Monday, October 10, 2011

Vision Boards - An Update

So for those of you who are still in doubt about whether vision boards work let me give you an update.
My best friend Marlon, who shares my beliefs that all things are possible, has had a vision for a long time that we both knew if he achieved it, it would be true and final proof that this stuff works. Marlon has wanted his own TV show for quite a while, and this weekend he made his debut with the very first episode of Who's Your Daddy on channel 319. It is the first parenting show hosted by a guy and promises some very interesting topics on parenting from the male point of view. You can watch the live broadcast on saturdays at 9pm.

It has been tough going at times for him, I know first hand how much he struggled through so many roadblocks and tough times on his journey to his greatest desire. We mentor and encourage each other in all that we both want to achieve, sharing updates and giving each other a positive boost on our regular 5k walks.

Through this all he never gave up on his dream, even though it took somewhat longer than he thought it would he kept his self belief and faith that the day would come.
I must say that having at least one person who believes in you and is rooting for you makes it easier to keep the dream alive and I am so deeply chuffed that I got to be that person for him. Lucky for me he performs the same role on my behalf - I have many desires and dreams that I want to achieve and I have no doubt I will make them reality.
We both revisit our vision boards and vision books daily - it keeps us focused and reinforces our goals.

So my advice to you if you have a dream is this:
1. Never let others negativity influence you.
2. Keep a vision board or vision book and make use of it daily.
3. Know that there will be obstacles and roadblocks on the way ( Marlon's were particularly tough ones ) and believe that they are there to test you.
4. Never give up on your dream - ever.
5. Two useful phrases that if repeated every day can help you believe all things are possible :
a) Everything is possible for those who have faith (direct quote from the bible by the way)
b)Expect a miracle - it can happen.

To Marlon - here is my very public congratulations on what you have achieved so far, we both know this is only the beginning.
May everything you wish for come true, your abilities and self belief are simply astounding and I can't wait to see what you achieve next.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Art of Walking a Dog




So there I am on one of my early morning jogs, when I noticed two dogs taking their owner for a very brisk walk. I say brisk, because the poor guy had to really motor to keep up with the dogs, which were doing their best to drag him along at the pace of their choosing. He didn’t look like he was enjoying the walk slash jog very much and to me the dogs seemed a little frustrated. I say this because if one of them did decide to slow down and sniff the roses, metaphorically speaking, the owner would pull it back into line and keep on walking.
Here’s my take on this: the dogs were trying to get to the next interesting point as quickly as possible in order to give it a good sniff before having to get back into line.

It all brings to mind a wonderful book I discovered years ago about dogs and their nature called “Living With an Alien” by Pam Whyte.
From this book I learned that the most important aspect of his daily walk from the doggies’ point of view was getting to smell the neighbourhood, all those important stops where other dogs have been and made their mark. She called it “Reading the news”.
Think about it – a dog’s greatest sense is in his nose – since we are so visual by nature we forget that dogs receive a lot of information via smell.
So when we go for a walk, we tend to drag Rufus along, we especially like it if he keeps up with us and find it annoying every time he has to stop and sniff and do his business.
So poor Rufus comes home from his walk feeling a bit frustrated cos he missed out on all the news.
She says in her book that dogs don’t need long extended walks and certainly not at a jogging pace. The fitter the dog the more antsy he will get being stuck at home all day.
A long extended walk is fine if you can fit it in, but all he needs is a good five or ten minutes round the neighbourhood, with plenty of opportunity to stop and smell the flowers, or the lamppost, or whatever.
Short daily walks give him something to think about afterwards, when he can digest “news” of his territory.

If you have a dog or two, then this book will tell you so many things about your four footed friend that you will never see a dog the same way again.
Pam is South Africa’s answer to The Dog Whisperer, you can check out her website here.
http://www.naturaldogtraining.info/index.html
If you love your dog, or if you have problem issues with your dog, then this book is for you.

Here are some interesting facts from the book:
Did you know that when your dog sits on your feet, he isn’t being cuddly, he is dominating you?
That dogs actually want you to be the pack leader, but if you don’t take up the position then Fido will?
That as pack leader, you should always eat before Fido does, so make sure he sees you scoff something before you put down that bowl of Eukanuba.

Monday, February 28, 2011

"I love Rammstyles Mummy" or Why Linkin Park’s Meteora is No More

If you read my previous post you will by now know that I am a big Rammstein fan.
So it is with great parental pride that I tell you this feeling is shared by my sweet three year old Claire.

