Leah and How To Deal with Rejection.

In the Book of Genesis, we come across a woman by the name of Leah. Now Leah’s story is the epitome of rejection. Her husband was tricked into marrying her and, when he found out, he was rather upset since he was in love with her younger sister and had made arrangements to marry her. Poor Leah had an eye problem. All we can gather is what Genesis tells us, “Leah was tender-eyed” which could mean anything. Leah’s story, however, has little to do with her eyes and more to do with the way she was rejected by her husband. She bore him 10 strong sons, while her sister was barren. I can only imagine how desperate she was to please him, but nothing worked. Sometimes rejection can make you desperate for acceptance no matter what happens or whether or not that acceptance will ever come.

What is Rejection?

Let’s start by defining rejection. Rejection, simply put, is the act of pushing someone or something away. It could be anyone from a family member, friends, boyfriend or girlfriend. It could be on a large scale or just every day occurrences that can cause you to feel rejection. This rejection can be hard to deal with. Rejection can lead to feelings of sadness, shame or grief. These emotions can be caused by a few things such as the end of a relationship, few or no friends, adoption (abandonment) or a parent leaving. It can even be something as simple as losing a job or a position in your company. It could even be a bad interview at a college.

Accompanying rejection, is the fear thereof. This can cause you to cut off yourself off entirely from other people because you are afraid they will reject you. Although this may help you deal with your fear of rejection, it can also cause you to feel emotions such loneliness and depression. Disorders associated with rejection can be BPD (borderline personality disorder)/EUPD (emotionally unstable personality disorder) and AVPD (avoidant personality disorder). BPD/EUPD can lead to self-harm while AVPD can cause harm to your work and personal relationships.

How do I deal with it?

There are many ways to deal with rejection, but it does take time to recover from rejection. The first step is allowing yourself to feel the emotions that accompany the rejection as well as to process what’s happened. You need to identify what these emotions are and how to deal with them and from there you can start to get over the pain of the rejection. Making a list of all your positive attributes can help draw your head out of the cycle of negative emotions. Ask yourself “What makes me great?” and from there compose your list. This simple act of jotting down all your positive attributes on paper is a great way to inspire positive thoughts and restore your confidence.

The next thing you need to ask yourself is: “Why?” Why was I rejected? What did I do? This isn’t always the case in some relationships, but if you suddenly find yourself in a situation where you have no friends you may want to know why. This is always helpful even if just for your benefit. Asking yourself if there were things you could’ve done differently is never bad, just as long as you remember it’s for your benefit not to create self-hate. Don’t be so harsh on yourself and whatever you do–DON’T CRITIZE YOURSELF! That is not the point in checking your heart, besides there if nothing is wrong, you’ll only end up hurting yourself even if you’ve done nothing wrong or becoming bitter towards everybody. If you’ve had a bad first date or had a terrible visit with a friend or family member it is extremely important to avoid this as it can cause you to prevent further visits or dates with people and this can cause you to have AVPD where you find yourself unable to work or relate to other people.

The last thing and the most important thing is to have loving friends who will support you and keep you from falling into a pit of self-criticism and hate. It’s a known fact that some good old-fashioned girl talk is the best remedy for getting over hurt or rejection. Men are no different. Going out with the boys is a great way to get over something that has hurt you. Something as simple as an uplifting text can be enough. Visiting a friend can actually make you forget what was wrong in the first place. If you’re a person on call centre or a telemarketer, it’s sometimes hard to be objective and not to take it personally. I’ve worked on call centre and have done thousands of cold calls. It’s often hard to accept that inevitable click in your ear when they drop the call, but remember you’ve done nothing wrong.

Conclusion

We’ve spoken about the impact rejection can have on you and how to deal with it. We all suffer rejection in our lives, but it should never stop you from being brave and doing what you want. Remember at the end of the day, this is for your benefit and no one else. Dealing with rejection is never easy and it’s not easy to overcome, but remember you are not alone. Millions of people across the globe have felt that familiar sting. If you ever feel alone or like you’re a reject, give a friend a phone call or listen to some really uplifting music and think positive uplifting thoughts.

The best way to deal with rejection is to face it and move on to better things.

God bless all of you, my precious avidReaders

THE WALL

I had to share this story. It’s beautiful.

: Many years ago, in a village on the border between Germany and Denmark, lived a man named Karl Schmidt, together with his wife, Mona, and his grandmother, Bertha.

