Shaken, not stirred

Well, I have experienced floods, drought, fire, a tornado and now an earthquake here at the farm. In South Africa, the last two are virtually unknown. The tornado was about 7 years ago. I thought a helicopter was attempting a landing in our courtyard! The noise was so loud! A couple of our workers homes’ lost their roofs, one of our large wagons, for transporting harvested corn, was moved about 10m. A small forest of trees were blown over to about 45 degrees. A stunning experience.

Today it was an earthquake! We often have tremors, as there are mines all over the province. They’re also caused by military artillery practice at the bases nearby. Which is what I thought was happening today. But it didn’t stop! It got stronger, louder and more frightening by the seconds!

I screamed for my daughter-in-law to grab the baby and get outside. We ran out together. I went back to find our maid, who went out of another door. The shaking lasted for 4-5 minutes and we still felt it outside! Very frightening! Our house has many cracks, some floor to ceiling, across the ceiling and back to the floor, one of these has light showing through it. Most are internal, some go right through both sides of the wall. Only a few show outside the house. We have some repairs to do!

Fortunately nobody was hurt. Just 3 very frightened cats and a parrot – they went crazy! Some very frightened people too! Now we wait for aftershocks!

ABC News asked permission to post some of my photos – they’re on BreakingPhotos – lol

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

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It’s a new day, a new way

I have renovated, renewed and revamped the blog. Sadly some of the comments have been lost on pages that have changed. that is sad, and I’m sorry to see them go. But it was time. The blog is two years old, and was neglected for a time. I hope to be better in future.

My new granddaughter is arriving this month, and I am so excited! I have been making loads of things for her, and am absolutely in my element. There is so much more planned, and I just don’t know how to get them all done. I have designed a quilt for her, to go with the Nursery theme. I don’t think it will be all that hard, but am too scared to put scissor to fabric!! I haven’t even gotten to looking at what fabric I have that might be suitable, stage fright? I have also designed the most gorgeous cot bumper, ensuring that air circulates safely. It is really fantastic, but I have the same problem! I have gotten out loads of fabrics, designed and cut pattern pieces, but that’s it! I can’t get myself to go further. I absolutely love the design, it will not be hard to make, so can’t figure out what is stopping me. Crafters cramp?

To all my old favourite bloggers, I have been neglecting you all, and will really attempt to revive my whole blogging life, and reconnect. Meanwhile, thank you to everyone who takes the time to visit and comment, I so appreciate it all.

Onwards, and upwards!

Just a few books worth reading, I think

These are a few books that I think all women should read.
They may sound similar, but are not.
The wisdom contained in them
Is priceless and profound.
I loved them

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh – a must-read for every mom – wisdom on relationships and juggling the details of life

A Year By The Sea by Joan Anderson – Empty Nest Syndrome – Joan Anderson does something totally unexpected – She takes a year’s sabbatical – from her marriage and her  life. “Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman gradually evolved. I didn’t run away to write a book. I was too brain dead to do that. I ran away to get rid of the clutter in my life and listen to what my heart was trying to tell me. My two sons were out of the nest, my husband was pursuing his dreams, and I needed to ask myself some hard questions without relying on the input of others. So I retreated to our Cape Cod cottage (off season) and gradually– as I walked the beaches, ran into a fascinating mentor, and took a job in a fish market–came up with some unconventional answers for a new life.”  

An Unfinished Marriage by Joan Anderson – In this moving sequel to her national bestseller A Year by the Sea,  Joan Anderson explores the challenges of rebuilding and renewing a marriage with her trademark candor, compassion, and insight.

 A Walk On The Beach by Joan Anderson – “One thing I was not expecting, nor looking for, was a mentor—someone who would guide me and yet not have a stake in what I became. Joan Erikson’s life cycle logic has become a part of what I share with women who also are in search of their strengths. Understanding the phases of a woman’s life and how vital we are until the end, are gifts that Joan Erikson would have me pass on. In fact, the book is written so that the reader is mentored by Joan Erikson and then mentors others.”

The Second Journey by Joan Anderson – “We are born to be ourselves—in need of upgrading the gene—to look back again and again and befriend that person you once intended to become. Life, like a beach, is always rearranging itself. The trick is to welcome and then work with, not against the changes. We are in a constant state of metamorphosis, experiencing conflicts for which we must find resolution and in doing so deepening our innate strengths. Knowing, acknowledging and celebrating the phases all women go through—how we’ve risen above our angst—respecting our very determination—that is the fodder needed to continue our independent journeys. The goal is to come of age in the middle of life rather than live out our days lacking purpose and energy. It’s all about rearranging our lives in our own image.”

A Weekend To Change Your Life by Joan Anderson – “It is no easy trick to unravel a self, to drop old habits and climb out the box. When I looked back on how I managed to change my life during that year by the sea (and then develop a workshop program that would help other women do the same) it all boiled down to the six R’s. A woman would need to retreat, retrieve strengths from her past, repair the worn parts of her body and soul, regroup by getting rid of unnecessary baggage, regenerate by taking new paths and having adventure, and then (and only then) return to her old life as a new person!”

