It’s the end of 2018 (or what’s a better title for this post?)

One of these days, I’m going to write a post on how to Joomla for users. Seriously. Building websites is not a walk in the park, the way I thought. That being said, I guess there’s a website out there I’ve not shared with the readers of this blog.

It has been a long year. Like this Kudu, walking out in the sun-scorched field, searching for some water, some days I… Unlike this Kudu, I have a sun allergy.

Kudu looking for water

Martha (from the bible) took on way too much.  That is how my year has been. If you are not familiar with Martha, here’s a song about her and her sister Mary. In the story, Jesus visits Martha and Mary. Martha busy’s herself by getting everything ready to serve Jesus and his disciples, while Mary her sister just sits at his feet.

The below post is one I intended on putting on my website. But in the true reflection of me, the website is not perfect yet, and I just need to get a hang of it, again.


Reflection. The year has passed. Good and bad stick out in one’s mind, or is it rather the bad things we tend to think about? How many times have I heard someone declaring that they do not want another repeat of the year past?

This year has really brought with it sorrows. The personal loss, the monetary and fiscal loss has been immense. Life lost. It has been a year of grief.

However, it has also been a year to start re-building. We managed to convert the outside storerooms, which did not burn down in the fire, into a flat. While by some this would be seen as barely livable, to me it is cozy, perhaps humble but comfy. It is from within these walls I am now typing this post. Looking upon the rubble, a stark reminder of the ones who have left us, my son’s joyful play a stark reminder of the ones still with us. It could have been so much worse.

Yes, our beloved parents did die. Yes, their murders burnt down the house, the household possessions, our possessions with them. Yes, we experienced more thievery, and deceit. But the dry land, upon which the livestock was starting to collapse, is now being quenched in the most welcoming rain. And the cows, are reproducing, showing that even in these times there is growth.

Things are never as easy as it seems, but this does not make them less worthwhile.

It was a lesson, which seemed to play out repeatedly this year. Like this website. I was at a point of wanting to hang in the towel. Seriously, what can be so hard about setting up a website right? Or we will just, quickly break in two windows into that solid wall. Nothing hard about that!

The key is, to just never give up. Keep going. Keep trying. Nothing hard about that.

The moments of joy, the growth through trying times, the things we learned will forever reflect inside my mind as the year that was 2018. Yes, it will also forever be the year everything changed, the loss something we will forever carry with us. And although I would much prefer 2019 characterized by plenty of sunshine, plenty of rainfall, prosperity, health, contentment, and comfort, with each new year, new challenges await. And the things we had to face in 2018 will make us all the stronger for the new hills we may have to climb ahead.


I still don’t really have a tile for the post. And like most of my posts, it seems not completely done yet. But, perhaps like a preacher would end a sermon I just need to say, Amen.


What to say, when bad things happen to good people…

Most people are going through something. We get up in the morning, drink our coffee, get it together, and go. We do our jobs, attend to our duties, and the next day we do it all over again, leaving no one wiser of the turmoil inside. A strange thing happened the other day. I found myself in conversation with someone I hardly knew. By some odd twist, this person opened up to me and told me what was currently going on.

When bad things happen to good people, it leaves us dumbstruck. What do you say to someone, whose entire world changed in a cruel blink of an eye?

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” I said and this person continued.
“That is terrible, and I can relate,” I said as I also exchanged some of my own experience.
And simply by listening and being compassionate I believe, I may have left this person feeling somewhat better.

Bad things. Good people.looking out of lonly window


In January of this year, my parents in law were murdered at their farm home. The culprit then burnt the house down to the ground. It’s a case which was splattered across our local newspapers for several weeks.

Very often of late, I’ve had the feeling someone did not want to speak to me because they did not know what to say to all the terribleness.

“It just felt wrong calling,” my insurance lady confessed when I asked her if she had read about the things which have recently re-shaped my life. If I hadn’t needed her to re-assess our portfolio, I would not have mentioned it at all.

But, what if …

Anger is all I can muster when someone tells me their devastating life story in an effort to manipulate me into getting what they want. It gives me no joy, making anybody feel guilty about things outside their control.

But it’s not about that.

Some friendships go down the drain because the person not going through the bad situation does not know what to say.

When it comes from a genuine place of kindness, it’s not so difficult.
So, what do you say, when you don’t know what to say?

It’s simple you start by saying, “hello.”
And the key is, you don’t stop saying, “hello.”

So, if you have a friend going through a tough time, don’t stop talking. Yes, there may be times when your friend won’t feel like company. There will be times of silence and of tears. And it is okay. For everything, there is a season. A time to laugh, a time to cry.

