Monthly News No 205

Safety

Charmayne Meyer – Safety Officer

Tips on safety for children

Home injuries are the leading source of accidental death for children. How can you keep your home safe?

Home — it’s where children grow and learn, the place where they find comfort, love and care. It’s where they can see, touch, explore and experience the world around them, so their minds and bodies develop properly. It’s also a place where children need to feel safe. However, home injuries are a leading source of accidental death for children. Almost 21 million medical visits and 20,000 deaths each year are the result of accidents in the home. Media reports bring attention to the possible accidents that can occur, such as being bitten by a trusted pet, choking on balloons or wandering out the front door.

Fortunately, home injuries are largely avoidable through education and prevention. Parents can take proactive steps to childproof the home and keep their children safe by teaching them a few practical rules.

Never Leave Children Alone Near Water

Never leave a child unattended near water, even for a few seconds. Splashing around in the water at bath time or playtime is great fun for children, yet water presents many possible hazards. Drowning can occur in less than an inch of water, making bathtubs, sinks, pools and even pails a source of great danger. For safety, it’s essential to prevent situations that may lead to accidents. Never leave a child unattended near water, even for just a few seconds. If the phone or doorbell rings while your baby or young child is in the bathtub, pick him up, wrap him in a towel and take him with you. Do not leave him alone: It takes only a few seconds for drowning to occur. If you leave your baby with a caregiver, make sure he or she knows your safety rules.

Backyard pools, hot tubs, wading pools, even small koi or fishponds, can become dangerous in an instant. Make sure you have a fence around the pool or pond to keep young children from venturing where they shouldn’t, and consider an alarm system on doors leading out to the pool area. Hot tubs should be covered when they are not in use. Wading pools or splash pools should always be emptied when playtime is over.

Scalding burns from hot water are also a potential concern. To be safe, lower your hot water heater settings to 49 degrees C to avoid scalding by water that comes out of the bathtub or sink faucets. Test bath water temperature with your hand or elbow to make sure it is at a comfortable temperature before lowering your child into the tub.

Keep Sleeping Areas as Bare as Possible, Especially for Babies

Keep your baby’s crib as bare as possible.
Suffocation is a leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, and 60 percent of these cases occur in a baby’s sleeping environment. An infant’s nose and mouth can be covered accidently by soft fluffy pillows, comforters or stuffed animals, restricting his or her ability to breathe. Keep your baby’s crib as bare as possible. Use one light blanket and tuck the bottom underneath the end of the mattress to create a pocket. The blanket should only reach to the center of your baby’s chest so that it can’t be pulled over his head. As the weather get cooler, dress your baby in warmer pajamas instead of adding blankets, or consider using sleep sacks.

As children get older, talk to them about the dangers of suffocation and be diligent in providing safe areas for play. Watch out for potential hazards and find ways to make them safer, such as:

  • Remove lids or locks from furniture or trunks to prevent a child from climbing inside and finding it cannot be opened from the inside
  • Remove doors from old refrigerators or freezers
  • Keep plastic sacks, such as grocery bags or dry cleaning wraps, out of reach
  • Lock the car trunk and keep car keys hidden

Cover Electrical Outlets and Protect Children from Electrical Wires

Outlet cover? Check. But there’s a bigger problem with this picture. Electrical shock causes deaths and injuries each year. An electrical shock occurs whenever a child touches an electrically charged object, while touching another surface that can conduct the electricity to the ground. Proper grounding, electrical safety devices and avoiding hazardous situations can help prevent electrical shock in children.

Childproof your home from electric shock with these safety tips:

  • Cover unused electrical sockets with plastic covers
  • Repair or discard any damaged appliances or electric cords
  • Keep young children away from electrical appliances
  • Teach kids to respect electricity as early as possible
  • Do not use a hair dryer or radio near water

Electricity is also a common cause of household fires. If you notice unusual odors, flickering lights or unusual power surges, have an electrician inspect your house and make sure the wiring system is safe.

Keep Small Items and Food Out of Reach

Many injuries occur when children are unable to breathe because food or other objects block their internal airways and cause choking. Most choking injuries occur with food items, so cut your child’s meals and snacks into bite-sized pieces. Children are at risk from choking on small candies, nuts, hotdogs, grapes, carrots and popcorn, so keep these foods out of their reach.

Make sure small household items, such as coins, buttons, jewelry, small balls and pins, are stored away from a child’s reach to avoid accidental choking. Don’t select toys with many small parts. Look for labeling on toys with small parts that warn they are not safe for children under 3 years old.

Beware of the hidden dangers that lurk inside handbags and briefcases. Children are naturally curious about what’s in Grandma’s purse, but loose coins, gum, small candies, medicine, cosmetics, cigarettes, matches or other items commonly stashed in a purse can be deadly to a small child. So when Grandma (or another relative or friend) comes to visit, make sure her belongings are kept safely out of reach (and yours are, too).

TO ALL PARENTS OUT THERE. PLEASE TAKE CARE OF THE LITTLE ONES THEY ARE SO PRECIOUS.


Signage and Maintenance

Roxy Roux – Maintenance Manager

As you all know, I have taken over the Maintenance Department and with a smooth handover from Hugh have adapted to the hectic customer demands most comfortably.

We have again been inundated with call out and breakdown maintenance. Mostly generator repairs all over the greater KwaZulu-Natal. Most of the breakdowns were cable failures that our workforce handled superbly. All the preventive maintenance have been adhered to for the month.

Our Koos and his partner (Isuzu Cato 20) have been spending a lot of time on the road assisting the various projects to uplifting and conveying spares and equipment, assisting the project managers to lighten their burdens and concentrate on business at hand.

In the stores we would like to welcome Arthur as our new Stores Co-Ordinator. He has already taken the bull by the horns and between him and Helena are assisting to get the new stores functionality in place.

Various site visits have been attended and our sales and marketing have ensured that the maintenance staff are kept busy throughout the month.

We are looking forward to the month of June where we might face new challenges and be proactive in solving them.

Thank you for a great month and remember, only you can make the difference.


The G-Spot – Pub & Diner

Taylea Petersen

Another end to an awesome month that has brought many new faces as well as our great regulars. The support has been outstanding. It is a great pleasure to see and meet new people that love coming to support the G-Spot pub & restaurant.

Friday specials for June:

  • 5 th – Eisbein & Mash
  • 12 th – Piet’s chunky soup & bread
  • 19th- T-bone (300g) chips & salad
  • 26 th – Chicken strips, chips & salad

Don’t miss out!!!

We are glad to welcome spider Murch back. He will be doing karaoke every last Friday of the month.

Don’t miss out on our ARB Rugby day on the 25 th July 2015. There are Great hampers & prizes to give away, as well as booze specials. Come along and support us & have a blast.

A big thank you to Sherry, Freddy & Patience for the great service to the customers.