Not so my dear husband Leo, whose South American sensibilities are hugely offended by all things alternatively skewed, he leans more towards your Latin Lounge salsa and samba rhythms – any heavy rock and he is running for the hills so to speak.
His opinion of Rammstein and their ilk goes along the lines of “How can you listen to that rubbish? This isn’t music, it’s #$%^%^& “ and so on and so forth.

So there am I, the day after the Rammstein concert, still on a buzz from such an awesome show, just itching to whip out a Rammstein cd and play it, so being the good parent that I am I ask Claire if she wants to hear Rammstein? Oh yes, indeed she does, So I scratch around my cd case for such but just can’t find it so I ask her if she would like a bit of Linkin Park instead, waving their Meteora cd under her nose? No problem, she wants that too, so in the cd player it goes. Turns out she loves them, indeed I must play it louder.

So louder it goes, with Claire nodding to the beat. I nip outside to hang some washing, when out marches Leo, blasting me about how I am corrupting our darling girl, next thing she will be wearing black with a piercing through her nose heaven forbid!

If my baby grows up to be a goth princess I don’t think it will phase me all that much but Leo is beside himself with worries and goes on and on about how crap my taste in music is etc, etc, so eventually I join him on the lose it road (we are both pretty volatile emotionally ) and take my Meteora cd and break it in two with a take that and shove it somewhere attitude.

I think he felt a bit bad later and offered to buy me another Linkin Park cd so I offered forgiveness if he bought me a Rammstein cd, since I couldn’t find the one I had.
Indeed – for Valentines day I got Rammstein’s Mutter (he was given careful instructions) – sigh – he is so romantic.

On the way home from school with Claire the next day I ask her if she wants to hear Rammstein and of course she does. So on it goes, Mein Hertz Brennt only reaches a few bars before the small voice at the back pipes – “Louder Mummy Louder” and “I love Rammstyles Mummy.”
Now, she knows very well how Daddy feels about Rammstein and I am certain there is an element of – “I like it cos Mummy does” but an even bigger element of “I like it cos it makes Daddy mad!”
All in all though, I would like to say that it is because at the tender age of three she recognizes great talent when she hears it!

Her current favourite tracks are Mein Hertz Brennt, Ich Will and Links!
Makes me think why “Baa Baa BLACK sheep” is her favourite nursery rhyme!

Now all I am wondering is if I can find a way to encourage these small goth beginnings, notwithstanding trying to find black items of apparel for a three year old could be trying, at least this will be a relief from the incessant pink she insists on currently wearing and at best it will annoy Daddy, and what’s life without it’s small pleasures eh?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rammstein U Rock!

If I do nothing else for the rest of my life I still think I can say on my deathbed – I have truly lived!

If you were not at the Dome at Northgate on Friday night then you really did miss one of the most awesome shows I have ever attended.

There must have been a big competition going on between the pyrotechnic crew and the band for who could put on the better performance – so even non-Rammstein fans would have been entertained to say the least, and if that did not entertain you, then the crowd watching certainly would have.

For a bunch of people who profess to be alternative they really do have some kind of uniform going on – and it’s black! You either were wearing a black T shirt with Rammstein on it, a black T shirt with Metallica on it, or a black T shirt with a skull and crossbones on it.
If you wanted to push it a little bit further you could go as the guy dressed in a long sweeping black dress, with his goatee and boots he was Jesus meets Jedi Knight gone to the dark side. If you had a beard you had to make sure the beard was plaited, a tattoo or two also would not go amiss. A girlie wasn’t completely dressed without her clump clump lace-up boots and black corset, my personal favourite was the chick with three pony tails dressed in a medieval meets motorcycle chic ensemble. The icing on the cake was the guy in a full on gimp mask, which for those who don’t know is a bit of leather for your head – think Man with The Iron Mask but with leather instead of iron.

So the evening started out as highly entertaining, I could almost have hung around the beer tent all night, people watching.

. I felt a little on the understated side, with my simple black - hides all sins - black top (at least it was black) and my olive green preggie pants – not my ideal choice but my IBS tummy was playing up and I needed expansion room!


I know all those U2 fans out there will probably disagree, but my friend Charlie who came with me to the concert admitted he was extremely tempted to swop his U2 tickets for a front row position at a repeat of Friday’s event. Though it is just as well, cos the folks next to the stage are no doubt missing their arm hair and eyebrows right now.