Compassion isn’t feeling guilty. It isn’t about judgment. It is feeling sad and angry in empathy with others suffering. It is an understanding that listening, and if appropriate hugging, are actions which do something about the turmoil another is facing.

#WeekendCoffeeShare with a dash of color for breakfast

There’s just something about enjoying the fresh outdoors, while you type a blog post. If we were having coffee, you’d smell the moisture of the sprinklers in the distance which are spraying the Lucerne field. You may be somewhat amused at the fact that I can hardly finish a sentence because I have to run off every few seconds to catch my one-year-old. I’d have invited you at the crack of dawn, while the air is still crisp with the coolness of autumn, but quite frankly I’d rather try to sleep. Truthfully though, my plans of sleep were once more dashed by my little early riser and my first cup was enjoyed before the sun had fully plated the clouds in a golden glow.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you like all other’s with whom I enjoy coffee from time to time, that no, we don’t know much more than what has already been widely published across all local newspapers. It’s an ominous feeling of having your family name splattered across the papers, like chips and tomato sauce, ready for general gossip and consumption. Like vultures they were upon us before we even had time to grasp what had happened. It’s been hard to have coffee without the subject popping up. But I guess since my mind is so often clouded in grief, how could it not.

It’s Easter, so if we were having coffee you may have admired my colored eggs. It’s something I have always done each year, but this year we were a person short in the egg coloring team. None the less, the dash of red, green, blue, orange and yellow came out quite well. If we were having coffee, my daughter would have dragged you to admire our little basket. She’d proudly tell you how she had stuck on each of those little easter themed stickers. Some eggs look like little bunnies with ears and all.
And perhaps, by time I finish writing this post, if we were having coffee I’d offer you one of these hard boiled eggs, with a hot cross bun. Oh yes, they are edible. Mini-me can hardly wait for her egg hunt tomorrow. It will be the first time Micky-me partakes in the search since last year this time he was just too small.


If we were having coffee, I’d skip how bad the capacious consumption of coffee is. But perhaps you are a tea-lover in which case I’d offer you a rooibos. And perhaps as the wind blows though the leafs and the bird chirp in the sky, you’d sit back and chat about what’s been going on in your life. Perhaps the mundane may seem interesting, even relaxing for a while. We would find something to laugh about. I’d remember that I have much to be grateful for. And last but not least I’d thank you for stopping by.

30 Days to grieve

“The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days until the time of weeping and mourning was over.” The Bible, Deuteronomy 34:8

Upon the loss of a loved one, one should mourn for 30 days. Only.
It’s a biblical ideal which comes from the old testament where the Israelites mourned the death of Moses for a period of 30 days. The same period of mourning is recorded for the death of Aaron, who was the brother of Moses.
It seems like a very short period, but the prescribed mourning period in another popular religion is 3 days, only.

I’ve seen the bitter, lifetime torment grief can cage a person in. So I get the principal.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: …
A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, …”
The Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:4

feather and teardops

But what about if you are not only grieving the loss of one loved person, but two? What about if these people were ripped from you, stolen? What if you not only lost two pivotal figures in your support network, but also your home or at least second home… your home away from home? Never mind all the material possessions, but all the emotions which are attached to these. What if? Do you get an extra 30 days for each?

My husband and I sat down with my daughter, in what seems like yesterday to tell her what no five-year-old should have to hear. I was trying to be strong. But when she looked at me, seeming to question how to react to the news we had just given her, I could not help but, cry. It is then when she too started weeping. Oh we told her, grandma and grandpa had gone to heaven to be with God, which seems kind of beautiful. Our truth is, that within this lifetime none of us will ever see those loved ones again.

And just as my daughter questioned how she should react, I’ve gone to read up on how I should act, in this time. Some days, it seems so unreal. Some days I’ve succumbed to weeping. Other days I’m simply pissed off, at the entire world. Some days it seems like all the above rolled into one. And the thirty day mark has come and gone.

In Genesis 50, there is a mention of a mourning period of seventy days. The time frame thus seems to be subjective. Although grieving is a part of life, not much of it is mentioned in organized religion. It seems like the taboo subject. Western culture dictates to take a week to get the burial of your loved ones organized and then move the hell on. But how exactly you are supposed to do that, no one can tell you.

How do you manage to not let that swallow you whole?
My questions are rhetorical. I expect no answers. For as many unique individuals there are, there would be many unique answers. I have no idea, how we are going to manage, without these beloved whom we have depended on for so many things.

