Saturday, May 29, 2010

Car wheels spashing in water from a burst water pipe in East London

I enjoyed taking these photos this morning of cars slooshing through water that was running across the road from a burst water pipe, in Garcia Street, Cambridge, near to where we live.  I couldn't get too close (to the cars) for fear of my camera getting wet, and I don't have a zoom lens, but I'm quite happy with these photos.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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More on the burst pipe matter:

Daily Dispatch DispatchNow blog - Well done BCM!

Burst water pipe lifts concrete gutter and floods road

Broken concrete gutter and wet road

I wanted dad to let go of my leash

Friday, May 28, 2010

The scenic route

We meant to turn right, not left, really. The traffic in the late afternoons near the Gonubie turn off, and into Gonubie is ridiculous, since another route into Gonubie from Beacon Bay has not yet been completed and nobody seemed to do anything with the brilliant idea of an East Londoner some time back about allowing a truck with a big sign in front travelling the wrong way down one of the two outbound lanes from Gonubie, with a row of traffic behind it (temporarily allowing two lanes into Gonubie) in the evenings.

We wanted to avoid this traffic mess, when returning from the East Coast Resorts area earlier this evening, but turning right when coming out of Schaefli Road, then turning left onto the N2, to be able to go over the bridge at the N2/Gonubie intersection instead of under it in that traffic mess, on our way to Cambridge.

But we forgot, and turned left instead, (past the brickfields and Farmarama). We were a little way along when I remembered the traffic we would encounter just otherside Farmarama, and I got all tense.

But then Basti piped up "It doesn't matter - this is the scenic route." And it was. And I relaxed.

We were much more "in the country" that if we'd gone along the highway, and there was a brilliant rainbow lit up against stormy dark clouds off to our left, over the brickfields. An enjoyable and scenic trip that made me think "Every cloud's got a silver lining." - words you can hear in David Essex's Hold Me Close song.

article © copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Difficult not to get depressed when looking for a job or new clients in SA

It sucks not being able to find a job - one gets so depressed,
and that just makes it worse, trying to get the energy to try do
something about earning an income. We've had a really bad month, and
are not even sure we can pay our rent (living at my parents and we pay
rent) or our adsl/telephone account - which we have to have to be able to
carry on work online. Or if we do, there's no money over for anything else(petrol to get the kids to school and back, food, our web hosting account, still paying the lawyer divorce fees, art fees for the kids etc etc)

But, somehow, we get through. We work hard, and when there's no work,
we work hard at marketing ourselves. Over 2 years ago we started out selling plants on the pavement in front of my parents' home, and took it from there.

One just has to have the will to take control of one's own income -
and this seems to happen more easily when one is pretty desperate -
and learn and discover, that "hey, I can earn a little income for
myself, and, perhaps, it may even grow into something bigger." But
you have to start somewhere, and more important than that, is to
actually just start (doing something.)

We managed to turn around a bad situation, over two years ago, even though it took some time, and although some months are still pretty tough, our good reputation and our portfolio are growing.

We are seeing a new client tomorrow, and are hoping we get the job
(freelance job) to design a site for them. We are also seeing an old
client next week sometime, hopefully, who wants some small changes and
additions to his site we designed a while ago already.

If these clients don't come through for us, then we would:

Sell some plants from home, on the pavement;

Find some old books lying around the house, borrow R30 to pay for a
"stand" at the beachfront fleamarket on Sunday morning, and hope to
sell a little even if we make only R30 plus cover petrol - it's R30
more than we had before.

We have a lot of info on our sites to help people think about what they can do from home, and there is also tons of info on the Internet. And
it's all free. We use this same info when we get stuck for a bit of income, to see us through. It inspires us to think instead of just sit around and get depressed, and do nothing. We wish that people struggling to find work can also realise that they too can work from home. It's not easy, and may take a long time to earn a decent income, but it could grow into a healthy income, and you won't know if you don't try.

Read. Learn. Earn.

We don't have money to give to people who are struggling. We can't
employ anybody who needs work. We're trying to keep our own heads
above water ourselves, but we do like to help people.

Our mission is just to let people know, that if one has the right
attitude, one can work for themselves, but without the will to do it,
it won't happen.

We saw a woman walking in the streets the other day, going to offices
or anywhere really with a basket of koeksisters she had made, we drove
past her in the street, stopped and bought a packet for R10 - we
didn't feel like koeksisters and gave them to my dad, but we admired
that she was making the effort to work.

It's tough. It's not easy. BUT YOU CAN DO IT.

To people struggling:
Go through some articles on our sites, slowly, and carefully, and use the information, or inspiration they give you, and you'll be fine.

Believe that you will be fine. Just do something!

