Ring and Blanket

(I was having issues with my blog and adding pictures so I am a bit behind, I will add a few pre-wedding ones and then some about the wedding and honeymoon)

Have you ever had a moment when you realised that you were surrounded with such love and part of something so much bigger than yourself?

I had this on Saturday (26 Jan). Some mysterious parcels have been arriving at our house which I have not been allowed to open. I never had an engagement ring, I asked him to save him waiting to afford a ring, which we could not really and to make it about wanting to make this commitment rather than about the bling. But unbeknown to me. The Geek had poured over the pages of Etsy and spent many hours trying to figure out what the perfect ring would be. He also knew the plans for later in the day so he made the point of giving me his present that morning. It was not a big fuss or a huge planned event but it was perfect. He got something, so me, so perfect. I have had diamond and platinum ( which I bought myself after my first wedding, there was no romance in it) and this means more to me, it is so full of love.

The photos are not the best but you will get the idea

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Inside it says “Jy is my alles”
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Carle and I spent the morning shopping for wedding stuff. We got some great things and were feeling well chuffed with ourselves for crossing so many things off our list. During the week she had suggested that we go to tea after our shopping, I had invited some people over to help me with wedding crafts so we decided to invite them too. Little did I know that Carle and a whole group of my Ravelry friends had planned a surprise for me and were all waiting for me at the Cape Grace.

It was a wonderful afternoon. I knew they had been planning a wedding gift/surprise as Carle had started a thread and then gone onto it from my phone to set it on ignore so that I could not see it. This way they could chat and plan and I would not see the thread and be tempted to read it. I knew it was there and I could have gone and found it but I wanted it to be a surprise and oh boy that is what it was.

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They organised the most amazing blanket for our bed. But not any blanket.
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Carle choose colours to represent each of the 5 of us in the family. I was pink, Yme grey, Rachel yellow, Caleb green and Titus blue for his eyes as we are not sure of his favourite yet. Then she assigned colours to each of our siblings and parents. People from all around the world volunteered and knitted squares and then a group got together and crocheted all the squares together. Her and Pam co-ordinated more than 40 people and had to make sure they could get the right yarn in the right colours and that all the squares would get to SA in time to be sewn together.

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The pink is always next to grey, the kids colours always touch sides with either the pink or the grey. But the corners of the blanket show the true thought and attention to detail that went into this. They are red and white for Natasha. It was to symbolize a jersey she called Yme’s Denis the Menace jersey, and her beautiful red hair. They are the corner stones of the blanket, such a wonderful way to remember her. (They were knitted by a wonderful friend who also lost a sibling)

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There is me looking and reading the book that went with the blanket, it had a note from everyone that contributed. Again it shows that the most precious things in the world are things that can never be bought.
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The whole blanket (on a king size bed, just to give you an idea of the size)
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A huge thank you to Carle and Pam and every person who knitted on this special blanket. I will treasure it forever. ( You will see that there was a square missing, this is the last one that my daughter and mom knitted together while Rachel was visiting my parents. Carle will help me put it in and then it is all ready to winter.

Thank you my friend – (Carle getting tissues from Jo)
Carle

 

Are your domestic’s children starving?

I write for a nursing journal and was doing an article on malnutrition. I was reminded how big the problem is in this country, it is easy to live I lives removed from poverty and not to ‘see’. But logically if we go to the shop and food prices have gone up and up then how much more must this affect the poorest households.

I have included a few stats from the GAIN ( Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition) working paper on Malnutrition in South Africa at the end for those interested but I don’t want you to get lost in the stats.

Most children meet their macronutrient and protein levels, which means they eat enough and often weigh enough that they don’t always look malnourished. So looking at them we can fool ourselves into thinking they are fine. But the problem is on a micronutrient level. As many as 10 000 children will die in our country each year from complication of Vit A deficiency. Other micronutrients such as Vit C, Zinc, Iron, niaccin, folate and calcium are also often lacking. This leads to grow stunning and affects their physical and mental development.

Why do I ask if your domestic’s children are starving?
Becasuse as I was writting this article I could not help constantly thinking if I could feed my family as well as I would want to on what we pay. I pay well above the minimum wage and this is not a wage dispute but rather an eye opener. Even if you pay above the recommended minimum wage lower income households spend on average 70% of their income on food and this is just for the bare essential.

