Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Cheese, whine, worms, and words


First the whine.... Well, the end of the whine, at least. In case no one noticed, I was absent for a while. My last blog was a rather half-hearted attempt at Picture Perfect what seems like an age ago. Looking at that photo and the one I have here makes me want to toss the camera or at least let someone else take over the shutter. The last photo's excuse is that it is a very old scanned in photo. This photo has no excuse, but it still illustrates the point.

I was having a chat with a friend last night when I needed to pop off to the kitchen to deal with the cheese. It was one of those meals. I thawed what I thought was stewing beef, but, once thawed, it turned out to be mince, or what some of you call ground beef or hamburger. Where on earth does that come from anyway?? No connection at all. This brings me around to the point of this blog.... words.

A Brazilianism for you... They don't grate cheese here. Some of you would call that shredded cheese. Cheese is offered whole or sliced, more often sliced. I prefer sprinkling grated cheese on my food. One place that I found did 'grated' cheese, actually minced the cheese..... erm... what some of you would call 'ground', as in the 'ground beef'. Ever seen minced cheese? It looks like worms. Seriously not appetising.... but back to the words thing...

While having this rather confusing conversation, I came to the conclusion that British English, South African English and American English are three different languages. In South Africa, we speak British English, for the most part, though there's a healthy addition of localisms that would confuse the best of you. For us, for example, a traffic light is called a 'robot'. Words like 'bakkie', 'biltong', 'boerewors', and 'lekker' abound. The Americans take the prize though.

The cheese I have photographed is, what I would call, 'grated'. Americans call it shredded. I use a grater to grate cheese. The grater slices off slivers of cheese. Shredding is a different process, to my knowledge. Our cat shreds paper. I think she'd make a mess of cheese, if caught on a fussy day when she deems cheese inappropriate for diet. Then there's the mince, or 'ground beef'. I don't know about you, but I grind pepper and other spices, either in a grinder or with a pestle and mortar, or we grind flour in a mill. Grinding beef would be rather hard to do. We won't go down the hamburger route. According to Webster's Random House, 'hamburger' is ground or chopped beef. 'Chopped'? That would take forever! I tried to understand... honestly I did. I looked up 'grind' and found no beef. How is your... uh... finely processed beef actually processed? Is it processed with an odd-looking machine with a funnel thing at the top and holes in the front, producing, dare I say, 'meat worms'? Now before I'm accused of word prejudice, Webster's Random House is American, giving British 'alternatives'. 'Mince' according to Webster's is also, finely chopped. Ah.... I give up! I'm not one to mince my words.... Gee... that was bad... Bad, bad pun..... really bad... *slinks off again*

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Friday, 23 May 2008

Making a difference


My friend, Michelle, on blogger gave me this award. Thank you, Michelle! You brightened my day. I found her through a poem she wrote, and the friendship grew. I am honoured to be on her friends list, never mind her thinking my blog is worth reading. If anyone deserves this award, she does. Her blogs are not only very readable, but speak to the heart. She's 'good people' : ) I would give her the award, but she already has it. I do know that I need to find people to give this award to. Shouldn't be hard... there are some amazing bloggers on my list.
First off, what do I look for in a blog? I like blogs where I can see a little of the soul of the writer. I like personal blogs, not blogs copied from the latest e-mail or news report, though I do happily read those too. I like blogs that tell me about your life and where you are. I like blogs that let me connect to a person on the other end. Herewith, a few, who, in my opinion, for various reasons, deserve the "Excellent blog award".

  1. Kippy - Kippy always has something thought-provoking to offer, and often fun too, not to mention the visual appeal of her photography
  2. Heather - Her photos and words have a deep emotional appeal. On most things, we speak the same language. Her blog is for contacts only though
  3. Eileen - Her world is just so different and she presents it in an entertaining and very readable way. Her art is a joy to experience
  4. Lisa - Fun and funky. Her world is multicoloured, much like her little car. Her blogs are never less than fascinating
  5. Port Elizabeth Daily Photo - because the place means so much to me and the photos are sooo well worth it!
  6. Libby - Open, honest. If anyone can look on the bright side, it is her and she cooks the most fascinating food. Reading about her travels would be enough to have me going back
  7. Catherine - a relatively new friend. I love her blogging style. She takes the punches life gives in her stride and laughs at them. I love her outlook on life. Just her avatar makes me smile

Ah... I'm leaving it at 7. There are more here who are wonderful bloggers who are just a little quiet right now. Then there are those who are great bloggers by their interaction with other bloggers... their friendship. I was just saying to a friend yesterday that I have a wonderful contacts list. Most of those on my list are really good people and friends worth having : )

I found this video on a page I visited. Do watch it. I think it would be incredible if we could all turn to at least one person, acknowledge them and tell them how much we appreciate them... and why!


