Tag Archives: parenting

As a child, what was your favorite fairy tale?

I wanted to ask what your favorite bedtime story was as a child,  but then not all of us were read to. Reading was not a big thing in my own upbringing. But we did have an old vinyl record with several fairy tales on it.  And we had a TV. Later, once I could read I could discover fairy tales for myself.

I’ve always loved them, in general, but had a particular fondness for a select few.

book-1014197_1920

1. Cinderella

First on my list was Cinderella.  The original version,  not the Disney movie. I loved when Cinderella visits her mother’s grave and could request anything from the tree growing on it. Then later Cinderella leaves her mean step-sisters behind to go live a dream life. What’s not to like?

2. Disney’s – The Little Mermaid

The second was The Little Mermaid. The movie came out when I was about 7, or at least at that time it became very popular.  I later went to our school library to loan a fairy tale collection with the original version just cause was curious as to where Disney came up with their plot. The original was somewhat sad really if I recall. But obviously, in Disneyland, everyone lives happily ever after. Now, who doesn’t want to be a Mermaid?

3.  The valiant little tailor

The third fairy tale I loved is titled: the valiant little tailor. Now here is a fairy tale Disney should adopt into an animation.  It’s got all the trademarks of an excellent tale. It ends happily ever after. There’s believing in yourself and the subsequent overcoming of impossible odds sown into the plot. And, personal growth of the protagonist as a result.

So, what about you? What was your favorite fairy tale?

This post links to a month’s long daily blogging challenge, during November. See who else has signed up to be a Little Pepper HERE. It’s called NANO POBLANO/ NaBloPoMo.

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:


instagrampinterestfacebook

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Advertisements

How transformational is the ugly little duckling, really? How this fairy tale actually relates to life.

MiniMe recently requested one of the stories in the H.C. Anderson collection of fairy-tales. As the title suggests, it was of-cause the tale of the Ugly Duckling. The Anderson fairy-tales are one of the most well-known across the globe. Many have been translated into different languages. My own book is written in German, so pardon me if I don’t quote it.

The ugly little duckling is known as a story of transformation. During my own childhood my older sister reference that story when I was feeling down because I was the ugly little duckling in my class.
“The ugly girls, turn into really beautiful girls just like in the ugly duckling,” she once said.
I was around the age of 10 at the time. “So then, the beautiful girls turn into ugly ducks when they grow up?”
My sister hesitated before she answered, “Em no. The beautiful girls become even more beautiful.”
What’s the use, I thought. Compared to them, I will always remain ugly.

 I haven’t really given the story much thought since then, until now. You never really analyze a fairy-tale until your offspring requests you read it for the umpteenth time.
Perhaps we’d understood the story wrong. It’s not really a tale of transformation.

swanling

Hatched by a mother duck who had to sit a bit longer on this somewhat larger egg, the ugly little duckling looks nothing like his brothers and sisters. Thus he is bullied by everyone.

Soon, he starts believing what others say about him. No matter where he goes, he has a hard time fitting in because of his negative self-reflection. If only he could be more handsome. Then, all the other characters in that story would accept him.

At one point he lands in a house with a cat, hen and old woman. When he tells the hen that he would like to go swim, she calls him crazy. He should try and be more like herself or the cat. No longer being able to resist his desire he rushes outside to swim. Then for the first time, he sees these stunning swans flying away for the winter season. He calls out to them in longing, not understanding why.

Eventually, after surviving the cold winter, the duckling lands in a lake where some swans are swimming. Yearning to be close to them, he risks swimming at their side. At first, he thinks these majestic birds will kill him for being so ugly. However, once he takes a peek at his reflection in the water he notices that he is no longer an ugly duckling. He is one of them. He is a swan.

Swaninsliverreflection

While it is true the ugly little chick transforms into a beautiful swan, this “duckling” was never a duckling, to begin with. From the very start, he was a swan. And try as hard as a swan may, he could never be anything else but a swan. Problem was, the swan was never told he was a swan. Had he grown up with other swans, he may not have been made to believe he was ugly.

How often is our life not like that of this confused swan? We come into this world not knowing who we really are. We are made to believe the lies we hear about ourselves. We try to fit in. We try our utmost hardest to be more like the hen or the cat. Sadly, many of us never make it past this point. But some of us survive the cold winter.

Suddenly we can see our reflection. It becomes clear that we are a swan and never were a duck. And then, finally then when we realize who we truly are. We marvel and stop trying to be anything which we are not.

It stops mattering what the hen thinks, what the cat thinks, what all of the other ducks think. We are a swan. So what, we did not fly away for the winter! Still swan. Swan. Swan.

***

NanoPoblano 2017

This post links to a month’s long daily blogging challenge, during November. See who else has signed up to be a Little Pepper HERE. It’s called NANO POBLANO / NaBloPoMo.