Here are some articles we think are the more important ones on our sites, but, of course, just browse the Internet and learn all you can about what you can do from home:







© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Out for the Count

Knocked about, totally "kished" and worn out, what happens to one when one has just had too much? Activities that drain one's energy aren't the end of the world, as long as one has a chance to recover before the next bout. In fact, activities that drain one's energy are usually related to fun, fresh air and exercise, so definitely not the end of the world - instead, they're good for you.

These two photos below depict my sons, Basti and Zooty, in January 2009, asleep in the back of the car, on the way back home to East London from a daytrip to Hogsback, totally pooped, and out for the count, after a day of activities in the quaint little Hogsback.

Out for the count Hogsback Zooty

Out for the count Hogsback Basti

What fun we had! We hiked to Kettle Spout and Madonna and Child (waterfalls), bought little clay hogs, popped in at Saint Patrick on the Hill, and explored the view at The Edge.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Grade 6 and 7 school English exams today

Well, the boys have been dropped off at school, and today they write their first SA 2nd term school exam. After today's English exam, they have 7 more days of exams, the poor things - although, I think their exams stress me out more than them sometimes!

Tony went through Basti's English with him last night, in our little home office, while I sat on the back of my folks' little bakkie in the garage with Zooty, going through his.

We'll swop kids some evenings, during the next few days, but, generally, we just can't wait for the exams to be over.

Basti (grade 7) is doing really well at school (85% aggregate last term) and we're hoping he'll stay "right up there" - but the first term was based on tests, while this term it's EXAMS. Scary word, and especially when it's English today, and Basti's spelling is not so hot. His memory is great though, so hopefully all those English rules will be remembered!

Even though exams are generally stressful for all, it's also fun going through the boy's work with them. We let them learn for 30 to 40 minutes at a time, for however many days we can fit in before an exam, but only "ask them questions" the night before the exam is to be written, give them tips etc. If we do it early enough in the evening and notice any wobblies, we send them off for another learning session, and we fit in one more "asking" session.

Zooty (grade 6) is not doing badly at school (72% aggregate last term), but we're hoping to see some improvement, because we know he can improve; that he is capable of improvement. His (all grade 6's in Eastern Cape - not sure if in the whole of South Africa) exams this term are being set by the Department of Education, so we'll just have to wait and see how he does, and cannot really predict how he might do, as we might have been previously able to do, based on exams NOT set by the Department of Education.

Sitting on the back of the bakkie, last night, asking Zooty his English, was fun, but not all that comfortable - might change our asking session place today (Natural Science for Zooty tomorrow, and Afrikaans for Basti).

English was my favourite subject at school, especially writing essays, but I didn't do badly at grammar either - last night I was reminded of what the four different kinds of nouns are: proper nouns, common nouns, collective nouns and abstract nouns - Zooty remembered only two, so that was dealt with, a bit.

He was good at remembering "i before e except after c" though and that it (this rule) does not apply when part of the word sounds like "ay" as in neighbour. Interesting stuff!

I was also proud that he knew that the plural for radius is radii.

Well, I certainly hope they can do something with this English they're learning, once they've left school, and that it won't be merely sitting on the back of a bakkie in their garage, one day, going through English books with their own children, fondly rembering their own days at school - and hopefully also remembering that their mother used to sit on the back of a bakkie with them too, when it was school exams the next day.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ever tried to unlock somebody else's car by mistake?

It was a good few years ago that my mother and I came out of Vincent Park Shopping Centre (in East London) after doing some grocery shopping there together, and we found the car, unlocked the boot, and started to pack the first packet or two into the boot, when we suddenly realised "Gee, the car looks really clean and tidy inside - howcome?"

Feeling confused, we looked around, and noticed that my mom's real car was parked just a few cars away - also a navy blue mazda 323!

There were some people about that looked at us funny when we burst out laughing, and if one of those people was the owner of the car that wasn't my mom's - now years later is too late I guess, but we apologise for almost getting in your car instead of ours (maybe the keys would have fit the door and ignition too?) and suggest, that if you still have the car, you change the locks - oh and wow, congrats on a nice clean car! :)

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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I miss my cats

We both love our Gilly, our jack russell, but I love cats too, and even though Tony is not a cat person, he doesn't totally shy away from cats, and he's a me person :) so we'll get us some cats. I tease him I'd like 40 cats, and maybe I would actually, but I guess we'll start with about 4 instead, and just take it from there.

Also, Tony is a labrador person, so we'll get one or two of those too.

I grew up with cats, a particular favourite cat Ginger, that slept in my arms every night. She lived to be 17 years old. I had her from when I was 6 years old, and she died when I was 23, 4 and a half years after I left home. I stayed in the same town though (here in East London), and saw her 2 or 3 times a week when I popped in to visit. She wouldn't always sit out in front of the house, my folks said, but no matter how random my timing was to go and pop in at my folks for a quick visit, Ginger would be there in the front, waiting for me. She was really special to me, and was a huge part of my life.