And to close... some reading for my photographer friends: Click here

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Ten thought Tuesday


  1. I need to write
  2. One thing at a time
  3. I need to vacuum sooo badly
  4. I need to make a call
  5. Why is procrastination so easy?
  6. Coming up with 10 remotely coherent thoughts is so much harder than it sounds
  7. I wish people wouldn't mumble!!
  8. Why can't life be simple?
  9. It's a beautiful day outside
  10. Telephones are not evil. Telephones are not evil. Telephones are not evil. Telephones are not evil. (Just trying to convince myself)

I made a long-procrastinated call to US Immigration (in the USA). I was terrified. I was also very impressed with the service. I went through the options to get to the right department and was immediately spoken to!! I wasn't put on hold for 2 hours... how refreshing! He was so helpful too and willing to take as many questions as I had. I hadn't expected that, so went prepared with too few questions. I will certainly call again when I need to.

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Monday, 19 May 2008

Looking back... looking forward


I've been gone so long. It's just been crazy around here! Nah... I lie. I wish it had been crazy. Let me rephrase. I've been gone so long because I've been going crazy... or is it because I am crazy? No... don't answer that.

As you may remember, I was looking for my brothers. So far, I've come up with loads of dead ends. Then I figured that I'd try looking for people who may know how to find them or at least be 'on location' to find them, which sent me on a rollercoaster of memories. I started with Facebook. I have tried looking for some of these people before and come up blank. This time, I entered a name and there they were. I was suddenly finding heaps of people, from my best friend through primary school through to the best man at our wedding and many more. It was as though someone had switched on a light. This was both wonderful and terrifying. There are many memories and experiences I'd love to have gone without recalling. Contact with these people has brought all those to the fore again. Of course, not all have come back to me. A couple, I am sad about, but others I don't mind that much.

For so long, while living here in Brazil, it has bothered me that there are so few people in my life who have seen me face to face, who know me, and still consider a connection to me worthwhile. I regularly hear accounts of my friends getting together with each other and, while I am thrilled for those friends, I long to have the same thing, though I know it is out of the question for now. I became a little obsessed with the looking up of old friends. Here were people who have known me face to face, who have been with me through some... interesting times and who still accepted me. A few have even been glad to have made contact again. I was sitting here tonight though and thinking.... I can't go back. Going back is an illusion. I know that sounds weird to you, perhaps, but to me, it was something I had to face. I have to make friends with these people all over again, some easier than others, but so much has changed. We've all moved on. Any friendships I pick up now again would have to be built on as though new. I can't build on history. So I got my wish... in a way. I can't meet with a friend for coffee now, but I have had times where I've sat and talked over coffee or a glass of wine with a good friend. Those memories will have to carry me for a little while longer.

On the subject of 'a little while longer'... and going forward...
Many folk ask me whether I've had news on immigration yet. The answer is... if I had news, I'd have shouted it from the rooftops, so.... no. We have, I think, until at least the end of May to have heard about the last application. Not much time left, is there? I suppose I should say... well, there's always next year. We've said that every year so far. What's one more? I hate even thinking about that. Everything in life has a reason. There is a reason for this too. It will all work out.

In all, I was in something of a muddled funk... on a rollercoaster ride all of my own, so I haven't been terribly talkative. Balance has never been my strong point... balancing my moods, my activities, my various obsessions. I'm trying to find the balance now between new friends and old. I'm still here though...

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Magical Meeting Place

Garden Dec0404_fx

Magical Meeting Place

The World came to me, I greeted the World
And the World allowed me to feel its pulse
Liken to a manifestation of fluttering butterflies,
Some would land and linger
To be caressed in their full beauty
And then released
Unharmed to continue their Sacred Journey
Our purpose fulfilled... for now.

~ Charles E. Guffey 1998 ~


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Saturday, 10 May 2008

Stand for the children


Taken from Michelle's blog. Thank you for posting this, Michelle!

The Pledge for the Standing Women (see video below) reads...