One winter’s night, a cry of warning rang through the quiet village. “The enemy is coming! Flee! Flee for your lives!” People burst out of their cottage doors to see refugees pouring into the village. These poor people had fled from the village a distance away. “They’re burning and killing. If you don’t flee, you’ll also be destroyed!”

Karl looked at the frightened children and women, and at the silent men as they hurried past. He knew it was no use to flee. It was so cold that he was sure they would freeze to death before the night was over. Karl turned to his family.

“We will stay here and see what happens to us.”

Bertha looked at her grandson, “Karl, we won’t die. God will be our protection.” Frau Schmidt reached for her well-worn Bible and turned to the Psalms. Then she read: “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them…The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles…Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all.”

Karl was amazed at his grandmother’s faith. How could she believe these ancient words when death was staring her in the face? Mona sobbed silently, but the old grandmother grew more and more confident with every passing hour. Outside, a storm whistled and raged. Then, the wind stilled somewhat. At midnight, they heard tramping and shouting in the distance. Bertha prayed softly, “Oh, Lord, build a wall around us!”

Suddenly horrible shrieks pierced the night, and there was the sound of crackling flames. Destruction surrounded them, but in the cottage all was still. Eventually, the noise drifted away. Karl did not allow his wife and mother to move. Quietly, they waited in their cold room, till at last, it was morning. He couldn’t understand why the enemy had not touched them. Karl put one eye to the slit. Then he threw the windows wide open.

“Praise God, Grandmother! Here indeed is your wall!” Outside all they could see was snow. During the storm, the snow had been driven completely over the tiny cottage, hiding it from the eyes of the army.

Frau Schmidt looked at the glistening wall and declared:

“Faithful is He who has promised: He also has done it!”

—Footprints of Providence, J. McR

God bless, all my precious avids.

How Long Is This Call?

I’m sure you’ve all had that day where you’ve had to sit on the phone for ages waiting for someone to answer on the other side or perhaps you’re the kind that loves to check their social media daily every minute. I’m not confessing to anything here. I can neither confirm nor deny the time I spend daily on my phone. I’m on a call centre and our call lines most days are bezerk. It makes the day fly by, though, so there’s that to be grateful for. Now, honestly how long does the average person sit on a phone call? Whether we use Whatsapp or phone normally, researchers in Tennessee noted that we check our phones every 10 minutes, that works out to about 96 times daily–scary right? I don’t often make phone calls, but when I do they are often very long. Friends, family or purely business that’s still a lot of calls. Shocked? Maybe you didn’t realize that your “quick” call was such a big deal. Although this was a survey conducted on Americans, it’s still scary. Don’t think because you live somewhere else this doesn’t apply to you–IT DOES. We all spend too much time on our phones. As I mentioned above, for some it’s business, for others pleasure. We have allowed these devices to control us.

I remember at my previous work place our boss said that we all (us millennials at least) have what is called “screen addiction”. The more I look at children my age and much, much younger, the more I realize that we, as a people, have become addicts to this phone screen. We live on social media. Now, look, it’s not necessarily wrong to use phones. What’s wrong is our dependence on them. We use them for music, play, communication. Communication–this is where social media comes into play.

If you haven’t had to sit on the phone lines for a long time count yourself lucky. Most people have to wait and wait and wait…AND wait. Trust me nothing kills you more on the inside like hearing the same tune over and over and still having poor service. It’s not all bad news though, the service of some companies make it all the worthwhile. They make that ringtone less painful.

In my job nothing kills me more than if I can’t help someone. I can imagine for myself the frustration I would feel as that person on the other end of the line. On that note, I best get moving. I have work to do.

God bless all of you, my precious avids.

Make My Day!

Courtesy of Shutterstock 🙂

Anyone know what a busy day is like? Stupid question. We all do. We all know what it is like to be run off your feet. Can I tell you something I’ve tested? The tip I gave you earlier about starting your day off on the right foot and disconnecting even if for a bit–guys, it works! I listen to music during the day and I start it off with music, too. It’s not completely disconnecting, but I try not to stream and I’ve managed to keep my socials off for a hour before I get up. Otherwise your morning starts off with feeling the urge to answer someone. Going to bed at 9 also makes a big difference. I was told that I had to be at 9. I thought to myself, “I’m not a child!” Turns out I was mistaken about the whole point.