I am not discussing employment issues at all, we all have to do what we think is right and fair when it comes to wages. I think however it should not stop there.

Poor food choices are made by the majority of South Africans rich and poor. Watch trolleys in the shops and you will see whether it is a few coins paid for a white bread, pap and coke or a trolley over flowing with processed foods, fizzy drinks, chips and fatty snacks the same poor choices are being made.

Again I don’t think that there is much we can do to influence this, sure we can teach our domestic workers about the benefit of 5 a day fresh fruit and vegetable but in reality culture, finance and time may make this impossible.

So I decided I could not change millions but I can change 1 family. I challenge you to do the same, you will find the things that work for you. This is what I could do


1) Vitamins and Minerals are what is lacking, consider sponsoring your domestics children a monthly supplement.For babies and smaller children something like EmVit sprinkle is ideal as you can just add it to the pap or breakfast porridge and it is flavourless. Older kids can have the chewable multivitamins. The difference this can make to a child’s life long term is enormous. Imagine if each one of us did this and asked our friends to do the same and they asked their friends etc etc, we can touch a lot of lives

2) I don’t have time to make a vegetable garden alone so I have asked my Nanny/house keeper if she will help me. If we do it together then she can take half the food for her family. Most of us have a small piece of garden, even if you don’t have time to grow anything, maybe get your Domestic/House Keeper/Gardener to help and share the produce. You might even teach them the skill of growing food, or don’t be surprised if you are the one who learns

3) Simple education on food choices and about the 5 a day

4) I give my extra eggs from the chickens and anything else that I have over bought that month. I am careful but if we do have surplace I would rather her family benefits from it.
5) Dish up and extra plate of food at night from what we eat so I know she has had a good meal everyday, if there is less food in her house then at least she has eaten well and the kids can have more.

Can you think of anything else?

Like the starfish story, if we can make a difference to 1 child then we have done a lot

GAIN:” Despite various national nutrition and primary health care programs initiated in South Africa over the last decade, recent findings from scientific research have indicated that child malnutrition rates, as well as child health, have not improved. At the national level, stunting and underweight remain the most common nutritional disorders affecting one out of five children and almost one out of 10 children respectively.

The consequences of these levels of under-nutrition are very serious not just for the children but also for the economic development of the country. Using the latest data from epidemiological studies within a well established model we have calculated that the present levels of stunting and vitamin A deficiency result in more than 10,000 extra child deaths annually in South Africa. Poor breastfeeding habits are contributing to a further 7,312 child deaths. A number of longitudinal studies have also established that stunting and iron deficiency in infancy results in losses in earning capacity in later life, mostly through reduced physical stamina”

No until Death us do part

I have been thinking a lot about wedding vows with The Geek and my wedding coming up in a few short weeks. We want to write our own vows. I am sure not everyone is like me but as I think about the promises I want to make I ponder if people in the audience look at me as a divorced woman and think – “I wonder if she is going to keep them this time”

Maybe being older and wiser and slightly more cynical I am thinking about my promises more carefully. I am not religious. I don’t believe that marriage should be forever if it is damaging to either party. If there is one thing I have learnt is that life does not go to plan. I have seen friends with the greatest love, ended by a cruel twist of fate. Sometimes we marry for the wrong reasons or we grow apart or things just happen.

Did I mean my vows when I said them the first time? – of course. I was not planning to get divorced it was not even an option. But it happened. I am not a bad person. I did not fail, although I am sure there are plenty who think “you just have to try harder and it will work out”. I don’t believe that, I tried for 8 years, sometimes the bravest thing to do is to get out.

I think marriage should be viewed more like a business partnership, obviously a lot more emotional and loving but no one thinks badly of you if a business partnership ends or changes. People grow and change and sometimes it is not in the same direction.