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Arnfred Nursery

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June Birthdays

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Dates to Remember in June

4th – Hug your cat day
5th – World environment day
16th – Youth Day
21st – Father’s day


 

Ghamiets Corner

An initiative by Cato Ridge Electrical Construction in conjunction with Voltex MV / LV to assist the children in the Edendale Township by providing quality education in centres of excellence.

Once again a brief report of the assistance that Cato Ridge Electrical Construction (CREC) in conjunction with Voltex MV / LV is providing for the community in Edendale:

To date we run 16 crèches and 480 children are fed a balanced meal every day which ensures that they remain healthy and their concentration levels are high.
It is a known fact in the community that the GEMS children are much smarter than their peers when they attend main stream schooling because they receive quality education since they are taught the Montessori Method in class.

The Directors of both CREC and Voltex MV / LV would like to encourage staff to assist over weekends etc. when free to interact with the “Teachers and the Little GEMS”

The photo below shows some of the Little GEMS in class:

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Watch this space there is much more to follow over the next few months.

Ghamiet Aysen
(Director)


 

Word of the Month

Ambrose Williams

Psalm 21:2-3

“You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips…. For You send blessings of good things to meet him.”

  • God is a good God
  • Just think how the Lord undertook for Joseph, David and Abraham.
  • He hears the requests that come from your lips.
  • He will not abandon you, but rather He will give you a hope and a future.

PRAYER: Lord, You know the very requests that are on my lips even if they are unspoken. I pray that I will see Your goodness here in the land of the living.
Amen


Health

The papaya, a previously exotic and rare fruit, is now readily available at most times of the year. Papayas grow in tropical climates and are also known as papaws or pawpaws. Their sweet taste, vibrant colour and wide variety of health benefits are just a few reasons to add them to your diet.

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Nutritional breakdown of papaya

One medium papaya has approximately 120 calories, 30 grams of carbohydrate (including 5 grams of fibre and 18 grams of sugar) and 2 grams of protein.

Papayas are an excellent source of vitamin C and one single medium fruit provides 224% of your daily needs. Papayas are a good source of folate, vitamin A, magnesium, copper, pantothenic acid and fibre. They also have B vitamins, alpha and beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, vitamin K and lycopene, the powerful antioxidant most commonly associated with tomatoes.

Possible health benefits of consuming papaya

Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle- related health conditions. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like papayas decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, heart disease and promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, overall lower weight.

Premature Aging: Many alternative medical practitioners believe that one of the benefits of papaya is to control premature aging. Papaya helps the body to properly digest food and when the body digests all the nutrients it needs, the body will remain vital for a long time.

Age-related macular degeneration: The antioxidant zeaxanthin, found in papaya, filters out harmful blue light rays and is thought to play a protective role in eye health and possibly ward off damage from macular degeneration. A higher intake of all fruits (3 or more servings per day) has also been shown to decrease risk of, and progression of, age-related macular degeneration.

Asthma prevention: The risks for developing asthma are lower in people who consume a high amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is beta-carotene, contained in foods like papaya, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, pumpkin and carrots.

Bone health: Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture. Adequate vitamin K consumption is important for good health, as it acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption and may reduce urinary excretion of calcium.

Diabetes: Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fibre diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One medium papaya provides about 4.7 grams of fibre. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 21-25 g/day for women and 30-38 g/day for men.

Digestion: Papayas contain an enzyme called papain that aids in digestion and can also be used as a meat tenderizer. Papain is also used in as digestive enzymes to treat individuals with cystic fibrosis or pancreatic conditions; producing for them what the body cannot produce naturally. Eating papaya is also a benefit because papain taken orally treats less serious digestion disorders such as bloating and chronic indigestion. In these cases papain is extracted, dried and sold as tablets. Papaya is also high in fibre and water content, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract.

Cleanser: Taking a quarter pint (150ml) of papaya juice, cucumber juice and green bean juice in alternating hours for 12 hours can be a benefit to your colon. These juices work as potent natural cleansers when combined. Papaya is also rich in fibre, which travels through the body and binds itself to cancer-causing toxins in the colon. The fibre in papaya flushes out the toxins in the colon and so one of the benefits of papaya is that it helps prevent colon cancer especially, due to its antioxidants and its fibre content.

Male Virility: Another great benefit of papaya is to boost male virility. Papaya contains an enzyme called arginine which is known in the medically community to boost blood flow around the man-hood. Arginine boosts nitric acid in the body to relax the muscles surrounding the blood vessels that supply the man- hood. These blood vessels then dilate and increase blood flow. A more concentrated form of arginine is used to treat erectile dysfunction.

Heart Attacks & Disease: The fibre, potassium and vitamin content in papaya all help to ward off heart disease. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. The antioxidants in papaya prevent cholesterol from oxidizing. When cholesterol becomes oxidized it forms plaque in the blood vessel walls that can eventually build up and cause a heart attack or stroke. Also, fibre is known to lower cholesterol. The fibre in papaya converts a substance called homocysteine into harmless amino acids that the body can process, but without the breakdown, homocysteine can eventually damage blood vessel walls, causing strokes or heart attacks.

Inflammation: The choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in papayas that aids our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.

Skin and healing: When used topically, mashed papaya appears to be beneficial for promoting wound healing and preventing infection of burned areas. Researchers believe that the proteolytic enzymes chymopapain and papain in papaya are responsible for its beneficial effects. Ointments containing the papain enzyme have also been used to treat decubitus ulcers or bedsores.

Papaya is also great for your hair because it contains vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production that keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.

Adequate intake of vitamin C, which papaya can provide, is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair.

How to incorporate more papaya into your diet

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You can incorporate more papaya into your diet by making a tropical fruit salad or adding a few slices to your favourite dish.

  • Look for fresh papayas with reddish orange skin that are soft to the touch. One of the best ways to enjoy a papaya is as is. Just cut like a melon, scoop out the seeds and enjoy. The seeds of the papaya are actually edible, but have a bitter, peppery taste.
  • Make a tropical fruit salad with fresh papaya, pineapple and mango.
  • Muddle papaya into your glass of lemonade, iced tea or water for a burst of fresh fruity flavour.
  • Make a fresh salsa with papaya, mango, jalapeno, red peppers and chipotle pepper. Use as a topper for your favourite fish tacos.
  • Add a few slices of frozen papaya to your smoothies. Combine with pineapple juice, half a frozen banana and Greek yogurt for a sweet tropical treat.

Potential health risks of consuming papaya

If you have a latex allergy, you may also be allergic to papaya because papayas have chitanases, often causing the cross-reaction between latex and the foods that contain them.

It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is better to consume a diet with variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.

On the hunt for a few nice pictures for the newsletter I came across the American Pawpaw (also known as Asimina Triloba) and was quite surprised at the big difference between theirs and what we in South Africa commonly refer to as a Pawpaw (or Papaya).