Another thing that makes your day great is exercise. I’ve been doing sit-ups (or at least when I remember) and it makes all the difference as well as putting on music and just laying on the floor staring at nothing. Sometimes you just need lay on the floor and stare at nothingness. Also, I want to start doing my devotions at 6 am. Sitting on my chair in my room with all my pillows and just reading the Scriptures and staring out the window. The rain also makes all the difference, if you can watch it in all its beauty–DO. I know a lot of people get depressed by the rain, but nothing makes me happier than waking up in the morning to a beautiful rain. It makes a clean crisp air that makes you feel alive.

There are many things that can make your day. Mine is singing, dancing, writing, early mornings, chatting with old school friends and playing with my doggies. If you follow me on Instagram, you will see I post often about my girls.

Whatever makes your day, make sure you do it often. Some people love gardening, others love drawing (I love colouring in) and some people just love going out for a latte and reading a book. My mother reads books when she wants to relax and my father watches YouTube videos that teach him Photoshop logo designs. I also find doing certain housework brings on a peaceful monotony allowing you to focus on the moment–nothing before, nothing after. Doing laundry and washing dishes (if you can get me to do it) is my tranquility. Cooking is something else that can relax you since it can bring out your more creative side.

I’ve given a few things that make my day. If you have any other ideas, share in the forums or in the comments. I’ll be waiting 😊☕

God bless all of you, my precious avidReaders. Go long and go strong!

Stress and How To Cope

image provided by IdeaScale

Well to be honest, how do any of us deal with work? Well, we just move on, don’t we? We take our calming pills, drink coffee (which we really shouldn’t, but we do anyway), take up smoking or drinking and sometimes even take a break in the bathroom where we just cry our hearts out. If you start to over-eat, it can be a problem, too. All of these can be healthy or unhealthy.

Something else that can also severely affect your stress and coping mechanisms–chronic stress and anxiety. When you’ve reached this point, it becomes harmful to your physical state and your emotional state. Some people can’t deal with the stress and have to go onto medication to deal with the stress. Turning to drugs or even suicide is something that is not impossible for people dealing with this problem. I know of at least person I’ve met who actually ended up developing a severe mental problem.

Now first off, don’t think you can do this alone–you can’t. We all need someone to help us. There’s no shame in needing help.

There are a few things that can set you up for work-related stress. These things are low salaries, unreasonable work expectations, few opportunities for growth or advancement, a boring job, no social support from co-workers or your boss, having a lack in control in your work decisions and being unsure of what your job is.

If you have any of the above, don’t be surprised–we all do. These stressors can cause a variety of physical issues such as headaches, stomachaches, sleep disturbances, short temper and lack of concentration. When I go under extreme stress I get stomachaches and nausea; I know how you feel it’s not something to sneeze at.

Stress can set off a vicious chain reaction causing a host of problems such as chronic anxiety and a weakened immune system. Ever wondered why you get sick when you’re stressed? Stop wondering, now you know. However, there are ways to deal with these stressors. Before you can deal with them, ask yourself “avidWriter, why are you stressed?” Once you know why and how you respond to it, you can do something about it. Whenever I get stressed my mother chases me out the office and says to go walk or get coffee, just as long as I’m out and moving around. I’m also recording and keeping track of how I feel or how I responded to someone or something.

Among the various ways to deal with stress exercise has proven to be useful in dealing with stress. Yoga is a good way to deal with stress as it teaches you to breathe and thus calm yourself down. I do sit-ups to chill out. Exercise helps. If you have a hobby (like I do blogging and playing Sims) that can also be a means to help you deal with your stress. Sleep–good sleep can also aid in dealing with stress. If you stop drinking coffee in the afternoon and stop using all electronic devices in the evening you’ll also find you have reduced anxiety and stress levels and it also helps you sleep. Also setting boundaries such as “I’m available from 8:00 – 16:00 and not before or after” is also a good way to reduce stress. Take a break; relax and just be. Living in the moment can reduce your stress because in the end all the work stress is going to be pointless.

As scary and hard as it may seem, play open cards with your boss/supervisor. Afterall, any changes made to your environment whether emotional or physical can make you feel less stressed and thus make your boss happier since you will be more productive. Starting your morning off on the right foot is another very important. Look in the mirror and maybe say something positive about yourself or listen to a song that immediately cheers you up. I’ve started a new technique where I don’t stream anything in the morning instead once I’m up and properly awake I play music (my Jack Russell loves my music, too) while I get ready and sometimes even sing along. It really helps to start my day off right.

