Saturday, July 15, 2017

My Best Childhood Aromas


For me special aromas associated with my childhood bring back fond memories. Here are my 10 best aromas.

I grew up in a happy family environment and with this happy childhood I associate aromas bringing back fond memories. There are too many of them but the 10 best aromas are:

1. Pot-roast in the oven:  My mother was an excellent cook and in an era when nobody was actually concerned about high levels of cholesterol she spoiled us on Sundays with her best pot-roast. Early in the morning she would prepare all ingredients, put it in the oven at low temperature and boy, when we returned from church the house was filled with the aroma of slow-baking pot-roast.  Rest assured, the taste of that pot-roast was just as good as the smell thereof.

2. Fresh-cut grass:  My father taught us from a very young age to attend to our garden ourselves and in that time all houses had big yards with big gardens. Every Saturday was garden day and I had to mow the lawn and the smell of fresh-cut grass was heavenly. It still reminds me of our bondage with earth.

3. Jeyes Fluid:  My father believed that once a week all drains had to be disinfected, the court yard had to be washed and the dog kennels had to be cleaned. For this purpose he only believed in Jeyes Fluid. The smell lingered on for days and the smell always reminded me of cleanliness.  Fifty years later, I still follow the same routine as my father and I still use Jeyes Fluid.

4. Wicks bubble-gum:  My childhood was during the late fifties, early sixties when money was scarce and we had to rely on one penny a week as pocket money. For that one penny, we could buy 4 pieces of wicks bubble-gum. The secret of this brand of bubble-gum was that the flavor lasted for days and the aroma of the bubble-gum was heavenly. I remember sitting in church when suddenly the smell would reach you from somewhere in church and you knew someone of your own age was secretly chewing the bubble-gum – unfortunately, the smell could not keep it a secret.

5. Dettol:  My mother only believed in Dettol as an antiseptic ointment. And believe me; she used bottles and bottles of it. We were outdoor children, not a day went by that bruises, and nicks had to be treated with Dettol. Dettol is even today part of my medicine chest and a spoonful in a hot bath is like aromatherapy for my!

6. Roasted peanuts: Once a year one of the big circus companies would visit our little town and you did not miss it for a thing on earth.  With money a bit scarce, the only thing my father could afford for snacks during the show was a packet of freshly roasted peanuts in their shells. For that odd ninety minutes the show was on I indulged myself in the aroma and taste of roasted peanuts.

7. Candy floss: During church and school bazaars there was always a machine making candy floss. In spite of all the aromas of food and other edibles competing for your attention, candy floss was always the winner and whilst it was melting in your mouth the aroma itself engulfed you.

8. Vicks vapour rub: This was one of the musts for my mother’s medicine chest and she believed in it. We as children loved it for its beautiful aroma and warmness it created.

9. Wintergreen muscle ointment: My father was a very active man and after a hard day’s work in the garden or his chicken coop or his garage he took a hot bath and afterwards he rubbed in wintergreen. I loved to sit in his arms in the evenings listening to the radio programs and just took in that heavenly smell of wintergreen. I always associated it with a macho-man because my father only used it after a man’s work!

10. The smell of a puppy: My father lived near the earth and he tried to bring us as family nearer to earth and therefore a dog was always a must in our house. Whenever we received a new puppy, I loved to cuddle it for the smell only a puppy could have.

All these 10 best childhood aromas of mine are still part of my life. Yes, believe it or not, even the occasional candy floss and roasted peanuts I buy when there is a church bazaar or when we visit the specialized candy shops in the malls.


Danie

Saturday, July 8, 2017

What You Should Know About Vitamins




A well-balanced diet is supposed to contain all the necessary vitamins in sufficient quantities. However, this is not always possible. For example, when you are suffering from certain illnesses, are on a restricted diet, are pregnant, or breast feeding, extra vitamins may be recommended by your doctor. But remember, under normal circumstances extra vitamins are unnecessary and can even be harmful, leading to poisonous overdoses called – hyper-vitaminosis!

The Role of Vitamins

Vitamin A is necessary for healthy skin, bones, and eyes.  Try not to take vitamin A supplements as an excess can cause fragile bones, liver and spleen enlargement and loss of appetite and possibly even hair.

The B vitamins affect blood, skin, nerves and growth, and the way your body uses foods. It will do no harm to take brewer’s yeast, a rich source of several B vitamins, for extra energy. The benefit is that the body quickly excretes any excess vitamin B. Therefore, the body set the balance automatically.

Any diet  should contain sufficient daily amounts of vitamin C-rich foods, as the body cannot store vitamin C, and it is easily destroyed by time, cooking and by cigarette smoking. 

Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones and teeth. It is found mainly in fish liver oils, egg yolk, liver, fatty sea-fish and milk. Supplements should be avoided as overdosing can cause vomiting, headaches, weight loss and calcium deposits in kidneys and arteries.

Vitamin E occurs in many foods especially in oils of wheat germ, cottonseed, and corn, and in oatmeal, margarine, eggs, meat, butter, and peas. Vitamin E occurs in many foods especially in oils of wheat germ, cottonseed, and corn, and in oatmeal, margarine, eggs, meat, butter, and peas.

