30 Jan 2012

Why I don’t celebrate, or believe in, Valentine’s Day

I am a Protestant Christian.  That is as opposed to a Catholic Christian.  Therefore, firstly I do not celebrate Roman Catholic Saints.

St. Valentine

Secondly, let me just be clear on this – there was a person by the name of Valentus who was martyred for his Christian beliefs and beheaded on what is today 14 February.  There is no proof that he did indeed marry couples against the Emperor Claudius II’s wishes or that he had anything to do with love or romance.

It just so happens that on the day this St Valentine was beheaded was the day of the Lupercalia festival.  An ancient Roman festival that did not have anything to do with love or romance either, actually.  It was a spring-cleansing festival, held to ward off evil spirits and releasing fertility.

According to Wikipedia, this festival also holds connections to the ancient festival of Arcadian Lykaia and the worship of Lycaean Pan.  Now, if you have read or heard anything about the vampire/werewolf craze that has been going around, the word “lycaean” might ring a bell…as in lycan?  Yes, a sort of werewolf.  (see Underworld)

There are many more facts surrounding this so-called "festival of love"  that proves that it has in reality no origins in history as it is celebrated today.

So what I’m actually telling you is that I have a huge, BIG problem as a Christian to honour a festival that originated in the celebration of something pagan and not altogether quite healthy.

Lastly I will also tell you that my husband and I celebrate our 19th year of marriage on 13 February 2012.  We are still very much in love with each other, and in no way, shape or form do we need to give each other meaningless little gifts to prove our love to each other.  This is something that happens every day: small gestures, hugs, kisses, words.  I'm not saying we have the perfect marriage – something like that does not exist.  We argue, we disagree, we fight.  But never does any of this take away from the love we hold for each other.

But, you know what?  We each have our own opinions.  This is mine

Pictures and facts from www.wikipedia.org and www.catholic.org

27 Jan 2012

Five things Friday number 1

I will share every Friday five things.  I will place them in no order of importance, just five things.   I will try not to over-explain.  In fact, I will attempt to explain nothing at all…..

Five things I am grateful for:

1. My girls (obviously)

When Alexia was crawling - so long ago now!

Big sister Sonia on her phone, as one does

2.  My husband (even if he does drive me wild at times)

On holiday, taking hay-fever meds

3. My best friend, Tina
I used to call her Tinkerbelle when we were kids

4. Jesus Christ
5. Glasses (I would otherwise not be able to do anything whatsoever)


What are the five things you are grateful for today?

21 Jan 2012

Part 1 of my News

Today I met the lovely Laura, owner of Journey2Joy, which is a gift shop in Garstfontein, Pretoria, and her partner Madri.

I am very honored, grateful, happy and excited to have some bags, aprons and flower pins in her shop from today.

There is a wide selection of things in the shop.  Believe me, if you are looking for a gift, there will be something for you to choose from in this shop.

Laura seems to have great things planned for her shop, and I can see her only going from strength to strength.
There is even a beauty shop inside, so not only can you get a gift, you can have a mani as well!  Brilliant idea, I say!

If you are in the area, do drop by and support not only me, but all the other artists who have their items there and Laura and Madri as well!

13 Jan 2012

A Prayer for my Daughters

When we were growing up we were reminded time-and-again that one has to be sensible and walk along the road set before you by others.

I want to teach my daughters to do the opposite.  Travel the road everyone else is too afraid to take, it might lead you somewhere.

I have also been taught that God expect certain things of us, and none of those are to enjoy yourself.
I want to teach my daughters to opposite.  God wants to see you happy, God wants to see you enjoy the life He gave you.  And for that He gave you certain talents.
If you have a talent for something you are automatically going to enjoy doing it.  It’s a fact.  If you enjoy washing the dishes, you obviously have a talent for it and you probably do it better than anybody else, and you can come and do mine too, thanks.  There is no way the words: “I have no talent for it, but I love doing it” makes any sense in the world.  Who told you that you don’t have a talent for whatever it is that you love doing?  No, don’t dismiss the question: think about it, and I promise you it will come to you.  At some point in your life someone somewhere told you that you had no talent – like I was.

