Posts tagged south africa

Why Most Kids Quit Sports

Growing up I try all sorts of  sports and activities.  I would do some for a short time (maybe a day or two), others I would do for years.  The bottom line was that no matter what I tried, nothing kept my interest.  Now been a parent myself and my eldest child going to “big” soon, I thought I should do a bit of research and save myself tons of money.

I found this article on http://life.familyeducation.com/sports/behavior/29512.html

Why Most Kids Quit Sports

by Carleton Kendrick Ed.M., LCSW

Twenty million kids register each year for youth hockey, football, baseball, soccer, and other competitive sports. The National Alliance for Sports reports that 70 percent of these kids quit playing these league sports by age 13 — and never play them again.

According to Michael Pfahl, executive director of the National Youth Sports Coaches Association, “The number one reason (why they quit) is that it stopped being fun.” With figures like these, it’s time we rethink how we present youth sports to kids.

With that in mind, here are some key points to remember about your kids playing sports.

Preschool
Focus on the element of play in any sports activity you introduce to very young kids. Make it fun! Don’t burden them or concern them with competition, keeping score, and rules. Get them running, kicking, throwing, catching … and laughing. Use equipment that suits their bodies and coordination levels (toss a beanbag instead of a ball). Adapt games according to their abilities. Always offer encouraging words for all their efforts.

Elementary school
Sports psychology expert Rick Wolff, author of Good Sports, stresses that parents of kids ages 5-12 need not be concerned with their child’s excellence at such refined sports skills as corner kicks and drag bunts. “Those are unimportant,” Wolf advises. “The key here is having your child develop a sense of passion for the sport.”

Parents and coaches need to be aware of what kids can accomplish at their differing developmental levels — physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. Don’t make unrealistic expectations concerning your child’s sports performance — be it in the area of muscle coordination, dedication, or attention span. Many kids lose their passion for youth sports during these years because they feel they can’t live up to their parents’ and coaches’ expectations.

Middle school
Kids start dropping out in big numbers at this stage. Playing sports loses its enjoyment for them and “fun” takes a back seat to winning. Pick-up games and just “playing for fun” should be encouraged. The key at this vulnerable stage is to keep them playing the sports they enjoy — if not on school or youth teams, then informally with friends. Not being on a team does not mean they have failed as athletes. It just means that they have to find other pleasurable ways to continue enjoying their sports.

High school
By this stage, it’s usually the successful high-school athletes who play both school sports and outside competitive-league sports. There are just so many positions to be filled on competitive teams. But what about kids who still love to play sports but can’t because of their demanding academic, social, and work lives? Parents need to remind these kids of the fun they had playing these games and help them to find time to play them with family members and friends. Helping your kids stay connected to the sports they love now can encourage them to remain physically active throughout their lives.

Read Carleton Kendrick’s bio.

Read more on FamilyEducation: http://life.familyeducation.com/sports/behavior/29512.html#ixzz1E1RAn6e8

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Water Weeds are killing our river

Our local newspaper, the Daily Dispatch, run this article this morning.

Deadly weeds choke Nahoon river – A noxious water weed is once again choking the life out of the Nahoon River, which is home to myriad species including bass, geese, fish eagles and otters. Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), one of the world’s worst aquatic weeds, first threatened the river’s ecosystem last year. Now the out-of-control alien plant has blanketed large stretches of the river, with the worst outbreak occurring near the causeway that links Dorchester Heights to the Stutterheim road.

Residents living along the river bank have now questioned the municipality’s efforts in keeping one of East London’s most popular rivers unpolluted. Joan Hempel, whose farm borders the river, said: “I am dismayed at the state of the Nahoon River. The rapid growth and spread of the hyacinth has already affected the wildlife. “It seems the entire ecosystem is being choked and destroyed by this alien invader plant.” Hempel has sent numerous reports to the Department of Water Affairs hoping to pressure government to act.