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Taylea’s Graduation

Taylea officially had her Graduation on 27 May 2015. She is the first out of all the Petersen girls to get a degree. As your father you have made me very proud and I am sure you will continue succeeding at everything you put your mind to.


Silly Corner

Courtesy of the little fairy in signage we have some funnies to share with everyone this month.

One sunny morning before everyone had crawled into the office for another grilling day of work Taylea was occupying herself in reception when in walked Peter from the great outdoors. Seeing as the passage door is ALWAYS open he wasn’t prepared for the sad fact that it was closed this time and walked straight into the door. After fighting with the finger scanner for what seemed like ages he finally got to slink back to the comfort of his office to plot revenge on the door and its minion.

About a week later Michael Jordaan emails Taylea some work related items and promptly asked her the next time he saw her if she had received the email. Taylea, being herself, said she would have to check. Upon getting to her office she replies to the same email he sent her saying no she hasn’t received the email.. A while later she gets a reply saying “ok, I’ll resend it.” Clearly someone was still asleep…

The best so far was Taylea herself. She gets to work last Friday dressed all nicely with her high heel boots and her formal jacket, only to remove the jacket later in the morning and realise that her shirt is on inside out. Needless to say you could only hear laughter throughout the office.

Monthly News No 204

25 YEARS OF SERVICE AND STILL GOING STRONG

By Peter Petersen

The 1st of April, also known as April fool’s day, which to me signifies to past work mates in Joburg that I was not joking when I said I was moving to Durban. This will be my 25 th anniversary at CREC and my it has flown past so quickly and also with a lot of challenges as I mentioned in our newsletter in December last year, which I will not delve into.

Some awesome facts when I first arrived here:

  • Arn was 6 years old and Taylea exactly 1 month old
  • Luca was a few months old and was staying in the room next door to my office during the mornings when Jacqui still worked here half day
  • Yes and Samantha you were not even born yet and I used to do work at your parents farm where you still reside today
  • The current reception was a garage in which one of our staff members lived
  • We had a total of 9 staff members
  • We only had 4 vehicles none of which had power steering
  • Factory 1 ( stores ) was a cabbage patch Factory 2 – 4 was grass where Kim kept his prize Bram Angus cattle
  • Billy’s and Taylea’s offices were open garages
  • Paula’s office and the admin offices were our original stores
  • We were the first people to host a party on comrades day with a live band next to the road, Tony was part of that band
  • Kim, yes Kim, used to smoke cigars in his office and wore short Tee sav shorts like Marius to work
  • Our annual turnover was 1.2mil ( 100,000.00 per month average )
  • The bar operated on a ticket system
  • We had no cell phones nor did we have any computers
  • I had not met Mara but was doing work for her parents on their farm where Mara and Paula resided at the time
  • Our Telephone system had 3 extensions very posh at the time
  • None of our offices or vehicles had air-conditioning ( Arn you would have loved the CS )
  • Hugh Coleman still wore glasses and worked for Gromor

I must say that working at CREC has been the happiest years of my life especially being part of its growth and all the amazing characters that I work with, especially my brother Kim, who is a total inspiration in my life. I have learnt so much from him and yes we have our differences but that is what boets do and that is why we have been so successful, by agreeing to disagree. With the exception of my youngest daughter Dayne, who at present is at boarding school, I also have the absolute pleasure and honour having all our children working with us. They all have degrees and have added value as well as introducing a total different business strategy to our company which will ultimately put us back in number one position where we were for so many years. Last but not least: to my wife Mara who has stood behind me giving me all the support that I could have possibly hoped for.

Finally this is the part where I go to the bar for a “few” jaegers

Best Regards,

Peter Petersen
Commercial Director
For Cato Ridge Electrical Construction (Pty) Ltd


Electrical

Andre Grobler – Electrical Manager

I have scribbled a few lines in an attempt to abridge the past fortnights activities and to take the opportunity to thank everyone for the hard work put in.

The electrical construction department is scurrying around trying to get organised for our recently awarded project in Ladysmith. Containers are frantically being sent to site, to set up our site establishment, and simultaneously preparations are under way for the first of our MV switchboard replacements (below), which will take place this long weekend.

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Congratulations to our sister company Voltex for completing and sending out their first Simoprime Panel

Kevin will assume the responsibility of site manager on this project ably assisted by Pieter and Clayton who will be his site supervisors, this is another fast track project but with the experienced and skilled team we have assembled I feel sure everything will run smoothly. So all that is left to say is good luck chaps.

Kevin has also just completed hot commissioning on his Richmond project, and all seems to be running well. I would like to congratulate Kevin and his team for the splendid effort and commitment shown during the very tiring and trying construction phase of this project. Well done chaps once again you’ve done us proud.

Wesley and his Island View crew have also been doing some fine work on the island for quite a number of different customers, and the positive feedback that has filtered down is most heartening. So once again, well done chaps keep it up.

Alan and his team building overhead lines on our North Coast project, have of late run into a number of snags; which thankfully are almost sorted out and it looks like it will be all systems go again. So keep your chin up Alan and carry on doing what you do best.

Sean, our safety manager, has as usual been running from site to site keeping the lads in order and ensuring everyone goes home safely to their loved ones every day. Thanks for your efforts Sean much appreciated.

Last but not least, a big thanks to our buying and commercial departments without whom, the construction department could not function effectively.


Mechanical

Hugh Coleman – Mechanical Manager

Hello from a frantically busy maintenance department. The word generator that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue at the moment is permanently on ours. We have been inundated with call outs regarding generator failures with the same old words “please this is urgent can you send someone right now”. People must think that we have technicians all sitting around like firemen waiting for that fateful call. It definitely is the right business to be in rite now, pity one couldn’t predict the future and have had thousands of sets built and ready to sell.

Here is my heavy duty crane truck delivering a generator set to one of our many happy customers. At least you will always have fresh hot chicken.

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Safety

Charmayne Meyer – Safety officer

What To Do When Your Vehicle Breaks Down

How you fare when your vehicle fails is often a matter of how you respond. The decisions you make are important and can have positive or negative consequences. Fortunately, most problems are preventable.

Prevention and preparedness are key:

  • Get in the habit of conducting periodic safety checks to make sure your vehicle is in good operating condition.
  • A safety check includes tires, lights, belts, hoses, fluids and windshield wipers.
  • Read your owner’s manual to clearly understand which dash lights or signals indicate your vehicle is not operating properly and what to do in such situations.
  • Before a road trip, contact AAA or your local mechanic to arrange for a free test of your vehicle’s battery, starting and charging system. This can help determine how much life is left in your battery and if any other components need repairs.
  • Program your cell phone with emergency numbers, including that of your roadside assistance provider, and keep a backup written list in your glove compartment.
  • Always carry a well-stocked emergency kit and familiarize yourself with the use of safety flares, warning triangles and other emergency equipment.

