Tuesday, October 30, 2012

#DIYdetox Week 3

This was not a good #diydetox week. I managed to lose 1lb but I lapsed - a lot.

What happened...
1. I found out that the crackers I had been eating contain sugar. What a con! I finished them off rather than wasting them (with butter that also needed finishing.) Interestingly, I only found out about the sugar as after a week of cutting it out (so I thought), the crackers suddenly tasted sweet which prompted me to look at the label.

2. I then thought to look at the mayonnaise label and found that contained sugar as well. So that's out this week along with the ketchup. DD doesn't like mayo or ketchup and I'm finding the ketchup to be cloyingly sweet these days for a savoury condiment.

3. I made pizza for DD with (sugar laden) ketchup and cheese, and she decided she didn't like it. Of course I had to eat it - I can't afford to throw away a whole meal. I also finished up the cheese burekas and her erstwhile beloved cheesy pancakes both of which she's now gone off. What's happened to my fantastic eater? I drank a jar of borsht which had sugar in it - someone gave it to me and beetroot is very healthy. And I ate some chicken on Friday night.

6. I didn't not eat after 6pm as I've vowed to do for two weeks now. And I didn't stick to a menu plan. I'm giving up on these for now as they're not working for me.

8. I also planned to cut out bread this week. I stopped buying my wholewheat bread and replaced toast for breakfast with porridge (made with water and a teaspoon of honey). However, I bought challah for shabbat and ate all of it (one big loaf) and have raided DD's lunchbox rolls. Not to mention that the pizza base was a pitta and the burekas are made with pastry. *sighs*

I wish
The good news:
On the other hand - I haven't drunk any coffee, eaten any other sugar besides that hidden in the foods already mentioned, or gone back to milk and yogurts. AND - yes this is a big one - I don't feel stiff anymore when I get up after sitting for too long. I hated this, it made me feel like an old lady and now it's gone. I don't know if it's cutting right down on caffeine, sugar, dairy and meat or increasing foods with healthy oils like fish, avocado and olive oil dressing. Or just coincidence. Who knows but I like it and it's given me the motivation to continue and be more serious about it.

Challenges for this week:
1. No bread (along with no meat, dairy, sugar or caffeine). Eating rye crackers and using rye flour limits my wheat intake to pasta (and noodles, ptitim) and maybe some soup nuts.

2. Chuck the mayo and ketchup. (DD doesn't like either of them anyway.)

3. Drink more water, eat porridge for breakfast and drink soup with supper

4. Stop trying to be creative with the cooking. Basically all DD wants now is pasta, cheese, fish (tuna, sardines, white fish), salad (toms, cucs, avocado, olives), fruit and chips. So that's what she's getting - every night. (FYI - DD has a meat meal for lunch at kindergarten every day.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

The British Hate Success

Today there is an article in The Mail Online about how the Middleton family are cashing in on Skyfall, the new James Bond film. As usual the Daily Mail sets the tone and invites comments of general outrage. Sometimes the comments under an article tell the DM to stop being ridiculously pathetic and can be absolutely hilarious. I love it when the true British dry sense of humour comes out as with yesterday's silly article about how chef Heston Blumenthal swabs his mouth with a tampon between bites so as to maximise the taste experience. One fellow wrote: What a great idea, I  must try it tonight with my beans on toast. I LOLed.

Generic secret agent with no name.
Today, however, the comments of general outrage and outright venom poured in. This not the first time this has happened. People were also put out about the Middletons' party business making money out of the Royal Wedding, the Jubilee and the Olympics. It seems that the Middletons are now fair targets. Any success is obviously a crude cashing in on their Royal connections, tacky and just plain greedy (all accusations thrown today in the DM comments).

Since when is running a successful business tacky and greedy? No one slams Primark for being tacky and greedy. JK Rowling was a struggling single mother who wrote a few books and she's practically a saint now.

Carole Middleton started Party Pieces by putting together party bags at her kitchen table. They were already millionaires by the time Kate started dating William. They built the business through hard work and initiative. When the Royal wedding was announced Kate was the darling of the masses - a commoner making it into the closed ranks of the aristocracy. A real success story, if not quite Cinderella.