There many other things you can try such as avoiding conflict. In my previous job I did my utmost to stay clear of drama. It did nothing for my well-being to be either causing drama or actively trying to get involved in it. I don’t care what your motives are, getting embroiled in others affairs definitely contributes to your stress levels. Sometimes you can’t avoid office politics, when this happens be careful how you deal with it.

Clutter, the bane of my existence. If you’re like me, nothing irks you more than being in a messy, cluttered environment. It inhibits your ability to think clearly and may make you feel claustrophobic. Being comfortable at work, more specifically at your desk, can also make all the difference in the world. If you are uncomfortable in your office space, this will cause you to be unsettled and can cause you to feel stressed. Another thing to avoid is multitasking. This was always a praiseworthy trait, but it has now become something that only makes you feel frazzled and can cause severe detriment to your mental sanity. There is, however an alternative called “chunking”.

What is chunking? Simply put it is the grouping of data into larger sets we can remember for example license plates and phone numbers. When phone numbers are put together it makes it easier because instead of having to remember individual numbers it can be remembered by its grouping together with other numbers. 072, 082, 012 and other older numbers are all remembered easily since you will always remember that certain numbers go together in pre-determined patterns. This enables us to hack our brains and increase our memory. Another way to keep track of what you have to do is to write it down–EVERYTHING. It sounds annoying and time-consuming, but trust me when I say this forgetting something is worse.

PRIORITIZE! I can not stress this enough. When you have multiple things going through the mind all the time you go into crisis mode. This crisis mode causes even more stress since you are no longer in control of your situation and have now forgotten most of what you had to do.

You can do all sorts of things to remain stress free such as taking walks, listening to music on the way home and so many more. “Stress is a killer” is not just a phrase. It’s a sad truth.

In the immortal words of MIKA, “Relax, take it easy.” Don’t let life get you down–you got this.

God bless you, all my precious avids. Keep well and safe 💖

What’s ADD like?

A lot of people have this plague of a disease. Yes, it’s a plague. I speak from experience. I’m on Omegas and Neurovance just so that I remember to make my parents coffee or what tasks to do at work. If I make a mistake, I don’t even remember doing it. Yes, I know it sounds like dementia–trust me, it’s not. My brain has a great memory, but, as my father would say, an even better forgettory. So, what’s it like inside my head? Well, let’s begin with my morning.

When I wake up if I do not have a set routine, I forget to take my medication, brush my teeth and, yes, often put on deoderant. It’s really embarrassing let me tell you. If I am away from home I have to sometimes set alarms, otherwise I’ll forget to do something. It sometimes feel like I’m navigating through a maze in my own head.

Please don’t think that because you forget something once in a while you have ADD, you probably don’t. With life being as rushed as it is for everybody, forgetting something here and there is inevitable. What I’m talking about is sitting in a meeting watching the speaker’s mouth move, but you’re far away. You have to keep bringing yourself back to what the meeting is and in the process of doing that you find yourself down a rabbithole in your thoughts.

If you’re like me, then you feel the need to assert control over your situation in order so you know what to do and when. Unfortunately, we never have control over our situations. In my case, I recommend a notebook or diary. Someone actually recommended this to me and it saved my life. Now all my thoughts are organized on paper and I get so much more done.

Multi-tasking

Don’t even try. Unless you have a list, having multiple thoughts or ideas running through your head all at once is a recipe for chaos. Doing things step by step I find works best for me. “Go to the kitchen. Get the sugar. Bring it here.” This is something my mother had to do with me when I was little because I would get there and forget what I was doing there. It’s really annoying now that I’m older. If you’re a parent and your child is doing something similar try that with them. It worked (and still works) for me.

School

Now here is where you see it the clearest. When I was in school we were very well structured. We had specific ways of doing certain things and since I was little this was ingrained in us. So for me the structure was bliss. Then came the silly mistakes. I felt like I was stupid all the time. A lot of kids with ADD feel this way and often a teacher can look at a child and call him lazy or undisciplined when in reality we can’t remember. I’d skip out words while working. I still do. Editing is my best friend when I write because I get to go back and say, “I missed that one. Whoops.” Although, I’d rather someone else do it most of the time.

