Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Thursday, 31 January 2008

What does your name mean?

So what does your name mean? Was it chosen carefully out of the thousands, possibly millions, of possibilities, to be the perfect one that fits just you?

Does it have a special meaning? Either honouring your culture, heritage, family, or special attributes, or even to show how very special, loved and wanted you were?

Yes? Probably.

My name? Well let's see, despite having had 9 months to think of one, I still had no name after I was born, nor for several days after that.

My brother** was in Grade 1 the year I was born, and so being the only one to actually think of anything, he got to choose my name.


Wow, how unique, exciting and special! NOT!

And just guess where it came from??? No? No idea at all?

Well, I'll tell you, it's from THIS

It was his Grade 1 reader that week, for crying out loud!!!

Ok, please stop laughing, it's really not that funny, and I am scarred for life!

And the funny part, I married a guy called Richard. Geddit?
Richard = Rich = Rick = Dick!

** My brother is brain damaged by the way....

I am a walking joke...

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

This week sux ass

and I have nothing to say... many thoughts, but nothing to say.

So I'll just go through the motions of being a functional human.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

J&B Met... was then wasn't

I was all psyched about going to the J&B Met today - we go every year... had my outfit, been kata-boxing to get into shape and everything.

Then our babysitting plans feel apart, so I am home sulking.... and rearranging the kids' room. Gee FUN! Not....


Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Arb and useless info

So I was driving home today and DJ Fresh played Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

I discovered that I know ALL the words. Thank God I was in the car alone... I am sure it did not sound pretty!

My new ring

As mentioned previously my (10 year) anniversary present this year was a replacement wedding ring!

My original one survived for about 5 years - and then got into a nasty accident (involving a hammer - don't ask!). So I have been wearing a cheap and ugly self-bought one ever since.

My new ring has been resized and is now proudly displayed on my hand. It's white gold, with a beautiful sparkling solitaire diamond.
Please keep all hammers away from me! ;)

Monday, 21 January 2008

What Does 200 Calories Look Like?

Some foods have significantly more Calories than others but what does the difference actually look like. When you consider that an entire plate of broccoli contains the same number of Calories as a small spoonful of peanut butter, you might think twice the next time you decide what to eat. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average adult needs to consume about 2000 - 2500 Calories to maintain their weight. In other words, you have a fixed amount of Calories to "spend" each day; based on the following pictures, which would you eat?


1425 grams Celery or 570 grams Baby Carrots


385 grams Apple


50 grams Jelly Babies

33 grams Salted Mixed Nuts???

See all the pictures here. Makes you think doesn't it?

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Back away from the scissors mom!

When am I going to learn that I am not a hairdresser!?
Embarassed Embarassed
Frik man... his hair was looking ok, but too long, so instead of my usual scissor attack I went at him with the clippers, and well and truly butchered his hair...

Damn damn!!!

He just came in post swim and it seems better wet (as per last pic), so maybe I can gel him up for school tomorrow???

This is before, just after and after swimming:

So what should I do?
- Just use the clippers and give him a No 4 all over?
- Take him to the hairdresser asap tomorrow, hoping they can do something to salvage it?
- Gel it for now, and let it grow out a bit?

How bad is it?
Confused Confused

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Back to School - Grade 3 & Grade R

So we went back to school today, after a long holiday - something like 6 weeks! It went by surprisingly smoothly and we really enjoyed it. It was just the last day or 2 that the boys seemed slightly directionless, the rest of the time they just got on with having loads of good old fashioned fun and playing.

Both boys were ready and excited about going back, they both enjoy school and learning and socializing.

I took Quinn in, DH took Griffin.

This is Quinn on the first day of Grade 1, Grade 2 & Grade 3.
See how he's grown! It has become a tradition to line him up against our back wall so we can compare his growth against the wall slats from year to year. It's fun to see the progression after 12 months. In some ways he has grow a LOT and in others not all that much at all. (Richard had his major growing phase at about 12 years old - I expect Quinn will be the same)

Here is a collage of the 3 of us this morning...
Quinn took his cake to school which impressed everyone from his classmates, teacher to the other parents.
Smile Smile Smile
I hope they enjoy it.