Cashing in on Christmas?
Since then it's been down hill all the way for the Middletons as far as respect and public opinion goes. It seems that the British love a good success story unless you become too successful or are seen to be enjoying it too much. Then all outrage and venom breaks loose.

The thing about parties is that people need an excuse to have them - birthdays, Christmas, New Year, Midsummer, Back to School, Hallowe'en, Guy Fawkes, retirement, Bar/Bat Mitzva, wedding.... It doesn't matter the excuse, you never get an invitation saying: We're having a party because we haven't had one for a while and we feel like it. A party business provides the props to go with all the myriad of occasions and themes people choose. When a new blockbuster film comes out there are wizard parties, hobbit parties, or secret agent parties. There are Bafta, Grammy and Oscar parties. There are X Factor Final parties and World Cup Final parties. For all these parties we like to decorate and have the props.

Sue me!
We all opposed and decried the strict bans on any displays of Olympic themes that might benefit small businesses during the Games. Events like the Royal wedding, Jubilee and the Olympics are supposed to be national events that we can all benefit from. The nation paid for them after all. What would Christmas be like without the decorations, nativity scenes and Santas? The Jubilee would have been a bit flat without the street parties, school celebrations and the bunting don't you think?

Party Pieces is a successful business providing a service. If people didn't want that service the business would fail. As one (heavily red arrowed) commentor wrote: Some people are confusing opportunism with responding to demand. The Middletons work hard for their money unlike many of the aristocracy who were born into large tracts of land and lucrative trust funds. One comment in the DM had the audacity to say: This is why the Royal Family should never marry a commoner. Other comments said that the Middletons' greed and pushiness would be the downfall of the Royal Family.

If you only read the DM you'd think the British are a nation of jealous losers. It's ok to be born into wealth but not to earn it through hard work? When a small travel company gave Mr Thomas Cook a free weekend in Paris they were applauded for taking advantage of the company Thomas Cook's shortsightedness. Taking advantage of a situation is how businesses thrive. Only the Middletons aren't included in this economic general principle.

I have to admit that I was a little ashamed as well as disgusted with the comments in the DM today.

All pictures from Google images.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Silicone For My 50th Birthday

This is what I wrote on Wednesday when I displayed my hoard of new books:
This birthday was was all about me. 

The celebrations were low key exactly as I wanted and the presents... each one was perfect. 

Exactly what I would have chosen myself. 

Well, I also got silicone for my birthday. 

As this was my 50th I wasn't shy in speaking up.

I wanted silicone. It's all the rage here. Everyone's been talking about how fantastic it is. 

We've had long discussions on Facebook about how it changes your life.

You can't ask just anyone for a present like this so I turned to my very good friend, S.

Thank you S - you have changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. 

My wonderful new silicone broom

Close up of the broom head

Sweeping mechanism detail

No one sent us this broom to review, S paid for it fair and square. However, a few words about how fantastic it is:

1. It sweeps up all the dust and hair without getting them all entangled in it's head.

2. You can sweep the carpet (especially useful when your 3yo has been making confetti).

3. It's not as bulky as a traditional broom so it fits further under furniture more easily.

4. The head unscrews and you just rinse it under the tap.

5. If you have ceramic floors you can throw some soapy water about and wash the floor with it.

6. No risk of breast cancer or rupture with this type of silicone. And my old bras still fit.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#TheGallery - Books

The theme at The Gallery this week is Books. I've been meaning to write about some of the presents I received on my recent milestone birthday. This birthday was was all about me. The celebrations were low key exactly as I wanted and the presents... well each one was perfect, exactly what I would have chosen myself. 

Books are always a welcome present and a few friends clubbed together to give me a generous gift token from a well known online book store (Amazon if you pay me I'll make the link). The picture includes books I've chosen so far. I still have $24 left to spend.

Other friends bought me The Book of New Israeli Food. I love that book (I even featured it here) but I already have it (a birthday present from last year) so I exchanged it for a collection of smaller books.