Last May hundreds of thousands of women and girls, along with the men and boys they love, in 75 countries and on all continents of the world stood together in parks, on beaches, in churches, at graduation ceremonies, in their backyards and at school yards or anyplace they could find to stand in a global wave of humanity in support of a better world for our children.

We invite women and their families everywhere to take this "stand" with us again, on May 11 at 1pm local time for just 5 minutes, to rekindle the world with our common vision.

We stand for the world's children and grandchildren, and for the seven generations beyond them.
We dream of a world where all of our children have safe drinking water, clean air to breathe, and enough food to eat.
A world where they have access to a basic education to develop their minds and healthcare to nurture their growing bodies.
A world where they have a warm, safe and loving place to call home. A world where they don't live in fear of violence-in their home, in their neighborhood, in their school or in their world.
This is the world of which we dream.
This is the cause for which we stand.

To learn more and register your standing, go to the Standing Women website at http://www.standingwomen.org/


Let us all stand and send out positive energy together. Standing, thinking about the children, may seem like such a simplistic action to take, but I believe that the thoughts, prayers, wishes, energies of millions of women (and this isn't restricted to women) will make a difference... surely!

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Friday, 09 May 2008

Because I have to

You may, or may not, have noticed that I have Technorati tags below each post. I have registered this blog at Technorati. Perhaps people will read it now ; ) Nah... I'm just posting this link here because they want me to.... something about 'claiming' my blog.

Technorati Profile

Thursday, 08 May 2008

Gossamer - A Picture Perfect theme


This week's theme had me. I live in a very solid world, aside from an abundance of spider's webs. I had another photo planned and was tempted to post both, but I'm meant to be sticking to the rules, right? *sigh*

This was taken right after some rain here, a highly unusual occurrence ; ) Yes, I am joking. Some critter or another had made a feast of Jorge's Queen of the Night and left just the veins.

Join in the fun at Picture Perfect.

Friday, 02 May 2008

School quiz


Sorry... this will be a long one. Like some other people I know, I seem incapable of short blogs. I did another high school quiz thing way back when. It's on 360, though, so good luck =/


There is a tag going around with questions relating to school. My reaction to a few of the questions was short and sweet... "Huh?" Schooling in so many ways was so different for me compared to, say, US and Canadian schools. I will do that quiz with that in mind, explaining what our schools were like. Note, I say 'were' because I can't speak for what South African schools are like now. For my South African friends... if I have forgotten something or gotten something wrong, feel free to jump in and let me know, especially if you're living in foreign lands and are familiar with the comparisons.


School, for us, was divided into two parts, Primary school and High school. Back when I started school, we had Sub A, Sub B... then Standards 1 - 5 in Primary School. High school consisted of Standards 6 - 10. Standard 10 was known as our Matric year. When Tatiana went to school, we were living in a different province and the school years were named grades, so she went from Grade 1 - 12... same number of years though.

Go to kindergarten?  
Kindergarten, to me, is the same as pre-school. It was very unusual for kids to go to kindergarten when I started school, so 'no'. I turned 5 in Sub A (grade 1) though.

Graduate from high school? 
Yes. Let's leave it at that. I wasn't exactly scholastic by that time.

Go to college? 
I am not sure what is meant by 'college'. I know it is somewhat different to our concept. When we completed our 12 years basic schooling, we had a choice of college or university. Those with sufficient grades could go to University. The 'lesser' grades could go to college. At college, you earned diplomas, as opposed to the degrees you earn at university.
No, I did not go to college. I went straight to work to help supplement my gran's pension. She had no additional income to support us.

Get straight A's in school?  
Until Standard 7 (grade 9), I was an A student... ok, more of a B student haha! In Std 8, I changed schools and went from an all English curriculum to an all Afrikaans curriculum. Although I was fluent in my mother tongue, I struggled with my subjects. It was also an emotional year for me (doesn't take much) and I slipped way down. I was sent back to an English school the next year, but never quite made it back up again.

Go to prom? 
Most schools only had one dance, the Matric dance, held just before you leave school. The boarding school I was at held a dance every term though (our year was divided into 4 school terms). At the end of the school career, we had the Matric dance, though and that was special. The entire event was planned and run by the Std 9's (grade 11's). Every Matric went. There was no missing it. Heck, we were in boarding school. That was our social life ; ) Just joking... even in regular school, it wasn't something one missed.