Have fun at school guys!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Back to school eve - cake making

It's the eve of going back to school for us, and since Quinn's birthday is right in the middle of the holidays (always) he misses out on the school birthday thing.

I let him take a cake on the last day of Grade 1.

This year he'll be taking his cake on the first day of school. Who's not going to want to be his friend huh!? ;)

It's not a master piece since I had limited time - I only get home at 8pm on Tuesday what with yoga - except for a fleeting dash home to change and run (literally - I run there and back - 6kms).

Anyway so here it is...Ta daaaa!It frustrates me that my mind is so structured and rigid. See how the Smarties are all in a colour pattern...? I can't NOT do that! I can't just grab them and place them anywhere or in any order, it has to be a pattern! I am annoying that way!

Monday, 14 January 2008

It's a tough job but someone has to do it....

I think Griffin is going to have a very happy partner one day!

But for now I am enjoying having him....

I hope my future daughter (or son?) in law realises how much hard work I am putting in training him! Like I say it's a tough job, but someone has to do it!

Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Griffin Norris

Griffin playing this afternoon...

I got the swimming shorts at Ackermans this morning for all of R5!!! Bonus!
(Richard says I should work for Trevor Manuel with all the cost savings I manage ;) )

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Pizza Evening

Today the boys and I decided we would have a pizza evening tonight.

So off we went to buy our goodies. We got:
- Cheddar Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Brown Mushrooms
- Green & Yellow Peppers
- Onions
- Ham &
- Tomato paste.
We wanted to buy ready made dough and then shape the bases ourselves, but we couldn't get any today, so we just got ready made and frozen bases. Not as nice, but if we made dough from scratch we'd still be watching it rise now! So we had to make do.

We also bought a tray of 6 huge chocolate doughnuts - they should be called Don't-nuts though, because although they were delicious we have nearly polished them off already!
Rolling Eyes Shocked

Anyway we grated cheese, chopped the veg and then lightly browned it with some seasoning sliced the ham and then got to work assembling our pizzas....

I must say they were delicious! (Griffin said they were better than Panarottis - although that really isn't saying much! )

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

'My' Pillow Pasta even beats Mickey D's!

I used to think I was quite a good cook, I tried all sorts of dishes and learned how to cook pretty early. I think I made my first full dinner meal at about 13 years old (Roast Chicken, Mash, Carrots, Peas, Gravy etc) and was baking from 7/8 years old as well as cooked breakfasts etc.

From about 15 years old I was expected to make dinner at least one night a week. So I knew what I was doing... I was adventurous and tried all sorts of things.

Then I met Richard. I carried on cooking and remember planning interesting things to make for him, Chicken and Broccoli pie (I even made the pastry myself), Bobotie, Lasagne, Spaghetti with freshly made tomato sauce and herbs, elaborate veggie bakes, fresh Fish etc.

Richard would eat pretty much anything I offered, he is pretty easy to please. He'll eat anything except Cucumber, Olives, Asparagus and Avo... He does not insist on a cooked meal, or meat everyday or anything. So that's easy. But the trouble is he doesn't really care about food. To him it's just fuel, so whether I give him a toasted cheese sandwich or a meal I spent 3 hours preparing the reaction is the same. He just eats it and goes on with his life... He does get a bit more excited about steak and chunks of meat and chilli though, but otherwise if he is hungry he eats (anything), and if he isn't he won't eat anything.

It all went kind of ok until I got pregnant and felt so sick and lost interest in cooking. I remember one night going to all the effort of making creamy mash and savory mince to make cottage pie. I presented it for dinner and after eating it I was jokingly asked if it was 'Toppers & Smash' (instant just add water stuff!)?!!!

That was it, the next week he got Topper & Smash (and did agree that mine had tasted better) - and from then on I just didn't try so hard.

Then Quinn was born and didn't give me a chance to cook, and I just did less and less and dinner seemed less and less important to me, to the point that toast or cereal became a valid dinner option for me. On the flip side in the past 5 years or so Richard has become more and more adventurous and creative in the kitchen.He is quite good actually. So he does his share of the cooking now too.