I found this article and it rung true for me:

“People understand that anything can happen in life, and you don’t make a promise you can’t keep. When people get divorced, they mourn the fact that they said ”til death do us part’ — you didn’t keep your word in church (if they had a church wedding). Some people are in therapy because they promised ‘til death do us part’ — it is the sticking point in the healing of a broken marriage. The wording can give you a stigma of personal failure.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,163251,00.html#ixzz2JFi3Rala

I am no less committed to The Geek, in fact I don’t think I have ever thought so long and hard about promises before. I want to say what I know I can keep, and words that will challenge me to work as hard as I can on this relationship. I do not see it as an easy way out to not say until death us do part. I am not just presuming we will stay together, I know we have to work at it and make a conscious choice to make it work.

I know many will disagree with me and think that these are the sort of things that lead to high divorce rate. But in my mind, things happen, sometimes very unexpected things and no one should have to stay miserable in a broken relationship just for the sake of others in society worrying about our morals. There are no prizes for a life of unhappiness.

What do you think?

Wedding Hair

I went to do the colour for the wedding trial hair today. When in to the hair dresser at 11:30 and out at 4:15! It was a long day but it was quite nice not to have kids running around calling Mommy every 0.035 seconds.

We did a paler pink, left some lighter blond bits, it is hard to do it exactly like the other pic as it is not blonde to start with and rather pic. That picture was blonde with pink marbled on. So unless I bleached it all and stripped out the pink it would not work and I really don’t want to strip or damage my hair.

Here is the final result

I love the sides BUT I think the the plaits must go into the roll and be a bit less fussy at the back, what do you think?

this is the part I am not sure about

Stop Camel Light Fun colour boxes!

The Geek smokes, he is trying not to but that is another story. He usually smokes camel and he showed me with some amusement the new bright coloured box he had. It is part of a new limited edition coloured boxed like the ones in this picture. He was surprised how vehemently I reacted against them. They are fun and bright, very clever marketing, I have even heard adults on twitter say that they have not smoked in years or were about to quit and were tempted by the new fun colourful boxes.

Marketing that targets adults is one thing but using bright fun colours often associated with kids, toys and sweets is irresponsible, especially for a brand of light cigarettes, which might be a starting choice for teens. If adults are struggling to resist what about under age teens this holiday? Making smoking fun is irresponsible and dangerous. Tobacco companies can do what they like to adults, but when they blur the line and target children I get furious.

Titus (23 months) has never shown any interest in The Geek’s cigarettes, but he saw the box on the counter, pushed over a chair and got them down and tried to eat them because he thought they were sweets! If a baby under 2 is programmed to associate bright colours with sweets and something nice what chance to older kids have.

I am disgusted and appalled at the lack if integrity and regard for children’s safety.

If you like me feel strongly about this, and I encourage every parent with their child’s well being at heart to take the time to complain.

I have as yet not managed to get any tobacco company to take ownership of the camel brand. Everyone tells me it is someone else. I did read something that said that Camel was being brought into SA under Jti and I have emailed them a complaint, there is no direct number.
You can email a complaint to asasa.org.za There is a very simple on line form to fill in.
Blog about it
Complain to any shops that you see stocking them
Complain on Hello Peter
Complain to the department of Health
Email or tweet you local government representative. I am going to tweet Helen Zilla. @helenzilla

Our kids need protecting at all costs.

Rachel’s Egg-cellent Market Day

Rachel and her friend Thomas had an egg stall at the kids market day. They each had 7 boxes and were very equitable and alternated sales.
Ollie also made some biscuits to sell. Caleb ran around and was the ‘support’ team. Although next time I think I will make some things with him to sell too.

They sold out on all their eggs and had a good time. They will definitely be doing the one near Valentines day in February

These are the little labels she designed and made for her egg boxes
Kids market day Eggs

I took some photos of her and Caleb with 2 of our chickens so she could show that the eggs were not just from the shop and that she is the chicken ‘farmer’
Kids Market day

At the market – when we arrived she was a little nervous
Kids Market Day

Egg Table

Other tables
Kids Craft Market

Photo from the Photographer that was there on the day Akaroo

Last 2 people on Earth

We have all heard people say things like, “not even if they were the last person on earth would I procreate with them to save the human race.” This is not my reason I would not procreate, mine is that I am not sure we should survive, which I guess is easy to say now that I have 3 kids.