Then, at my now ex husband, I had three cats. Two of them are still there. Peaches died after I left. I could not bring Peaches and Squash (brothers), or Spitfire ( a little girl kitty that we got about 5 years after Peaches and Squash) with to my folks when I left my husband, as my mother is allergic to cats. My mom's cat allergy seemed to get worse over the years, so I'm lucky she managed while I grew up with Ginger.




I do miss Peaches, Squash and Spitfire, but it was best they stayed at the farm where they've been since they were tiny, even if my mother was not allergic to cats and at least they still see my boys about ten nights a month, and my boys tell me how my cats are doing too.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Oh how I would love to win a jeep!

There's just something about a Jeep. I've liked cars over the years, including the fancy Lotus, Magnum's red Ferrari (or was that Higgins' ferrari?), but have never had a fancy car, and had never made up my mind as to which vehicle I like best, until recently.

It's Jeep, all the way. There's a car sales place in East London that has all five different Jeeps displayed, with some of the wheels on rough boulders. Gee, but a Jeep looks good!

The problem arises though, when deciding on what colour I'd like my dream Jeep to be, and which one. I need to win a Jeep, then it wouldn't be such a problem! Although, funds as they are now, I know I would have to sell a Jeep, if I won one as a prize in a competition. That sucks.

Of course, if I could win millions in another competition, I wouldn't have to worry about entering a contest to win a Jeep, because then I could just buy all five types, and would then only have to worry about what colour they'd be!

But if I could buy just one, which one would I choose? Ai, decisions!

Hm, the Jeep Wrangler is really cute, and the least expensive too. Not too big, and perhaps more suited to a female driver than a male driver, but there's four others just jumping out at me too (over rough terrain - isn't that a cool image?) messing up my mind! Which to choose? Which to choose?

The Wrangler Unlimited Jeep is bigger than the Jeep Wrangler, but perhaps not as cute. I find it's shape almost a little odd, yet there's still something about it...

That Patriot looks good - a nice family car - and in stone white, looks rather impressive.

Then there's the Cherokee Jeep - just the regular (but not so "just regular" of course) Cherokee, and then the mother (or father) of them all, the Grand Cherokee.

Gee, but they're nice. Just all so nice.

© article copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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South Africa national flower strelitzia or protea?

I'm confused. Which flower is the National South African flower? Some websites are showing the protea (the giant or king protea) as the SA National flower, while other websites are showing the strelitzia as the national flower.

As far as I can remember, way back when, at school, the strelitzia was the National flower of South Africa, but I am aware, of course, that things have changed in South Africa since I was at school. Perhaps the SA National flower is now the protea, and some websites have just not yet updated, and it's okay if it's the giant (king) protea - a beautiful flower - but if comparing the way the two flowers look, I think I prefer the strelitzia - and more so when thinking of South Africa and making comparisons between the flowers, and between the flowers and SA:

The protea is a short squat little flower (well, not always so little, but certainly sort of round) with loads of short little petals. The flower sort of grows, and then it's there, happy to be short and round. To me, I could compare this to a country that doesn't want to grow further, or that with all the confusion and troubles regarding some people wanting an improvement for the country, and others not, and brains becoming overcrowded, there's just a big cluttered claustrophobic mess of disaster (petals all short and close together, no open space or open minds to move upward) ('let's just stick to what we already know and be happy with it (or miserable) instead of expanding and improving').

Now a strelitzia, on the other hand, is tall, stands out above other shorter flowers(countries?) as a leader, strong and with a flame of passion at it's centre - a flame that keeps it standing tall, and keeps the flower (country?) burning with the desire to improve even further. Large confident petals, and not crowded with confusion. An educated, calm and cool flower, that deserves respect.

Here's a photo below, of a beautiful strelitzia flower 'crossing it's "fingers" hoping for the best - hoping for improvement of the country it represents' (or used to represent?)

"Cross your fingers" strelitzia, South Africa:

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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What are the kids going to be when they grow up?

When does one start thinking about possibly steering one's children in certain directions? Or does one not - and just see what happens as they grow older, leaving career choices all up to them, the kids themselves?

And what if one does try and steer a child in a certain career direction? What does one do? Enroll them at a school that offers certain subjects that other schools don't offer?

I'm happy with the school my boys (now aged 11 and 12) go to now, and I'm most likely going to let them go all the way to matric at this school, but how do I know they may not have done better (in the future, after school) had I chosen a different school, that offered some extra or different subjects, as well as different or more extra murals?

I guess I don't know, but I'm trying not to let it bug me. Obviously I want the best for my children, and I trust that my decisions are correct, and also that them learning from how I make my decisions with their best interests at heart, will help them be more sure of their own decisions regarding a career path, when they grow up a bit more.

It's not just entertaining to see a child's character develop as he or she grows older, but it's interesting to also take note of where children's interests lie - what makes them sit up; what they're passionate about - and hope that the career path they choose reflects their interests, so that they can thoroughly enjoy their job one day.