Altogether quite a hoard. Thanks everyone who contributed to these two presents. Now I just have to find the time to read.

Books for my birthday
This is the reason I don't have time to read like I used to
Btw, Another Life is a YA book by my good friend Keren David. It's the third book in the When I Was Joe trilogy. #Justnamedropping

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

#DIYdetox Week 2

With 12 weeks exactly until January 1st 2013 (on Tuesday 9th Oct.), I took up Exmoor Jane's #DIYdetox challenge. No it's not juice fasts, coffee enemas and cayenne peppered grapefruit. According to Jane, it's not how much you eat but what you eat that counts. Or rather what you don't eat.

This week was better and not so good as last week. I lost another 900g (2lbs) and mostly kept to the plan but there were a few hiccoughs.

What happened:

1. I lapsed about 4 times with the dairy. I had some things - kugels and pancakes mostly - in the freezer that had been made with quark. I took them out for DD who decided she didn't like them anymore. I couldn't throw away good food so I had to eat them. It wasn't loads but I did eat some quark. There are some left but I'll eat them at respectable intervals.

2. On the other hand, even when I said, "oh sod it, I'll eat the quarky pancakes," I didn't eat any meat or sugar. And even though I'd lapsed in the dairy department I didn't follow that with other cheese which we have in the fridge (DD loves her cheese).

3. I ran out of bread a few days ago and didn't buy any more for me. I mean wholewheat bread. For DD I've given up and she has a white roll for her school snack - the wholewheat rolls were coming back untouched and she eats the white ones. (DD - 1: Mummy - 0).

4. I cut right down on the coffee (1/2 tspn/day) and was half way through washing up the cup yesterday when I remembered that that was my last coffee. I'm strangely satisfied with my green tea - who knew that would happen?

5. That plan not to eat after 6pm went out the window. I'll try again this week.

I wish
How do I feel?

Good. Not walking on air yet but not bloated like last week. Maybe it's because I've cut down on the bread. I'm not promising not to  buy more but for now I'm OK with my crackers - until they run out. Then I'll have to make a decision.

I am amazed that I cannot bring myself to touch anything with sugar in it even when I'm looking for anything to eat and there is ice-cream in the freezer. I'm still eating too much but nothing illegal. If only I could pinpoint the motivation that is making this project too important for me to cheat.

Goals for the coming week:

1. No coffee. I don't think I'll be giving up the green tea until I can think of a satisfactory  alternative.

2. No bread this week. (I will be eating crackers and pasta though).

3. Trying not to eat after 6pm again. (We eat supper between 5pm and 6pm).

4. Make a meal plan for the week as winging it leads to eating more.

Pictures from Google Images.

Friday, October 19, 2012

#ONEMums - No Misery Trip

Michelle Pannell (Mummy from the Heart) has been back from Ethiopia for nearly a week. I could almost say that 'we' have been home for nearly a week. Last week I was with Michelle in spirit all the way. Here are the posts I wrote about her mission with ONE.org International.

My #ONEMums (#ONEMoms) posts:
Where You Live Determines If You Live
Lend Us Your Voice
Living Proof

A Simple Idea - MaryJoy
FashionABLE - A Different Opportunity
The Biggest Problem You Never Heard OF
Dont' All Thunderclap At Once

I learnt so much from this mission. First I read Michelle's posts (and listened to her soundclouds) which you can also read (listen to) at Mummy from the Heart, then I followed her links to the websites of the organisations she visited. There were those who were expecting a misery trip. I can tell you that this was no misery trip. This is what I learnt last week.

1. You don't need to be rich to make a difference. ONE.org International asks for your voice to give them the strength of numbers to carry out their work. Their work is to follow up on all the promises made by countries and other organisations to give foreign aid. To make sure the promises are kept. To make sure the money goes to worthwhile projects and not into the pockets of corruption. To monitor the projects for efficiency and effective results. We are talking about billions of dollars donated by people like us. ONE makes sure it isn't wasted. You can see it all here on the  Living Proof Website and you can add your voice by scrolling down this blog on the right to the ONE widget.