I have no idea how The Geek and I got onto the topic but we were talking about the survival of the human race. We have very different views. Yme is very interested in space and planets and the idea of finding other possible habitable planets we can go to one day after we have destroyed Earth. I on the other hand think that we are the most dangerous species on this planet and that if we all died off and had not destroyed everything else, that nature here on Earth would be a whole lot better off without us. The natural balance of nature would be restored. Animals would reclaim land and just about all species would be better off without us. The sad part is that by the time we can no longer inhabit this world, we would have made it uninhabitable for most other species too. I always laugh when I see the programs on TV nature channels about the deadliest animals. The top of the list is the one we see in the mirror each day!

So I do not think we have the right to go and populate other planets because we are destroying ours beyond repair. I do not have much faith in human nature on the whole. Yes there are some awesome kind wonderful people but most of us are selfish and want our creature comforts more than make sure nature is in balance.

The discussion about repopulating the Earth after our previous conversation about going to other planets, was an interesting one. I do not think that if there are only 2 people left that they should procreate. First it would mean at some point having sex with a son or daughter and brothers and sisters having babies together. Not only are we not a great species to start with but with such a limited gene pool it would be a disaster. Apparently according to The Geek you need about 400 people to have enough genetic variation not to have problems.

I sincerely hope I am not one of the last 2 people on Earth and if I am, I hope that I have batteries and a BOB ( battery operated boyfriend) because I am not having babies.

What do you think?

Secret Santa

My wish list for christmas. I have joined The Stiletto Mum’s Secret Santa gift swap. So if you want to know what Pinky wants for Christmas here is my list, very obviously some stuff will not fit in the R100 budget but maybe the real Santa is reading this too.

I have just gotten into The Game of Thrones audiobook and am listening to the first half of book one. I have no idea if you can buy an audiobook for someone but I am totally loving knitting and ‘reading’ at the same time and would love the 2nd half of book 1 and the rest of the series.

I love to take relaxing baths now and again when it is quiet in the house so anything nice for the bath is always welcome.

Pretty hair clips or hair scarfs are always welcome, they can be fairly funky

Things to eat, I love chocolate so you can’t go wrong with chocolate, and of course nougat and turkish delight and lint balls

Mugs, I love a BIG mug for my tea and coffee otherwise I just start drinking and it is finished which is very disappointing

I love handmade things, I am a knitter and crafter and appreciate the time and effort in a hand made item.

More knit pro cables ( 100cm) and other 2,5mm fixed cable sock needle. These can be found at www.skapie.co.za

Darning needles, I am always loosing them and could do with 100

I am a bit of a yarn snob so natural yarn ( wool, cotton, bamboo, camel, alpaca, sugar cane etc) is welcome.

I really want some cute Mary Jane’s to show off my knitted socks. Like these ones from Groundcover size 8 in fuschia please

Chai vanilla tea from Woolies is lovely

A wedding planner and person to make all the decorations and take over all the stress would be good.

Any patterns from my Ravelry queue would be nice, you can gift them to me

JoJo rainwater collecting drum

clinique par Amour Perfume

Will add if I think of more

Kids Entrepreneurial Market

Rachel and her friend are going to be at this market on 17 November, please come and support them if you are in the area. She is going to be selling eggs from her chicken, biscuits and meringues.
Here are the details if the picture is not very clear.

Join us for a Kids Market Day run by kids for kids.
No matter how funny or creative the produce, we encourage our kids to have fun making and creating their wares. Our Place Restaurant will provide grownup food and coffee sales for the day.

Theme: Xmas
 Décor: Bunting, Birds,
 Bird Houses, Bird Cages
 Market fee per table:
 R20
 Payable to: L Uys
 ABSA 9106660563
 Ref: Child’‛s name

Kids 7—13 years can apply to exhibit their home baked or homemade wares. Application Fee proceeds will go to SNAP Education (Centre for children with Autism).
Goody bag options available. Suggested Product sales between R5—R20 What to bring: Own Table, decorations, pricing, change/float and shade Table Size: 1m x 1m or 2 kids at a canteen table (1.8m x 0.9m)
Book with Lenore or Renata on uys@icon.co.za
Date: 17 November 2012
Venue: Our Place, Oxford Street, Durbanville Time: 10:00—12:00