My Math teacher almost throttled me when he found out I had dropped Mathematics. At the time I had 10 subjects and couldn’t drop any, so Math was something I just kept failing. I had three major study subjects as well as many others that took up so much of my time. I would work until 6/7 at night doing homework. Now I know that’s normal, but it was not normal for most of the kids in my school. I failed Math so often because of silly mistakes that it caused me to believe I was stupid and would always be. When you have ADD you tend to miss the finer details. You see the big picture, but forget to check the little details. This is where you will find the majority of your mistakes. This happens to me regularly. My mind will catch a thought and run with it and I can’t seem to focus on anything else. I become obsessive over it to the detriment of my other tasks.

How do I live with ADD?

The doctors will tell you all sorts of things. Take meds. With kids they’ll say let them learn through play. Make lists. Set reminders. This is all wonderful advice and it works, it really does. It’s just that not everyone is the same. The only time I can truly focus is with music or when I’m completely alone. I did my school work through most of high school with music. It helped block out the other kids and helped me tune into what I was doing and not what they were doing.

Routines are another thing that ADD sufferers need. Routine helps us go into a kind of auto-pilot mode. We don’t need to remember because it’s habit. It takes two weeks to form a habit. Just two weeks and once you’re in that routine, you will see everything will become so much easier to remember. The only trouble is if you’re taken out of that routine you may spiral and panic forgetting what you’re supposed to do. This is where lists (notebooks, sticky notes on the fridge, really whatever works for you) or alarms come in. You can arrange these to keep you in sync with your established routine. Having everything organized also helps so that you can think clearly and see everything you need instead of having to try and remember where you put it.

This works for me. I try to keep my living space and working area as clear as possible. This rule even extends to my closet. If there is too much in my closet or draws I can’t handle it. If I buy new clothes, I must throw out old ones. It’s a little compulsion, but also it works in my favour as I tend not to lose things or forget where I’ve put something.

I have not included any research in this blog. Everything I’ve said is from my own life experiences as someone with ADD. If you have any experiences you want to share. Start a feed or type something in the chat forum. 🙂 I’d love to hear from you guys.

God bless and have a lovely week.

Modern Art in the 20’s

I was talking with a friend on Saturday and it made me think that it’s about time I discuss art that isn’t cursed. Instead, I will be looking at a few famous artists of 2020. My descriptions will be quite brief as I I have selected specific artists from around the world and I will be attaching their links so you will be able to read up their full stories and see some of their artworks.

Donald Judd, New York.

image provided by artsy.net

Donald Judd has created many 3D, large-scale works with aluminium, steel and Plexiglass. Despite this, he has refused to be called a sculptor. He was big in pioneering the field of Minimalism. This year will be the first time in 30 years that the Museum of Modern Art in New York will be giving him a solo exhibition to showcase his works. Below is Judd’s works courtesy of artsy. You can find his artworks and where to purchase them if you’re an art aficionado. https://www.artsy.net/artist/donald-judd

Artemisia Gentileschi, London.

image provided by christies.com

Heralded as the best female Renaissance painter. She was granted a scholarship in the 1970’s and 1980’s, allowing her to enhance her painting skill. Due to a reassessment of female artists input in art history. Her art has a tendency to depict strong women performing acts of violence. Despite it being claimed that her artwork was an aftermath of being sexually assaulted, this has been brushed aside and she has been praised for the genius in her artworks. The National Gallery of London has managed to acquire her work, Self-portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (1615–17). Find her works and biography on https://www.artsy.net/artist/artemisia-gentileschi.

Otobong Nkanga, Berlin.

image provided by awarewomenartists.com

This famous Nigeria-born artist combines research, drawing, installation and performance. She uses these tools to explore the interdependent relationship between man and land. In her exploration of how various cultures interpret different parts of nature, she traces how various minerals, goods and people move. Find her works and full biography on https://www.artsy.net/artist/otobong-nkanga

Cao Fei, Beijing.

image provided by news.artnet.com

Cao Fei has started to emerge as one of China’s most important artists since the countries Cultural Revolution. She makes use of multimedia to address critical issues in pop culture, tech and urban development. Her 47-minute film, Haze and Fog(2013) explores her alienation from the world. In it she blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. Her UCCA presentation this year will be her first major solo exhibition in China. Find her works and biography on https://www.artsy.net/artist/cao-fei.