Vitamin K helps prevent excessive bleeding. Ample quantities can be obtained by eating pig’s liver, green leafy vegetables, eggs and milk; supplements are largely unnecessary as the body makes up for any shortage by manufacturing it in the intestines.  

If you are suffering from vitamin deficiency, you should consult your doctor.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Steve Harvey and the Gentlemen's Club!


The following is one of those heart-warming stories and I want to share it with South Africans because, maybe, just maybe, we may need this also in our schools, but not only in schools, but even at our homes and in Spur Restaurants! And maybe, just maybe people like Judge Mabel Jansen won't be in trouble!!


A group of Memminger Elementary students and their teachers were featured  on the Steve Harvey Show (aired in SA on 3 August 2017) to talk about "The Gentlemen's Club" and how it's changing their approach in the classroom.

Fourth grade teacher Kenneth Joyner and Raymond Nelson with the Communities in Schools program work at Memminger Elementary, a predominantly black school in Charleston.
Memminger is a Title One school and Nelson and Joyner say there has always been a discipline problem, especially among boys, who go to Memminger and other middle and high schools in that part of the city.

Wanting to change that, the two men started "The Gentlemen's Club" and offered the school's boys a chance to learn what it means to be a gentleman.

"Our young boys were having a lot of problems with discipline; they were having a lot of problems with respect, and really self-esteem. So they had no value system. So we say that and said, 'We got to do something about this,'" Joyner said.

Every Wednesday they meet in their best clothes, many capping off a clean, pressed shirt and pants with a colorful bowtie, where Nelson and Joyner teach the boys how to look and feel good, how to be respectful to each other, their classmates, and teachers.

The result has been significant not only in their personal lives but also in the classroom, the boys told Harvey during the show.

"It's helped me become a gentleman, and later it life it helped me become a man," said Devon, one of the members of the club.

"Well, being in The Gentlemen's Club it's helped me learn to be more like a gentleman, not just by the way you dress but by the way you act," said Amari, another of the club's young members.

Harvey asked the boys what they thought of girls and three hands shot into the air to laughs from the audience.

They boys said girls notice when they dress up and they get comments on their style and manners regularly.

"It's just a wonderful feeling of having our boys walking around, doing what they're supposed to do, and feeling like they can be young gentlemen in school and outside school," Nelson said.

For their efforts to become gentlemen, Harvey told the boys he was sending the entire club to Carowinds just outside Charlotte, North Carolina.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Herbs and Spices


In almost all households we use herbs and spices everyday in preparing our food or even for medicinal purposes.

Ever though about what the difference is between herbs and spices?

 It’s simple really.

Herbs come from the leaves of plants while spices come from the stems, seeds, roots, and bark. Interesting, some plants are used as both herbs and spices, for instance, the leaves of the coriander plant are used as a herb and the seeds as a spice.

According to a research done by the California University of Ayurveda, coriander seeds are quite effective in curing different skin ailments like eczema, itchy skin, rashes and inflammation as they have antiseptic properties. They are known to cure mouth ulcers and sores as well. The seeds contain linoleic acid that also has pain relieving properties to diminish irritation.


Whether the recipe calls for herbs or spices;  use these palate-pleasing plants in your everyday cooking!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

How small things can make a big difference to your day




It is the small things that matter, that can change the world. Here are 20 random small things that that can make the difference to your day:

1. Treat yourself with breakfast in bed. Make it yourself and then curl back into bed and enjoy it!

2. Cuddle someone in bed in the morning. The best is to cuddle someone you love but your pillow will do when you are alone. Sometimes it just feels good to hold someone or something in your arms.

3. Give a smile to a stranger; and you may get one back.

4. Watching children playing carefree and laughing is a reminder to be playful and joyful. Pass a park or a playground on the way home.

5. Watch out for a small gesture of kindness from someone who loves you. The cup of tea made by your husband — now that is love!

6. Blast your soul with soothing music, when you want it. 

7. Have a picnic unexpectedly. Nothing invigorates a day like the feeling of sunlight on your face.

8. Five minutes of deep breathing.

9. Give someone an uncomfortably long hug today!

10. A small victory. Can you change that light bulb on your own?

11. A small change to your routine to make your day feel exciting.

12. Create an opportunity to be creative. Start a journal or a scrapbook, or get creative on a routine task at work to make it more exciting.
13. The moment after the rain stops. Everything smells clean, fresh, and revitalized.

14. A deep stretch. The benefits of loosening your muscles exceed enhanced relaxation. 

15. A beautiful sunset or sunrise. Nothing is more inspirational that tuning into nature’s majesty.

16. Playing a game you loved as a child. Play hide-and-seek with a friend during teatime at work.

17. An extra half-hour of sleep. Hit the sack a little earlier one night and see how this changes your day.

18. A thoughtful question from a friend. When she asks, “What’s your favourite childhood memory?” she is trying to learn what makes you happy. How beautiful that she cares to know.

19. Fresh, organic food. Organic food has higher nutrient levels and lower pesticide residues—and it often tastes better than non-organic food.