Also from when I lost 12kg just before getting pregnant with Quinn I stopped focusing on food and would only think about it when hungry. I stopping planning around food and baking etc, rather focusing on exercise and keeping occupied when not hungry etc.

So the end result is that years later I still cook/eat to live, rather than live to eat and often dinner only gets thought of at about 8pm after coming in from a run or something. I don't think we eat too badly, but we do eat simply. No slaving over pots for hours, and most of our food is cooked on the stove-top or microwave, the oven isn't used much at all.

Tiny does help with cooking some basic stuff which is great and everyone LOVES her cooking. She makes great mash, rice, veg, chicken (roast or casserole), mince, soup etc. So I do sometimes get her to make part, or all, of a meal and then I do the last bits when I get home. YUM!

Anyway I have now discovered that my family won't eat some of what I make. Why I don't know!? Whether it is good or not they just don't seem that interested in my food. During the holidays I even told them I am not going to cook anymore - Tiny can do it all. I told Tiny too when she came back and she laughed, and said her daughter has the same problem, her children won't eat her food, only Tiny's! ;)

I made a lovely Thai-style noodle stir fry a week or 2 ago. Suddenly no one was hungry. I was quite offended because I thought I did a damn good job. Admittedly my little sweet-hearted peace-keeper Griffin ate some and said it was delicious, and then Richard had some the next day and did come to tell me it tasted like it had come from a Thai restaurant (YES!)... but the fact remains I make it - they don't seem that excited.

Anyhoo last night I popped into Woolworths and got some 'Pillow Pasta' (Butternut and Sage Panzotti), brown mushrooms, and Tomato and Ricotto Sauce and steamed veg (brocolli, butternut and courgettes).

So I whip it up and everyone is all excited, the table gets set, help is freely offered and everyone is all happy and excited.

We ate it up with gusto - it really is delicious! - and BOTH my children declare that they LOVE it and would have that any day, even above an offer of Mac Donalds! (Gosh high praise indeed! :) ) They slurp and savour every morsel of it, even eating every broccoli floret. Telling me how yummy and delicious it is, and thanking me for this amazing meal!

Isn't it ironic that my family only loves my cooking, when it is actually made by woolworths!?


Tuesday, 8 January 2008

When kids are funny - but also rude!

When I went to say goodbye to the kids yesterday morning before I left for work, they had just got up and gone through to the lounge and turned on the TV.

This silly kiddie programe came on called 'Canigou' or something ... one of those drawn/water coloured cartoon ones, like a story book. You know those inspid ones?

There's a little bald headed boy in this one...

So Quinn says: "Griffin quick change the channel, look it's 'Bald As-hole' "

Shocked Shocked Laughing Laughing

I actually nearly PMSL, and then had to tell him he can't say things like that!

Resolution - better late than never

Ok, have mulled this over and sort of deciding I am not doing the whole New Years Resolution thing this year - more out of apathy and no feeling of pressing need to really CHANGE anything, I have finally found something that I do want to do and which feels right.

So my word for 2008 is: CONSERVE

It's about being environmentally conscious, and less generally wasteful. It means reusing, recycling, not wasting so much, not being so greedy, and avoiding creating pollution wherever possible. Basically living greener and wiser and reducing carbon emission and our global footprint.

I do a lot of this already, but I am going to try to do it a bit more consciously and see if I can get the whole family to join in too.

