Go on a Funky Road Trip!

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Funky Road Trip

Make time fly whilst on a funky road trip!

The open road, a breeze through your hair, blue summer skies, and a body in every seatbelt. A road trip can either be loads of fun or absolute disaster! Depending on how you spend your time, makes time fly or be very long and tedious. Here are some funky road trip ideas for adult or children’s games, to kill time and boredom:

Hot Seat. Each passenger gets a turn in the “hot seat” being interviewed by the other passengers. They choose five questions to ask the person in the hot seat. The hot seater can refuse to answer one question only, the rest must be answered.

License Plate Decoder. Decode a possible personalized message on every license plate . “HDR 732″ might stand for “Hairdresser Diva Roller-derby, 7 hours a day, 32 days long.”

Odd Colored Car. Each passenger chooses an odd colored car eg. yellow, purple, orange, or pink. You get a point for spotting cars of your color. Steal points from each other when spotting another passenger’s color first!

Casserole Game. The first person starts with: “I’m making a casserole and I need artichokes.” The next passenger must recite the previous ingredients and add one, starting with the next letter in the alphabet. Try to get to Z.

Listen and Draw. Each passenger gets paper and a pen. (Except for the driver, of course!) The first player draws a quick picture and then describes the picture to the other passengers, giving detailed instructions. The passenger whose picture most closely resemble the original, then takes the lead role.

Would You Rather? One person offers various options to other passengers of either wonderful, horrible, painful or embarrassing situations. Find out who would rather jump in a flaming volcano than sit in a cage of snakes. Or who would rather appear barefoot to George Clooney than with hair curlers in her hair to Leonardo DiCaprio

A little imagination goes a long way to make a long way seem short! Create your own or adapt these funky road trip ideas to suit the passengers.

Funky Car Insurance

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.Ref.: www.mrsfields.com

 

This article originally posted on http://www.car-insurance-south-africa.co.za/ and re-posted here with permission.

The Health Benefits of Laughter

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The Countless Health Benefits of Laughter

Milton Berle once said that “laughter is an instant vacation” and there are many who would agree with him and say that laughter can relieve stress. Steve Wilson, a psychologist, stated that he believes “that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off… they might be healthier too.” And many studies about laughter and its affect on the body have been undertaken.

Each of us can attest that laughing – even if it is just at a silly joke – makes us feel better. Doctor Scott Weems said in an interview that “comedy is like a mental exercise” and Charlie Chaplin once said that “a day without laughter is a day wasted”. But what are the affects of laughter on our bodies and why does it make us feel better?

Well, laughter reduces stress hormone levels and triggers the release of endorphines. This means that laughter does have a physical influence in making you feel better and happier. Just think of the last time you had a really good laugh – didn’t you feel less stressed and happier afterwards? But it’s not just your stress hormone levels which are reduced. Laughter can also lower your blood pressure as it improves the flow of blood.

Your immune system may also get a boost from laughter, as it may boost the T cells in your immune system. Another health benefit is that laughter may relieve pain. Although it may not get rid of all types of pain or get rid of it completely, a 2011 study by researchers from Oxford University did find that laughing may relieve pain.

As a cherry on top, laughter is also good for your mind. Doctor Scott Weems, a cognitive neuroscientist, found in his research that people who were exposed to comedy are better able to answer semantic associates tasks.

These are just a few ways in which laughter can help you in your everyday life. Why not try to bring more laughter into your life through comedic films or books? There is even laughter therapy available, should you want to take that route.

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Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts, or to read her work, go to her website, her blog Hersenskim or follow her on @CarinMarais.

How to write a novel

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Want to write a novel?

Writing a novel is extremely hard work. The words don’t just jump on the pages as some would believe. Very few writers can write books off the top of their heads, in one go. Writing, more often than not, is a case of trial and error, and tiresome rewrite after rewrite. You spend hours in solitude, slaving to arrange and rearrange words and paragraphs so they hopefully make sense and tell a convincing story.

Ask writers how they write and you get a myriad of answers. Some swear they sit down and start typing whatever pops up in their heads. They don’t plan ahead and are just as surprised as the reader as to what their characters get up to and where the story takes them. Others insist on laboriously scheming and plotting preliminary outlines and character sketches before they even pen one word to paper.

