says its a tradition to write it down but necessarily to keep.

3 things you would like to change in the new year [resolutions]

  1. Make healthy decisions on a regular basis. One tool I plan to use to help me is the 4 Day Win by Martha Beck. I have started a blog .Become more spiritual as a family.
  2. Make our a home place where not only enjoy living, but also feel proud of when people visit.
  3. Start dancing again Spiritual dance. Movement is great way to express yourself, relieve tension and develop yourself.

5 things you would like to accomplish [goals]

  1. Lose 1 kg (2.2 pounds) a week for the next 10 months ie. Weight 65kg at end of October 2008.
  2. Climb up Helderberg Mountain – to First peak.
  3. Pay off my credit card by the end the year and reduce my debt. I want to be debt free in 18 months.
  4. Travel out of South Africa either to another country on the continent e.g. Namibia, Northern Botswana and or Victoria Falls or move to Ireland (a possibility).
  5. Learn a new skill e.g. HTML or Photoshop or sewing or………….

Free Association

Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Memorable ::I have quite a few moments like that in my life and plan to make more.
  2. Resolution :: Sometimes I manage to keep them
  3. Goal :: Without any I am really lost.
  4. 2008 :: Looking forward to it with great anticipation
  5. Sensational ::ME - hehehehe, but really I wish I thought so, I wish I felt it - did a long, long, long time ago and I miss it.
  6. Popular demand :: probably the wrong thing to do
  7. Old ::new, passionate, senile, precious, scrap ( wow some many thoughts come to mind I could go on) - When I am old hope to be the busy old lay riding a small car going to help people.
  8. Music ::passion, fun, dance, life, inspiration, comfort, soul food.
  9. Intense ::quick, drilling, gut wrenching............ passionate
  10. 2007 :: Another one Bites the dust.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I Love South Africa

I Love South Africa (International List Swap)

I Love South Africa (International List Swap)
Put this image on your site!
Swap Homepage:
Swap-bot URL:
Swap Coordinator:Simone (contact)
Swap categories: Challenges Letters & Writing Promotional
Number of people in swap:2
Last day to signup/drop:February 20, 2008
Date items must be sent by:March 10, 2008
Number of swap partners:1

This swap is for anyone living or interested in South Africa.

Make a list of at least 10 things that you love about SA or makes you interested in SA.

This a letter writing swap.

Add in something small,light and symbolic of South Africa ( include a short note to explain it, in case its not obvious).

Open to all. Newbies must a detailed profile.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Growing up in South Africa

A family friend visited me today, she was in the area due to work. Her visit triggered off reflections about interracial relationships.

Growing up I was pretty clueless about Apartheid. My parents told of a few experiences eg. my brother being allowed to use the toilet at a petrol station but my father could not go in with him (due to him being dark). My mother told us about how cousins of hers would play white so they could get on the same and have a seat. She told us of how she helped another cousin escape the police and eventually went to Germany so she could be with the person she loved. But I didn't really understand why.
In high school our history teacher began explaining what apartheid was even though it was not part of the syllabus.
My first hurtful experience was at a Youth camp at age 15, when other teens called us names because they wanted the back seat.
The actual realities of Apartheid only started becoming clear to me after I turned 16 and became involved with an orgnisation called DYIC (Durban Youth Interaction Committee), run by a government department. The project was managed by Michael Currin. 2 youth from each school in the Durban area formed the intial group. We received training and were then given the task of organising meaningful events to bring our friends and youth from area involved.
It was then that I began to see how different we were because of being seperated by apartheid and how unfair the education system was. I was part of the last group of learners in the Tri-apartheid educational system.

I remember going into a remote village in Kwa-Zulu Natal near Drakensberg mountain. I met people there that were totally unaware of what was happening in the Country. I remember thinking how horrible it would be when they venture out and get treated badly because of their skin colour. In sense I wished they could remain protected from that horror. At the same time I realised that their living conditions were not ideal either.