Alessandro Tomasetti, Barcelona.

image provided by kaifineart.com

A Canadian born painter now living in Barcelona. He paints seductive and subversive paintings of men making use of tenebrous palettes and dramatic lighting. Unlike other painters of the male form, Tomasetti depicts the men’s vulnerability and sensitivity. Instead he paints in the same fashion one would to paint a female subject. This is seen through his prose and styling, as well as the glints and reflections used his work. He is a revolutionary painter, going against the norms of society. For more on Alessandro Tomasettie and his artworks click on the attached link. https://alessandrotomassetti.com/

Max Frintrop, Germany

Image provided by dailycollector.org

Frintrop’s incredible bursts of colour and pigmentation create the boisterous and archetypal canvases he is known for. His paintings convey a sense of urgency and directness that only true virtuoso painters can create. Frintrop, originally born in Oberhausen, now lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany. His recent solo exhibitions among others took place in Cologne, Budapest and Brussels. Frintrop has also been included in many various selected art groups as a result of his work. For more on Frintrop go to:

https://www.artsy.net/artist/max-frintrop

Tomm El-Saieh, Haiti

image provided by www.tommelsaieh.com

El-Saieh’s prints are large and enveloping swaths of colour with almost linguistic patterns forming grid-like artworks. Haitian by origin, El-Saieh now lives and works in Miami. Building his own encyclopedia of artworks, he creates amalgamations of Haitian painters and abstract American artworks. He takes particular inspiration for his abstract works from Haitian historical artists such as Levoy Exil and Prosper Pierre Louis. Their verve and energy provided him with the needed nudge into near complete abstraction. El-Saieh will be having exhibitions in Miami and Los Angelos. He is also the co-director of the Central Fine run by artists in Miami. For more info on El-Saieh go to: https://www.artbasel.com/stories/elisa-turner-interview-tomm-el-saieh

Tal R, Israel

image provided by artsy.net

Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, currently living Denmark. Tal R was first known for his flamboyant colours and expansive imagery, his works constantly challenge the viewer’s knowledge of perspective and reflection. This technique causes the viewer to question the narrative based on what they know and see. A perfect example of this would be his solo exhibition entitled “Pink Road Through Forest” that took place in 2019. This exhibition takes the idea of visual theory and uses it to put the viewer in the middle of the artistic narrative. Visual theory employs a broad variety of mediums from sculpture and paintings to drawings or textile. This adds an intricacy in Tal R’s works by causing us to question our previously formed conceptions and presumptions of our surrounding reality. For more info on the artist and his works, go to: https://www.cheimread.com/artists/tal-r.

There are many great artists out there that have yet to be recognized. We used to tease my best friend about her art, saying that we would kill her then her art would be worth a fortune. Sadly for a lot of the famous artists of days gone-by this was a reality. Today, however, this is no longer a reality with new artists getting discovered daily. Using technology we are able to go further than any of our predecessors ever could. As demonstrated by the works of Cao Fei. We are able to use platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as well as a host of other platforms that are being established all the time. The friend who suggested this topic is herself an artist, for more on her art check out her page https://www.facebook.com/cmrencken/. She’s really talented, has a deep passion for art and is constantly exploring new mediums.

These are only a few of the new artists that have made their debut in the art world, but there are many more gifted artists out there. I recommend you look up some of these artists, with the advent of social media it makes it so much easier to discover new artists. I myself am following one I came across on Pinterest (you can find his work on my pinterest page, AvidUpdates).

If you liked this article and want me to do more on art, please let me know either via the social links below or on my new comment page.

God bless you all, my darling avidReaders.

Delicacies You’ve Probably Never Tried

We all know that every culture has foods that form the core of their customs and rituals. In this article I am going to through a few of these dishes and where they originated as well as a bit of the history behind some of these unique dishes.

BIRD NEST SOUP

Bird Nest Soup. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Our first dish takes us into Asia, more specifically, China and to a dish called Bird Nest Soup. This particular dish has also been called the “caviar of the east”. Contrary to what you may think, the soup does not contain sticks, but rather the bird’s saliva. The “nest” is covered in a light chicken broth and is a very rare and expensive dish ranging in price from anywhere between $30 to $100. It is the most expensive meat in the world!