Here are some simple and easy things we do and will continue and do more of:
- Buy less packaging to start with! For instance buy a large 1lt yogurt and decant into reusable containers as needed, instead of sets of 6 little ones. Buy a large ,2 or 4l bottle of juice, packet of crisps, apples, raisins etc instead of the individual lunch box portions. Get some nice reusable boxes / bottles to pack them in if you need them packed and transportable.
- Buy a whole fruit/veg like watermelon, pumpkin, potatoes instead of pre-processed, chopped up stuff, which comes in packaging inside packaging. The rawer and closer to original state the item is the less waste it has been involved with, the fresher it with be and the more nutritious, and probably cheaper too!
- Buy locally produced and IN SEASON foods, so it hasn't had to be imported from across the world and/or kept in cold storage for 6 months.
- Reuse shopping bags - lots, until they wear out. Don;t buy new ones every time you shop. If you buy one item refuse the bag. Don;t take a bag you know you'll be throwing away in 10 minutes!
- Turn off lights, and use only neon bulbs (I hear in a few years incandescents won't even be made any more any way.)
- WALK or cycle instead of driving whenever you can. Instead of driving to gym cycle there!
- When you do drive, drive conservatively. I have a fuel economy reading on my car and it's amazing the difference if you drive with your foot a bit less hard on the accelerator. I can easily get an extra 50-75km per tank if I drive 'softly'.
- Make compose out of all your organic waste - vegetable peelings, tea bags etc.
- Don't flush the toilet for every single wee. It's really not necessary and wastes a lot of water.
- Unplug any chargers etc not being used, and turn things off instead of leaving on standby.
- Reduce the temperature of your geyser. 75 degs Celsius is far too hot, 50 degs is plenty and still hotter than you could bath in without adding cold water. Keeping it so high just wastes electricity.
- Get a geyser blanket, so the geyser heat is kept inside, will save a lot of electricity.
- Insulate your ceiling - makes your home easier to heat and cool and keeps heat and coolness in as needed.
- Reduce the number of hours your pool cleaner runs for - depending on the size of the pool 6 - 8 hours a day is plenty - 12- 15 hours is really not necessary.
- Spend less time cooking. Eat simply (ok I just out that in to justify my cooking laziness!)
- Run your washing machine on a cold cycle. It is not necessary to stew clothes in hot water. The washing powder cleans the clothes and they stay in shape and keep their colour longer with cold washing.
- Work from home when you can - reducing driving, as well as the need for additional office space with air conditioning etc etc
- Buy less stuff! You don't need a 4th gaming console, DVD player or PC or another plastic toy. Simplify your life. And enjoy it without lusting after additional stuff all the time. Balls, balls, racquets and bikes provide heaps of good clean and healthy fun. Use them.

Why don't you try to conserve a little more this year too?


Here is some more info and tips with numbers and supporting evidence, so you don;t have to just believe me - it is American, so make allowances for that:


Most emissions from homes are from the fossil fuels burned to generate electricity and heat. By using energy more efficiently at home, you can reduce your emissions and lower your energy bills by more than 30%.

In addition, since agriculture is responsible for about a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, you can reduce your emissions simply by watching what you eat.

Here’s how:

Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)
CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. If every family in the U.S. made the switch, we’d reduce carbon dioxide by more than 90 billion pounds! You can purchase CFLs online from the Energy Federation.

Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer
Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has more tips for saving energy on heating and cooling.

Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner
Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill.

Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases
Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most efficient models. If each household in the U.S. replaced its existing appliances with the most efficient models available, we’d eliminate 175 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year!

Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket

You’ll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action. You can save another 550 pounds per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use less hot water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot.

Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.

Turn off electronic devices you’re not using
Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you’re not using them will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

Unplug electronics from the wall when you’re not using them

Even when turned off, things like hairdryers, cell phone chargers and televisions use energy. In fact, the energy used to keep display clocks lit and memory chips working accounts for 5 percent of total domestic energy consumption and spews 18 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year!

Only run your dishwasher when there’s a full load and use the energy-saving setting

You can save 100 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.

Insulate and weatherize your home
Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25% of your home heating bill and 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Caulking and weather-stripping can save another 1,700 pounds per year. The Consumer Federation of America has more information on how to better insulate your home.

Be sure you’re recycling at home
You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates. Earth 911 can help you find recycling resources in your area.

Buy recycled paper products

It takes less 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide.

Plant a tree
A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%. The Arbor Day Foundation has information on planting and provides trees you can plant with membership.

Get a home energy audit
Many utilities offer free home energy audits to find where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient. You can save up to 30% off your energy bill and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Energy Star can help you find an energy specialist.

Switch to green power
In many areas, you can switch to energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar. The Green Power Network is a good place to start to figure out what’s available in your area.

Buy locally grown and produced foods
The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.

Buy fresh foods instead of frozen
Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.

Seek out and support local farmers markets
They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth. You can find a farmer’s market in your area at the USDA website.