What to do when trouble strikes

Since surroundings, traffic patterns and vehicle hazards can vary, it’s important to evaluate your specific situation and react accordingly. The following steps are a good starting place:

1. Note your vehicle’s location: If you encounter a problem while driving, make sure you are aware of your surroundings and general location. Know where you are in relation to a major exit or cross street and look for well-lighted areas. If you are on an interstate highway, note the mile marker, last exit number or nearest rest area.

2. Assess the problem: While driving, be aware of and know how to respond to warning signs such as steering problems, unusual noises or steam or smoke coming from under the hood. If it’s a flat tire or you run out of fuel, try not to panic. Signal, slow down gradually and carefully pull onto the shoulder of the road, avoiding any sudden maneuvers.

3. Pull off the road: On most roads, you should exit onto the far left shoulder, as far off the road as possible while remaining on level ground. If you exit the vehicle, never stand behind or directly in front of it to help avoid injuries if your car is struck by another vehicle.

  • What if you cannot pull off the road: If your vehicle loses power and is inoperable, switch on safety/hazard lights. Do not risk personal injury by attempting to push it to a safe location. If you cannot get your vehicle to a location away from traffic, or if you are uncertain about your safety and think your vehicle may get struck from behind, get out of the vehicle and move away from the road to a safer location.

4. Alert other drivers: Make sure your vehicle is visible to other drivers, remembering that they may be traveling at a high rate of speed.

  • Turn on the hazard lights, especially at night or during inclement weather.
  • Raise your vehicle’s hood. If you have a brightly colored handkerchief or scarf, tie it to the antenna or door handle, or hold it in place by closing it in a window.
  • Place flares or warning triangles behind your car to direct oncoming traffic away from the vehicle.
    • As a rule of thumb, place the first flare or triangle 3 metres directly behind the side of the vehicle closest to the road. Place the second 30 metres (longer distances as the posted speed limit increases) directly behind the vehicle, lining it up with the middle of the bumper. Always watch for oncoming traffic when placing warning devices.
    • If you are experiencing a fuel leak or smell fuel fumes, do not ignite a flare or use anything that produces a spark or flame.

5. Communicate your situation: Once you and any passengers are in a safe location, notify others of your vehicle breakdown. Make note of surroundings and landmarks, buildings or road signs.

  • If you have a cell phone, immediately use it to call for help. Make the call from inside your vehicle if you are safely out of traffic. Otherwise, do so at a safe distance from the vehicle and roadway.

6. Remain with your vehicle: Safety experts agree that under most circumstances if you are able to pull away from traffic, it is safest to remain in your vehicle until a law enforcement officer or road service provider arrives.

  • In some circumstances, when there is no other alternative, you may need to rely on the help of a friendly motorist or passerby. Should this be your only alternative to get help, ask for identification including name, phone number and address before accepting assistance. Write this information down and leave it with another person, or in the vehicle, explaining where you are going, when you expect to return and what you hope to accomplish.
  • If you choose to exit the vehicle, do so safely and well away from oncoming traffic and your vehicle. If possible, you and any passengers should exit through the side of the vehicle facing away from the road.
  • If you choose to stay inside your vehicle, keep the windows almost closed and the doors locked. It’s very dangerous to lower your windows or open your vehicle doors to strangers. If a stranger does stop to offer help, ask the person to call for emergency road service.Safety greetings

Safety Greetings
Charmayne Meyer – Safety Officer


Signage and Maintenance

Taylea Petersen

As I’m sure you all noticed there was no article for maintenance and signage last month as it has been chaotic and upside down on this side of the wall; between quotes flying, call outs ringing off the hook and signage booming. Poor Mr Coleman doesn’t know whether to look left or right.

Maintenance seems to be creeping up out of the darkness and into the light (excuse the pun) as SLA’s are slowly building up. Pierre and Wimpie seem to be running around servicing generators, with Leonard installing and fixing lights, Vic hopping along with all his dismantling and assembling of machinery and old smiley (Charl) smelling all the fumes at Engen and getting happier every day.

I think it’s safe to say that things are looking up and we also have to thank the famous ‘load shedding’ as that helped with the increase in business – one positive aspect about load shedding at least.

As far as signage goes, it just seems to be picking up even more. Roland needs a time out, as we are flying through our stock, blades are getting blunt faster all because everyone always seem to require materials ‘yesterday’. Taylea and Prof are pulling their hair out and trying to stay on top of the demand but you will soon see they will be bald from all the hair pulling.

Otherwise things are looking up on the maintenance and signage side. If it continues to carry on like this you will soon see the staff looking ripped from all the running around.


The G-Spot – Pub & Diner

G-Spot will be starting the Loyalty card on the 4 th May 2015, where staff and regular customers will be getting discounts on their tabs once a Month. This is a thank you for all the support everyone has given the G-Spot. We would like to have more regular customers join our pub, as well as our stunning gardens. A great end to April with all our Friday Specials selling very well, we hope that everyone enjoyed them.

Our May Specials coming up:

  • 8 th May – Oxtail Stew
  • 15 th May – Stuffed calamari & Chips
  • 22 nd May – Pulled Pork Rolls
  • 29th May – Pizza’s…so come support us and enjoy our delicious meals!!

Starting from 5 th May 2015 G-Spot will be doing a pensioner’s day every Tuesday where customers over the age of 60 years will get 10% off their bill, so come along and bring friends & family for a lovely lunch or drinks.

We are going to be doing a bucket evening in May/June were you can buy any SAB product, which will consist of 6 Beers in a bucket at the price of R60.00 so come get your drink on.

July – August is the time for our aloes to start blooming, where we enjoy having all garden clubs come and admire our beautiful gardens with a Cup of tea/coffee as well as a muffin or sandwich. We are glad to have a few garden clubs coming to join us in the next few Months thank you to all, and thank you to Mara and Kitty for keeping the gardens magnificent as they always are.


 

Arnfred Nursery

Kloof Conservancy’s Indigenous Open Gardens Show is its flagship project and main annual fundraising fixture. Over the years, it has been instrumental in contributing to the protection of KwaZulu-Natal’s biodiversity by educating the broader public about our floral diversity and the merits of indigenous gardening, and by raising significant sums of money for local conservation projects, including for the removal of invasive alien plants in Krantzkloof Nature Reserve.

The Indigenous Open Gardens show is Kloof Conservancy’s main fundraiser and has been taking place since 1999. Over these years we have raised over R500 000 directly for Krantzkloof Nature Reserve and more recently funds have been used on our numerous environmental projects in Kloof and our immediate surrounds. The show has “inspired” many home owners to convert to indigenous gardening with the stunning range of gardens that have been featured over the years and this year’s event will no doubt continue this trend!

The Upper Highway is situated within the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Biodiversity Hotspot and is well known for the wealth of flora and fauna that is found in the area. The protection of this flora and fauna through indigenous gardens has been the theme of all our Indigenous Garden events.