Opening with a signature hit which goes “RAMM” …… “STEIN” (yes – he does sing nearly all the songs in capital letters) along with the lead singer’s deep and powerful German voice, the deep bass of the guitar sound and drums ensured you did not simple see and hear Rammstein, you felt them!
If that wasn’t enough, then the 15 meter high flames on stage along with the fireworks were sure to thrill you.

How can I describe a Rammstein song – hmmm – well the sound is heavy industrial rock with a hint of opera, the theme and feel of it is about power mostly, but with a sexual energy that seems to hint at the darker ways of getting your groove on – just makes me wanna do it with somebody – it feels like raw sexual power – yeah!
(Ahem – sorry Pa if you are reading this).

Before the show I was a bit concerned I might get bored through the songs I didn’t know – I love Rammstein but I am not a hard core fan – or should I say – I wasn’t, but now I am – but in fact there was not a single moment I did not thrill from the tips of my toes to the split ends on my head.

Which part shall I say was the highlight – hmm – was it the time the lead singer set a pot on wheels reminiscent of early 1900s industrial machine alight with his dragon breath, complete with man inside? All staged of course but still spectacular. Or was it the time he breathed a two meter long flame at one of the band members, setting him alight?
Or was it when 17000 men and women in black roared “DU!” DU HAST!” “DU HAST MICH!” during Du Hast?
Or was it in fact the time the key board player took to an inflatable boat, sailing on a sea of human hands? Or the fireworks set to fly right over the audience, expiring just in the nick of time?

Well, actually it was the way they made us wait right to the end, to even after they went off stage and came back on to do three more songs, before they wowed us with Ich Will, undoubtedly their greatest hit ever – I just knew they would not dare leave it out and the satisfaction of getting it right at the end was like delayed orgasm sex – soooo satisfying.
(Ahem – sorry Ma).

The show was so fantastic that even Charlie’s brother, dragged along to fill a spare ticket and who is more of a mainstream music kind of guy, bought a Rammstein T shirt afterwards.
So here I am, got my new Rammstein T shirt on, thinking “Ich Will … mehr Rammstein bitte!”

Monday, January 31, 2011

How would you like your rat toasted Mam?




I did the unthinkable a few days ago. I was quite traumatized by the event in fact.
I toasted a rat.

My husband and I discovered a couple of weeks ago that we were hosting some unwanted guests in the form of rats. It started with one large one which had figured out how to use the dog flap and was making him or herself rather warm and cosy under our kitchen cupboards, but soon it invited all its family and friends. The cheeky buggers were quite happily flaunting themselves all over the kitchen, every time I walked in I would spot one disappear. We had to make sure no food was left lying around and pondered what to do.

Being an animal lover, I do things like rescue ants out of the bath and sink before I use them. Ask me about the mouse episode a few years back when I devised a special trap to catch it unharmed, which eventually worked and allowed me to drive it to a nearby veldt and let it go. A bit weird but then again eccentricity is my middle name! Weigh all this against how bad it is to have possibly disease infested rats wandering around and you can see my dilemma.
Having a child does change one’s priorities rather dramatically however, so in the case of Rats vs. Steffanos – the rats lost. Now we just had to find the best way to proceed with extermination.

Toasting them one by one wasn’t really the way to go, but one afternoon I popped some bread in the toaster, as you do, and it wasn’t long before I heard awful squealing coming from the toaster’s vicinity. I cautiously looked inside and saw a small rat struggling to get out, but it was stuck and was being burned alive! Oh boy! I switched the toaster off and tried to figure out a way to get the rat out, silly really because it was probably not going to be in a good way, but luckily for me it died before I could make a plan.
Oh the trauma! The revulsion – put me off my toast – off food in fact.
There was no option but to throw the entire toaster, toast and rat included, into the dustbin.
I don't know what felt worse - the thought that I had tortured a poor little creature to death or that there was a disgusting rat inside my toaster - where I make toast - that I eat.

Anyway, now we have a shiny new toaster, which actually makes better, more evenly toasted toast than the old one. I now check it first before I put any bread in and clean it out diligently after use. As for the rat problem – well we bought something called a Rat Zapper on Friday, which electrocutes them into oblivion – no mess, no fuss.
Zapped five of ‘em last night – works like a charm!
Including my toasted friend that is a grand total of six.

I am so looking forward to having my kitchen back – as for my guilt for murdering small creatures – well I try not to think about it and leave the technicalities to my husband Leo, who delightfully announced each kill as it happened last night. Must be a guy thing!