Rachel’s Hair Donation

Sometimes my children do things that make me think that I can’t be doing such a bad job at parenting after all.

Rachel has the most beautiful colour hair. People stop her on the street and in the shop to comment on her hair. Mostly telling her not to ever cut it. She loves her hair, and like any little girl loves it long and pretty. So it was quite a surprise to me when she said she wanted to cut it. She does not want to cut it because she does not want long hair anymore but rather she wants to donate it to a child/person with cancer for a wig.

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Locally available yarn

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I am sometimes asked about the yarns that I use and where I get them as most are not available in the average wool shop – not that there are even that many of those. I get most of the yarn I use on line and there are some good places here in South Africa but you have to know about them, so I am spreading the word.

I am not a yarn snob and I will use acrylic for stuff too, especially kids toys or jerseys for kids that are going to get a lot of wear and tear and need to machine washable 1000 times. But there is something very nice about natural yarns. Wool is of course so much warmer than acrylic, it does not squeak as you knit or crochet.

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Caleb’s story

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Caleb has quite surprised me. He was struggling with pencil grip and so has never been that keen on writing. One day after Rachel had finished practicing her spelling words on the white board, he surprised me by saying that he want to write a story.

This is how the story starts. He tells me the words and I spell them out for him

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One a day – Heidi Bears challenge

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My good friend and crochet designer HeidiBears makes the most beautiful crochet animals. She sells her patterns over on Ravelry.

I am very new to crochet in fact the African Flower is all that I can make really. I learned just to be able to make Heidi’s beautiful toys. But it take me quite long to make each motif. I started a hippo in April last year when the pattern came out. But it got put aside as work on my book took center stage. I was always knitting, swatching or pattern writing for the book and crochet took a back seat.

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Dear Thandile Sunduza you are beautiful

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I don’t know you and I am just a little person. Well, not in stature, as I am nearly 6 feet tall, but in terms of influence. I don’t like politics and I have to admit that before this fiasco, I did not even know who you were. While I ignore most of the political stuff that goes on, one thing I cannot ignore, is a woman being treated badly.

I think you are beautiful. The photos of you laughing are so full of joy. You obviously take pride in being a little less ordinary, and not to just blend in. As someone with pink hair, who many, I am sure, think is ridiculous, I applaud this attitude. I don’t really care what your dress looked like, or if it was a fashion boo-boo. What I care about is the way people tore you apart. The things people said and the ‘funny’ cartoon comparisons were nothing more than ugly bullying.

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Own less, Live more

Photo by Andre vanRooyen

Photo by Andre vanRooyen

This is my motto for 2014. AT the beginning or 2012 I wrote how my word for the year was to be more Organised. Well I have been failing for 2 years. The clutter grew and so did my anxiety and my inability to cope. The visual clutter and stuff was making me feel overwhelmed. I felt like all I was doing all day was trying to contain the stuff and stop it taking over. It was like sea of belonging that I managed to clear away and organise – low tide, and then high tide would come and the stuff would all be everywhere again. I got boxes, drawers and container, I tried to label and sort everything to make it look more organised, but it never lasted. I felt like a complete failure. I would get mad with the kids and shout when stuff got mess and I was visually assaulted with all these things around me. I would feel my head swimming and my blood pressure rising.

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Big Plans, Big Move

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Some of you may have seen on Facebook that we have decided to make a big move. This has been a very long decision in the making.

Why move when we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world?
I will admit that Cape Town is one of the prettiest places I have stayed, and after 4 years we are starting to feel really settled. So why think of moving now?

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Can it ever be ME and YOU and not US and THEM?

Will I ever me more than part of ‘them’? Those people that was responsible for the suffering of millions, in this land?

And by part I mean my skin colour and not my beliefs. I was a child at the time and you can read more what I have written about apartheid here I benefited from Apartheid – did you? and I hate that I fear

With the death of Mandela and thinking about all he stood for, and watching A Long Walk to Freedom last night. I am again reminded of what a great man he was. It was also an eye opener to see what it did to Winnie Mandela and that her anger was her survival method and it made me understand more. It is one thing to read stuff and to know theoretically what happened, but to see it, even in a movie which can never be perfectly the same, is another. It brings more of the emotions home.

Not everyone thinks like Mandela, people I still very angry and I don’t blame them. I would be too. While I am a English white South African and so also not the old governments favourite kind of white, I am still white and had benefits way more than most in this country. Actually I think as a child I was blissfull unaware of most of what was going on. Many other children were not so lucky.

My question is now, 20 years later is there hope that we can ever see each other as more than US and THEM. Will I ever not be hated by some people in this land because of my fate of birth? I am not sure I could forgive if it was my people so I ask in honesty. What do you see when you look at me? Can this wrong ever be righted? It is so much easier to use our stereotypes and group people collectively and hate them as such than to see individuals.

Please be honest, I will never insult anyone by saying I want to understand, because I never never will. But I want to know.

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Veggies

I know that I have not blogged in so long that I probably don’t have any readers anymore so it will not matter if I blog about my boring vegetables.

To me it is very exciting. That I have managed to grow wonderful veggie in rubbish Cape soil is amazing.

The tricks have been
1) chickens: I let them scratch and fertilize the area first – about a year. Then I kicked them out of that area so they can help the rest of the garden.
2) I did not pull up grass, just covered it with cardboard and compost. I did area by area while the chicken were there.
3) where I am in CT along the west coast is frost free so we started seeding in winter still
4) lots of rain this year
5) a great gardener
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Shoes and the curse of the Gargantuan Woman

I am 5″11 or 1,79m for the metric amongst us. This is not short for a woman. In fact I am taller than the average for women in every country around the world and a good deal of the male averages too. In fact there are only a couple of European countries where the male average is taller than me. Wiki is such a useful place. All the height info is here

While there are definite advantages to being tall one of them is not the ability to wear high heel shoes. Although I did wear these on my party, it is just not something I do on a regular basis.

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I know high heels make your bum and legs look great and all those things , but I land up feeling like Brienne from Game of Thrones, although admittedly she is 6,3″ ( with heels I am not far off) I just feel a little ridiculous. So I have been confined to flat shoes most of my life. I am not complaining much as I like flat comfortable shoes. Being a nurse I needed comfortable shoes and the same is true being a mom of 3.

But there are some pretty shoes out there! At the moment I am lusting after these, they are by a company called Fluevog and cost $299! (a mere R2996 without postage and import costs)

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I want to wear them with hand knitted socks like these Ardwinna socks on Ravelry

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I am now on a mission to combine cute knitted socks and shoe. My mom brought me some Groundcover Mary Jane’s in fuschia for my birthday and Carle knitted me some great socks

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But what to wear with them? Jeans are okay and my default item, but a cute skirt would look so much better. Like this example Clare from Yarn and Pointy Sticks Blog had of Hedera socks by Reecie

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