GUIDELINES

Some simple guidelines to help you enjoy the gardens:

  • Wear sensible shoes – there are areas with cobblestone paving or gravel or slopes!
  • The are many interesting/unusual trees so bring along a tree book
  • Take a pair of binoculars if you are interested in birds – gardens create habitats which are ideal for birds and the dams attract many waterbirds.
  • Plan your comfort breaks – there are toilet facilities at the entrance and at the Tea Garden.
  • May can be very hot and you are going to be in the sun for much of the day – wear sunscreen and a hat – cooldrinks will be for sale at the entrance and at the Tea Garden
  • The gardens are “open” but the homes are not – please respect the owners privacy and do not wander through private spaces
  • Please do not bring any animals into the estate

DETAILS

  • When: 16 May 2015 – 17 May 2015
  • Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Where: Cotswold Downs Estate

(all information taken from http://www.kloofconservancy.org.za )

There will be a number of nurseries (Arnfred included) with indigenous plant for sale on both days.

Please note that we will not be having an open day this month.


 

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Dates to Remember in May

1st – Workers Day
6th – No Diet Day
10th – Mother’s Day
31st – Save your Hearing Day


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Word of the Month

Ambrose Williams

Isaiah 60:20

“The Lord Will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.”

  • No Situation or circumstance lasts forever.
  • Things can and will change, just like the seasons.
  • Through it all the Lord remains your ‘Everlasting Light’.
  • He will light your way and bring it to pass.

PRAYER: Lord, be my ‘Everlasting Light’. Thank You that I can trust You that the seasons of my life will change in Your perfect timing.

Amen


Health

With Winter almost being upon us and the weather changing from blissfully hot to what feels like below freezing at times, we’re looking for more ways to stay warm or even just a way to keep the flu at bay that is slowly but surely creeping up on us. Alcohol, in moderation, is one of the best ways to chase away the winter blues, especially if its whiskey, brandy or even sherry. Below is a bit more information about Brandy and its benefits:

Brandy is an alcoholic beverage that has been around in some form or another for centuries. The name brandy actually comes from a Dutch word “brandewijn” and is made by further distilling wine to increase the alcoholic content. The distillation of wine has been occurring since Classic times, but it was not widely understood or propagated until the 15th century. This form of liquor is typically between 30-60% alcohol by volume, which can pack quite a punch when drunk in excess. However, brandy is usually enjoyed as an after-dinner drink, not as something that one drinks all evening, as you may do with wine or beer at a party.

Brandy is derived from wine, yet it is aged in oak barrels, which increases the alcohol content and also gives it the unique colour. Brandy enjoys some of the same health benefits as wine, although most people are unaware of them. Many people think of alcoholic beverages as inherent vices, something that is very enjoyable, but can also punish you with hangovers, empty wallets, diseased livers, and addiction. As can be said of anything from sugar to red wine – everything in moderation!

Brandy is much the same, and while it does fall into the category of “hard alcohol”, it is produced in a unique way, is composed of interesting substances, and therefore offers different benefits and effects, as compared to other types of alcohol. As many people assume that alcohol only harms health, it is important to do your due diligence and see how there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a drink or two from time to time, particularly if it’s as beneficial as brandy! Let’s take a closer look at some of the important health benefits of brandy.

Heart Health: As with many different types of alcohol, brandy can have an effect on the heart. When drunk in moderation, research has shown that brandy contains a wide range of beneficial antioxidants, much like the wine from which it is derived. This antioxidant potential can actually reduce the amount of negative cholesterol in the heart, helping to balance out cholesterol levels and reducing plaque build-up. Preventing atherosclerosis is one of the best ways to avoid the potentially disastrous effects of heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, the polyphenolic compounds in brandy significantly reduceinflammation in the cardiovascular system, which eases tension in the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. However, as with any type of alcohol, drinking excessive amounts can also be bad for the heart, so caution should always be taken when monitoring consumption. A single glass after dinner is recommended as a safe and beneficial amount.

Anti-Aging Capacity: The antioxidant compounds found in brandy, some of which are attributed to the presence of copper in some of the aging barrels, can have a strong effect on the body. Antioxidants are organic compounds and substances that eliminate free radicals in our body or neutralize their effects. Free radicals are the dangerous by-products of cellular metabolism that can cause our body’s healthy cells to mutate or undergo apoptosis (cell death). Antioxidants can help prevent this type of cellular death in the skin, hair, internal organs, and brain, among many others. Therefore, brandy has been shown to effectively prevent certain types of aging symptoms, including wrinkles on the skin, cognitive issues, poor vision, and other chronic conditions that occur as we age.

Cancer Treatment: Although there are certain cancers that are exacerbated by excessive liquor consumption, brandy has been connected to the treatment or prevention of certain cancers. One of the essential components of brandy is ellagic acid, which is a powerful organic compound that can prevent the development and spread of cancerous cells. This is most obviously seen with bladder and ovarian cancer, but this area of research is an exciting new area that may increase brandy’s importance as a healthy liquor choice for people. This is accomplished by the activation of a certain gene (by ellagic acid) that inhibits growth and metastasis of cancerous cells.

Sleep Issues: When it comes to alcohol helping you sleep, most people think of drinking too much alcohol and dozing off; however, brandy also has certain soothing, warming, and relaxing qualities that can help to induce healthy, restful sleep. Granted, the high alcohol content will also help the system due to its natural depressant qualities, which is one of the reasons that brandy is often suggested as an after- dinner drink, in preparation for sleep.

Weight Issues: Unlike carbohydrate-heavy alcoholic drinks, like beer, brandy contains no carbs and doesn’t fill you up. Brandy can also be enjoyed as an aperitif, without ruining your appetite, nor does it contribute to the simple sugar breakdown of carbs that can easily be stored as fat, such as those found in beer.

Respiratory Conditions: Traditionally, brandy has been used as an effective means to relieve respiratory issues, such as coughs or sore throats. The strong alcoholic content can help eliminate bacteria and loosens up phlegm and mucus, thereby acting as a type of expectorant. The anti-inflammatory properties in brandy can also help soothe the irritation that causes coughing and sore throats.

Immune System: For hundreds of years, brandy has been relied on as a traditional solution for the common cold or flu. The natural warming properties of brandy, mixed with its relaxing quality that induces healthy sleep and the antibacterial nature of alcohol, all make this popular and delicious liquor a popular boost for the immune system. It can eliminate pathogens that may be in your system and can boost your immune system with the help of its antioxidants.

A Final Word of Warning: As mentioned earlier, alcohol of any kind should only be consumed in moderation, as it can contribute to serious damage to your liver and other organs, as well as your psychological health, as alcohol consumption can easily lead to addiction. Consume brandy in moderation, but consult with your doctor before adding it in as a regular practice in your life, particularly if you have experienced liver problems in the past, or if you have a history of addictive behaviour. Furthermore, if you are suffering from alcohol addiction, or think that you need help overcoming your addiction, speak to friends or family members who can get you the help you need.