I only know that each day you put one foot in-front of the other…

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Jesus (the Bible, Matthew 5:4)


The broke writers toolbox of 8 ABSOLUTELY FREE APP’s for 2018

I’m a terrible writer. Ever so often I growl in envy, that some people simply have the skill to build words in such a manner that they create the most vivid scenes in a mere fraction of the composition. And ever so effortlessly, these people seem to do this in the first draft, with perhaps a few comma’s thrown in for editing. Life. Is. Just. Not. Fair!

Okay, I’m done sulking.

For the rest of us, there are tricks, check-boxes and most importantly free applications to use to improve our prose. Here I’d like to pause. Unfortunately, no application, book or quick fix can magically wave a wand over you and turn you into J.K. Rowling. And even the greats need a human editor… However used often, some of these do actually in time improve your writing. Or maybe writing and reading improves your writing, but then …

In the past year, where I’ve taken on re-writing one of my yawn effect drafts into something hopefully one day enjoyable, I’ve gone looking for something to help me along the way. And since everyone seems to be sharing their, ‘must read list for 2018’(or at least they were when I first drafted this) it seems fitting to throw in my ‘very useful app list for writers in 2018’.

typewriter text

1. WordWeb ( )

Back in the day, any writer with merit would have told you a good dictionary is like the screwdriver in a mechanic’s toolbox. In 2018 we have a time-saving app for that. It is definitely much easier to type in the word you want to look up. It’s also lighter to carry if you decided you wanted to go sit in the spare office during your lunch hour to get some writing time in.

And while a search in your preferred App-Shop, would probably reveal many a program worth using – I like to use WordWeb. Not only does it explain the word to you, like that heavy, bulky, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, but it often also suggests alternative words to use. It’s like a dictionary and thesaurus thrown into one. Best of all, no pop-up ads, and it works off-line. I have mine installed on my phone. The app is available for Android, iPhone and Windows.

2. Libre Office Writer ( )

If like me, you bought your computer, tablet or another writing device with only Windows Home or similar installed on it, you know that this does not come with the Microsoft Office package. It seems that even though, there are several other writing programs, which I’ll discuss later, on a writer’s most wanted list – Microsoft Word is still a must-have – or not. I use Libre Office Writer, which is just as good as the Microsoft version. Best of all, this Open Source software is, wait for it, ABSOLUTELY FREE! The writer comes along with the entire Libre Office package, which also includes a spreadsheet and a drawing program. And to top it all off, Libre can easily open and save your files in the popular Microsoft formats.

3. AbiWord ( )

If you simply don’t want, need or have a lack of space for the Libre Office package – Abi Word may be more appealing. It too is an Open Source, ABSOLUTELY FREE, software which only features a writing application similar to Word. No spreadsheets applications are thrown in.

4. Grammarly (

Grammarly is like your spell check on steroids. It spots so much more than your average Language Tool. Used over time, Grammarly will help you spot mistakes on your own. You can use Grammarly for free, online. The only pitfall is that it will not work offline, even the paid version. But otherwise, it is a seriously excellent, spelling and grammar checking application.

5. Pro Writing Aid (

Like Grammarly, Pro Writing Aid is your spell check on steroids. Also, like Grammarly, you can use it for free online. Again like Grammarly, it only works online – even the trial version downloadable app needs a working internet connection. The free version is limited and checks only 500 words per go. Unlike Grammarly, this App has what it calls reports. It will check more than just your spelling and grammar. There are reports to tell you if you have overused a word, reports to tell you how readable your text is and much, much more.

6. Hemingway App ( )

Like Pro Writing Aid, Hemingway is yet another grammar checking application, which will point out adverbs, passive voice, and hard to read sentences. I’ve not had the chance to fully explore this app yet, but unlike its counterparts, the paid desktop app will work off-line.

7. yWriter6 ( )

If you are into writing full-fledged novels, yWriter6 is a very useful App. The windows version is free to download. It’s primarily there to help you organize your scenes and chapters into one workable document. There are also some very nifty tools, such as a read out loud feature, a word counter to tell you how many times you have used a certain word, a word per minute meter, basic spell check, and more. It’s an excellent tool to write your first draft on. And while it’s not as colorful as it’s pricey counterpart Scrivener – yWriter does come packed with many features.

Recently, an app has been added to Android devices, but this is not free.

8. Bibisco ( )

Bibisco is another App you can use to organize your chapters into one workable document. Unlike Ywriter which is classified as Freeware, Bibisco is Open Source.While it certainly seems not to be created for smaller devices such as tablets, it’s an app I still plan on exploring further.