Take part in extracurricular?  
This one is easy. I was in choir all through school. Choir was my passion. I also took part in the SCA (Student's Christian Association), chess, debate and was librarian. I did drum majorettes in my first two years of high school, but gave that up, as I permanently had grazed knees, which didn't quite match the cutesy outfits we had to wear.

Play any school sports?
Tennis (I was quickly removed from the team, as I was either flat on my face or returning the ball to my partner when playing doubles), swimming (loved that!), hockey. Oddly enough, as long as I kept my stick away from other people's shins, I did fairly well with that.

Graduate in the top ten of your class? 
Uh.... no. I was a very average student... never at the bottom, never at the top. I just muddled through school, much the way I muddle through life.

Miss a lot of school?  
Sadly, no. All  major events and illnesses were reserved for holidays and weekends *sigh* I think I missed a total of 4 days.

Have a favorite teacher? 
Hm... I had a few. My Std 5 teacher, Miss Brown, was wonderful. She pushed us and challenged us to the hilt, preparing us very well for high school. We all loved her. In general, my English teacher in each year was probably my favourite. I was blessed with great English teachers.

Go to football games?
We had soccer and rugby. Soccer being the game with the round patchy ball and rugby being the barbaric, no protective clothing, game with the odd shaped ball. I would watch soccer only when there was some other activity I was desperate to avoid, but rugby watching held no interest for me. I'm not, nor was I ever, a sporty person.

Enjoy pep rallies?
I had no idea at all what a pep rally was, so I looked it up. That would have been our Interschool athletics. Those were obligatory to attend. I attended my last one in Std 6. What a fiasco. The school was meant to organise buses home for us and the organiser forgot our area. I walked most of the way home (we lived far from the school). I called my gran from a public phone on the way, so she wouldn't panic. My gran called the principle during his dinner and threatened him with the school board. It was 8pm. He was none too pleased, but personally went to fetch us all and take us home.

Know what you wanted to be when you grew up?
Yes, I wanted to be a social worker.

Pack your lunch or buy?
Packed... until I got to boarding school where we had a sit-down lunch.

Like gym class? 
We called it PT (Physical training or torture, depending on who was using the term). Blegh... yuck... eeew! I was neither athletic nor flexible. Any excuse would do. Trouble is, I was as bad at coming up with excuses as I was at athletics.

Have a bunch of friends in school?
Nope... I generally had one good friend, possibly two. I wasn't Miss Popular by any stretch of the imagination.

Fit into a clique like jock, stoner, geek, etc? 
I'm not cliquey at all. I was never in a clique... usually the one on the outside looking in, though, to be honest, I was content with my one or two friends. I'm not a group-type person. I did often wonder what it took to be accepted though.

Have a nickname in school?
In primary school, they knew they could get me really mad by calling me Corrie. One girl took particular delight in doing that. I blogged about her once. I'll be darned if I can find that blog. I didn't really have nicknames in high school, thank goodness... either that, or they were so ghastly, I have blocked them from memory. So much of my past is one huge grey area.

Get picked on in school?  
Well, I was slow, the class klutz, often teacher's pet, and I was 'different'. Sure I got picked on. I had a particularly select group of tormentors. Funny, I could stand up to teachers who picked on me, but not kids.

Have a favorite subject?
English and art (Yes, I know that is two... I ignore all numbers issues at best)

Have a least favorite subject? 
Maths and History! I was relatively good at Maths up to Std 7 (grade 9), then the ship sunk. History was ruined for me in Std 6 by a *insert foul word* teacher who took delight in getting the girls to stand on a chair and kiss Hitler's photo. In Std 9, an old hag who was to teach us asked me if I liked History on my first day in her class. I answered 'no' (being honest 'n all). She replied, "I think you're in the wrong class then." She was a fanatic. I agreed with her, packed up and went to change my class to art. Best move I ever made.

Go to graduation? 
Graduation for us was during school time, so yes, everyone went, though for us, it was just a service where the school said goodbye. There was no going onto the platform to collect certificates or anything.
Have a crush on anyone in school? 
I had a crush, but he wasn't in school. Dang, we do stupid things sometimes!

Go to any class reunions?
I went to one. It was a waste of time... totally, except for one thing. I learnt that I was just as good as any of them in my own way and I no longer had a need of the clique. In fact, the clique was no longer remotely appealing. Some of the girls who snubbed me had actually done quite badly for themselves.

Whew.... you made it through that? Hm... others posted photos of them in the 80's. Want a photo of boring? This was taken at one of the school dances.


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