Sublimely Succulent

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It’s amazing how just last year I was stuck in a job I hated and was trying every possible avenue to get out. After reading The Secret, I was inspired to think more positively and to ask for what I wanted and not what I did not want.

I asked the Universe for inspiration for my business idea last year. I then allowed the Universe to mull over it, and then I woke up one morning with not just the inspiration but the energy to pursue an idea I’d been thinking about for a while.

I absolutely love succulent plants, they have so many different forms and colours that it is amazing to look at them all day – seriously, that’s how I feel.

I also love learning (trying new things). I really have my boyfriend, Michael, to thank for cultivating in me the desire to pursue knowledge. We are always testing each other regarding trivia, and even memory games are serious – he tends to forget the most important things (except he remembers what I was wearing the day we met – one million points!).

So, armed with all these positive influences in my life, I began my quest to start my business of selling beautifully  potted succulent plants. It didn’t stop there: I became “Pinterested”  in DIY and Crafts and began making lanterns out of used food cans. Then (and yes, it goes on) I began making twine lanterns… and voila (!) I got orders from people.

A few of the products I sell. (L-R) Purple-flowering cactus; Twine lanterns and Lantins; Cheiridopsis pillansii in a smoked bowl

In a week’s time, I’ll be plying my wares at the general market around the corner from where I live. I am really excited, because my cousin Alexis and I get to showcase our work together again. She makes exquisite hand-crafted earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

Boundless by Alexis

What also helps is that I contribute to greening my environment, and it also helps people recycle. Just today I made a deal with two cafeterias at my workplace that they keep all their cans for me.

I am totally psyched, and I start fully working on my products this weekend with a plethora of new ideas, tools and colour schemes.

 

Pssst! Download my catalogue Sublimelysucculent :)

Do unto your pets…

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As you can tell, I love animals. I hate seeing any animal in distress. I mean, Michael and I once rescued the rat which used to keep us up at night. He had fallen into the big black bin. We saved him and let him free to further keep us up.

We have two beautiful dogs who make us so happy and keep us in stitches, and I can’t imagine treating them any other way; they sleep inside at night and even cuddle with us when we sleep in on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Our neighbour, who seems like a spoiled rich brat, works for the Navy. He goes away quite often. Okay, so if you knew you were going to be away a lot of the time, would you get a dog?

Saturday night, this dude’s puppy was crying all night. He (we named him Blokkies) is this cute little brown bundle of energy who was so happy to see my head pop over the wall that he tried to pull a Spiderman and climb up. My heart was breaking already.

Last night as we got home from our Mother’s day adventure, it was raining. This poor thing was curled up in his wet fabric bed, in the rain, shivering. Michael and I decided to rescue him. Putting aside all legal considerations, one of us (and I won’t say which) jumped over the wall and got him.

 

How, please explain to me, does a human being leave a poor puppy out in the cold and rain with no shelter? Also, puppies are social beings, they need a warm place to cuddle and be loved. Tigger wasn’t too happy with him being there, but Annie seemed to take him under her wing and make him comfortable.

Downside: Blokkies is playful, and I mean PLAYFUL. He kept us up all night, whining and making a noise, but I’d rather have that than listening to him cry out in the rain. The dilemma is whether I should call the SPCA or not. The doos will only be back on Wednesday, but I can’t also let Blokkies back in to poo and pee all over my house and I can’t allow Tigger into our bed again: Michael and I slept on his half while she dominated mine.

Any suggestions, anybody, anywhere??

 

"Blokkies" the pup

Just look at him, man!

Some helpful hints…

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After studying Conservation Biology for three years – I had wanted to become a marine biologist – I did a total one-eighty and decided to enter the brilliant world of IT. Now, instead of toiling in the field collecting ants, I sit at a desk behind a PC creating webpages. I love my new job. I get to be creative; I get to learn new things every single day.

I spend most of my day looking for programs or websites to make my job easier. Here are a few of them.

  • Compfight: My job entails looking for open content. These are images, videos, cartoons and any other media where the author has given permission for you to use – within certain limitations (creative commons licensing). Compfight gives you the option to search for specifically licensed material. It is linked to Flickr
  •  Ookaboo: This is very similar to Compfight, but the images are less finished (If I could call it that). It also displays the licensing below each image
  •  Creative commons licenses: Some great information about the licenses, and the website even has a section where people who don’t entirely understand can choose a license that suits their needs.
  • Diffdoc: I was once asked to check for differences between an html file and a Microsoft Word file. Then change it. Sounds like a lot of hard work, doesn’t it? Diffdoc made it so easy, and the GUI is very user-friendly, too. You can (clearly) check for differences between different file types.
  • Flash Renamer: This allows you to rename huge folders of files. You can add a prefix, suffix or even change all the file names to run sequentially.