Read them,
You’ll be glad you did.

Man’s Search For Meaning: Viktor Frankl

 I read this book last year. I believe every person should read this book. It is amazing! I have become a follower, disciple and admirer of this man and his work. I hope you enjoy it.

An Introduction to Logotherapy

In attempting this psychological presentation and a psychopathological explanation of the typical characteristics of a concentration camp inmate, I may give the impression that the human being is completely and unavoidably influenced by his surroundings. (In this case the surroundings being the unique structure of camp life, which forced the prisoner to conform his conduct to a certain set pattern.) But what about human liberty? Is there no spiritual freedom in regard to behavior and reaction to any given surroundings? Is that theory true which would have us believe that man is no more than a product of many conditional and environmental factors—be they of a biological, psychological or sociological nature? Is man but an accidental product of these? Most important, do the   prisoners’ reactions to the singular world of the concentration camp prove that man cannot escape the influences of his surroundings? Does man have no choice of action in the face of such circumstances?

We can answer these questions from experience as well as on principle. The experiences of camp life show that man does have a choice of action. There were enough examples, often of a heroic nature, which proved that apathy could be overcome, irritability suppressed. Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress.

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

And there were always choices to make. Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit

to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become molded into the form of the typical inmate.

Seen from this point of view, the mental reactions of the inmates of a concentration camp must seem more to us than the mere expression of certain physical and sociological conditions. Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, insufficient food and various mental stresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways, in the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not the result of camp influences alone. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him—mentally and spiritually.

He may retain his human dignity even in a concentration camp. Dostoevski said once, “There is only one thing that I dread:  not to be worthy of my sufferings.” These words frequently came to my mind after I became acquainted with those martyrs whose behavior in camp, whose suffering and death, bore witness to the fact that the last inner freedom cannot be lost. It can be said that they were worthy of their sufferings; the way they bore their suffering was a genuine inner achievement. It is this spiritual freedom—which cannot be taken away—that makes life meaningful and purposeful.

An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the   opportunity   to   obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature. But there is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man’s attitude to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces. A creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him. But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful.  If there  is  a meaning  in  life  at  all,   then  there  must  be  a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death.  Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.

The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity—even under the most difficult circumstances—to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal. Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him.  And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not.

Links:

PERSPECTIVE

Who am I really?

Many women today feel a sadness we cannot name.
Though we accomplish much of what we set out to do,
we sense that something is missing in our lives and –
fruitlessly, search “out there” for the answers.
What’s often wrong is that we’re disconnected from an authentic sense of self. 

– Emily Hancock

 Do you connect with this quote?
Do you have a sense of who YOU really are?
The person; the woman; the girl inside of the daughter,
sister, wife, mother.

Are you the fat one; skinny one; the one with funny hair; with a big nose; 4-eyes; buck teeth; big boobs or bum or tummy or maybe eyes?
How about the shy one; friendly one; funny one; dumb one.
That bird with brains; the ugly girl; chic chick; dumpy Dora.
Is this all you are?
A physical or mental feature?

Or are you what you do?
Stay-at-home mom (not much in the brain department, can’t contribute); the professional woman (let’s another woman bring up the kids
she selfishly bore);
the part-time worker (no good at either, so she does a bit of both!);
the overworked, frazzled, struggling mom (can’t get it together!).
Hmmm.

We get lost so easily, so quickly.
We accept the labels given to us by others,
even the ones who profess to care about us.
We don’t need anyone to blame it on;
we even do it to ourselves!

The only way some women can actually take up any space
in the lives of those we love,
is to become a “physical” presence.
We literally “grow” into a being we eventually disconnect with.
We add size and weight to the fragile girls we once were,
to fill the empty spaces that were dreams, plans and intentions.
We get fat and unhappy and disappointed and embarrassed
by our growing waistlines and more and more disconnected from
not just our authentic selves,
but the people we love.
We become so unimportant and insignificant
that our psyche takes over and leads the misdirect!

Perhaps it isn’t weight that changes us.
Perhaps it is the opposite.
You become obsessed with your looks,
trying to have rigid control over every aspect of your physical self
because you are just as lost and disjointed and unhappy
at what your life has become.

Women have very poor self-images,
that isn’t news,
it’s time to get it back,
time to either find the girl within,
or adjust to and make peace with,
befriend, accept, rejoice in, embrace and celebrate
who we have become.

Created from the rib of man,
to be at his side,
sharing the joys and sorrows,
the thrills and hardships
of the life you make together

NO!
You are a living, breathing, vital, incredible, passionate,
sensitive, strong, creative, intelligent,
caring, loyal, beautiful
female person?
You are unique
You are perfect
You are a Becoming Woman.
You are a Phenomenal Woman

 This is a gift, an inspiration, a joy; watch it.
Phenomenal Woman
by Dr Maya Angelou

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEz6BsYP5vc