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Monthly News No 203

Construction

Michael Hattingh – Projects Co-ordinator

Good old Island View, our guys have been busy on the Island with various construction & maintenance projects over the last couple of months. From standby generators, tank overfill protection upgrades and gantry upgrades. We faced a couple of challenges since one of our managers moved to greener pastures but between our Wesley (Projects Supervisor) and Dangerous Darrell (Electrical Artisan) they have managed well to pick up the pieces and continue to drive the project teams and growing the projects from strength to strength. (Unfortunately we are not allowed to take any photos due to the hazardous environment on site)

We also say farewell to one of our fellow employees Brandon, as he ventures out on his journey to success. Brandon, we wish you all the best of luck and trust that you will make the best of all your new challenges, I am sure we will see you in the G Spot!

To my fellow “grasshoppers” Dylan & Sam, I wish you all the best with our new challenges ahead where we step into the dangerous world of the commercial department. We have been attending (what seems to be endless amounts) of training from our two very own commercial lecturers Arn (Commercial Manger) & Ed (Projects Supervisor & Co Ordinator) who is teaching us about all the ins and outs and tricks of the trade when it comes to the commercial side of projects.

Dylan Mickleburgh – Projects Co-ordinator

With our contract in full swing we have had easy, hard and difficult days. The weather has been extremely hot and the guys have had to chew hard bones and pull out their inner strength to cope in these conditions. A lot of manual work is done on the installation of overhead lines. Some pictures to show progress of work being done:

We also had to endure the dangers of nature. There were many snakes around and the snake catchers had to be called in on many occasions.

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Then after a hard day’s work relaxation was a bonus.

Safety was even practiced after hours just in case we got top heavy.

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Safety – Charmayne Meyer | Safety officer

Safety Greetings to one and all

Safety topic for this month: Bee and wasp stings.

If you are allergic to bee and wasp stings, knowing how to treat anaphylaxis can save your life.

This message goes out to all people who are allergic to bees and wasps and to those who find themselves in a situation where they need to assist a colleague, family member or friend who has been stung by a bee or a wasp and is allergic. The reason we are emphasising the symptoms of anaphylaxis is because it happens on a daily basis.

Research has proven that getting stung by a bee/wasp is unpleasant for everyone, but some people have an allergic reaction to bee and wasp stings called anaphylaxis. If you are among the three percent of the population who are allergic to bee and wasp stings, the symptoms from even minor stings can be severe and potentially life-threatening.

What happens in anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a reaction of your entire body to something that you are allergic to. It can be caused by the venom in a bee or wasp sting or other insect bites, as well as by allergies to certain medicines, foods, or even substances like latex. In anaphylaxis, your immune system releases chemicals that make you experience allergy symptoms throughout your body.

Symptoms of the condition include:

  •  Red rash (may include hives)
  • Swelling in your throat or other body parts, such as eyes or face
  • Hoarseness or wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • A tight feeling in your chest
  • Fainting

How fast does it happen?

In most cases, your body will produce allergic symptoms to a bee or wasp sting quite quickly if you have anaphylaxis.

You might feel symptoms just minutes after being stung. It’s possible, though, that your symptoms will take time to surface. It can take 30 minutes or even longer to notice the condition’s symptoms.

Preventing symptoms

Because the symptoms of anaphylaxis can be severe and even life-threatening, it’s best to do what you can to avoid them. If you have had serious reactions to bee or wasp stings or other allergens in the past, you should keep emergency medications on hand. Your doctor can prescribe injectable epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, or a chewable medicine called diphenhydramine, which is an antihistamine.

After reading the above facts may I suggest that you carry a bee/wasp sting kit when you go on outdoor outings or at work, if you know you have an allergy to bees/wasps, AND always wear a medical identification tag so that others will know about your condition.

Let’s be careful out there


 

The G-Spot – Pub & Diner

We are pleased to say that our new menu has been completed!! It has taken us a while but we think we may just have perfected it this time around.

That’s not the only thing that’s new though, recently Taylea bought the kitchen a few new tools. Patience and Freddy’s excitement and happiness was shining from their faces so brightly that Taylea almost had to don a pair of sunglasses from fear of going blind.

Our Ja Bru group is just getting bigger and bigger. On Wednesday 19 th March 2015 we had 4 new members receive their shirts. This is the first time in the history of Ja Bru that this has happened. They were:

  • Bianca – Sorceress
  • Dave- Jopie Adam
  • Shane- Gumtree
  • Karen- Black Lable

12 years ago a German by the name of Andreas ‘Roadrunner’ Dudat accompanied a friend to the G-Spot. Every year since, to this day, he has returned to South Africa and the G-Spot and we have decided that he has qualified for a Ja Bru shirt.

Our food specials for the next three weeks are as follows:

  • Thursday 02 April – Chicken Schnitzel with Chips or Salad – R45
  • Friday 10 April – Beef Breyani – R35
  • Friday 17 April – Eisbein with Mash and Veggies – R55

 

Arnfred Nursery

This month I have decided to share some of the “Before and After” Pictures of some of the gardens we have recently completed. Note that some of the plants are still small, but in a couple of months they will be bustling.

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Excited to advise that I will be starting with our new contract in Umdloti and will take photos for the next newsletter.

Our next Open Day will be on Sunday, 12 th April from 9 to 2. Lots of our Aloes are starting to flower from beautiful Yellow to White.

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter.
The Arnfred Team


 

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Dates to Remember in April

1st – April Fools Day
3rd – Good Friday
6th – Family Day
16th – High Five Day
27th – Freedom Day

April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month!! This year to raise awareness ladies will be wearing red lipstick and men can wear red shirts/pants etc.


 

Word or the Month

Ambrose Williams

Genesis 22:14

Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day is said, “on the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

  • The Lord knows exactly what you are going through.
  • He sees every struggle and every fear.
  • He wants to reveal Himself to you by answering your prayers and supplying your needs.
  • His ‘seeing’ of our needs does not stop there, it moves from seeing to intervening.

PRAYER: Lord, You are Jehovah-Jireh, our provider. Today I choose to rest in this great truth, with the full knowledge and assurance that You will undertake in all things.

Amen.


 

Cycad Society

On 15 March 2015 we had our first Cycad Society Meeting for the year, unfortunately a few of our members couldn’t make it. We were glad to welcome back Paul Mostert as or guest speaker who once again gave a magnificent talk on cycads.

The Mpumalanga branch of the Cycad Society is planning an outing to KZN to visit a few of our members homes and the Botanic Gardens in Durban for some cycad watching. We are quite excited for this as some of our members would like to join them for this.

There will be an Annual Plant and Open Day at Cato Ridge Electrical on the 16 th of August 2015 where people will be able to buy cycads and other types of plants as well as take a stroll through the CREC gardens.