Oh, another great resource: http://www.slideshare.net/ShihaamD/finding-open-stuff

I just wanted to share that, hope you can find at least one suggestion that’s helpful.

My first leg of lamb potjie

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Yesterday, I attempted my first leg of lamb potjie. I found the recipe at braai.com. It went quite well, see the pictures…🙂

Onions, garlic and celery

Add the leg of lamb...

Brown the leg of lamb and add salt and pepper

Add lots of tomatoes

Potatoes, carrots and squash

Voila, the result!

Ok, there were many more steps in between (and a little bit of wine) but what matters is that it tasted great!🙂

Samsung and Vodacom can suck it

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Last year I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab. In the beginning, I hated it because the battery wouldn’t last for more than a day. When I went to the Samsung store in Canal Walk, some dick salesperson acted very dickishly while asking me, “Haven’t you heard of JuiceDefender?”

I wanted to slap him, I really did.

As Tabitha (as I named it) and I spent more time together, I grew to like her, to love her even. I could check Facebook and Twitter all the time, but I couldn’t check my emails, as the setting for JuiceDefender meant I had to allow internet access when I needed it, which meant that I couldn’t get my mail as they happened. Phooey-poo-phooey (just made that up), I got used to it.

Now, 11 months later, I am stuck with no Tabitha. The battery decided to conk in. ok, so you’re thinking, it’s within the year of warranty…. Eeehhhhhh! (Like if you got something wrong on a gameshow)

Apparently, the battery has a warranty of only 6 months. So, it’s like buying a car and the body and everything else lasts for 10 years, but the engine can really only get you to five years. “Buy a new engine”, they tell you (even though you’re still paying monthly instalments on the damn car). And then, they say that you must read the manual to know that the warranty lasts 6 months only, yet you only GET the manual once you’ve bought it. Blank face. That’s all I can say.

Oh, and Samsung sucks. So does the doos who irritated me at the Samsung store. Yes, so does Vodacom.

A fail of epic proportions – 30pt to be exact

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I used to live with my grandparents until my parents moved closer to the area.  I recall waiting for my grandfather to buy his Argus every day. This was the time when he’d settle down into his armchair and read. Every section he finished would be passed on to me.

I was quite young and inexperienced to be duly interested in the goings-on of the world, yet my passion for reading was what kept me glued to the pages while the opening score of Egoli (Place of Gold) melted into the background.

I remember thinking that these people must be so proud of what they do to scrutinise each and every word. In doing so, they ensured that the readers would learn how to spell words and place names correctly, and get a general good read.

Now, I subscribe to News24 on Facebook. Every day, a few stories are displayed just to get the reader to navigate to the official website. What I see – and almost on a daily basis – is the opposite of what I’d experienced as a kid. Mostly, the article is written well, but the headline on the Facebook component of News24 is horrendous.

and another…

Not once, but twice!

Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with the headline, yet there are mistakes in the actual article.

Pray tell, what is a "fianc?"

What is happening? Are there too many writers? Are they the product of the Mxit generation, where “How are you doing?” is shortened to “hud?”? Is the world spinning around so fast that people prefer to keep pace with it and do things that should be done properly in a half-hearted manner?

I’d been brewing over this for the past week. It was my colleague – or rather The Career Times – who gave me the inspiration to wrap up this piece the way it deserved to be. He started chuckling at his desk and because I am always up for a good laugh, I looked up. He, holding the Career section, pointed out that the heading of an article had been overlooked and the dummy text had been printed instead.

Major fail - 30pt to be exact - March 5, Career Times

Poke you!

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We live in a world where technology is king. I admit that I have about three different cables in my bag and I have two phones – one is my Blackberry and the other is my Samsung Galaxy Tab.

It’s nice to be able to Google topics as they come up, check what’s playing on TV for the night and even check emails on the go. I can be instantly connected to friends and family via Blackberry Messenger (BBM) or Facebook, to name a few applications.