It's relatively easy to do a bit of guesswork regards a career for Zooty (the 11 year old): he enjoys food, cars (he can't seem to decide between the more vintage cars and the really modern fancy cars though), anime, drawing and art. He also enjoys making models for various school projects. I picture a chef perhaps? An arty, off beat chef, that gets really creative with his preparations of food and how he serves or presents the food. Or perhaps an artist. But of course he may surprise me and become a terrorist or hitman (he teases me.)

Basti (the 12 year old), however, is a little more complex, and can sometimes never make up his mind about anything in particular. He does enjoy reading though, and a bit of art too, and isn't bad at writing stories (see A Ride on a Rag). He is also very detailed and particular about work that he does (school work) and does well in all school subjects including mathematics.

Tony and I have sometimes wondered: "It's easy to see what Zooty is passionate about, but it's not all that easy when it comes to Basti." However, we noticed at the Gonubie Agricultural Show recently, that he's mad about funfair rides or other fun physical activities. Hm, perhaps a funfair ride designer and engineer? He's also good at explaining things in detail, and has an excellent memory. A teacher? He did tease lately too that he'd like to be a flair tender in a bar.

I'm curious and excited to see which way they go with a career. It's great being a parent, isn't it?

During the 5 week winter school holidays coming up this year during the 2010 World Cup Soccer, I'm thinking of letting them start their own Blogger blogs too. I don't yet allow them Internet access on their own computer, but they can create content on their computer, then come upload to their blog on mine, or I'll sit back and let them upload their text or image blog content themselves. I am hoping that this will not only give all of us a better idea, as time goes by, where their main interests lie, but that this will also be an introduction to maintaining an online presence, should they decide to work from home one day, instead of going out to work for a boss.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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My boyfriend Tony cooks up a storm!

Tony is awesome. He's not just a great boyfriend, he's a great cook too, and spoils my folks (where we live), my boys, and me, with super yummy meals. Below is a photo of one of two salads he prepared for my dad's 78th birthday last night, and below that a photo of the spaghetti bolognaise (used tagliatelle and linguine pasta, not spaghetti actually). Can kick myself for not taking a photo of the pasta when it was in the two huge rectangle pasta serving dishes. It looked awesome! But we were all in too much of a hurry to tuck in, and I forgot to take a photo. So, the photo below is of a small portion of Tony's spaghetti bolognaise that my boys, Basti and Zooty, had as leftovers for lunch today.

See a photo of Tony's yummy liver steak and onions on his blog, and learn how to make it.

On Tony's blog, also learn how to make his pig and pea soup and his quick, simple and tasty boerewors rolls. 

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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photos of my dad's 78th birthday in May 2010

Dad turned 78 yesterday.  My brother and his wife came to visit him for his birthday, along with their two daughters, my boys' cousins.  My dad's sister "Aunty Cookie" was fetched to visit too.  See Aunty Cookie holding a rose at a wedding in late 2009, and see Aunty Cookie dancing with Tony at the same wedding.

Here's mom, Aunty Cookie (my dad's sister) and dad, relaxing at dad's 78th birthday.

Below, sisters Samantha (26) and Carmen (24) tackle the chips and dip along with their cousins, my boys, Basti in the blue shirt (12) and Zooty (11)

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Friday, May 21, 2010

It's my dad's 78th birthday today

My dad is 78 today HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

Even though he's had a badly broken leg and a few operations (that freak him out and had him in a wheelchair for months) and even though he has pagets disease, he's still spritely, still drives a car, goes to auctions and generally gets around.

He used to enjoy fishing a lot (I loved going with as a kid and playing on the beach, swimming, or trying to catch my own little fish in the rockpools, and delighted in following the mazes my brother drew in the sand for me). My brother is 11 years older than I am, and will be visiting with his family tonight. Tony and I and my boys stay at my folks. Tony is preparing his tasty spaghetti bolognaise for all of us tonight - and there will be milktart too. Yum.

Because my dad used to enjoy fishing and enjoys pictures of the ocean, I had a photo I took enlarged and framed for his birthday gift. I'm pleased he is so pleased with the gift. It is the one at the top of every page of this blog - should I change the image at the top of this blog later, I better include it here too:

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Monday, May 17, 2010

The Jacaranda shipwreck at Qolora Mouth, Wild Coast

The Jacaranda shipwreck is near Qolora Mouth on the Wild Coast, not too far from Seagulls Beach Hotel and Trennereys Hotel.  The Jacaranda is a popular Wild Coast tourist attraction.  She ran aground in 1971 during strong winds and engine trouble, and with no load to somewhat help weigh her down.  Anchors were dropped to no avail, and The Jacaranda hit the rocks. 

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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What is it with women letting their dress or skirt hang out the car door?