Many aspiring writers search for articles on how to write a novel. They read all about planning and structuring their first draft. They learn about setting and plot, conflict, and how to keep up the suspense. In the end, they spend so much time reading about how to write a novel that they never actually get to the point where they start writing their novel.

There is no magic formula when it comes to novel-writing. George Orwell, author of Animal Farm (1945), had the following to say: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Barbara Kingsolver, author of The Poisonwood Bible (1998), advised: “Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”

The best recommendation I could find on how to write a novel is stop procrastinating and to start writing. Keep at it no matter what and finish sentence after sentence, page after page, and chapter after chapter. Get the story out of your head and onto paper — that is the first and most important step in novel-writing.

References

Petit, Z. (2012, June 22). 72 of the Best Quotes about Writing. Retrieved Aug 9, 2015, http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/72-of-the-best-quotes-about-writing

Quotes about writing. (n.d.). Retrieved August 9, 2015, from http://pasikarppanen.net/quotes/q-writ.htm#Writing is heaven

Cool stuff to do for Winter Fun

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WINTER FUN – cool (not cold) stuff to do in winter

Loads of load shedding can dishearten even the most positive individual. I love winter, I really do. But during suicide hour for mothers (when you are tired from work, dinner has to be prepared, the dog walked, the laundry taken off the line, older children given homework support and littlies bathed,) one does NOT need another challenge. Of course mothers are the most creative people on earth (move over Picasso) but sudden darkness and half-baked macaroni-cheese wobbling in the cold oven, are not conducive to Happy Hour on the home front. Of course one copes creatively with whatever life brings one. Do we have a choice? Mothers in particular don’t; not really.

Past Perfect

It doesn’t do to be romantic about the past. Life was better in some ways but infinitely worse in others. But when the electricity goes off, it is not the dark and the cold, but the silence that I am conscious of. Millions of television sets produce an unholy noise. Human voices are suddenly heard, and instead of the ready-made focal point in the room (I am convinced people watch so much rubbish on TV because we no longer have fires to focus on while we share stories), people turn to each other and talk. So stock up on candles and solar lamps, wood for fires or gas for cookers and heaters. Winter is the ideal time to re-connect with crafts from the past, each other, entertainment that costs nothing, communal slow cooking and nature.

5 family fun things to do in winter

  1. Learn to knit – warm socks and scarves and jerseys and blankets (If you have enough for yourself, give them to the homeless and the poor) There is something immensely healing about creating something rather than merely being a consumer.
  2. Teach your children to dance – the foxtrot and the waltz, the salsa and the tango and the jive. It keeps you fit, warm and laughing, is cheaper than the gym, and huge fun.
  3. Make your own bread – if you have the space, build an outside oven. First the pizza goes in, then the loaves, and there is still enough heat for the ‘potjie’ (cheap meat cuts are more flavourful) and or the bean soup. Don’t waste the heat; invite neighbours to bring their casseroles too. Flat breads of every description are the staple of most African countries. Learn to cook them and you won’t even need an oven. Making bread is my occupational therapy, and it is so much better for us than shop bread with all its shelf life preservatives and bleach and suchlike additives.
  4. Walk – In South Africa we are lucky to have open veld, the sea or mountains within reach. Sunny winter days are ideal for ramblings in nature. Take a picnic in a rucksack, a bottle of water and head for the hills or the beach. All that fresh air will energise you.
  5. Talk – Believe it or not, there is an old fashioned therapy that used to keep families together: They communicated regularly. Indoor living in winter lends itself to this strange ancient ritual.

IT DOESN’T SOUND LIKE ANYTHING MUCH, BUT YOU WILL BE AMAZED: TRY IT!

 Author:  Suenel Bruwer Holloway

Suenel lives in the country and does a lot of laundry, walks dogs, gardens and cooks. She also writes. She will opine on any topic, so contact her on florabundu@lando.co.za if you want an opinion piece and are brave enough.

It is time for a school holiday – Not again!

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Yippee or woe is me?

I suppose the attitude to a school holiday rather depends on who you are. I have been a parent for longer than I have been learner (… dreadful word ‘learner’ – what was wrong with ‘pupil’ or ‘student’? However, even though I am one, I am no longer a teacher. I am now ‘an educator’. Goals became outcomes and syllabus became curricula, exams became test series and people became human resources, prisoners became correctional services clients and policemen became community crime control managers. I cannot figure out how any of this is supposed to make you better at your job, more dedicated and caring and intelligent. More admin kills the good teacher and creates a hiding place for useless ones. Responsible people are responsible whatever system they operate in. Lazy people just get more adept at finding loopholes if system changes occur.