2. Ethiopia is a beautiful country with much to offer. It's no longer the country of severe famine that we watched on the news 15 years ago. Whilst there is still extreme poverty there is also a growing middle class, an increasing tourist industry and vastly improved social initiatives helping towards greater employment, education and healthcare for everyone. There is a long way to go but the progress so far shows a country filled with hope.

3. Helping people to help themselves and move beyond poverty is the best way to give lasting aid. The cooperatives (especially those started and run by women) are nothing short of inspirational. They take families out of poverty, empower them and allow them to educate the next generation. Some provide work and income for families in the villages while others are major businesses exporting e.g. fashion items, around the world.

4. Missions like the ONEMums and ONEMoms work. While Michelle and 11 other bloggers were reporting from Ethiopia and their Ground Support Teams (bloggers like me) were adding our own posts, sharing, tweeting and retweeting. The #ONEMums hashtag had over 6 million hits on twitter. That doesn't include fb and G+ activity. (I'm not sure if it included #ONEMoms or not). That's an enormous number of voices added to ONE.org, most of whom had never heard of the organisation or what they do before last week. It's also an enormous number of people who have read about Ethiopia as a happening country, dispelling other more depressing images left over from harder times.

5. A meaningful trip can change your life. (Or: 5. Michelle Pannell is an exceptional woman. Probably both.) Michelle wrote in one of her posts, Down to Earth with a Bump, that the culture shock was in coming home (and realizing how much we have, a lot of it that we don't even need -  my words). She writes:
   "...just allow the processing to take place and slowly the information will fall into place and then dh and I can make some decisions about how we want our lives to change and we both know that we do.  Last year dh went to India on mission and that touched and changed him and now my Ethiopia journey has done the same for me, but we need to see how those changes translate to real everyday life."

6. Not everything has to succeed 100%. My thunderclap has rumbled off into the distance to quietly expire. I chose the smallest number of supporters (100) and the longest time available (14 days) but with only 3 days to go, we have only 26 supporters and a reach of over 40,000. I've let it go. Oh well, you win some you lose some. If any of you would like to cast a sympathy vote you can do so here but really, I'm over it. *sobs quietly* ;~)

7. One little photo can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Thank you Michelle and all the ONEMums\ONEMoms. You did a terrific job and I am honoured to have been with you all the way.

Bottom right on the poster is me :~)

All photos are taken from the ONEMums Pinterest file.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Listography: 5 Things I'd Like To Be reincarnated As

I so wasn't going to do this one. It's a bit silly isn't it, after all? So I went to bed after reading some of the other entries (all available for viewing at Kate Takes 5) and things kept popping into my mind just I was dozing off. Well you don't ignore your Blog when it calls you urgently in the middle of the night so up I got...

Five things I would like to be reincarnated as:

1. The twins - Hindsight and Insight. They work together. When Hindsight tells you what will happen if you follow a certain doomed direction, Insight tells you that even though the situation is slightly different this time Hindsight still knows what he's talking about. I'd never make a wrong decision, a dodgy investment, or a stupid move. I'd be made.

2. A juicer. I'd have to eat healthily then. I mean you can't juice a box of chocolates, a slice of cake or even a plate of chips.

3. A mermaid. Whereas in this life I just get on with it and sort out my own problems, there are those women - usually with flowing locks and floaty long skirts so you can't see their (lack of) legs - who in the face of a crisis, will stand in the centre of the room wittering, "how could I have been so silly...?" Meanwhile everyone (male and female) is rushing around trying to fix things for them, gathering whatever they need, seeing to their children, falling over themselves to make it all better for the (I'm convinced of it) mermaid. I want that.

4. A small bottle of water. Lets face it, they get taken everywhere these days. No celebrity, A-lister,  Royalty, or just plain billionaire, ever leaves home without their little bottle of water. Just think of the places I'd go and the people I'd meet. And then I'd 'spill' everything to Hello Magazine and retire comfortably on the pay-off.