I don't get it. If I was sitting in a car seat or driver's seat and a third of my skirt was hanging out the car door, that means I'm mighty uncomfortable, with my skirt all swished to one side and bundled up or squished up a tad under half of me. Way too uncomfortable.

When I get in the car, and I do happen to be wearing a skirt and dress - which is not that often actually as I'm a jeans and tshirt kinda girl - I make sure that I'm comfortable. I don't want to catch somebody giving me funny glances at red traffic lights later when I'm fiddling beneath me trying to yank my skirt right.

I think the only time I might not care how uncomfortable I was, sitting on a squished up skirt with some of it hanging our the car door, might be if I'm flying to hospital, through red robots, with my lights flashing, or something, with an injured or very ill kid in the car.

Now, most times I notice other women's skirts hanging out the car door is when we're all parked at traffic lights - and they're not dashing anywhere - they're just sitting uncomfortably on part of their skirt - or, maybe not too uncomfortably if the skirt or skirt of a dress is all pulled off nicely to the side underneath (and out the door) (but, surely, then, it feels tight and uncomfortable up against the leg that's toward the inside of the car?) with the rest dragging on the road. I don't get it.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

We did it! 21 blog posts today!

Well, not quite today, as it's after midnight now, but still before going to bed, so, yes, we did it! Was a little tough for just the two of us, plus we popped out for nearly two hours to visit a friend earlier, so we're still pleased we managed to finish all the blog posts before going to sleep tonight (this morning?)

These are the 21 blog posts we managed today (and this one is actually 22 then!)

On this blog just see the four previous posts before this one:

blog posts target for the two of us today: 21

Living at Granny

Let's see those teeth

On Tony Flanigan blog:

Wordpress on Blogger?

VIVA WC 2010!

Wordpress. Step by step for beginners, part 6

On East London Photographs and Wild Ramblings:

The sun rises and slips behind clouds

Shell and rocks looks like a chameleon's head and eye

Yacht mooring ropes and metal bollard

Spot the bus car train and boat

Looking at yachts on the Buffalo River in East London

On Work at Home Jobs:

Extra income from fruit and vegetable deliveries and sales

Determining your selling price of homemade pickled onions

Make and sell custom chess sets for extra income

TnT Unleashed 1pic4twenty:

Other ways to beat writer’s block and write for SEO

Website design and take-aways

Monetizing your website or blog

Clay Brick:

Living a natural life

Straw bale houses

A little clay duck

Ok! There you go! There we go! No more blog posts tonight, it's 2.15 in the morning. Now it's time to let our heads hit pillows between bed posts!

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Doesn't signing your child's school camp indemnity form make you nervous?

A while ago, the school my boys attend requested any input or suggestions prior to a meeting the teachers, and some of the parents, were going to have. One of the main topics was related to the school camps. I did not go to the meeting, but the letter I gave as input went along these lines:

I applaud the school's school camp programmes, as it’s plain to see the difference the camps make in a child’s life.

However, regards safety on these camps, I do have a concern.

One way of eliminating my concerns is not to allow my children to go on the camps at all, but this is not an option. How could it be an option when the children get so excited, and, logically, and with trust in God, everything should go well, and nobody gets seriously injured?

However, accidents do happen.

Before my children go on a camp, I sign an indemnity form, and usually feel a little uneasy about signing this form, not for reasons of needing to blame anybody if something goes wrong – I understand the risks involved in attending school camps especially school camps that are adventure based, but I feel uneasy about not knowing what plans are in place for if there really is an emergency. Is there a plan?

What is the plan, for example, if everyone on the camp is in a place that is more than an hour from the nearest hospital, and a child sustains an injury that needs expert medical care within, say, half an hour – eg a puff adder bite, an unexpected severe allergic reaction, or a severe blow to the head or spine? What is the plan? Is a helicopter called for? Do the teachers have the phone numbers (including after hours) of the closest local doctor, in the area the camp is in? What if there is no cell phone reception? What is the plan?

I would rest easier, allowing my children to attend these camps, if I knew that excellent plans were in place in the event of emergencies.

Taking it a step further, and possibly having it incorporated into the camp programmes, it would be nice to see that the children themselves are taught what to do in an emergency if one of their fellow campers is badly injured. Competition-level adventure activities always have medical personnel at hand – I feel that the “medical emergency” aspect of adventure based camp programmes should be taught to the campers too, since medical experts do not attend the camps with the children. Participants in adventure competitions “go all out,” knowing expert medical assistance is nearby, if needed. If the school's campers know more about what to do in an emergency, they may be more willing to overcome their fears regarding many of the activities.


Teresa Schultz

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Let's see those teeth

Zooty was about 8 and a half here, showing off his teeth - well, some of them, as the other new teeth were still coming.  So he was actually showing off some gaps between his teeth too.  Aww, I miss those little shiny white milk teeth. He's now 11 and the teeth are pretty much sorted, for now.  Wish mine were too, though.