We would also like to thank the G-Spot and their staff for always making sure that there is food and refreshments available when we have our meetings.

Our next meeting will be held on Sunday 17th of May 2015.


 

Health

Although dried figs are available throughout the year, there is nothing like the unique taste and texture of fresh figs. They are lusciously sweet with a texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds.

Figs grow on the Ficus tree (Ficus carica), which is a member of the Mulberry family. They are unique in that they have an opening, called the “ostiole” or “eye,” which is not connected to the tree, but which helps the fruit’s development by increasing its communication with the environment. Figs range dramatically in colour and subtly in texture depending upon the variety. The majority of figs are dried, either by exposure to sunlight or through an artificial process, creating a sweet and nutritious dried fruit that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Health Benefits

Help Lower High Blood Pressure

Figs are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure. Since many people not only do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, but do consume high amounts of sodium as salt is frequently added to processed foods, they may be deficient in potassium. Low intake of potassium-rich foods, especially when coupled with a high intake of sodium, can lead to hypertension. In the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study, one group ate servings of fruits and vegetables in place of snacks and sweets, and also ate low-fat dairy food. This diet delivered more potassium, magnesium and calcium. Another group ate a “usual” diet low in fruits and vegetables with a fat content like that found in the average American Diet. After eight weeks, the group that ate the enhanced diet lowered their blood pressure by an average of 5.5 points (systolic) over 3.0 points (diastolic).

A Sweet Way to Lose Weight

Figs are a good source of dietary fibre. Fibre and fibre-rich foods may have a positive effect on weight management. In one study, women who increased their fibre intake with supplements significantlydecreased their energy intake, yet their hunger and satiety scores did not change. Figs, like other high fibre foods, may be helpful in a weight management program.

Fruit and Cereal Fibre Protective against Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

Results of a prospective study involving 51,823 postmenopausal women for an average of 8.3 years showed a 34% reduction in breast cancer risk for those consuming the most fruit fibre compared to those consuming the least. In addition, in the subgroup of women who had ever used hormone replacement, those consuming the most fibre, especially cereal fibre, had a 50% reduction in their risk of breast cancer compared to those consuming the least. Fruits richest in fibre include apples, dates, figs, pears and prunes. When choosing a high fibre cereal, look for whole grain cereals as they supply the most bran (a mere 1/3rd cup of bran contains about 14 grams of fibre).

An Insulin-Lowering Leaf in Diabetes

You probably do not think about the leaves of the fig tree as one of fig’s edible parts. But in some cultures, fig leaves are a common part of the menu, and for good reason. The leaves of the fig have repeatedly been shown to have antidiabetic properties and can actually reduce the amount of insulin needed by persons with diabetes who require insulin injections. In one study, a liquid extract made from fig leaves was simply added to the breakfast of insulin-dependent diabetic subjects in order to produce this insulin- lowering effect.

Cardiovascular Effects

In animal studies, fig leaves have been shown to lower levels of triglycerides (a form in which fats circulate in the bloodstream), while in in vitro studies, fig leaves inhibited the growth of certain types of cancer cells. Researchers have not yet determined exactly which substances in fig leaves are responsible for these remarkable healing effects. Besides their potassium and fibre content, figs emerged from our food ranking system as a good source of the trace mineral manganese.

Protection against Macular Degeneration

Your mother may have told you carrots would keep your eyes bright as a child, but as an adult, it looks like fruit is even more important for keeping your sight. Data reported in a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age- related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

In this study, which involved over 100,000 women and men, researchers evaluated the effect of study participants’ consumption of fruits; vegetables; the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; and carotenoids on the development of early ARMD or neovascular ARMD, a more severe form of the illness associated with vision loss. Food intake information was collected periodically for up to 18 years for women and 12 years for men.

While, surprisingly, intakes of vegetables, antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids were not strongly related to incidence of either form of ARMD, fruit intake was definitely protective against the severe form of this vision-destroying disease. Three servings of fruit may sound like a lot to eat each day, but by simply tossing a banana into your morning smoothie or slicing it over your cereal, topping off a cup of yogurt or green salad with a couple of diced figs, and snacking on an apple, plum, nectarine or pear, you’ve reached this goal.

Description

Figs are not only the main ingredient in a very popular cookie, the fig bar, but are a culinary delicacy par excellence. Part of the wonder of the fig comes from its unique taste and texture. Figs are lusciously sweet and feature a complex texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin,and the crunchiness of their seeds. In addition, since fresh figs are so delicate and perishable, some of their mystique comes from their relative rarity. Because of this, the majority of figs are dried, either by exposure to sunlight or through an artificial process, creating a sweet and nutritious dried fruit that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Figs range dramatically in colour and subtly in texture depending upon the variety, of which there are more than one hundred and fifty. Some of the most popular varieties are:

  • Black Mission: blackish-purple skin and pink coloured flesh
  • Kadota: green skin and purplish flesh
  • Calimyrna: greenish-yellow skin and amber flesh
  • Brown Turkey: purple skin and red flesh
  • Adriatic: the variety most often used to make fig bars, which has a light green skin and pink- tan flesh

History

Figs can trace their history back to the earliest of times with mentions in the Bible and other ancient writings. They are thought to have been first cultivated in Egypt. They spread to ancient Crete and then subsequently, around the 9th century BC, to ancient Greece, where they became a staple foodstuff in the traditional diet. Figs were held in such esteem by the Greeks that they created laws forbidding the export of the best quality figs. Figs were also revered in ancient Rome where they were thought of as a sacred fruit. According to Roman myth, the wolf that nurtured the twin founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, rested under a fig tree. During this period of history, at least 29 varieties of figs were already known.

Figs were later introduced to other regions of the Mediterranean by ancient conquerors and then brought to the Western Hemisphere by the Spaniards in the early 16th century. In the late 19th century, when Spanish missionaries established the mission in San Diego, California, they also planted fig trees. These figs turned out to be inferior in quality to those that were imported from Europe, and it wasn’t until the development of further cultivation techniques in the early 20th century that California began focused cultivation and processing of figs. Today, California remains one of the largest producers of figs in addition to Turkey, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

How to Select and Store

Since fresh figs are one of the most perishable fruits, they should be purchased only a day or two in advance of when you are planning on eating them. Look for figs that have a rich, deep color and are plump and tender, but not mushy. They should have firm stems and be free of bruises. Smelling figs can also give you clues into their freshness and taste. They should have a mildly sweet fragrance and should not smell sour, which is an indication that they may be spoiled.

For the most antioxidants, choose fully ripened figs: Research conducted at the University of Innsbruck in Austria suggests that as fruits fully ripen, almost to the point of spoilage, their antioxidant levels actually increase.

Key to the process is the change in colour that occurs as fruits ripen, a similar process to that seen in the fall when leaves turn from green to red to yellow to brown—a colour change caused by the breakdown and disappearance of chlorophyll, which gives leaves and fruits their green colour.