“To date no one has responded or reacted to my report. I was hoping to alert them to the alarming spread of the plant. Andrew Lucas, Department of Water Affairs provincial director of water regulation and use, said clearing invasive alien plants was the responsibility of land owners. Lucas said if the land belonged to the municipality, it was the responsibility of the Working For Water team. “I have not investigated the areas myself but the influx usually stems from residents,” he said.

Lucas said residents used the weed, which has a beautiful purple flower, to decorate their ponds and water features. “When it starts to overgrow they dump it in the river.” According to Lucas this reinfects the river system and the problem starts all over again. The water hyacinth has caused a decline in fish populations in Africa. – Taken from Dispatch.co.za  15/02/2011

Ok, so if Water Affairs doesn’t want to help the river then what?  A classic case of passing the buck, our politicians are very good at doing that.  Pity they are not as good at anything else.

I found this info on Wikipedia…

When not controlled, water hyacinth will cover lakes and ponds entirely; this dramatically impacts water flow, blocks sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants, and starves the water of oxygen, often killing fish (or turtles). The plants also create a prime habitat for mosquitos, the classic vectors of disease, and a species of snail known to host a parasitic flatworm which causes schistosomiasis (snail fever).

Solution – I will definitely be sending our political parties a strong email.  What nonsense is this passing the buck, if it isn’t your mandate then help us to get the right people in to fix the problem.  Be part of the solution, Don’t add to it – silly man.

Wikipedia’s article has some interesting results at the end…

Industrial utilization

Since the plant has abundant nitrogen content, it can be used a substrate for biogas production and the sludge obtained from the biogas. However, due to easy accumulation of toxins, the plant is prone to get contaminated when used as feed.

Exogenous

The plant is extremely tolerant of, and has a high capacity for, the uptake of heavy metals, including Cd, Cr, Co, Ni, Pb and Hg, which could make it suitable for the biocleaning of industrial wastewater [7], [8], [9], [10]. In addition to heavy metals, Eichhornia crassipes can also remove other toxins, such as cyanide, which is environmentally beneficial in areas that have endured gold mining operations [11].

Water hyacinth is also observed to enhance nitrification in waste water treatment cells of living technology. Their root zones are superb micro-sites for bacterial communities.[12]

Food for thought – this weed is not all bad, it’s just not any good in our Nahoon river.  An import bit of information, that I will include in my emails.

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WTF

At our recent J&B Met held in Cape Town, this photo popped up on msn.co.za…

 Are you asking yourself the same questions – WTF?

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I read this post on msn.co.za.  I find this waste of public funds, totally unacceptable.  I hope our communities pull together and vote out over-spending and vote in people who really will do good-by our most needy citizens.  It is those people who need the R70 million more then Jacob and his family.

Those are the people who should be coming before his creature comforts, I am sure he and his family HAD a home with running water, electricity and sanitation before he became president.  The people who’s RDP houses did not get build, would love to live in Jacob’s old house.  To them it would be a palace. 

There’s some food for thought…

 
By SAPA, 2011/02/11

DA: more than R70m spent ensuring Zuma “lives large”

A press release from the DA stated that Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu Nkabinde revealed that R70 million was spent to renovate the five presidential residences over the last five years.

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Over R70m spent to keep Zuma confortable(Gallo Images)

Gallo Images

The release stated the following:

“In a reply to a DA parliamentary question received yesterday [Thursday], Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu Nkabinde revealed that more than R70 million has been spent on renovating the five presidential residences over the last five years, with almost R40 million being spent on President Jacob Zuma’s Pretoria residence, Mahlambandlopfu, alone. These figures are astonishing and constitute indulgent and wasteful expenditure of the highest order. It is deeply ironic that, on a day when President Jacob Zuma is due to offer another list of sweeping promises to South Africans, he has yet again been exposed as a leader who, in the face of chronic unemployment and poor delivery, has continued to place his taste for the finer things in life over the needs of the people he was elected to serve.

“President Zuma has repeatedly stated his commitment to addressing public concerns that the ANC government is “living large”. Indeed, he has expressed his intention to foster a “culture of greater prudence and less extravagance; achieving greater value for money and delivering more and better services with less resources”.

The figures contained in this parliamentary reply tell a very different story.