5. Google Translate. I'd be able to read everything in almost every language in the world. I'd be highly sought after by diplomats, scholars and global businesses. It's true that no one will understand a word I say but you can't have everything.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

#DIYdetox Week 1

With 12 weeks exactly until January 1st 2013 (on Tuesday 9th Oct.), I took up Exmoor Jane's #DIYdetox challenge. No it's not juice fasts, coffee enemas and cayenne peppered grapefruit. According to Jane, it's not how much you eat but what you eat that counts. Or rather what you don't eat. Or is it both? Anyway, I hope she's right as I haven't been exactly frugal this week.

My goal for this week was to cut out sugar completely (except those sugars naturally occurring in fruit, vegetables and grains), cut out dairy and meat completely, and cut down on caffeine enough to be able to cut it out from next week. Of course no fried snacks or processed ready made food goes without saying - real food only. Here are my reasons:

Sugar - it's just plain poison, simple as that. Also I had gestational diabetes which means I have a high risk of getting type 2 'old-age' diabetes (which my father has) in the future. It makes sense for me to cut down on the sugar now.

Meat - I have long aspired to be vegetarian. I did it once for quite a long period and my own kitchen has been meat-free for almost 20 years (apart from a few months when I thought it necessary to feed my newly weaned baby some meat). There are lots of reasons (which I keep threatening to blog about and really will one day) but the biggest one for me is the unequal distribution of food in the world, partly caused by the meat industry.

Milk - I accept that milk isn't as healthy as the Milk marketing Board would have us believe. I'm a bit unhappy about giving up cheese, yogurt and butter though. My reasons are not so much detox related as connected to the argument against eating meat. It doesn't matter if the cattle are raised for meat or dairy, the global effects are the same. So dairy is out for now.

Caffeine - I started today with green tea instead of my usual coffee and milk. I reckoned it was a step in the right direction and one bag lasts all day with about six top ups of hot water. However, at about 5pm I started a horrific headache. I ended up drinking two big mugs of strong black coffee and taking two paracetamol tablets. The headache finally passed at about 9.30pm. Now that is frightening. If not drinking caffeine for 20 hours can bring on that amount of pain that's a good enough reason for me to stop drinking it.

No processed food - real food only so that I know what's in it. No non-food chemicals. Also I love cooking so why pay for some company to cook for me and then pay for the packaging etc...

I wish...
I pigged out this week, I admit it. I was eating for Britain (or Israel. Or both). It was partly to compensate for not being able to fill up on endless cups of coffee with milk. Also partly because I didn't plan properly so I was winging it and grabbing food willy-nilly as long as it didn't violate the rules. And a big partly because this was the week before college starts and I have two new courses to teach over which I was more than a little stressed out.

I grazed on nuts and raisins, anything and everything (legal) on toast, and any leftovers wrapped and put in the fridge for tomorrow were taken out later and eaten the same day. Despite all the above, I lost 900g which is exactly 2lbs. I didn't cheat once during the week - no sugar, meat, dairy or processed foods and just one black coffee and one green teabag per day.

How do I feel?
Lemony roast vegetables with ptitim (This is my own photo.)
Incredulous that I lost 2lbs but not particularly vitalised yet. Jane is convinced it's the wheat but I'm not ready to let go of that completely yet.

Week 2:
This week I'm continuing with no sugar, meat, dairy or processed foods. I'll still have my one green teabag but I'm reducing my one coffee/day to half a teaspoon of coffee.

My new challenges are:
1. Only having bread/toast for breakfast and no bread for the rest of the day. (But we may have pasta or crackers for supper.)

2. Eating supper with DD between 5pm and 6pm and nothing in between or after apart from my tea or water, fruit, vegetable sticks or a handful of nuts, raisins or seeds. It's a tough challenge for me but I'm putting off the time when I'll have to add exercise.

Wish me luck!

Credits: Photos and cartoon from Google Images under Detox.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lost Souls

Tonight's 100 Word Challenge from Julia (at Julia's Place where you can see all the other entries) came with the prompt: 

...it can't be that time...

I immediately thought that it can't be that time heals. I didn't even know what I meant by that. Then I saw a call from a friend on fb, a friend who suffered greatly as I know many women do. I don't remember suffering to be honest, although there was a certain amount of shock. However, I answered the call.