Open Source versus Free-Ware

In case you were wondering, Open Source Software is a group project for programmers. The programming code is open to being downloaded for free. Anybody can contribute towards making the program better. These contributors are often not paid for doing so.

Freeware is usually created by only one individual or company who will distribute the program or part of the program for free. Often you are required to purchase the program to gain access to all its features, such as Grammerly and Pro Writing Aid.

There are many more applications to help you improve your writing, many, many more. These are only a few which I found seemed most popular and useful. As I continue discovering other applications, I may write another post to expand on this one. For now, I hope you find something on this list to help shape you into a better writer.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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Mary, did you know?

Mary, may have had an inkling. But, did she truly know? Did she really know when she kissed her little baby, two something thousand years later people would be dedicating an entire holiday to his birth?

Mary, may have had a feeling. After all, she was visited by Gabriel an Angel, before she became pregnant. The Angel, predicted the future. But even having been told, by a paranormal being, did she really, truly know?

I’ve always wondered what was the appeal in knowing the future? If you know that you will die at age 93, in your bed – would you live your life differently? Perhaps if your doctor changed that outlook, and told you it’s more like in eight months, yes then you may make some different choices.

Would you worry less, if you knew the future? Or, would procrastination take over your every day? And even if you knew the future, fortune-telling, does not give you the super power of high-in-sight, now.

Similarly, we may meet someone in the street today, and ten years down the road – the person can be living a completely different life. He could be your boss. He could be a street sweeper. You will just never know. Better today treat him with dignity. Or let me ask you this? Do you want to take a walk on a dirty street, or a clean one?

Mary may have been told, but in the moment she kissed her little baby, to her she kissed the face of love. Not because he was Jesus, but because he was her son. He could have turned out a beggar, or the heir to David’s throne. It did not matter, the moment she kissed her little baby. When they locked eye’s the whole world of possibility stared back at her.

As the Christmas time approaches, I’d like to wish you a very merry Christmas. When you look towards the new year, I hope it stares back at you, the way a baby stares at his mother.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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6 Perfect quotes on perfection

Perfection. It’s been somewhat of my theme for the year. This ideal of perfection, holds us back in our creative endeavours, our relationships, our goals, and our self-compassion. Perfection, very often is a shackle of fear. So as I look over my blog and social media for the year, here are some quotes I came across.

“It all does not need to be perfect.”

From the my post titled, to the blog posts I did not write. It’s this little poem which prompted me to look at my creative outlet a little less critical.

Eventually, I realized that the criticism in my internal chatter is not just limited to this blog. Neither is that of many other people.

“You are perfect to me”

Pink from the song Perfect, which I featured on my post 15 Motivational Songs to kick A**

“Underneath our perfect is where the true connection lie”

From my post, in the age of Social Media is the fear of rejection keeping us from genuine friendships?

“Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful”

This little snippet of wisdom was smiling at me as I was walking past a coffee shop. I snapped the picture and posted it on Instagram.

In the post titled, how to overcome relationship disaster taught to us by bedtime stories, I explored this concept of expectation of perfection we have in our partners.

“Mister wrong, is not necessarily wrong because he is not perfect. He may be wrong because you have an unrealistic expectation”

I love this Jeffrey Allen quote on the matter:

“It’s so wonderful that people don’t have to be perfect to be perfect for each other”

“Sometimes it’s the flaws in life, which make life interesting.”

Admittedly, while the above quote does not actually have the word “perfect” in it you get the general idea that flaws are there when something is not perfect. This is the closing line on the post titled, sometimes flaws are beautiful, a look at the 2017 NaNo Poblano badge.

Often perfection is an unrealistic ideal, an expectation too heavy to carry. Sometimes it’s boring and dull. And sometimes, it is our own imperfect perception which is in error. Some things are perfect, just as they are – but we think they are not.

And sometimes a situation, person, thing, whatever may just be perfect for you – but not perfect for someone else. We are all unique beings. Why are we always looking for a uniform ideal?

This has been the 12th and last post for the 12 days of it does not need to be perfect, suitably ended with a post on perfection.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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5 Seconds before the finish line

There it is. The finish line. The bright yellow ribbon glitters in the sunlight as we speed towards it. If you have ever run any type of race whether that be a 100m sprint or a marathon, at this point you are exhausted. You know you are only one or two steps away from making it, finishing. But what if the stands are empty? There’s no one racing with you? No referee to take your time? No one to see how your feet burn on the rubber of the racetrack? There’s no one to cheer you on? No trophy to contend for?