“That President Zuma has sanctioned the spending of tens of millions of rands of public funds on maintaining a lifestyle of excess and luxury is a powerful illustration of the President’s insincerity when making commitments to changing the ANC government’s culture of wasteful spending. It also reveals a disturbing disconnection from the pressing needs of millions of South Africans. The sum spent on the refurbishment of the five presidential residences over the past five years could have built over 1 200 RDP homes.

“It is worth noting that the figures contained in this reply cover only the structural and maintenance costs of the President’s five residences.

“Furthermore, this is not an exhaustive list of these costs as the Presidency failed to provide some of the figures on the grounds that they were “not readily available”, which raises concerns about the diligence of the Presidency in keeping accurate records of its expenditure, and the department’s approach to accountability.

“In a response to a parliamentary question in November last year, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane revealed that the running costs of the five presidential homes were in excess of R5 300 000 for 2009/10, excluding the salaries of the 113 staff employed to service them.

“The total cost of the running and maintenance of the President’s five official homes is therefore significantly in excess of those figures provided in the most recent parliamentary reply.

“The DA has submitted further questions to the Presidency to ascertain the cost of maintaining the staff complements of the various households, to enquire about anomalies in the figures contained in yesterday’s reply, and to determine exactly how often the President and Deputy President have used the five official residences since they assumed office. Such unnecessary extravagance has little place in a country’s where the alleviation of poverty and the provision of reliable services are its most pressing needs”.

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In the spirit of re-using

In the spirit of re-using an item instead of buying a new one, here are pictures of what stock we have of baby equipments  Bargins are only an email away…Bath Chair – Kango Blue R46.00 (166)

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Gently Used Baby & Kiddi Items

We now offer gently used baby and kiddi items for sale.  All our items will be on sale during the month, with a bazaar been held every 4 months with unbeatable specials!

Anyone who would like to sale their unloved baby or kiddi items drop me a mail and we can arrange collection or deliver of your goodies.

Anyone looking for bargin baby or kiddi items, drop me a line and we will help you find what you need!

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Herbs, Herbs, Herbs

I found this really great, fun site http://www.phuthu.co.za  It is a local SA site with some really awesome pics and interesting stories.  If my browser wasn’t so slow, I would look through the whole site just to see the rest of it.  There are some really useful tips on herbs.  I know we can get most of them at nurseries in SA, I’m not sure about the rest of the world.  When in doubt, ask at your local nursery…

Herbs – Culinary uses and more…

Basil
Basil is one of the most versatile herbs with sweet basil being the most commonly grown. It needs average soil, sun and semi-shade and is frost sensitive.

Culinary uses: Pasta sauces, stews, soups, salads, pizzas or blend basil with pine nuts to make pesto. It goes very well with tomatoes.

Medicinal uses: It is quite useful for exhaustion and digestive upsets such as stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhoea. Drink basil tea to relieve tension and migraines or rub the fresh leaves on your temples for headaches. Crushed basil leaves can be used to take the sting out of insect bites.

Cosmetic uses: Crushed basil leaves will stimulate hair growth. Use in bath oils.

Other uses: Bunches of fresh basil hung in the kitchen will keep flies away. Dried basil stalks burnt on a fire can keep the mozzies away.

Lemon Grass
Lemon grass can grow in any soil and doesn’t need a lot of water. It is inactive during the winter months and sensitive to frost. Parts used: The stems, leaves and essential oils.

Culinary uses: Soups, marinades, stir-fries, curries, salads, coconut milk, rice and as an alternative for lemon rind and to flavour tea’s and drinks. The stems can be kept in the fridge for 2 – 3 weeks if wrapped in a paper bag or wax wrapped.

Medicinal uses: Used in a tea it has a calming effect and can soothe the digestive system and relieve stress.

Cosmetic uses: Makes a good facial steam for teenage skin. Great for treating an oily skin or oily hair: one cup of fresh lemon grass and two cups of boiling water.

Other uses: Insect repellent.