 5 holiday reality points for the good guys:

The good mother:

  1. I can get up a little later as I don’t have to get everybody up, dressed, fed and transported so school.
  2. They mess more and eat a week’s groceries in a day.
  3. Thank goodness, the big ones can help look after the little ones.
  4. I worry about unsupervised children at home, vulnerable to drug dealers and abusers, and no way can I get more leave.
  5. WHA-at, holiday again? They have hardly covered any work and will they be ready for exams?

The conscientious learner:

  1. I have worked well and deserve a break.
  2. Time to revise and get to grips with work I am insecure about.
  3. I can help my mom with chores and play with my little brother.
  4. I am going to sleep late. Winter holidays are the best!
  5. I should have asked more questions and appreciated the good teachers more.

The dedicated teacher:

  1. Too tired to formulate a thought.
  2. Relief: I got through this term without doing harm, losing my temper, falling behind with marking, prescribed work goals, a serious bout of flu’, losing my sense of humour/perspective/hope/job.
  3. I’d better start preparation/see about finding a way of explaining concepts they struggle with/ strategies to stop bullying/ getting non-participant learners to engage/cope with sexist attitudes of boys/ appeal to girls to protect their modesty/virginity, not letting disrespect/lack of parental involvement/ constant criticism from those on the sidelines get under my skin.
  4. Plan how to get into homes and put a brick through TV screens because a mere teacher cannot compete with the values and ambitions, pornography and glorification of violence that children drink in constantly. (There, you see, even teachers have fantasies of aggressive solutions!)
  5. Make up for all the neglect of my loved ones, because I barely keep my head above water during the term.

   

 

 

 

Author:  Suenel Bruwer Holloway

Suenel Bruwer Holloway lives in the country and does a lot of laundry, walks dogs, gardens and cooks. She also writes. She will opine on any topic, so contact her on florabundu@lando.co.za if you want an opinion piece and are brave enough.

The new way … to exercise

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Exercise 101

Living in a time of fanatic exercising, I always get confused between the different types of exercises to tone your body. What is aerobics? What is spinning? What do you call that exercise where you fly upside-down in an aeroplane until the blood starts rushing to your head and you can hear your heart pounding in your near-to-burst eardrums? Oh. Right.  Aerobatics. Then aerobics must be the one where you put on tights and jump up and down until you hear your heart beating in your ears.

I get confused because the human mind has the ability to erase every moment of any terrible agony that run through your body in one of these sessions. The throbbing vascular migraine; the dizziness; the shortness of breath; the uncontrollable feeling of incipient nausea… Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, it’s terrible. And I am not even talking about the exercises. I’m talking about the music.

Now please, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against music, but it was in fact because of the music that I stopped going to aerobics classes. The songs varied from ‘I’m too sexy for my shirt’ to the wonderful rhythm of ‘You’re simply the best’. Nothing wrong with Right Said Fred or Tina Turner, but please, not to sweat and perspirate to. I mean, I really like aerobic classes: the full-length mirrors on the wall, the rhythmic beat of feet on the floor, the exercises…well, some of the exercises. I like in particular the ‘cool-down’ time. That is the exercise you do when the clock on the wall says two minutes to six, and the session ends at six. Then you lie down with your eyes closed, feeling the thrilling relaxation rushes over every muscle in your body.

You breathe in. You breathe out. You think of nothing. You go home. This exercise is so beneficial; no matter how busy I am, I always try to set aside a few hours to lie in the dark and think of nothing. Other times I do this exercise in a seated position while in a meeting.

Many people spend thousands on aerobic DVD’s, do their workouts before even starting with a main aerobic session a day. I mean, what is the use of working out on 25 abdominal lifts, 100 sit-ups and 40 knee-and-thigh stretches, if it is only a warm-up for the real aerobics exercise?

Hey, I am not saying you shouldn’t exercise. I am just saying there have to be better ways, not to mention better music to exercise. For instance, if you really want ‘to work out’, ‘feel the burn’, ‘trim body fat up to 25 per cent’, why not follow my personal exercise routine, which I call ‘The new way to exercise’.