FRIED TARANTULA

This is image is courtesy of thedailymean.com

Our next dish takes us into the land of Cambodia and to a dish, that for a long period, was considered an essential food due to the extreme poverty they experienced. This dish is fried tarantula. It was first discovered during Khmer Regime rule. These insects are deep-fried and seasoned with garlic and salt. This is not just any tourist or native delicacy–this is something that reminds Cambodians of their history and the trials they have endured during the Knmer Regime. The price of this treat is 8 cents per spider. Let’s put this into perspective, many poor Cambodians live on the same as $1 per day.

BALUT

Balut image provided courtesy of “primer.com.ph”

This next rare delicacy is found in the markets of the Phillipines. It is definitely something that bears mentioning. This dish is called Balut–an egg yolk with a twist, instead of raw egg yolk, it is a fertilized egg that has an almost-developed chicken or duck embryo. Balut is boiled and eaten right out of the shell, much like we would eat oysters. This dish can be found in the street markets and is purchased at $12 a dozen. Balut is often accompanied by a beer.

CASU MARZU/MAGGOT CHEESE

Casu Marzu image provided courtesy of “tasteatlas.com

This next dish takes us to the faraway land of Sardinia and to a specific type of cheese that will blow you away! Known to Sardinians as “Casu Marzu”, this dish contains live insect larvae. Now here’s where this dish gets interesting. As a result of the obvious health threats it presents, it has been banned. Essentially Pecorino, which has the cheese fly, Piophila casei, in it. The cheese is fermented as the maggots eat at the cheese fats. As a result, it becomes soft and creamy with liquid sometimes seeping out. This cheese has to be consumed while the larvae are still alive as once they die, they become toxic.

SANNAKJI

Sannakji image courtesy of “chicagoreader.com”

This particular dish is a raw dish consumed in Korea. Typically served as live octopus, Sannakji has been described by locals as a “party in your mouth” as the octopus essentially fights to preserve its own survival. Sannakji is cut into pieces, seasoned with sesame oil and served immediately with the tentacles still squirming.

PUFFIN HEART

Puffin Heart image courtesy of “telegraph.co.uk”

Sometimes called the “clown of the ocean” or “sea parrot”, the puffin is an adorable bird and something looked upon with wonder. Come to the shores of green Iceland and you will find a different use for the puffin. As a result of the large puffin population, Icelanders have a different use for this bird. The birds are first caught in big nets, then killed, skinned and their hearts eaten while still warm.

You will find hundreds of intriguing dishes out there, one such dish I came across in my research was something served in Vietnam called snake wine. I encourage you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions. Please let me know what you think of these dishes! I’d love to know what you all think! 🙂

If you are a foodie or someone who just loves good recipes follow the link below for some fine dining.

https://www.thesocialcafesa.com or follow their Instagram account on “the_social_grant_sa”

God bless all of you, my darling avidReaders!

What’s a Good Friend?

It’s a good question, isn’t it? What is a good friend? Is it someone who buys you chocolates when you feel sad or perhaps it’s someone who always wants to talk to you and seek your advice? Is it that one person in the world who never judges you regardless of what you tell them? Do they reply to your texts or answer the phone before it’s even dialed for a second? In truth they are all of these. They are the people you can turn to when the world falls apart around you. They are the people who will always know just what you need, whether it’s a bag of crisps, a chocolate or a stern lecture. I am blessed to say I have people like this in my life, they are more family (in fact I refer to them as ‘blood’) that’s how close they are to me.

When a person walks into your house and shouts at you for not having cheese, then you know they’re blood and no longer friends. Then there are just people you meet on the spot and know that they are kindred spirits. These are the people who become some of your closest friends and may even become family to you. We all have these people that we like on the spot. Those are the people who will always stay with you, even if they stay far away.

Then you get people who flit in and out of your life, leaving a lasting impression on your soul. They may have said only a single word of encouragement or seen something perhaps no one else had. These people will never be your friends, but their words will never leave you.

I could look at what leading scientists and psychologists say about how relationships affect us. For now, let’s just look at how to distinguish between a user and a forever friend. The following traits may help you see whether that one friend is worth keeping or leaving before you get involved with them. Sometimes we don’t always see them straight away and may even feel like we are helping them, but you aren’t and they will only drain you and make you feel unhappy. Don’t feel guilty, these traits may lead to toxic relationships and end up destroying both of you.

