A Letter to me – 2 Decades on

Dear Dee,

Two decades on and I am not driving the latest car nor do I have the most thriving career. Neither do I live in the most beautiful apartment in the plushest neighbourhood. I use public transport and once in a while, I update my CV and send out applications. I have quit several jobs, infuriated a number of bosses and let some down because they thought I was going to work with them for a much longer time. I have gotten disappointed in myself on several occasions, cried my heart out on certain days and oh, I still have a tight tighter budget. I don’t close my eyes and spend anyhow but I think about the expenditure, check to see if it’s on my budget before I spend. Shocking eh? Wait till you start paying rent.

Don’t be surprised, we all thought things would have ‘fallen into place’ but I am sorry to inform you that my relationships (with God and humans), wealth status, career and family life are all work in progress, which I’m still figuring out.

I know you are in a hurry to ‘manage’ your own life but as my friends and I jokingly say, “adulting is a scam,” so relax. It is more challenging when you have to make your own decisions – should I wake up or remain in bed? Should I pray or read? Should I go out or stay indoors? Buy that land or take that course? Mutual fund or stock market? Should I buy that dress or give to the needy? These may seem trivial but they all contribute to the growing process.

So you think you are popular, wait till you grow and you’ll literally shed off a lot of acquaintanceship. You’ll make some friends but be prepared to lose most of them. Even family members have their favourites and there is nothing you can do about that.

It’s not all gloomy but I want you to enjoy your development process – every stage of it. Don’t take life too seriously. Have loads of fun (the Godly way) because as you grow, responsibilities may make you forget how to have them. In all you do, don’t push God aside because He is the one with the manual. Growing up is not a destination after all but a process – accept and enjoy every bit of it.

**15th post of the 21 day lock down blog challenge and the writing prompt is: A letter to my younger self**

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3 Tips to Buying the Best Gift

Happy Easter to everyone. Our Saviour is risen and there isn’t a much better time to write about gifts and generosity than now. Gifts are the items we give out. We could give kitchen wares, food items, underwear, clothes, money, time and our expertise among others to our family, friends, neighbours, the church and the needy.

How to acquire the best gifts

  1. It is easier to acquire gifts to individuals that we are in touch with, especially, if they are our friends and acquaintances. Through regular conversations, they may drop hints on items they like and from our own observations, we may conclude on what they prefer. My top tip to acquiring a gift is to buy an item that the person likes and not what you (the buyer) prefers.
  2. In order to buy the best gift item, do a little bit of research on the individual, especially if you are not close to them. You may love perfumes but the person you may acquiring the gift for may be allergic to them. You may prefer cakes but the person taking it hates it. Don’t surprise yourself but do a little background search before hitting the shop. The easiest gift to give anyone, currently, is money. No one (I may be wrong) rejects monetary gifts, no matter how little you may feel it is. You can add, “please use it to buy airtime” and they’ll be appreciative of your gesture.
  3. Speaking about gifts, the attitude you put up while giving also matters. Don’t give because you feel pressured. Don’t break the bank to acquire a gift for anyone. Give and expect nothing in return.

There are a lot of people in our neighbourhoods who are really struggling, especially , in this lock down period. They are the ones we need to identify and stretch a helping hand towards. Happy giving!

**14th post of the 21 day lock down blog challenge and the writing prompt is: Gift Ideas…What not to buy someone of the opposite sex.**

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My 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions

  • Her: Mummy, where are you going?

When she sees me dressed up.

  • Her: Mummy, where are we going?

When I insist we all take our baths in the morning.

  • Her: Mummy, are we going to school?

My response: Do you want to go to school?

Her response: No. I don’t want to go to school. I want to stay at home and watch cartoons.

  • Her: Mummy, is it night?

One of the favourite questions of somebody who cannot read the clock.

  • Her: Mummy, are you tired?

As if there is something she can do about it.

These questions are posed by my three-year old daughter. She is the one I spend most of the day with since her dad is a health worker who still goes to the hospital in this lock down period. Who do you spend most of your time with in this lock down period?

**13th post of the 21 day lock down blog challenge and the writing prompt is: Frequently Asked Question.**

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A Special Good Friday

Reminiscing over how we celebrated Good Friday several decades ago
Where we wore mourning clothes and went to church with tears in our eyes
Kneeling before the crucifix and giving it a kiss
Back at home, we did nothing but watched the enactment of the death of the Saviour.
We stayed away from red meat (whatever that meant).