Rosemary
Rosemary will grow in most types of soil but prefers light, sandy soil with good drainage and a sunny spot. It can tolerate cold temperatures. Rosemary has more fragrance if you pick it and leave it for a few days. Rosemary and sage are good friends and will grow well together.

Culinary uses: Meat (especially lamb), bean and tomato dishes (use sparingly as it’s a strong herb). Use the twigs for kebab skewers.

Medicinal uses: Drink as a tea for migraines and cramps. Also treats blood pressure problems, jaundice, vertigo, gout, aching joints, obesity and toothache. Use the oil externally as an antiseptic for sores and wounds.

Cosmetic uses: Good rinse for dark hair, can reduce falling hair and treat eczema on the scalp. Use as a mouthwash and facial steam. Known to remove freckles and wrinkles: Boil 50g flowering rosemary tips in 500ml white wine for 2 minutes. Leave to stand for 1 hour, strain and apply to your face with cotton wool twice a day.

Other uses: Fish moth repellent in cupboards/drawers. The stems will keep your linen smelling fresh or keep mozzies away when tossed in a fire.

Chilli
Chillies are easy to grow and varies from very hot to mild. It requires full sun and rich well drained soil. Water frequently, especially when in flower. Feed with a liquid fertiliser once a week; sensitive to frost. Parts used: Fruit.

Culinary uses: Add to chutneys, pickles, Indian, Mexican and Thai dishes and of course on pizzas!

Medicinal uses: eases digestive problems, chronic pain and cluster headaches.

Rocket
A herb you either love or hate. It likes loose, rich, composted, well-drained soil. Water it well in dry weather, although the roots must not be saturated. Withstands frost, summer storms and cold winds. Parts used: Leaves, seedpods and flowers. Can be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Culinary uses: Soups and stews, salads, sandwiches, sauces, marinades, garnish. Particularly good with tomatoes.

 Medicinal uses: It’s a great tonic, can be used as a cough remedy when boiled in honey, prevents colds and treats fluid retention, anaemia, digestive upsets and bladder ailments.

Other uses: Treat skin blemishes and makes a refreshing foot bath. Can be used as plant food. Add to compost heap or plant around your compost heap.

Mint
Don’t let it loose in your herb garden, it takes over, rather plant it in a pot, not too small. It should be repotted yearly, preferably in spring and watered daily. It needs sun / partial shade, moderate temperatures and rich, well drained alkaline soil. Keep different types of mint apart; prevent interbreeding by keeping the flowering heads cut. Peppermint and spearmint are the two most widely used mints.

Culinary uses: Sauces, jellies, vinegar, green peas, potatoes, garnish or use as a refreshing tea (avoid jewel mint or pennyroyal as they are bitter). Goes well with lamb dishes.

Medicinal uses: Pennyroyal should not be used by anyone suffering from kidney problems or by pregnant women, use other mints instead. Colds and congestion: Pour a litre of boiling water over a cup of fresh mint springs, cover your head and the bowl with a towel and inhale. Make a peppermint tea to help digestion, colds and influenza. Crush the leaves in oil and massage the affected areas for migraines, rheumatism and muscular aches. Use peppermint oil on bruises and scratches.

Cosmetic uses: As a hair conditioner for oily hair, and it can heal rough/dry hands and feet. Add to bathwater to easy tiredness and aches and pains.

Other: Pennyroyal in cupboards and beds as an insect repellent for ants and fleas. Bunches of mint in your kitchen will keep flies away. Peppermint can be rubbed into the skin to keep mozzies away (test on the wrist first).

Parsley
Parsley needs a sunny spot and rich, moist soil. Parts used: leaves and stalks. Don’t grow parsley close to tomatoes or roses to keep them free of insects.

Culinary uses: Soups, stews, sauces, garnishing.

Medicinal uses: Parsley tea treats kidney and bladder infections and can be used as a slimming aid. Don’t take more than one cup a day and don’t use for more than 5 days. Parsley juice can have a soothing effect on eye inflammation and conjunctivitis. It has oestrogenic factors: control menstruation and help menopause. Crushed, warmed leaves will treat insect bites.