My immediate family was religious and felt that meant not being too political. They had a sense of what was right. My parents brought us to respect all race groups - it was so natural that I did not get why it was a big deal until later. I dated across the racial barriers without a second thought. People's reactions surprised me, I could not see what the big deal was even though I was the only one among my friends doing it. My best friends didn't make it an issue and neither did my family. Guess I am lucky that I did not have to leave the Country like others in my extended family.

In sense growing up coloured in South Africa - especially in Durban - is like growing in interracial, multi-cultural and multi-religious society. (hehehehe) I remember being approached at University by some students wanting to know what race I was. I looked them strangely so they proceeded to explain that they could not really place me because accent was polished probably educated in a white school but was impossible because I was not fair enough. I ate with hands like an Indian but hair was slightly curly. And basically I didn't come across as a typical coloured (whatever that meant). I laughed. I told them I would bring them a picture of my family the next day. Each person in my family is unique and could be placed in one of the 4 race groups - I was harder to place. My conclusion to them was just as my cultural mannerism integrated various groups so did my blood. And is what it is to be coloured.

Just like any other young person in the world I have had to discover and uncover who I am and not allow societies labels to define and confine me.

In retrospect I see how Apartheid impacted on my life and how it still impacts and will continue to impact my life. What is in my control is not to allow this impact to be a negative force in my life and decision making. I also realise that I cannot pretend that it is not there because that will continue its injustices.

When I married across the racial line I was told that my child would suffer, I was asked if my own race was not good enough, I was warned that It would not work and that I was ruining my husband to be' s career (because I would never be accepted).

My child would be born into to the culture that I was. My self-esteem was good - no matter who I married I was confident that my child would be loved and therefore he/she would also have a good self-esteem. My husband and I grew up in the same religion which formed a very big part of how we did things, so culturally would had more in common than I had with the boy who lived next door to me. Surprise, surprise people in our Country when faced with their prejudice , they find it has not water and throw it away. Yes, some people have rejected me and made me feel unwelcomed but a whole lot more from all race groups have been open and accepting. My husband career is actually richer for the fact that he is genuinely open to others (marrying me reveals his sincerity).
orginally posted on 12/15/07.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Jeandre's Christmas Edition

This is for my family. Merry Christmas.
This is one of Jeandre's Favourite Songs.

Pictures taken by Claudelle Bender (except for the last 3)
Claudelle is available for photo shoots in the Cape Town, Somerset West area

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Be Back Soon

Just having a short holiday from blogging. Will be back soon with my working wardrobe for 2008, updates on my website (there has been add page so check that out), hopefully I would have completed my 100 ideas swap and who knows what else.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Digital Scrapbooking

Remember the problem I mention in Playing around with Photoshop . I had my friend Claudelle showed what to do on her computer. When I got home I still struggled a bit. And then the sweet taste of success. It was actually so simple it is embrassing but if you don't have the knowledge and experience ..........

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas is coming to Town

WW (Tuesday Edition)Photo taken by Claudelle Bender
Western Cape, South Africa

Where have I lived?

Where have I lived?

Durban Kwa Zulu Natal:

1. Sydenham (3 different homes)

2. Newlands East

Other Places Kwa Zulu Natal:

3. Piertmaritzburg ( in a flat and a house)

4. Annerly near Port Shepstone

Johannesburg :


6.Heidelberg (2 different houses)

Western Cape:

7.Somerset West


8. Live for one year in the USA - one month in Connecticut and 11 months in New Jersey

When I was a baby we lived somewhere in Mapumalanga for a short while.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Random Fun

Click here for my Unconscious Mutterings meme: Free Association 9

I picked this idea up from Wakela's World

Here are the rules: Type the answer to each question into a Google image search, and you pick an image from the first page of results…easy peasy…and fun!

1. The age you will be on your next birthday. (33 in Oct 2008, my husband is a linux fan think he like the fact that I chose this picture from the first page.)