This is what a blog challenge like the one I’ve been writing this month feels like. Or attempting to draft a fifty thousand word novel, in one month. Many things in life feel like that. 5 Seconds before the finishing line you look in front of you and wonder. What am I doing this for? Who would notice if I simply sat down and gave up? Why am I beating myself up? Is this really worth losing sleep over?

Blog or writing challenges may not seem like such a big deal. After all, many bloggers write posts every day as a matter of habit. But, many of those bloggers earn some kind of benefit from their blogs. They have monetized them. Or they sell something which they can advertise on their blogs. But what about us? What about the ones who have a free blog or the Google version

It’s the final countdown, but we’re not heading for Venus quite yet.


It doesn’t really matter the scenario. Sometimes we embark on some kind of project and then end up wondering, “what am I getting out of this?” It does not need to be a project. It could be a life choice, a job, a diet, a simple quest to smile at strangers.

What am I getting out of this? How will this benefit me? What’s in it for me?

Here’s the thing, even if your answers are any of the following:

  • I now have bragging rights.
  • I have proven to myself I can do it.
  • I got a couple of likes on my Social Media.
  • I have something to talk about.
  • I have become a better version of myself

Or even if your answer is something as self-less as:

  • I made someone smile
  • I fed 50 hungry children and can now sleep better at night

If you are asking, “what do I get out of this”, your formula is flawed. You are asking the wrong question.


This is my final post for the blogging challenge I embarked upon at the start of the month. I could have reviewed my posts for the second half of the month. But instead, I leave you with this open-ended post. What do you think is the right question?

NanoPoblano 2017

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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Do more of what makes you happy! 

Seriously this! (The quote reads the same as the title.)

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A day-dreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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App #review – #Gratitude Garden

These day’s we have Apps for everything. We have Apps to help our babies sleep, there are Apps to read our news on, Apps for our fitness and Apps and Apps. What about an App to make you happy?
Happiness, it’s a bit vague. It’s subjective. It’s elusive and you’d say there is no App for that.

Well actually, and I’ll quote this straight from the App I’m writing this review on:

“One of the most effective ways that people can make themselves happier is to note down each day three good things that happened to them. Most people spend more time worrying about problems in their lives, rather than about thinking what has made them happy. Research indicates that the act of recalling and writing down what has gone well each day helps give people a positive outlook and greater self-esteem.”

This act of writing down three good things is generally referred to as a gratitude journal. Now for anyone who has been following my blog for a while, will know that I believe in the power of gratitude. In today’s society there’s way too much attention on everything else, but the simple act of being thankful. This small seeming thing can shift your entire perspective and can help you on the road to happiness. Note, I say help you on the road. It’s not the only thing. Perhaps like I recently read it could be one of many things, one 5% contribution towards beating depression & melancholy. Er, maybe this one gets 10%.

Here’s where an App can come in handy. You could certainly jot down three good things in a plain paper journal but an App on your phone has definite benefits. Not only can you jot down three things any time without having to take your paper journal with you, but there are some things an App can do that a paper journal can’t. The App I enjoy in this regard is called Gratitude Garden. It is available both on the Google Play store for Android and on iTunes for Apple devices.

It’s quite easy to use. You simply hit the Start button and jot down three things for which you are grateful, good things that happen.

Reading much personal growth, self-help type of things I know that one breaks bad habits by rewarding good ones. It seems to me this App was designed with this in mind.

If the reward of being grateful is not big enough for you, each time you have written down three things you get 50 points. Once you have collected a certain amount of points you can select an animal to put in your Garden. The Garden consists of beautiful artwork. What also set’s this App apart from the rest is the little “select a card” feature which pops up after you have entered your three items. These cards are mindful little reminders of positivity. Honestly, this feature is what I enjoy most about this App.

And like any good gratitude journal app, this one does not neglect to send you little reminders to be grateful. Reminders are in the form of one of your previous good things which you jotted down. Unlike any of the modern App’s – this one does not pester you with Pop-Up adds. It’s absolutely for free (well apart from your data used to download the App) The only way I can see the developer benefiting from the App is in that there are links to her website under the Courses & Coaching tab and information tab. Seriously, that’s not intrusive at all.

It’s a seriously good App to have. So thank you to Izzy McRae for designing it and Neville Sattentau for the beautiful artwork.

P.S.Neither of these people has asked me to review the App. I do so because I feel it could be of benefit to anyone reading this post. Also, this is my way of saying thank you.
Copyright on above screenshots from the App is used per fair use.


NanoPoblano 2017

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.
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writing myself into wellness