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:

instagrampinterestfacebook

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

How to overcome relationship disaster taught to us by bedtime stories

“I also want to marry a prince,” my five-year old said when I finished reading her a bedtime story. It does not really matter which one, Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty all have a common plot. In the end Prince Perfect shows up and rescues the damsel.

two porcelain frogs

Is it then really such a huge surprise that we create this expectation of a perfect partner in our growing children, even one called Prince? When I was growing up there were two such princes. One is called Prince Harry, the other Prince William. I’m of cause referring to Princess Diana’s two boys, one who will inherit the British royal throne. I clearly remember telling my father “that’s the one I’ll marry one day,” while watching the Telly. And realize I live half way across the globe, in the middle of nowhere Southern Africa.

It is a fairytale and at some point we realize that Prince Perfect does not exist. Or do we?

I had a discussion with an unmarried colleague the other day. There was a debate about whether one should be married or not.

“I guess I’ll never get married,” she said and paused. “I just always have this idea of the perfect man in my head and they always disappoint me.”

If this is you at nearly forty, then well I hate to break it to you. Yes, they are going to disappoint you. Why? Because, not even Prince William is perfect.

Such expectations in relationships are dangerous things. They set up the relationship to fail. And some of us take a very long time, if ever to find this truth.

So if you are still singing like Fairground Attraction (that’s a music group), that, “it’s got to be Perfect”, perhaps you need to change your tune.

Mister wrong is not necessarily wrong, because he is not perfect. He may be wrong, because you have an unrealistic expectation. You can’t change someone to meet your expectations.

Imagine someone has that expectation of you. My brother, poor guy, who grew up with two sisters used to say he’d only ever date the perfect woman. This lady, needed to always look pretty, never pass gas – of any kind, be polite. Did I mention she was not allowed to perform disgusting bodily functions such as pass gass? Oh yea. It’s right there. Basically he was describing a robot.

Here’s the thing. Mister right may not be perfect. Neither are you. But, maybe , just maybe you are perfect for each other.

*Frog image by: https://pixabay.com  –   Alexas_Fotos-686414

p.s. This post has been the eleventh day of ‘it does not need to be perfect’, a series I’m currently running on this here blog.

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:

instagrampinterestfacebook

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Why blog? The answer may surprise you

They say that life is a lesson, you’ll learn when you are through. Similarly, they say, life is a journey. Blogging can take you on a journey too. I’ve often been asked why I spend time doing something that earns me no money. Sometimes I ask myself that question. After all, by now, it seems like wishful thinking that I will ever earn an income from blogging.

How I started blogging:

It was the year 2013. The economy had started seriously slumping as too my emotions. Mother to a toddler, finances weren’t looking so fabulous. When do finances ever look fabulous?

When you raise a child, you really start noticing the cost of things. More than anything, I wished I could somehow supplement my income. At the time, getting another job was out of the question. Parenting will do that to you. Where will a new employer understand that your toddler is sick and you need to take her to the doctor, again? For a woman, I receive some good benefits and should not complain. I earn better than many other women I know. Then again, some more women I know also earn much more than me, but those are the ones who actually had the opportunity to go and study at a University outside the country.

Making money online, is all too easy – or is it?

Life is hard when you feel anxiety at the mere thought of going out and doing new things. Earning an extra income on the internet seemed like such an easy thing. After all, all those online adverts were telling me it is so, so easy making bucket loads of cash if I just sign up here or there.

Online surveys – yay or nay?

Even then, I was not that naive. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Most likely online swindles! I was looking for something legitimate. At some point, I signed up with several websites for doing online surveys.
While this may be an ideal supplementary income if you live in the U.S. of A. or Europe, none of the offers was for my region. I was never what they were looking for. I soon found out that each and every survey I clicked on was not one I could get paid for doing. How frustrating!

Eventually, I signed up with another website. This website was a bit different from the others. Among other things, they advertised that if you put their button on your blog, they would pay you for that. The idea was born. Blog!

What is a Blog, anyway?

First I needed to figure out what a blog actually was. Yes, I was that green. I googled “what is a blog”. At that point my idea of a blog was some famous person such as an author or actor, telling their fans all about their life. After all, I was already following the ramblings of one or two of my favorite authors.

Who would ever be interested in reading my ramblings? Ordinary, not famous girl, living in Africa! What in the heck, would I even blog about? My life is not all that. So I researched ‘blogging’.

I read that a blog was similar to a website and that many websites I visited were actually blogs. The blogging professionals told me to find a niche. A topic I knew a lot about. At the time there were two main free blogging platforms. One was Blogger and the other was WordPress.