2. A place you would like to visit. (Europe)

3. A favorite place to be. (So many.........close to water - river waterfall)

4. Favorite Food. (macronic and cheese pasta, Beans curry and roti with carrot salad)

5. Favorite Animal

(Butterfly - which is technically an insect - so animal I would have to say Dolphin)

6. Favorite Color (Blue)

7. The town you were born in. (Durban, South Africa)

8. Name of a past pet. (Tammy - actually my sister's dog - I never wanted a pet)

9. Name of a past love ( Jeremy Duncan - summer romance - we became pen-pals for 4 years discussing our relationships and experiences. We dated at the same camp I

actually first noticed my husband)

Jeremy Piven

10. Your first name (Simone)

11. A bad habit (procrastination)

12. First Job (working in a factory that made beauty products - it was horrible - I determined that I would never contemplate ever not getting an education)

13. Grandmother’s name (Ida)

14. College Major (Education and History)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Free association # 9

Unconscious Mutterings host by Luna

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Interview::job, audition
  2. Army :: slave, fight, die
  3. Unwrap :: sensual, eat
  4. Evolve :: develop, become new, change, butterfly
  5. Bus :: car, travel, fun
  6. The real thing ::honest, truth, rare
  7. Streak ::butt naked, stripe
  8. Gorge :: eat like a pig
  9. Spicy :: Indian curries (yummy), interesting, makes life worth living
  10. Course :: study, path

Friday, December 14, 2007

Reflections on this past week

Wow. What a productive and great week.

I have been walking ever afternoon with my husband.

I took my daughter and some friends to Canal Walk - photos of this adventure below and more coming up soon. We were there from 10am till 3:45pm. Kids ages 1,3 and 6. They played on pirate ships, Jeandre dressed up in princess clothes, met Father christmas, Winnie Pooh and Tigger. Check out a new place - . We really felt it was worth the visit and the cost. definitely go there again despite the long drive (45min-60min depending on traffic).

Thursday we baked cookies together and watched a movie.

My new blog and weightloss program has gone well. 4 Day Win.

I have worked on my 100 Ideas swap, digital scrapbooking and website building.

Completed reading two romance books and knitted the 4 piece the poncho. Now I need to block - something I have never done before.

I am very pleased with myself. I got this morning, Exercised and drank two glasses of water.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

10 Christmas Activities for Families

By “The Whack-E-Doo Mom

For children, Christmas is magic. It’s wonder and excitement. Often times, for grown-ups, it’s mile long shopping lists, mile long lines in department stores and mile long credit card bills piling in after the first of the new year. Don’t allow the hassles and stress of the holidays to diminish your Christmas spirit! Christmas is a time for memories, not migraines! Here are some fun ideas for you and your family to regain the true meaning of Christmas.

1. Ambush your kids with a surprise late night drive around town to see lights and decorations. Get them all set for bed, in nice warm jammies. Then, right when you are about to tuck them in, scoop them up, bundle them in blankets, buckle them in the car and go cruisin’! Be sure to have Christmas tunes ready in the car to sing along to. Older children will especially get a kick out of this special holiday adventure!

2. It’s important to teach your children that Christmas is not just about presents under the tree. Have your children decorate an old shoe box with reds and greens and ribbons and bows. Then talk to your children about gifts that don’t come wrapped, gifts that you can’t touch, such as love. Help your children make a list of all the gifts that they are thankful for that can’t be wrapped and put under the tree. Put the list in the box and place the box in a prominent spot in your home as a reminder of this life lesson. You can pack the box away with your holiday decorations and add a new list each Christmas.

3. Lights, camera, action! Act out your family’s favorite Christmas story, such as Frosty the Snowman or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and record it. Everyone knows how the story goes, only rehearse your skit once, then capture it on film. You are guaranteed tons of laughter and a great memory!

4. Start a Christmas tradition that each year your family will do something new, something that your family has never done before to celebrate the spirit of the season. It can be anything – ice skating, caroling – have each member of the family come up with an idea for a first-time activity and write them down, then throw all the ideas into a hat. Then write each member of the family’s name down and throw them into a separate hat. Mom or Dad can choose the name out of that hat and whoever they pull out gets to pull the activity out of the other hat. Maybe your experience will be a one shot deal (we had a skiing fiasco in our family last year) or maybe it will be something your family wants to add to the Christmas traditions you already celebrate each year.