What I don’t condone is:

  1. Texting while driving, and this includes checking on Facebook updates and chatting via BBM
  2. Watching a video on your phone while in company
  3. Fiddling on your phone while having dinner, or during a conversation with someone

Not only is it extremely rude, but by having half your attention on your phone and the other on the road, you are placing countless other lives in danger. And please don’t let me go on about how your kids’ lives are affected if they get injured or you die while checking your latest “poke” on Facebook. I am actually shaking with anger as I type this because is a notification THAT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than a LIFE?!!!!!

I hope you end up in jail. And for the rude ignorant people who socially cut themselves off, I hope you end up with no friends and see if your Blackberry can go have coffee with you or spoon your cold butt during those cold winter months.

 

As you can tell, I am very passionate about this and I will rather walk during a cockroach-infested monsoon than drive in your car with you while you endanger my life, because clearly you don’t love yourself enough to care.

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*Cue documentary-type music, a genteel English gentleman voice narrates…*

First, there were people.

First, there were people

These people, in their ever-increasing talent for inventing objects to make life easier, invented the wheel.

Invention of the wheel

The wheel was then further improved by the motorcar.

The first car

The motorcar – henceforth known as the “car” – is given eyelashes ~ *cue discordant notes and abrupt cut-off*

 

Yesterday, as we were driving to get something to eat for dinner (I rarely cook this time of the year), I glanced to the left and what I saw made bile rise in my throat. My eyes teared up as I lamented the end of this poor car’s ability to be seen in public as a beautiful agent of motion. This poor Corsa Utility, once black and beautiful, was now adorned with Carlashes. And it doesn’t end there – the lashes were WHITE. And for comedic effect, a MAN was driving.

I went to the first website I found. I was immediately assailed by pictures of women in various poses, expressing their happiness with their new Carlashes.

 

 

What’s next? So far, I’ve seen car perfume, and there’s a rumour of car bras (as in brassiere to keep your car’s boobs all perky and covered??).

What is this world coming to? All I can say is, I don’t know and I’m better off not knowing.

The Misadventures of Tigger and Annie

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Tigger: a miniature dachshund who thinks she’s either a human child or a really large dog

Annie: a large dog who farts like a human being with IBS and who had just eaten KFC zinger wings

Last year I felt lonely after we returned the dogs we so lovingly looked after for a friend. The yawning emptiness left by Max and Magic’s departure became so bad, I suggested to my boyfriend, Michael that we get a dog. After scouring Gumtree for like a second, I came across a picture of Annie and instantly fell in love.

The ad that caught my love in a net of Annie

“Michael,” I said, “I have found our dog!” and it was further proven to be kismet when we drove past a building which said “Annie’s Educare”. After sending a very excited email to Sarah, she mentioned that she would bring Annie to meet us. The meeting went so well that by the end of her visit, Sarah was dogless and we had inherited a large (farting) dog, a tin of dog food and a dog-leash.

Make like a sausage, Tigger !

Michael then said, “I want one too.” And so began yet another millisecond search for a dog. We found a cute little sausage puppy who was “99% house-trained”. After picking her up, I brought her home only to find out that the woman who gave her to me either LIED to me, or she is severely retarded in the way of mathematical statistical calculations. It turned out that 99% actually meant ONE percent in that she knew how to pee, not that she knew to pee OUTSIDE.

Nevertheless, I was now very happy with my two dogs. Annie, at ten months old, came with a name, while the cocktail sausage would be named Tigger by Michael’s daughter, Robin.

Annie has many names. What I call her on a given day depends on her behaviour. Annabelle is for when she behaves like a lady, which is most of the time. Tannabelle is for when she lies down, on her back, exposing her doggy tummy to the golden rays of Ra. Mannabelle is for when she behaves like a man, farting like this: pfffrt, weeee, pfrt! And still has the audacity to turn around and smell it!

Annie's alter ego, Tannabelle

Tigger is plain Tigger. Having grown up with Annie, she thinks she’s a gangster cross between a Labrador and a Dobermann. One day, we’re out walking on the beach. Robin sees two big dogs heading in our direction. She asks whether we should pick Tigger up.

I say, “No, she doesn’t pay much attention to other dogs.” How wrong was I?!

Tigger becomes still, her hackles raise and she starts doing an impression of a very vulgar coloured woman saying, “Hold me back, hold me back!”. She launches herself in the general direction of the offending dogs, barking and howling. Luckily (for her), I grab her by her bratwurst body and hold her close.

I love my dogs, they are entertaining and cute. They may be smelly and spoilt, but they make me happy.

Tigger and Annie rest. After a long day. Of driving me crazy.