Two chemical pregnancies passed pregnancy tests but never achieved a pulse. One with a pulse lasted seven weeks. 

My twin girls were lost at five months. I didn't mourn them. I didn't look back. If you never lived you never were. I wanted a take-home baby.

A friend named her two tiny unborns and buried them. Tonight another friend invited mothers to light a memorial candle for all the lost souls. 

It can't be that time heals when there wasn't any suffering. It could't get any easier than, "I moved on." But I do think about my twin daughters sometimes. Tonight I lit a candle.

This was the call:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lemony Roast Vegetables With Ptitim

Keith the Reluctant Housedad (aka Big Chief Recipe Shed) took up my challenge to make a lemony vegetarian dish that isn't dessert. He came up with Lemony Middle Eastern Roast Vegetables with Zatar served on (so tempted to write: a bed of...) Fluffy Couscous and Feta Cheese. It looks amazing. I was especially intrigued by the cubes of lemon with the peel that get roasted with the vegetables. Of course I promised to cook it myself and blog about it...

Now what would be the point of reproducing exactly Keith's recipe and writing an almost identical post? Exactly. So I've made a few modifications....

1. Instead of butternut squash, I substituted aubergine. I love roast aubergine and it's still very Middle Eastern.

2. I'm not a fan of cooked chickpeas and anyway I use chickpeas a lot in my homemade humus and falafel. So I left out the chickpeas and put in garlic.

3. I forgot to buy a green pepper so I just have the red pepper and courgettes (mine are the light green ones rather than the dark ones that Keith used) to go with my aubergine and garlic.

4. I can't put feta cheese in my couscous because I'm doing a DIY-Detox with Jane from Diary Of a Desperate Exmoor Woman. I've cut out dairy completely so no cheese sorry.

5. We're not big on couscous although the couscous with feta sounds amazing. Seeing as I'm not doing the feta and I'm also trying to feed a 3yo I used coucous ptitim intsead.

About Ptitim

In the early days of the State of Israel in the 1950s, there were many refugees from Arab countries. They weren't used to the pasta and potatoes familiar to the Europeans. They cooked with couscous, lentils and rice. A cheap oven-baked pasta was created in the shapes of rice (like orzo), lentils, couscous, and the giant pearl couscous (maftoul or mograbeih). You cook it like rice or pasta. They are now a favourite Israeli food and come in rings, stars and hearts as well. Follow the links for a fuller account on Wikipedia.

So here it is:

For the marinade: Olive oil, lemon juice, zatar (if you can't find zatar cumin is also good and still Middle Eastern). I added salt and pepper though Keith didn't.

Cube the vegetables: aubergine, courgettes, red pepper, garlic (throw in whole cloves with the peel still on). I left out the whole cubed lemon as this was my second attempt. The one I made yesterday I found too lemony. Keith, however says he likes the sharpness so it's a matter of taste. I prefer a subtle hint of lemon.

Mix the marinade into the vegetables and leave to marinate for at least an hour.

Roast the vegetables in the oven for about an hour turning them over occasionally. (Yesterday I added black olives after about 45 minutes and it was a nice touch. Today I didn't have any.)

Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their peels and squash each one lightly with a fork to release the flavour.

Serve the roast vegetables on a bed of  (just kidding) with ptitim.

When I packed the leftovers away I mixed everything together and it actually looks like a very nice side dish to serve with fish or chicken.

Thanks Keith!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Don't All Thunderclap At Once

So about this Thunderclap... Please do all thunderclap at once. We have 9 days left to get another 90 supporters and our combined reach is over 12,000 with only 10 supporters. That means, if we get 100 supporters, the message about ONE.org International will be sent to about 120,000 people. If we don't reach 100 people within the next 9 days an enormous fat nothing happens.