5. Get out of the house! Check your local newspaper for community Christmas events that you and your family can enjoy together – going to see a high school production of “The Nutcracker”, joining an organized caroling event or attending a live nativity scene.

6. Put together a time capsule to be opened on a future Christmas. Have your child include their Christmas Wish List, holiday crafts that they’ve made in school and whatever else you’d like to add as a Christmas memory. Mark the box with “Christmas” and the current year and then the year you’ll uncover the time capsule – how about five years from now? Your then eight year old will be horrified to learn she wanted a Barney tape when she was three! You don’t have to actually bury your Christmas Time Capsule – unless you want to – it will stay much safer up in the attic or hidden away in the garage.

7. Tell your children the story of the birth of Jesus. Explain to them that the baby Jesus was born poor and homeless and that even though that was many, many years ago there are still babies born today who don’t have what they need. Take your children to the store and have them pick out gifts for babies born like baby Jesus. Take your children with you to a pregnancy center or woman’s shelter to donate the items. Say a special prayer at bedtime that night for the babies who will receive their gifts.

8. Expose your children to Christmas traditions from around the world. Do some research online or check out a book from the library and educate yourself on Christmas customs from different cultures. Then share your new knowledge with your little ones. One of the traditions you learn about may speak to you and you may want to incorporate it into your own family’s holiday traditions.

9. Hear ye’, hear ye’! Create a family newsletter to send out with your Christmas cards or through email this year. Tell about what’s happened in your family in the past year. Each member of the family can have their own message, older children can write their own and younger children can dictate to you what they’d like to share. You can even include photos, recipes, a word search – whatever you’d like.

10. Many families give their children’s school pictures or a family portrait in a frame as a Christmas gift. Why not add a really personal touch to an already personal gift? Help your children decorate the frames in any manner they choose. You knew you’d find a use for those odds and ends craft scraps of yours!

Hope these suggestions have been helpful. Don’t try to do all of the activities or you’ll wind up more stressed than before, just pick those that spoke to you. Christmas can be a magical time full of wonder and excitement, even for busy grown-ups. Don’t lose sight of what matters this time of year and don’t pass up an opportunity to make a special Christmas memory. Even the seemingly simplest activity can create a special Christmas memory for your child. Maybe even one they will share with their own children someday when they’ve turned into a busy grown-up and need to rediscover their Christmas spirit.

Happy Holidays, here’s to the memories…

Free Articles for Your Website

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What's Your Spiritual Type?

Belief Net

Quiz: What's Your Spiritual Type?

You scored 69,
on a scale of 25 to 100. Here's how to interpret your score:
25 - 29
Hardcore Skeptic -- but interested or you wouldn't be here!
30 - 39
Spiritual Dabbler -- Open to spiritual matters but far from impressed
40 - 49
Active Spiritual Seeker – Spiritual but turned off by organized religion
50 - 59
Spiritual Straddler – One foot in traditional religion, one foot in free-form spirituality
60 - 69
Old-fashioned Seeker -- Happy with my religion but searching for the right expression of it
70 - 79
Questioning Believer – You have doubts about the particulars but not the Big Stuff
80 - 89
Confident Believer – You have little doubt you’ve found the right path
90 - 100

Monday, December 10, 2007

Playing around in Photoshop

So I have finally started to play around and I feel I am starting to learn something. It amazing how much time one can spend on one project and in the end feel like you have made little progress.
But from experience I know that the "mistakes" I make now will prove useful later.
using a free layout I downloaded and a photo taken by Claudelle Bender. One of my favorite photos of my daughter on my husbands bike.

What I would really like to accomplish is to get the picture behind the flower and the words. I wish there was a button that I could click says take picture to the background.

Copy Right

Things are so readily online especially photographs and pictures. Most of us just see something we like and we use. Recently I have become more and more aware of this. The picture I had in my header I found using google search engine, there was no clear copyright on it but I felt more and more uncomfortable using something to represent me and I was not sure if I really had the right to.

So, today I did a search for copy free pictures and clip art. Using photoshop, MS Picture Manager and MS PowerPoint I design a new header using my own photograph.

If I could just learn photoshop, I am sure i could just used one program.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Free association # 8

Run by Luna Nina.