Here is what to do:

  1. Wake up at 6 am.
  2. Stre-e-e-e-e-e-e-tch across the bedside table for the television remote control.
  3. Switch on the TV.
  4. Watch the exercise programme on SABC 3.
  5. Switch off the TV.
  6. Stre-e-e-e-e-e-e-tch out across the bed.
  7. Go back to sleep.
  8. Wake up at 8:30 am and realise with a panic that you are supposed to be at work at 7:15 am.
  9. Do one sit-up.
  10. Go to work.
  11. Get fired.
  12. Feel the burn.
  13. Trim your body fat up to 25 per cent.
  14. Take up aerobatics.

You know what they say: no pain, no gain. Which one are we talking about again?

 

Author: Naomi Maritz

Naomi is a freelance writer and available to write guest posts and articles for your website.

Contact: Naomi Maritz [naomimaritz@gmail.com]

You are lucky if you believe in luck

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Is luck real or is luck superstition?

“They call you Lady Luck
But there is room for doubt
At times you have a very
Unladylike way of running out …

The pickings have been lush
And yet before this evening’s over
You might give me the brush
You might refuse to stay
So the best that I can do is pray:

Luck be a lady tonight.”

The gambler’s song from Guys and Dolls is a pretty good description of the modus operandi of those that gamble, but does it sound familiar to you? Even those of us that do not indulge in games of chance have some rituals that we feel protect us, despite the adherence to hardened scientific theory in other areas of our lives. From the child that religiously refuses to step on the cracks in the pavement to prevent imaginary wolves from eating him, to positive visualizations to protect our loved ones, we have some belief in luck.

Some defy logic

I know a woman who is an abject alcoholic. She no longer performs meaningful or remunerative work, and depends on the goodwill of relatives to provide her with a roof and a plate of food. Yet she has won substantial amounts of money from the national lottery. She does not even play the lotto regularly! The money she does win does not go towards those that support her. She instantaneously acquires fair-weather friends and they have an orgy of consumerism. The amusement value is great, as she drunkenly waves from the back seat of a new car in one of her fabulous hats, but naturally the entertainment is short lived. There is no denying that in probability theory she is bit of an anomaly. So what is this phenomenon? Is it luck? The lucky streak does not serve her in any long term sense, but her brief happiness is perhaps all she wants. Does she have an expectation that she projects into the energy field that attracts lotto wins to her?

I incline towards sheer but random luck, whether good or bad: the bullet that does not strike soldier A but kills soldier B because A bent down to tie his shoe lace; the woman whose heel broke and she bought other shoes so was not in her office in the Twin Towers when 9/11 happened; the genetic accident that creates a Down Syndrome child; the virus that attacks one sibling and not another.

Whether destiny of attitude shapes our ‘luck’ I cannot say, but since we do not know, isn’t it better to believe you are lucky? In that sense you will then be luckier as you will be a happier camper and ‘read’ whatever happens to you as a run of luck.

Author: Suenel Bruwer Holloway is a playwright, poet, speech writer, translator and editor as well as guest writer. She specializes in satirical social commentary, the arts, education, book reviews and three course picnics. She comes from a long line of hat wearers.

Suenel is available for guest posts and can be contacted at the e-mail address provided.

Contact: florabundu@lando.co.za

Claim Your Success Now!

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Use Me-Time to Achieve Success

When last have you indulged in some serious me-time? To most of us down time simply means escaping to the bathroom and locking the door behind us for all but ninety seconds of sheer solitude – that’s if a toddler or two doesn’t try to break off the door to see what mummy’s up to in there.

Do you sometimes feel like you can just take off and run to the nearest hills, screaming like a banshee at the top of your lungs? Whoa, hold your horses! Channel all that pent-up emotion constructively and you may just earn a few bucks having a go at being creative. Instead of salivating in vain at the prospect of catching a tan on a remote beach in the Bahamas, rather focus your energy on an activity that may just afford you an additional income stream.

Are you sick and tired of giving all the time? Does it feel like everyone is claiming their stake and you’re the only sucker paying the price big time? Have you been in constant output mode for far too long? Are you craving much-needed creative input? It’s time to take a long, hard look at your life and make some changes. Use your precious me-time to achieve success and earn a second income.