Michelle with a farmer and her daughter in Ethiopia
I've been blogging about ONE.org International all week as one of Michelle Panell's (@Michelletwinmum and Mummy From The Heart) ground support team. Michelle herself is on the #ONEMums mission in Ethiopia to see and experience the work that ONE.org do. They don't initiate programmes themselves but rather they follow up all the promises made by politicians and all the foreign aid donated from around the world to make sure it all happens, and that it happens effectively and honestly.

Please join the thunderclap below. All my posts about #ONEMums (also #ONEMoms) are listed below and each one links back to Michelle's first hand accounts.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

A mother and her baby from the cooperative of bee keepers
Related posts:
Where You Live Determines If You Live
Lend Us Your Voice
Living Proof

A Simple Idea - MaryJoy
FashionABLE - A Different Opportunity
The Biggest Problem You Never Heard OF

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Biggest Problem You've Never Heard OF

I didn't make the heading up myself. I read it on the Operation OF website. Today is the first UN International day of the Girl. Many bloggers and journalists are writing about this important initiative and there is certainly much to write.

The International Day of the Girl includes equality in education for girls, equal standing in traditional families, fighting to stop childhood marriage (where it is invariably the girl who is still the child), equal opportunities for girls, and just about every issue in which girls get less or are treated as less than boys.

One of the loudest causes has been the fight against child marriage. There are lots of obvious reasons (and some less obvious) why a girl should not be 'sold' into marriage as a young teenager. Follow @WorldVisionUK and @WorldVisionPR and World Vision’s facebook page for news and stories on #childmarriage. One of them is the biggest problem you've never heard of (or OF) - obstetric fistula.

The Hamlin Fistula Hosptal, Addis Ababa

Michelle describes her visit to the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa as part of the ONEMums mission. She states that the physical immaturity of the child-mothers makes this condition more likely to occur. Operation OF describes it as follows:

"Obstetric Fistula is the Biggest Problem You’ve Never Heard OF

Imagine five days of labor that end in stillbirth. As you try to pull yourself together emotionally after this unimaginable loss, you realize that you’re constantly wet. You don’t know why, but that five days of labor made a hole in your bladder that constantly leaks urine. This hole is also known as an obstetric fistula. You try to drink less, but that makes your wretched smell even stronger. Your husband thinks you’re cursed so he leaves. No one wants to work with you because you stink. You can’t even get water because you are the unclean. You are left alone on the margins of society begging for an end to your suffering. This is obstetric fistula."

Some of the women treated at the Hamlin Fistula Hospital, Addis Ababa

And yet this condition is easily treatable with a relatively quick and simple operation. Read the women's stories on the OperationOF website. Read Michelle's account of the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa. Both have suggestions for how you can help if you are so moved. This is the issue that grabbed my attention and moved me. 11/10 is the International Day of the Girl. A girl is a girl, not a wife/mother/breadwinner. Remember what it was like to be a girl? There are, as I said, many causes involved with this Day. Find yours and make a difference. 

Related posts: 
Where You Live Determines If You Live
Lend Us Your Voice
Living Proof

A Simple Idea - MaryJoy
FashionABLE - A Different Opportunity

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

FashionABLE - A Different Opportunity

When Michelle told me that the ONEMums mission would include a visit to FashionABLE I was hoping she would write about it. I am a big scarves person, I have a whole drawer full of them. And now when I choose a scarf to wear DD has to choose a scarf for herself to wear too.

Michelle writes that she could have been Mulu but for the luck of geography.  We all could have been a Mulu. I know that whatever it takes to provide for my daughter I would do, even if it's something I hate, in the face of no other opportunity.

Watch the short Youtube clip below about the FashionABLE story, about a different opportunity...

On another topic. The Thunderclap mystery is solved. I found out what happens if 100 people sign the Thunderclap below in support of ONE.org by October 22nd. If we get 100 supporters all our combined social outreach (see the number at the bottom) will receive a tweet or fb message asking them to support ONE.org International. Is that awesome or is that awesome? So please join and spread the word. 3% (the participation so far) means only 3 names. Not brilliant with only 12 days to go. I thank thee in advance.

Related posts: 
Where You Live Determines If You Live
Lend Us Your Voice
Living Proof

A Simple Idea - MaryJoy