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Master::and Commander
  2. Tour ::holiday, fun
  3. Input ::output
  4. Downtown ::Uptown Girl
  5. Pricey ::expensive, probably not worth it
  6. Acceptable ::by whose standards?, relative
  7. Terrace ::garden, beautiful, romantic setting
  8. Sunday ::Breakfast in bed
  9. Payoff :: Pay it Forward
  10. Jack and Jill ::went up the Hill (I can't help it, its ingrained)
Movies and songs seem to be theme in my thoughts this week.

100 uses for Tin Cans

I am participating in a swap where we have to use 5 things to do on Keri Smith list 100 ideas.

Now i wondered if I could think of a 100 uses.

Here we go:

1. container for jam
2. Pot plant
3. Candle holder
4. Toy - Telephone (I made this when I was a child - googled for a pattern click here)
5. Money box
6. Pencil holder
7. Glass to drink water
8. Bin
9. Tie them at the back of wedding cars
10. Recycle it
11.From the DIY network
  • Tin Can Border
  • Edge out your garden with recycled cans.
    12. Use as a lunch box
    13. Gift box.
    14 Store Biscuits etc...
    15. Soap container
    16. Use as skittles
    17. Use food cans as free weights f0r exercise
    18. Small stilts
    19. Make a utility belt.
    20. Christmas tree ornaments
    21. Trick or Treat cup: batman treat cup, cat cup
    22. Wishing well
    23.Gift Bag (Christmas Snowman Recycled Tin Can Gift Bag Containers)
    24. Tin Can People (instructions)
    25. Lantern (instructions) (
    How to Make a Tin Can Luminary )
    26. Picture frame

    Follow ideas from
    (Clever Tin Can Uses)
    27. Tomato juice cans covered in pretty fabric or ribbon make great wine holders for gifts
    Make a picnic holder from two coffee cans and four soup cans. Spray paint them in fun colors and hot glue them together. Place paper plates and napkins in the large cans and flatware in the small ones. The wind won't blow them away.
    29. Make a decorative umbrella holder from four coffee cans. Open both ends, hot glue them together end-to-end, and cover them with adhesive-backed paper. Leave the end on the bottom can for a base.
    30. Use a large coffee can to make "round" bread. Remove both ends and lay on the side while baking.
    31. Olive can electric lamp.
    32. Use as sand pit toys.
    33. Nuttoes - cook-in-a-can.
    34. Make a musical instrument - shakers
    35. Make a musical instrument- drums
    36. Fill them with little rocks and use them as maracas.

    Form a pyramid like figure with a bunch of cans to throw balls at them and win teddy bears
    37. Target practice for BB guns or sling shots.
    38. Body of a rocket.
    39. Hot Air Balloon
    40. Body of a toy car
    41. Fill with sand and use as a door stopper.
    42. Use to make christmas pudding or bake bread.
    43. Time capsule
    44. Incense Stick holder.

    Any more ideas???????

    Friday, December 07, 2007


    It has been nine years. Yes NINE, since I had this ice-cream. I am not sure when we started to import it. I have not bought ice-cream for ages. Today I decided to treat myself. I was so excited to discover Häagen-Dazs. Divine.

    A cup of coffee and microwave popcorn.

    Tomorrow back to eating healthily. But think I found my once a week treat.

    Therapeutic Reflexology

    I am so excited. I met a lady, Heather, studying Therapeutic Reflexology and she was looking for case study subjects. Next week I will have a "trail" session and then if I still want to do it I will have 10 sessions over 5 weeks with her next year.

    This is the information she sent me.

    Therapeutic Reflexology is an effective, holistic form of foot massage. It is based on the principle that the feet represent a microcosm of the entire body. Through relaxation techniques and specific finger pressure applied to the feet, stimulation of each organ system is achieved, triggering an involuntary response in the body. Increased circulation and deep relaxation are also achieved. These factors allow and encourage the body to release built up toxins, and re-balance itself.