These are the signs that you need to watch out for:

  • The relationship is always one-sided. All relationships require quid pro quo.
  • The relationship is mentally and emotionally draining, often including or creating drama.
  • These people always talk about what they are going through and never return the favour when you need to talk about what’s going on in your life. This often shows little to no empathy on their part.
  • The relationship can often make you feel down as these people may do or say things to degrade you or make you feel inferior.
  • These people may feel like they have to be better or the same as you, even to the point of competing with you in everything you do.
  • They can often copy or become very jealous of you, this is a very dangerous thing as it may lead to an obsession.
  • You never do what you want to do, instead you find yourself doing what makes them happy
  • You friend may lie or gossip about you.

There are ways to get out of a relationship like this. You can start by distancing yourself from them, treating it like a break-up and, as hard as it is, you have to move on.

Now that we have seen the signs of a toxic relationship, let’s look at what a good friendship looks like:

  • They have your best interests at heart, even when you don’t see it straightaway.
  • They respect you and consider you before themselves.
  • You love to be around them regardless of what you are doing or where you are going
  • They tell you how it is, regardless of whether or not you want to hear it. At the end of the day, you will love them for it.
  • They are your rock when life gets crazy and never expect anything in return.
  • They love and forgive you unconditionally, showing you how to be better than you are.
  • They see the good in you, even if you don’t, and help you see it, too.
  • They make the time to really listen to you.

These are the people you want to hold on to. They are the ones who make your friendship a priority. Ofcourse, people get busy and the friends you had in school won’t always be able to stick around, but putting in the effort means all the world to you. I have one such friend, who makes the time to visit all her friends at least once a month. People like that are the ones I hope to have until the day I die. A good friend is a jewel no amount of money can ever hope to purchase. Hang on to these people, but most importantly, to have a good friend you need to be one. If you saw that you matched any of the negative criteria here make sure you make it right with your friends before you lose them forever.

To all my dear avidReaders. I love you and I know I’ve been quiet lately. I apologize for that. I will try to write more regularly for you.

God bless all of you! 🙂

Dear Dads

Thank you, Daddies!

I know I’m a day late, but I wanted to spend the day with my Dad.

I wanted to write a letter to all the men out there who defend their families, all the men who work two/three jobs just so their kids can go to school and have food in their lunchboxes. I think of all the Dads who let their children cry on their shoulders. All the men who stay up at night crying because they can’t anymore, yet smile the next day when they say goodbye to their wife and children. Thank you to all the men who sometimes have to travel to different cities or provinces just so they can get work.

The sacrifice you make is something your family see and appreciate. You are all more than men–you are heroes. Heroes to your children who will defend their “strong daddies” no matter what. Heroes to your wives who are there to help and hug you when you get home and they can see the stress and frustration on your face. They see that you fight, not for yourself, but for them. You may miss your family, but your strength and determination is something your children will never forget.

You have a huge responsibility to us. You set the example and when we grow up, everything you’ve taught us will go with us into the world. We will live our lives having learnt what we saw from you. Your words will always have power, but not as much as your actions. Showing us how much you love us, have as much power as telling us. You’re the men who fight for us, cry over us, break your backs for us. You are the men who brave the harsh, cold world so that we can be protected from it’s heartache and pain, but you are also the men who have to step back and watch us bump and bruise ourselves. You have to watch us make mistakes and watch us cry, so that one day when we have families of our own we’ll have learnt lessons we wouldn’t have if not for those bumps and bruises.

You are also the men who, if you are lucky, will get to have your grandchildren sit on your lap one day and pass down the same lessons you taught us. You will tell stories of your youth and pass down family history, the same way you would’ve with us. You will play with them, build puzzles with them, colour in with them and love them as much as you did us.

In the very end of it all, you will be mourned and missed by those you have left behind, but your stories, your lessons, your love, all of it will remain. Your legacy will stay behind after you’ve gone and, as long as we live, we will always remember you. We will pass down everything you’d have taught us to our own grandchildren.

You are men of valour, integrity, love, boldness, courage. You are also men who face fear, depression, anxiety, sorrow, pain and anger, but you cover it. You hide it from us, so that we never have to know what wars you fight for us every day. We love you for it and we always will.

So, thank you, fathers. Thank you for keeping us safe, for teaching us to ride bikes, for helping us with homework and teaching us all we need to know for when we are on our own out in the world. Thank you for all the times you repeated yourselves when we wouldn’t listen. Even though it’s difficult, you somehow manage to be patient with us.

As a daughter, I want to thank my father who, despite all his own worries and responsibilities, has always been my knight in shining armour. If not for him, this blog would not exist. I love you Daddy!