Today's Good Friday was different
The weather was cloudy as it seems to be every year
Sounds of slow tuned Christ-centered music was played on the radio
While some discussed the president's address promising citizens free electricity in this Covid-19 era
No physical church service this year

I did enjoy my quiet time though
Probably the highlight of my day
Initially planned to read about the death of the Saviour to commemorate this day but read Mark 7 instead
The first part of the chapter criticizes those who choose traditions, rules and regulations over a personal relationship with God
While admonishing us to be more weary of what we bring out as its impact is greater

The Pharisees upheld their practice of hand and feet washing
And giving ostensibly to the poor
The modern Christian may be like the Pharisees
Pretending to love while our hearts are distant from God
Perhaps that is the reason the earth is now on a reset mode,
providing us with a chance to reflect on our deeds and practices. 

It's been a special good Friday. 

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How to Make Plantain Frittata

I watch a lot of videos from Tasty, Food Network and other individuals with food channels on YouTube and Facebook and, I like to try out new recipes but these haven’t always been success stories.

Recently in this lock down period, I saw a number of videos on how to make bread pudding and when I tried it first, the bread did not soak well in the mixture. I tried it the next day and the result was even worse than the first. It was so bad that nobody ate it and I had to get rid of it the next day.

I tried making puff-puff the other day (also from videos I had seen online) and the results wasn’t the best either. It did not rise like what I saw in the video and I was later advised to add baking powder.

The few success stories I have had in my kitchen (from watching online recipes) are in the preparation of pancakes and plantain fritatta.

To make plantain fritatta, the ingredients required include:

2 ripe plantains

6 eggs (depending on the number of people eating)

6 sausages,

2 bell pepper,

2 large size fresh tomatoes,

A pinch of salt to taste,

Cayenne pepper,

Slices of onions.

Cooking oil

Method

In about about two table spoonful of oil, add slices of onions, bell pepper and tomatoes. Stir-fry till golden brown.

Deep-fry the ripe plantain separately.

Break the eggs into a bowl.

Cut and add your sausages to the eggs.

Add desirable quantity of cayenne pepper and salt

Pour the stir-fried vegetables into the egg mixture and whisk.

Oil your baking tin and pour the egg mixture into it.

Place the fried ripe plantain on top of the mixture.

Put the mixture into the oven and bake for 20 -30 minutes and that’s it.

Frittata is simple to prepare as the ingredients are easy to find, especially, in this lock down period. It can be eaten as a full meal or an accompaniment to a full meal. Try it and let me know what you think

Today marks Day 12 of the #21lockdownblog challenge and the subject is to provide a guide on how to do something.

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I Wish…

How I wish I could hold you 
To provide you with the comfort that you need
To tell you everything is going to be alright 
But that seems impossible

I wish I could embrace you
To assure you that I understand
That I've been through a similar experience
But the circumstances are dissimilar

I wish I could be by your side
To hold your hands and look into your eyes
To assess if indeed you are telling the truth
when you say you're fine

I wish I could give you all that you need
To replace all that you've lost
In order to ease the pain 
But I know that wouldn't bring her back

Life has a way of dealing with us on individual bases
To unleash the strength that lies within
and time has the power to heal us
of wounds, hurts and troubles

My wishes will be the words of my prayer 
That God gives you the healing, strength and respite 
that you desire to navigate these hard times
For this is all I'm capable of.

Today marks Day 11 of the 21 day blog challenge and it’s a free day (no blog topic) and I thought of writing this piece to a dear friend who lost her mum a few weeks ago.

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No Pets Allowed Please!

We had lovely dogs that we kept for commercial purposes (the males mated other dogs while we sold off the puppies of the females). It was a lucrative business. We kept rottweilers and boerboels and I loved their puppies. They were fluffy, playful and were my tiny friends until we sold them off. The older ones also served as guards and we mostly kept about three dogs at a time.

It was all nice until we had a new puppy – a rottweiler. It came in sickly and we nursed it back to good health. Suddenly, the once-sickly puppy that had grown healthy would growl and attempt to bite anyone that went close to it, except my cousin whom it was familiar it. The rot claimed it couldn’t recognise any of us and kept being hostile towards us.

We got a new set of puppies after this one but they all seemed to follow in the footprint of the unfriendly dog. Whenever we went out and came late, we called my cousin to put them away before we could enter our own home. The dogs became more of the home owners while we gave them the space they required.

They changed my perception about dogs entirely. I do not like kittens either. My cousin does not keep any dogs and I have no dogs in my home too. If I am to chose a dog, I would want to know its parents. I don’t want a pet that would take over my home. For now, no pets allowed please.

Day 10 of #lockdown blog challenge and the subject is puppies or kittens (whichever way you imagine it to mean)

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