    As it is a holistic treatment, details are recorded of medical history, diet and lifestyle. These details will help the therapist to check for contra-indications, and also create a clear picture of the person as a whole. Records will also be taken of all treatments.
    A treatment is +- 60 minutes in length, with the first one being longer to allow time for completion of documentation. The treatment is mostly pleasant, but some areas could be sensitive if out of balance.

    Treatment reactions vary form person to person, though some of the things that one might experience are:
    Increased urination (darker & strong smelling)
    Flatulence and more frequent bowel movements
    Aggravated skin conditions
    Increased mucus secretions

    These are all normal reactions to the body's healing process and should abate within a few hours. Drinking plenty of water helps flush toxins more quickly. A nap or rest also helps.

    As this is a case study, treatments cannot be skipped, or cancelled, as I need to make sure that the treatments are at regular intervals. I will also need to take photos of your feet, so that the accuracy of my treatments and findings can be checked.

    Contra-indications would be:
    Those suffering thrombosis (in the last 6 - 8 months)
    Insulin-Dependent diabetics
    Pregnant women in their first trimester
    Patients with lymph cancer, leukemia, osteoporosis or epilepsy
    Anyone with any kind of internal bleeding
    Anyone with any inflammation of infection of the veins

    Thursday, December 06, 2007


    Here is my new computer chair. Yay !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am on the third of four panels for poncho for my daughter for next winter.
    Then I plan on making her a bag. I am busy looking for a pattern to make myself something as well.

    Wednesday, December 05, 2007

    Inspirational Poem

    This afternoon I was given the gift of being an angel. My intention was to visit a friend but instead I drove into town to buy a book to read. An acquaintance spotted me with great relief and asked for help. I was able to help her. She said I was an answer to prayer.

    Found this poem on Monday Morning Power. I think this is a great message that we need to be reminded of every now and again. I needed it.

    Thank you Mel.

    Only You

    Whatever may happen, by accident or plan;
    Whether by nature or whether by man;
    No matter how terrible you feel you've been hit
    Look for the seed of a much greater benefit.

    With every adversity, failure, and heartache;
    With more bad news than you think you can take;
    And all seems lost with nowhere to turn;
    Take a deep breath, look, listen and learn.

    Recovery and success are out there to find.
    Believe in yourself and have a clear mind.
    Stand up and stand tall and know that you will,
    With courage and faith, conquer that hill.

    Be sure of yourself and know you won't fail.
    Leave the doubters behind as you blaze your own trail.
    Only you know what it is that you need.
    Only you can decide if you fail or succeed.

    (An original Poem by Mel Kaye)

    Posted with permission.

    Dealing with nasty

    Yesterday I wrote about the trouble that I caused. I did not go into details, cause really wants to look back and remember something like that unless maybe to learn something from it.

    Well someone really got nasty and called my apology and my attempt to "correct" it , smoke and mirrors. Now I am sitting and crying wondering I should just remove myself from the group. Then someone else put into words my intention so beautifully.

    There is always a danger of getting hurt and should I really let this incident ruin the good experiences that I had.

    Right now I am feeling emotional, so its probably not a good state of mind to make any decisions. But if something is no longer fun, my feeling is that I should move on. What are my options:

    1. Ignore and carry on as normal
    2. State my opinion one more time and then forget the matter.
    (I have sent one person a message, but I am not sure I want to see the reply)
    3. Remove/delete that particular section.
    4. Remove myself completely from the group.

    Tuesday, December 04, 2007

    Put my foot into it

    WW # 30 below

    I have done it again. Caused a storm without meaning too. Have you ever done something that you thought was a great idea and then others turn on you and really get mad. I seem to do this at least once a year - then I find myself apologising and feeling really embarrassed.

    Part of the problem is that I sometimes don't an idea through properly - I spontaneously implement it eg. Invite someone to an outing/party...........

    Then I wonder if I should really contain myself, others seem to get a way with being rude etc..... Why can't I get away with being "nice" or kind.

    I have always felt that we should celebrate differences.

    So despite being wrapped over the knuckles I hope that my subconscious will continue to forget the hurt I feel and that I will continue being spontaneous and fun-loving. Of course I want to still be sensitive to the needs of others.

    WW #30