 Other uses: Breath freshener after eating onions or garlic.

Herbs: Medicinal uses and more

Aloe Vera
Sunny spot with poor, well drained soil. Grows best in frost free areas. Aloe can be grown in a pot and only the herbs older than 2 years should be used for its properties.

Medicinal uses: Healing of wounds: burns, blisters, sunburn, heat rash. Aloe is known to stimulate the immune system, treats constipation, indigestion, eczema and fungal infections like ringworm and thrush. It should not be used by anyone suffering from piles.

 Cosmetic uses: Can be used in a moisturising cream, shampoos (for dry and itchy scalp) and in suntan lotion.

Chamomile
These pretty flowers makes for powerful medicine. Camomile is easy to grow and likes partial shade and light as well as well drained soil. Pick the flowers often to lengthen its spring life. A great companion for most plants.

Culinary uses: Add chamomile tea to granadilla juice for a relaxing drink, can be served as an after-dinner drink to ease indigestion.

Medicinal uses: Relieves stress, anxiety and digestive problems, improves immunity, treat inflammations of the skin and other skin disorders (surgical wounds), diarrhoea, insomnia, headaches and in babies: colic, vomiting, teething problems, restlessness.

Cosmetic uses: Can makes hair lighter and promotes hair growth. Use in a facial steam or a soak to soften hands. Add to your bath for a relaxing treat or to soothe sunburn.

Lemon Balm
Needs filtered shade and rich, moist soil. Dies down in winter and needs to be cut back hard to encourage new spring growth.

Culinary uses: Teas, soup, milk, custard, sauces, fruit salads, refreshing drinks, puddings, poultry, fish and cheese dishes. It compliments cucumber, celery and asparagus. Freeze in ice cubes to decorate drinks.

 Medicinal uses: Treats insomnia, herpes and digestive problems, cold sores, eczema, depression, anxiety, fear and improves concentration. Soothes insect bites.

 Cosmetic uses: Use in a facial steam (it apparently slows down the aging process!) and improves oily hair. Mix with aqueous cream to soothe aching feet.

 Other uses: Bunches of lemon balm will deter moths. Use green leaves to polish wooden furniture.

Southernwood
This herb needs full sun and grow in any soil although it prefers it dry. Parts to use: leaves and sprigs. If planted near fruit trees it will repel fruit flies and fruit moths.

Medicinal uses: It treats menstrual disorders and has antiseptic properties (rashes, scratches and grazes). Use as a bitter tonic: coughs, bronchitis, mucus, congestion. Eases pain and swelling.

Cosmetic: Use as a rinse for greasy hair, when combed through hair it can stimulate hair growth.

Other: Potent flea and moth repellent. Very effective in potpourris. Sprinkle dried, powdered Southernwood around ant holes to combat ants.

Feverfew
Easy to grow and needs full sun. Parts to use: Whole plant and leaves.

Medicinal uses: A powerful migraine preventive, treats digestive problems, relaxes spasms, reduces fever, has laxative effects, deals with menstrual problems and relieves period pain. Take Southernwood after childbirth to encourage the cleansing of the uterus.

Other uses: Mouth rinse, household disinfectant, moth / insect repellent.

Lavender
Plant lavender in containers (small batches) as it has the tendency of taking over. It likes a sunny spot and dry, well drained soil. Can be badly affected by frost; cover the lavender with grass.

Culinary uses: Flavour jams and vinegar. Great addition to marinades for game. Use crystallised flowers for garnish.

Medicinal uses: In oil as antiseptic for insect bites and stings. A lavender-stuffed pillow aids sleep and will calm a restless child. Lavender tea will treat headaches and relieve anxiety. Lavender water makes a great mouthwash.

Cosmetic: Treats acne. Use oil for massaging muscular aches and cellulite.

Other: Insect repellent: it will repel fish moths and draw butterflies. The leaves and flowers can be used in little netting sachets to keep your linen smelling fresh. Dried lavender leaves and flowers can be used for potpourri. Place on fires in winter for a lovely scent. Spread your washing over your lavender bushes for a lasting fresh smell.

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