So, in February of 2014, I started a blog on Blogger. It was about Office Administration. At that point, I’d been working in the field of Office Administration for ten years. I thought I would have several things to say on the subject. Indeed, coming up with content was easy. However, I was not the only one blogging on that subject. Many established blogs already existed in the field of Office Admin. I soon started thinking; how can I be more interesting than all the rest?

A month later I also started a blog on WordPress. I mainly wanted to see the difference between these two platforms and promote my Blogger blog on WordPress and build better Social Media connections.

As they say, the rest is history. Both of the blogs I started have since been shut down.

woman-typing-blog

Blogging is a good teacher

While I’m yet to earn anything from blogging, I’ve found it to be a useful tool for personal growth. Apart from the obvious expansion of knowledge that looking up information brings, reading and writing blogs opens your eye’s to many a thing you’d before not taken notice of.  Experiences by other people can teach you many things while documenting your own is very illuminating. In a world where personal growth is a multi-million-dollar industry, this one free tool really does wonders. Of cause it all depends on how you use the platform, and like anything in life what you make of it is up to you.

You learn the strangest things about yourself and the world you live in. In my opinion, this is priceless.

I’ve learned that I don’t really like Google’s ‘AdSense’ nor the WordPress counterpart, ‘WordAds’. While there are other alternatives, none of the ones I’ve discovered work for my country (typical).

The problem I have with these programs is that you have little control over what kind of ads are placed on your blog. I’ve come across ads for fake news websites, fake celebrity gossip, diet scams and other websites with dubious intentions. Rest assured that if you see an add on this blog, it is because I’ve not upgraded it to a premier account. In case you have not read my disclaimer, in no way do I endorse any of these ads.

In trying to figure out how others monetize their blog,  these days I approach new websites differently. I evaluate a site by what it seems to be trying to sell me. I also find that I’m doing the same with new people I meet online and offline. Trying to figure out if someone has a hidden agenda was never something I used to consider. In this way, blogging has made me a little less naive, which in my opinion is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, people still tell me that I’m very gullible – since I try to see the best in everyone, but still … a little less green.

I’ve learned that there are some posts, that, even if you paid me, I’d never publish them. For example, I can’t endorse a money lending business on my own blog. I hate debt. While I do find that it is necessary sometimes, we often loan money for unnecessary things.

I’ve found websites and social media platforms, which I’d never have used and visited on my regular surfing trails. I’ve learned that especially on social  media platforms we ought to not forget our manners (even though many do). You can’t really erase anything you have published online.

I’ve learned that while I may be good at Office Administration, writing about it on a regular basis is not mentally stimulating enough. On the other hand, I’ve found that writing as a creative outlet is something I enjoy doing. It was a discovery that really surprised me, about myself.

Among the millions of bloggers out there, I still wonder how I can be fascinating enough for anyone to follow.
It is still beyond me that anyone would be interested in reading anything this girl, who lives an ordinary life in Africa, would have to say. Regardless, I love the voice blogging has given me.

What about you, what has blogging thought you?

P.S. This is the third day of ‘it does not need to be perfect,‘ a series I’m currently running on this blog.

 

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:

instagrampinterest

facebook

twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Thankfully coffee: The baby, the diaper and the healthy fizzy drink

If we were having coffee, I’d offer you a homemade rusk. Sorry, no Christmas cookies. I’ve not come around to baking any and most likely I won’t. It’s been a month, how doeth time fly?
How does time fly indeed? The year is almost on its back and we have one extra little human in our house.
“I can’t believe it! It seems like only yesterday you told us you were expecting”, one of my relatives said as she called to congratulate me.
“It’s been 9 months”, I said.

As you dunk your rusk, into your coffee (or possibly rooibos tea), I’d probably be showing off the little man. My heart is overflowing with gratitude. Mini-Me is just as pleased to be a big sister. Although, I think, she was expecting someone a little more playful and a little less sleepy.
“Give it some time,” I tell her.
I’d sincerely hope you don’t want to know the in-depth detail of the birth? If you asked I’d probably reply, “do you really want to listen to this particular horror story?” Natural births generally aren’t all that pretty.
I’ve written it out none the less and am wondering: if I should post it, if I should give it away as a guest post or if I should just let it be. It seems a waste to the all but five readers of this here little space on the interweb. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons you have not seen me write much of late here.
Granted I’ve been too busy breastfeeding, cleaning up the poopy baby bottom and catching up on sleep to give my lack of enthusiasm much thought. All three things for which I’m thankful. Yes, even cleaning of baby poop gets a thankful vote, since I have the diapers to throw away after they have been contaminated. Yes, I know I’m polluting the earth with all those nappies, but washing diapers . . . Maybe that is something I can try when the little man does not soil more than 10 diapers a day.