Re-discover you passion. What activity used to bring you happiness and a sense of achievement? Do you love baking? Why don’t you enrol in a cake decorating course? There are lots of free online cake decorating courses to choose from. You can sell your creations and make money. You can have fun being creative ánd make money at the same time. Just think outside the box and go for it. Success can be yours!

Identify your skills and make money teaching it to others. For instance, do you know how to crochet? Teach others for a fee. Is your toddler a finicky eater? Write an e-book and share your experience with other parents, giving them tips on how to cope with the challenges of feeding such a child. Tap into your own experiences, skills and capabilities and use it to your advantage. You can achieve success doing what you love most – enjoying much-deserved me-time.

 

 

Author: Louise Viljoen

Louise Viljoen is a competent and accomplished writer who contributes to various websites, blogs, and print media. She’s available as freelance writer and can be contacted at freelancewriter@truewan.co.za.

Fun Things to do this Easter Holiday

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Fun Family Things to Do This Easter Holiday

Easter holiday is the perfect time to have a breather after the first three months of the year. And, because Good Friday and Family Day are public holidays, you can have a long weekend without having to worry about taking leave at work. Because the weather is still warm, you have a wide variety of activities to choose from to keep you busy this Easter.

Easter Holiday Family Time

The Easter holiday, and especially the Easter weekend, is a great time to catch up with friends and family. You and your family or friends can gather around the braai or simply relax over a meal. If you want to, you can also have an Easter egg hunt for the kids in the garden. If you don’t feel like doing the cooking yourself (or the weather isn’t playing along) you can always book a table at your favourite restaurant.

Have Some Time Away

Many hotels and lodges have great specials over the Easter holiday, making it a lot easier to afford some time away. You don’t necessarily have to go to the other side of the country to get away for a bit. Look for places that are just outside the city you live in; that way you can have a change of scenery without having to spend too much time stuck in the car. By not travelling too far, you also miss the annual mass exodus on South Africa’s roads over the Easter holidays.

Go on a Day Trip

Of course, you don’t need to go away on vacation to get out of the house. The popular Rand Show kicks off on the Easter weekend every year and offers entertainment for the whole family. If you’re looking for something to keep the kids busy over the holidays, look in your local paper or search online for outings aimed at school children. Besides going to the beach, parks or botanical gardens, you can treat the family to a day at a theme park. You can also opt for more educational entertainment like historical tours of your city or town or go to a museum. But, no matter what you do this Easter holiday, make sure you enjoy it!

Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. With interests ranging from pop culture and technology to literature, mythology and archaeology, her writing covers diverse subjects. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts, or to read her work, go to her home page, her blog Hersenskim or follow her on @CarinMarais.

HEAT!

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Gauteng Heat

“Damn it is HOT!” How many times have you heard that this week? Driving through intersections in Johannesburg, I can’t help but notice people melting behind their cardboard signs. Although my heart bleeds for them, I found myself unable to wind down my window, to give that obligatory R2 contribution, for fear of melting myself. With this raging heat I see the water level of my pool rapidly subsiding and find myself wondering when this electricity shortage might be replaced by a sudden water shortage. Luckily a shortage of wine is not of concern.

I am really over this heat, my personal grooming bill has shot through the roof! I have this perpetual fear that my armpits are on constant overdrive. If you didn’t know what menopause felt like, then I guess this is it hey… Well luckily the person sitting next to me has to deal with the death permeating from my armpits and not me.

The heat is also on in other areas of this wonderful country of ours. Not only are tempers flaring over the State of the Nation Address but also about the growing national deficit. The poor man on the street might melt even more when the parliament members have cooled down and actually start focusing on running the country and collecting that deficit from the tax payer.

Warm as fire, we are all spending more on drinks than on food to cool down. There must be some sort of upside to this heat… I guess you can call my enormous refreshments-bill contributing to economic growth, even if it is just my local pub growing its wallet.

The dry winter season is upon us and we know that the winter will bring some form of cooling down. But for now enjoy the swimming pool while it is full or at least while you are able to cool down in it.

 

 

Author: William Carter

Bio: I have always been inspired by words. It tells a story of hope, dignity and shares our deepest fears and success – the signature of what who we are. General observations of life is what I share and passion and success is who I am!!

Links:

www.williamcarter.co.za

FB: The william carter page