Where is True North?

Do you ever wonder whether you are heading in the right direction? So much of life we do without a road map, a guide or any sense of the terrain ahead. And on some days this is really daunting. Terrifying even. Looking for ‘True North’ the right way forward is I believe a delicate balance of drawing on divine intervention, the framework of your belief, the discernment and wisdom of those who share the journey with you and all with an openness of learning and willingness to enjoy the travel.

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Alternative uses for Coffee Whitener that will Surprise you….

I found a recipe that called for an ingredient that is foreign to our panty – coffee whitener. You would think that it must be a milk product that mimics the whitening effect on your coffee. And after a little research that is exactly what I have found. Coffee Whitener is a strange concoction of ingredients that may include, depending on the brand corn syrup solids,vegetable oil (including partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil), sodium caseinate, dipotassium phosphate, mono- and diglycerides, sodium aluminosilicate, artificial flavour and annatto colour. With a list like that I am thinking it is not a ‘natural’ product.

But more than being wary of a ‘food’ that is artificial and less than what mother nature intended I was alarmed at some of the other properties of Coffee Whitener. According to this website your average coffee whitener can be used in film making. As with many other powders, non-dairy creamer is susceptible to dust explosion and this product has been used by amateur film makers to create Pyrotechnic magic and snow effects.  It is also a cleaner – it whitens clothes when made into a paste, it can de-foam fish tanks and clean whiteboards.

So before you take the coffee mate, coffee whitener or non-dairy creamer sachet you see in the cafe or canteen, think again. I know you would have anyway but I thought it might be fun to offer a little expose on the product. Real milk is the real way to whiten your coffee.

M is for Mark and Marlon

I have made the annual pilgrimage to a local music festival. This weekend has been busy for musicians in the south western part of the state. There have been several really big names that are drawing massive crowds and other musical gems waiting to be found.

Today I discovered a newbie and an oldie. Marlon Williams, a Kiwi who oozes Elvis and Roy Orbison, commanding his guitar to make some magic. And then Mark Seymour, who continues to gather new fans while reminding the older ones of the good old Hunters and Collectors days.

Both “M” men perform well and have confidence that is fitting for their years and experience.

I am fascinated by the power of music to instill life, joy and peace in people of so many walks of life, stages and ages, shapes and sizes. Music that makes you want to move and connect; reflect and be challenged. I am reminded of the power of music past to evoke memory and nostalgia and to open new doors and opportunities. So as my man and I juggle our tribe of five and many more teenage bodies in our home this weekend I am hoping that there will be an awakening to the power of music performance. Mmmm.

Wonder Woman

I laugh when I see this pose of Linda Carter as Wonder Woman, an old school hero of mine. The superhero genre has come along way – today the look is less retro, they have more sex appeal and perhaps more coverage of the female body with latex or lycra. But this pose, strong, legs apart, hands on hips, looking straight at the camera…this is a pose of a wonder woman. A woman of confidence, strength, knowledge and power. Even if the inner self is trembling, fearful and anxious there is an argument for taking up this pose, breathing for 10 seconds and finding renewed strength. Apparently it works, according to Jacqui Marson a psychologist and author of  “The Curse of Lovely: How to break free from the demands of others and learn to say no”

I might try this with my kids when tackling the mini meltdown or teenage tantrum; or in the workplace when being bombarded by extra demands. It would be great just to feel more confident going into battle with little people or the ‘ugly’ colleague. Bottom line it would be good to feel strong. Let’s do it. Adopt the Wonder Woman pose – three sets a day for the next week. I wonder what we will feel?