About two weeks back, I was eating a soft gummy sweet, but seemed not so soft afterall, as the next thing I knew, I was crunching something hard.  What was stuck in the sweet?  I removed the sweet from my mouth and had a look.  Oh dear!  Quite odd, really, but there it was, a little part of my left front tooth sitting there in the sweet, looking smug ("I'm out! I'm out!)

My tongue wriggled around in my mouth, along and behind my teeth, feeling for damage, and my fingers were in my mouth too.  Hm, a hole right in the centre of the BACK of my tooth.  Odd, but there you go.  Or there I go off to to the dentist to have that hole filled?  Well, not quite yet.  No medical aid, so it will have to wait a little while longer, until there's enough cash to pay the dentist.  I lost this bit of tooth so easily though (old age coming quickly now?) and am worried more of it is going to break off, or crumble, before I get to the dentist.  Well, I'm just being careful how I eat for now (look a bit silly I guess, when I bite into something I would usually use my front teeth for, but that's life hey!) (you win some and you lose some - teeth).

In this photo of Zooty, he had not yet had a first visit to the dentist.  Neither had his brother Basti who is a year older.  About a year later, though, Tony and I took them for their first visit to a dentist.  Luckily they're still on their father's medical aid, and the visit went smoothly.  A second check up is planned sometime soon - well, before year end, anyway.  Hopefully I go to the dentist before the end of the year too!

© Teresa Schultz 2010

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Living at Granny

Two happy boys in this May 2010 photo, hanging upside down in their Granny and Grandpa's bedroom - that's my boys, Zooty on the left, aged 11, and Basti on the right, aged 12.  They love living at Granny.  Tony and I are living with my mom and dad for now (the boys' Granny and Grandpa that they live with too).  We also work from home here, offering various freelance services.

Basti and Zooty are very happy here.  Their artwork gets displayed in Granny and Grandpa's bedroom - see some on the left of the photo above, in our tiny little home office, and in the lounge too;

They enjoy lying on Granny and Grandpa's bed some evenings (if they finish their homework with some time to spare before bedtime), to watch tv wth them;

Summer (and even many spring and autumn days here in South Africa) they enjoy the swimming pool my folks have;

They have their own computer in the room right next to our little office - which is our bedroom, and there, they do homework that requires the computer, and they also enjoy playing computer games on it - we don yet allow them Internet, though - can't it afford it right now (for them too), anyway;

Granny also has them read their little Bibles she gave them, every morning before school;

The household also has three dogs at the moment, that the boys enjoy.  There's Gilly, our baby jack russell (well, she's a little over a year now, but she'll always be our little baby, just like the boys will always be my babies even when they're 60 and I'm blessed enough to still be alive and healthy then), and there's Shayna - a little supposed to be white old maltese poodle going blind and deaf, and there's Swift, a black big kinda maltese poodle thing, still fairly young, not sure exactly, she's an SPCA aquired dog of my folks - Swift and our Gilly are best friends.  There was also Sheba, who passed away a year or so again (had put down, very old and blind), and there was Rocky, who died on the property - old age.  My parents are actually thinking about sort of replacing Rocky (read about Rocky here)

Looking at the photo of my boys above again, of them hanging upside down like bats in their grandparents' bedroom, you will see a small black and white photo off to the right of the picture (actually looks grey).  That's a black and white computer print out of the picture below.  After Rocky died, I mixed a picture of Rocky with a picture of some flowers, in Photoshop, and gave it to my father.

The pole the boys are hanging on in the top photo is very helpful.  Read about why it is in the room, and also how it helped relieve some nasty back pain I had not so long ago.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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blog posts target for the two of us today: 21

Hope we can manage it. We've written down the amount of posts each of our blogs should get today, and although we'd like to aim at even more than 21, 21 is our immediate aim. I think we might be able to do it. We're hoping this effort we are going to put in today will give us and our services a little more exposure (see previous post we have money to last about 4 days)

It's drizzling out, and is a perfect day for writing plenty.

Where are we planning on posting our 21 blog posts (which of our current 6 blogs?)
Well, it would be nice to put all 21 on just one blog, as that would make a nice difference in its ranking on myScoop, which we are big fans of, but, to keep our other blogs either stable there, or keep them rising in the ranks, we can't neglect them for too long. Trying to do well on myScoop definitely encourages one to write more! See this post about why we would like to try do well on myScoop.

The blogs we're going to try add 21 posts to today, and how many for each:

Tony Flanigan personal blog - at least 3 blog posts - written by Tony

Teresa Schultz personal blog (this blog) - at least 4 blog posts - written by me (with this post it's one down, three to go)

East London Photographs and Wild Ramblings - at least 5 - photos uploaded and written by me

TnT Unleashed 1pic4twenty - at least 3 - written by either of us - this blog has the best overall ranking, of our 6 on myScoop, at the moment.