Buy organic foods as much as possible
Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!

Avoid heavily packaged products
You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down your garbage by 10%.

Eat less meat
Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.


Almost one third of the carbon dioxide produced in the United States comes from our cars, trucks and airplanes. Here are some simple, practical things you can do to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide you produce while on the move.

Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible
Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year! Click here to find transit options in your area.

Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmates
Sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year. runs a free national service connecting commuters and travelers.

Keep your car tuned up
Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.

Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated
Proper inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!

When it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel efficient vehicle
You can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your new car gets only 3 miles per gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid! You can find information on fuel efficiency here and here.

Try car sharing
Need a car but don’t want to buy one? Community car sharing organizations provide access to a car and your membership fee covers gas, maintenance and insurance. Many companies – such as Flexcar -- offer low emission or hybrid cars too! Also, see ZipCar.

Try telecommuting from home
Telecommuting can help you drastically reduce the number of miles you drive every week. For more information, check out the Telework Coalition.

Fly less
Air travel produces large amounts of emissions so reducing how much you fly by even one or two trips a year can reduce your emissions significantly. You can also offset your air travel by investing in renewable energy projects.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Anniversary Dinner

So Richard was in charge of arranging our anniversary dinner. I made a few suggestions like Madame Zingaras (fully booked), Colcachios in Camps Bay (Italian), or Blues in Camps Bay (Steak & Sea food) etc, but left it up to him....

Well first he took me to a trendy cafe/bar in Kloof Street for Mojito cocktails. My favourite! Then we went to Yindis just around the corner. It's a Thai restaurant! He had obviously been there earlier because half our house was there!
Embarassed Embarassed Laughing Laughing
He had decorated our table and surrounds with flowers, one of our vases we bought back from Thailand, a wedding photo, a family photo of us with the boys. An Asian comfy cushion he gave me for Valentines was on my chair etc.

I was floored because we were so on the same wave length, cos his huge surprise gift is that we are going back to Thailand in June/July!!! ... and he had NO IDEA, and Q & G have managed to keep the secret beautifully. The boys are coming along with us this time.

After dinner I was presented with a gift. He had been to the Woolies sale and got a 'Reindeer Sleigh Tool Kit'. Cute little metal lunch box with chocolate tools in it. Loads of innuendo with those! Anyway I open it up and half the tools had been removed and replaced with a little blue box, which had a diamond ring inside!!!!!!
My original wedding ring didn't survive (long story) and I have been wearing a cheap crap ring I bought myself as a replacement, and now I have a proper ring again!!
Smile Smile
We talked and talked and talked, and then decided to pop into Stones for some fun on the way home, and we played 3 games of pool. I eventually had to take my shirt off, as per the dare, after losing badly to reveal the bustier I was wearing.
We got the DJ to play some songs for us and danced alone on the empty dance floor and didn't care.

It was a wonderful perfect evening! I can't believe we have been married for 10 years. We are actually much happier and have more fun now that we used to in the beginning. It's great!

Now we scrimp and save for our family holiday!

Thursday, 3 January 2008



Who would have thought we would have made it so far!??

It's been a long and hard road we have traveled, and we have encountered a lot of rocks and potholes along the way...

I know we have challenged each other a LOT, in both good and bad ways, but I think I can honestly say that I am now a better, stronger and wiser person for it.

Thank you for teaching me so much and also for giving me space to grow and explore and become myself. I know you have worked very hard over the past few years, and it has made an huge difference. So thank you for believing in me and believing in us and not ever giving up.

I am so glad we met. I love you! 10 years of memories with you...

Happy Birthday Quinn!

Happy Birthday my biggest boy!

It is hard to believe it's been 8 years since your much anticipated BIRTH.
You were so wanted and we couldn't wait to welcome you into our lives. You have taught us so much. You constantly amaze, impress and surprise me. You have brought so much fun and adventure into my life.

Thanks for being the sweet, clever, sensitive and beautiful boy you are. Your confidence, tenacity, desire to learn and explore, creativity, sense of humour and fun are incredible. I love you all the way to the toilet* and back!!! Wink

*Private joke Smile