If we were having coffee, we might discuss my maternity benefits. We could possibly discuss what our Social Welfare pays out to new mothers (who are on maternity leave). My claim seems to have been handled without a hitch. Something to be sincerely thankful for. Considering that this is Africa, the benefit is really good too.

As I offer you another rusk, I’d thank you for the gift you brought for the baby. Everybody who’s been over for coffee has been very generous. I recently found out that in some of our local cultures it is a taboo to meet a new baby without offering a present first.

As per the usual discussion topics, we’d wonder over to the weather which has been hot and relentlessly dry. It’s this kind of heat which makes you thirst for something cold. I’d offer you a refreshing sip of my husband’s homemade kefir juice.
Kefir is something more I can be thankful for. We drink a glass each day of the milk variety. For those not in the know, kefir is natural milk culture. It forms grains which are used to make drinking type yogurt. It’s high in probiotics which have all kinds of health benefits. These grains can also be converted into what is called a water kefir. From this one can make the kefir juice, which is slightly fizzy.
I’m  sure as we continued chatting, we’d find many things to laugh about. Laughter is always something to be thankful for. I’ve recently started re-reading a book and have had many laugh-out-loud moments. Sometimes I’ve got to be careful not to startle my son awake.
10-Things-of-Thankful-badge
If we were having coffee I’d thank you for stopping by. It has been good catching up. I’d tell you to catch up with other bloggers over coffee on the #WeekendCoffeeShare. You can also catch up on what bloggers are thankful for on the #10Thankful.

 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:

instagrampinterest

facebook

twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

#Weeklysmile where there is never a lack of things to write about…

There is never a lack of things to write about. Seriously.

I’ve been too exhausted (for lack of a stronger word), to even read five sentences never mind string two words together. Pair that with my need to suddenly whip out my sewing machine and try some DIY projects (which were epic fails) – there was simply nothing left in me to even look at the computer screen.

Oh, we are not going to mention the blood pressure, the chronic sinus infection or the fact that I’m in my third trimester. I don’t complain too much about the havoc pregnancy is been having on my body. It simply seems wrong to moan about that, when I’m really happy about having a baby soon. Pair that with the fact that quite a few people in my inner circle have been struggling with conceiving one of their own, or their life circumstances just never added up – I think complaining would be a slap in the face.

Obviously, they’d notice the difficult way I get up and the slow manner in which I’ve been walking. It is all good, though. So long as I have a healthy baby I’ll bear it with a big grin on my face. It’s something to smile about.

new-baby-gift-bag

Talking about my friends and family – they recently threw me a surprise baby shower. Whoop! Big smiles all around, because my hospital bag was still lacking in some small items. When my doctor sent me to the hospital for some tests yesterday, I was very relieved to have finished packing the hospital bag. I almost thought I would have to have the baby one whole month early. Sheesh!

Turns out to be nothing that drastic so I was sent home. I should try to rest up before the due date.
I felt somewhat bad and stressed out about that, because I was only scheduled to go on Maternity leave in a weeks’ time. In an abrupt manner, I dumped all my workload on my colleague, for whom I feel super sorry. Such is life and sometimes we need to just roll with the punches.

Alas, Darlings – I felt to drop by here for a quick hello. The Weekly Smile link up hosted by Trent seemed like the perfect opportunity to drop by.
Moreover, since there is never a lack of things to write about, I may drop by a little more (but no promises, though). I have got ,like, so, many things floating about in my head; the abstract roller-coaster in my head is making me dizzy.
And in case you missed it, y’all should listen to Annette’s interview on “Tell me a Story” with Jo Robinson. As a writer, she understands the fact that there is never a lack of things to write about. Jo is an excellent writer, so the interview gave me something to smile about.

 

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:

instagrampinterest

facebook

twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

#WeeklySmile – sleep tight

You are never fully dressed without a smile! And guess what? It is contagious. So tread carefully, you may just catch a smile if you continue reading….

I really wanted to be part of Trent’s first #weeklysmile link up.  If there is one thing that can make me smile, even in my darkest day –  it is the little bright spark in my universe. I went digging through my old blog and found this poem to share with all of you, which I originally wrote in June of 2014. The poetry may not be the best, but the sentiment behind it still rings true.

Sleep tight

I wake, to watch you sleeping.

You are far away and dreaming…

Your small hands look for mine…

You wrap them around my finger…

 

You have your head on my chest.

Your ear close to my heart.

The beats lolling you on to dreamland.

I struggle not to shower you with kisses.

 

Little mouth, little nose and rosy cheeks.

Sleep now my little dreamer, sleep tight.

Tomorrow you awake to bring energy into my life.

For now you shine light into my heart.

Sweet dreams. And kisses I cannot resist to give.

I love you.

weeklysmile1