Work at Home Jobs - at least 3 - written by either of us

Clay Brick - at least 3 blog posts, perhaps embed a Youtube video or two - written by either of us

Well, I best move on, then!

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

We have money to last about 4 days

and then no more unless some work comes in - this is how it goes with our freelance work from home business - we were kinda relying on a little article appearing in a local free weekly delivered to homes today to give us a bit of exposure, but no article yet. Perhaps next week.

It's depressing, but not the end of the world. It just means we should have spent less time (mostly me - Tony is working on a new SA Auction site for a client) trying to improve our sites in case a few locals popped onto them to take a look (after reading the article), and should have spent more time on looking for more work. We've had a few okay months since starting to work from home in February 2008, but quite a few pretty bad months too - this month is one of the not so hot ones. Even our next Adsense cheque is not quite yet due, and even then, it takes about 7 weeks before it arrives in the post.

Back to oDesk, I guess, for now. oDesk is a freelance site where all sorts of work can be done, or people (Internationally) looking for freelance workers can hire them. I've been a member there for about a year now - take a look at my profile there - and have picked up some fun and interesting little freelance jobs - some not so little - we did work for a Florida US personal injury lawyer, recently, that lasted over 4 months and paid well.

So, how do we survive at times like this (it's happened before) - while waiting for, or trying to get the next client?

As a divorced mom of two boys, the children get a maintenance at the end of each month (about half of what their living expenses are when they're with me, their primary custodian - they're with me 18 nights in a 28 day period) This amount pretty much immediately goes on our telephone and ADSL account, and our rent at my parents, where we live. Those are two biggies that need taken care of immediately each month. There's a little already set aside, in a fixed savings, for the boys' future, which is "off limits" and doesn't even exist in my mind. That's not being touched. It's for the boys - and actually still needs to be so badly added to.

Another biggie is petrol. It's a 22 minute drive to school, but at least it's not all one big monthly cost, and we take it as it comes.

Back to oDesk - if we pick up a little job there, that we can manage, say, today, and hope the "oDesk buyer" pays today too, we can only access our earnings 6 days later. So, if we have money for only 4 days, what do we do for the inbetween 2 or 3 days, before accessing oDesk earnings?

We make a plan, and this is what all people struggling for an income should do. Make a plan.

We can:
market ourselves silly and sleep just 4 hours a night, to get a local client before the 4 days are up;
if 4 days go by and no local client, then we skimp and save and cut all we can, to get through the next 2 or 3 days while waiting for an oDesk payment;
although we don't like to borrow money from friends in case we struggle to pay it back, there is a friend or two who could and would help us out for a day or two - the boys even have a little birthday money over they wouldn't mind helping us out with for a day or two - but this is pretty much a last resort (they will tease they want interest when we pay them back, lol!);
other options are to hang a sign on the front wall to sell something we no longer need, or sell a few plants - we pretty much started out selling plants;

And we get by. We make a plan, and get by.

Our reputation of good service is growing, and so is our portfolio.

This article is probably putting people off thinking of quitting their regular job and trying to work from home, and, in a way, that's good. Working from home does not suit everyone, but, at the same time, one should also realise: where there's a will, there's a way.

Other articles on our sites that may be of interest to you:

How Difficult is it to Find a Decent Job in East London, South Africa?

Don’t spend forever trying to find work. Just work.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Creating simple colourful abstracts with just your camera

Simple and colourful abstract pictures are really easy to create, using only your camera.  No photoshop or anything else.  These abstract photos can be used for:

printing and turning into framed art for the walls of your home or office;
greeting cards;
make a few simple and inexpensive colour copies from just one proper print and you have gift wrapping paper;
learn how to fold your colour copies to make gift bags from them;
use as book covers for your childrens' school books;

The photo above was created by simply using the fireworks setting on a small 5 meg digital camera (mine) in a local Spur restaurant (looking at some lights in the restaurant - even one light will work fine).  Abstract photos like this can also be created with an SLR camera using film, by using the "B" manual setting.  Either the "B" setting on an SLR camera, or the fireworks scene setting on a digital camera keeps the shutter open for longer (usually need a tripod to steady your camera for a clear image), but don't use a tripod, and just swirl your camera around!  I just held the camera and twirled it around, in fairly large circles, also moving my arm from left to right.

Different abstract effects can be created by making different movements with the camera:

I think this picture above looks like a little group of cartoon characters crawling home from a pub!