If I see my daughters doing something they enjoy, I encourage them to do more of it – unless, of course it’s something totally inappropriate like picking their noses ew.
My husband is still of the school that one has to have a “safe” and “sensible” job.  But I point out to him continually that I have been unhappy with my work since he’s known me, as I’ve always had a “safe” and “sensible” job.  Then I ask him if this is what he wants for the girls, to be continually unhappy.  He’s still not 100% there, but he’s seeing my point.  This is why I encourage our eldest daughter to go into film making.  She loves movies so very much.  Although I suspect she loves “stories”, not the actual movie.  But that’s something she’ll have to discover for herself.  I think she’ll make a better writer than a movie producer. And she has these crystal-like eyes, I wish I could show you what I mean.  Besides for the colour of her eyes, she also sees things so very differently than I did at that age.  She has a lust for life, an innocence and at the same time a wisdom that sometimes make me afraid for her.

And as for the little one….oh, the potential there….she loves ballet, she loves cooking, she loves all things shiny and pretty, she loves flowers, dresses, music, drawing, sewing….and there’s still so many things to show her.  And she has the most amazing joy in life.  She’s a little bit shy and has a sharper sense of humour than what I’ve ever seen in a child.

I pray with my whole heart, every day, that I am a good mother to these amazing creatures, that what I do for them is right and not harmful in any way. 


6 Jan 2012

On housewifely things

A new year to me is symbolic of a new start.  I’ve never set New Year’s resolutions, and I’m not going to start now.  For one thing, I know I’m not going to keep to it anyway.  But a new start at the beginning of a new year is what it is for me.

I’m a really bad housekeeper.  I’m not just saying so, I really am!  My house is always a mess.  

 messy house cartoons, messy house cartoon, messy house picture, messy house pictures, messy house image, messy house images, messy house illustration, messy house illustrations

Mainly because I don’t see why I have to work myself into an early grave.  I work full day, cook meals, do the laundry, look after my kids and my husband – and yes, I do think that’s enough.  My house really is always a mess.  I’m not a neat person.  I try to be, but I’m not.  I rarely put things away after I’ve used them, because I forget; it flies right out of my head the moment I’m finished.  I forget to fill the sugar bowl when I’ve emptied it (much to my husband’s chagrin). 

One thing I have discovered to make my life a little bit easier is meal planning.  Now, to some of you this might be old news.  For South African women this is a new concept.  Really.  I haven’t found one single friend, acquaintance or colleague who knows about meal planning, how to do it and what a life saver it can be.   Also it saves me money. 
I would be driving home, thinking of what to cook for supper: “Mmm…I think some bolognaise and pasta.  But do I have minced meat in the fridge?  I can’t remember.  I’ll just stop at the corner shop and get a packet”   The corner shop is of course more expensive than the supermarket.  And when I get home I will find two or three packets of mince already in the freezer. 
But when I plan my meals, I buy only what I need.  I know whatever I had planned for the day is already in the freezer/fridge and I only have to stop at the corner shop every third day or so for fresh milk, bread, salad greens and tomatoes (I’m big on tomatoes).


I do my meal planning on a monthly basis, but you can do it weekly, bi-weekly, whatever suits you best.  I start with a list of favourite dishes (meals) like:
Pasta bolognaise
Fish and chips
Chicken wraps

Then I take the calendar and write down when we will be eating what, leaving room for a take-away meal once a month as a special treat, and also leaving space for a “New Dish” once a month – so that we can expand our list.  My calendar has space for supper on weekdays and lunch over the weekend and also some room for extra notes like whose birthday it is and what else I need to do on that day:

This also ensures that my family doesn’t get pasta every night, because I can see the spacing of the meals.  Then I mark off on my list how many times the dish appears on my calendar and what items I need to put on my grocery list and how many of each.  This is also much less stressful if you have had a hectic day and the last thing you feel like doing is deciding on what to cook.  It’s already been done.

Also I like a “Master grocery list”.  It’s a full list of everything I buy and I add to it as and when necessary.  That means that I can print out the list every month and check the cupboards for what is there and mark it off, which means that I won’t forget anything – which I used to do quite often in the past.

Well, that’s me on housewifely things.  Yes, I am a bad housewife.

Oh and PS?  Those last two are just tables.  You can have it.  Or not. :-)