The one below was created by simply moving the camera sideways back and forth, instead of up and down or around and around.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oh my word I'm so blonde! - or still such a newbie blogger!

myScoop - the South African blog aggregator - is just blowing me away, AGAIN! Posted an article on one of my blogs about a Round Tuit less than an hour ago, then was on to show Tony what other Round Tuits look like, (typed in only two words: Round Tuit) and over 30 000 search results came up, and hey, there on page one (in the first ten results) was a link to myScoop with my blog title! Clicked it, brought me to myScoop and the title and first few words of my article, with another link there saying "Go to this article" and clicking that took me to my blog post! I didn't know myScoop did this.

myScoop is powerful. I almost wish it was my own little secret, but I'm a nice person, so I'm sharing this. All SA bloggers should join myScoop, and gain more exposure for their blogs and blog articles. Easy peasy.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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myScoop, and There ARE nice guys in South Africa

When we hit a glitch with our websites, we call on Collin, our web hosting guy. Collin's brilliant. He's helpful, and quick to help sort out our problems. Tony and I can be a bit blonde, at times, but Collin doesn't mind - or is quiet about us being blonde - and is forever patient, and just a great big help. This is much appreciated.

Nicholas Duncan, founder and creator of the South African blog aggregator myScoop, is another nice guy.

Tony (another nice South African guy - my boyfriend!) and I joined myScoop about a week ago (added our blogs to myScoop) and we're really enjoying it there - easy to use and fun to see how one's blog is rated against the other members' blogs. myScoop uses real-time to allow a bookmark of one's latest blog posts to immediately just pop up on myScoop. Blogs drop or rise every day in the listings.

I was really pleased to recently see two of my four blogs listed there make the top five on the "Today's top risers" list - so was inspired to write a few more posts for some of my blogs, only to be quite upset when the bookmark for two of them did not immediately appear, as before, and as my other blog posts still were.

At first, I thought it was just a little glitch, that would sort itself out soon, but was worrying about ending up looking like I was one of the "Today's top fallers" so contacted Nicholas Duncan via email.

With a bit of advice from our hosting guy, Collin, we managed to sort it all out, and the bug is fixed! Nicholas worked hard at sorting it out, and communicated throughout, and, well, isn't that nice? How many International site owners do you sometimes wait forever to hear back from? This was all sorted in next to no time. Local is lekker.

myScoop is "South Africa's Real-Time Blog Aggregator and Blogging Community"

If you are experiencing any bugs or problems related to myScoop, don't just keep mum about it, or leave myScoop. Help Nick Duncan make myScoop as best as it can be for all, by contacting him and letting him know.

Oh? You're a South African blogger and haven't yet joined myScoop? Um, well, gee, that's a bit silly. Get to it!

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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How can I not love my hometown East London?

I've never moved out of East London in South Africa, and I'm now 41.  Actually, it's sad that I've not yet been to Cape Town, overseas, or flown in an areoplane at the age of 41 either!  I'm happy here in my little hometown of East London, and how could I not be?

I've grown up in East London.  It's home.  I have such great memories of this place I call home - and I don't want to ever say, or refer to it as "The place I used to live in."

What does East London have that no other places in South Africa have - besides great memories if one grows up here, and very friendly people?

Well, pehaps not such a good point - but I like it - East London is also known as Slummies - but it's in such a nice way, I think.  People are mostly relaxed, down to earth, and just themselves.  Of course there's times or outings that call for dressing up a bit, but, generally, hardly anyone looks at you twice, here, if you go into a shop barefoot, or with curlers in your hair.  It's acceptable.  It's Slummies.  It's nice.

What else does East London (Buffalo City, South Africa) have?

It has Friesland milkshakes.  Come on, everyone who's tried a Friesland milkshake loves them.  It's the kind of thing, that makes an East Londoner sit up in the middle of the night, suddenly, and say: "Aw gee, I don't think they are open now, but I want a Friesland milkshake nooooow!"

East London has the Windmill, right at the bus station near the beachfront, and the Windmill has hot chilli burgers.  Aged about 18, (some 23 years ago for me now),  three of us friends used to go off to the Windmill, get some chilli burgers, then go do something odd and 18-ish and park in a cemetary eating the burgers, and cry from the heat of the chilli - or disguise our fear at being where we were!

East London has Numbers.  A nightclub and disco that's moved around a bit - not sure if I loved it best when it was still out next to the old drive-in because it was next to the old drive-in, or just because those times, spent at Numbers next to the old East London drive-in, were some of the best times my friends and I had at Numbers.

East London has the oldest aquarium in South Africa, along the esplanade, and the only South African river port, down at the Buffalo River.  East London has the Surfers Marathon.

East London has beautiful beaches.  It has Mermaid's Pool;  it has Nahoon beach and Nahoon Reef.

East London has 200 000 year old fossilized footprints , has the Coelacanth , has Joan Harrison and the Joan Harrison public swimming pool (as a kid, I used to spend plenty of summers there with friends.)

East London has Wendy Botha , and Jody Scheckter.

East London has Tony, my boys, my family and friends, and East London has me.

© copyright Teresa Schultz 2010

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