When purchasing dried figs, make sure that they are still relatively soft, free of mold, and have a mellow, pleasant smell. Dried figs are available throughout the year.

Ripe figs should be kept in the refrigerator where they will stay fresh for about two days. Since they have a delicate nature and can easily bruise, you should store them either arranged on a paper towel-lined plate or shallow container. They should be covered or wrapped in order to ensure that they do not dry out, get crushed or pick up odours from neighbouring foods. If you have purchased slightly under-ripe figs, you should keep them on a plate, at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Dried figs will stay fresh for several months and can either be kept in a cool, dark place or stored in the refrigerator. They should be well wrapped so that they are not over exposed to air that may cause them to become hard or dry.

Tips for Preparing and Cooking

Before eating or cooking figs, wash them under cool water and then gently remove the stem. Gently wipe dry.

Dried figs can simply be eaten, used in a recipe as is, or simmered for several minutes in water or fruit juice to make them plumper and juicier.

How to Enjoy
A Few Quick Serving Ideas

  • When preparing oatmeal or any other whole grain breakfast porridge, add some dried or fresh figs.
  • Poach figs in juice or red wine and serve with yogurt or frozen desserts.
  • Add quartered figs to a salad of fennel, arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese.
  • Fresh figs stuffed with goat cheese and chopped almonds can be served as hors d’oeuvres or desserts.

Individual Concerns
Figs and Oxalates

Figs are among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, naturally- occurring substances found in plants, animals, and human beings. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating figs.

Laboratory studies have shown that oxalates may also interfere with absorption of calcium from the body. Yet, in every peer-reviewed research study we’ve seen, the ability of oxalates to lower calcium absorption is relatively small and definitely does not outweigh the ability of oxalate-containing foods to contribute calcium to the meal plan. If your digestive tract is healthy, and you do a good job of chewing and relaxing while you enjoy your meals, you will get significant benefits—including absorption of calcium—from calcium-rich foods plant foods that also contain oxalic acid. Ordinarily, a healthcare practitioner would not discourage a person focused on ensuring that they are meeting their calcium requirements from eating these nutrient-rich foods because of their oxalate content.

Dried Figs and Sulphites

Commercially grown dried figs may be treated with sulphur dioxide gas during processing. They may also be treated with sulphites to extend their shelf life.

Sulphur-containing compounds are often added to dried foods like figs as preservatives to help prevent oxidation and bleaching of colours. The sulphites used to help preserve dried figs cause adverse reactions in an estimated one out of every 100 people, who turn out to be sulphite sensitive.

Sulphite reactions can be particularly acute in people who suffer from asthma. The Federal Food and Drug Administration estimates that 5 percent of asthmatics may suffer a reaction when exposed to sulphites.

Foods that are classified as “organic” do not contain sulphites since federal regulations prohibit the use of these preservatives in organically grown or produced foods. Therefore, concern about sulphite exposure is yet another reason to purchase organic foods.

Nutritional Profile

Figs are a good source of dietary fibre, vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and pantothenic acid.


 

25 YEARS OF SERVICE AND STILL GOING STRONG

By Peter Petersen

The 1st of April, also known as April fool’s day, which to me signifies to past work mates in Joburg that I was not joking when I said I was moving to Durban. This will be my 25 th anniversary at CREC and my it has flown past so quickly and also with a lot of challenges as I mentioned in our newsletter in December last year, which I will not delve into.

Some awesome facts when I first arrived here:

  • Arn was 6 years old and Taylea exactly 1 month old
  • Luca was a few months old and was staying in the room next door to my office during the mornings when Jacqui still worked here half day
  • Yes and Samantha you were not even born yet and I used to do work at your parents farm where you still reside today
  • The current reception was a garage in which one of our staff members lived
  • We had a total of 9 staff members
  • We only had 4 vehicles none of which had power steering
  • Factory 1 ( stores ) was a cabbage patch Factory 2 – 4 was grass where Kim kept his prize Bram Angus cattle
  • Billy’s and Taylea’s offices were open garages
  • Paula’s office and the admin offices were our original stores
  • We were the first people to host a party on comrades day with a live band next to the road, Tony was part of that band
  • Kim, yes Kim, used to smoke cigars in his office and wore short Tee sav shorts like Marius to work
  • Our annual turnover was 1.2mil ( 100,000.00 per month average )
  • The bar operated on a ticket system
  • We had no cell phones nor did we have any computers
  • I had not met Mara but was doing work for her parents on their farm where Mara and Paula resided at the time
  • Our Telephone system had 3 extensions very posh at the time
  • None of our offices or vehicles had air-conditioning ( Arn you would have loved the CS )
  • Hugh Coleman still wore glasses and worked for Gromor

I must say that working at CREC has been the happiest years of my life especially being part of its growth and all the amazing characters that I work with, especially my brother Kim, who is a total inspiration in my life. I have learnt so much from him and yes we have our differences but that is what boets do and that is why we have been so successful, by agreeing to disagree. With the exception of my youngest daughter Dayne, who at present is at boarding school, I also have the absolute pleasure and honour having all our children working with us. They all have degrees and have added value as well as introducing a total different business strategy to our company which will ultimately put us back in number one position where we were for so many years. Last but not least: to my wife Mara who has stood behind me giving me all the support that I could have possibly hoped for.

Finally this is the part where I go to the bar for a “few” jaegers

Best Regards,

Peter Petersen
Commercial Director
For Cato Ridge Electrical Construction (Pty) Ltd


 

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Monthly News No 202

Mechanical

The mechanical workshop has been kept busy with numerous breakdowns all over KZN. The main breakdown criteria are generators with Eskom battling to keep the grid stabilized with continuous power outages. The government institutions generators are never kept maintained and in good running order, but let Eskom switch off then you see how quickly everyone starts running around like headless chickens. Will they ever learn!?

The other huge problem is that the diesel that is stored in the underground tanks gets a fungus growing in it caused from condensation which blocks the fuel filters. CRE has a diesel cleaning kidney filtration system that cleans out any dirt or fungus, polishing the diesel back to standard specifications. But when you try and market this service no one wants to spend the extra money preventing breakdown situations.

We are also installing new generator sets all over the province once they have been built at our sister company’s manufacturing division. As we all know there is a huge demand for generators at the moment which has drained engine and alternator suppliers. All my heavy equipment and trucks are working around the clock at a site down the North Coast in thick beach sand. I guess they will be needing a good going over when they return.

Here is a picture of Peter at a typical site meeting for a generator installation at a large fast food outlet who have given us an order for eleven units. Sometimes one has to dress funny to get these big orders. The tip of the week below is to do with saving fuel seeing there is an increase from today.

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Save more than 10% on fuel – Hugh Coleman | Mechanical Manager

When 50 AA employees took part in an eco-driving experiment with Auto Express magazine they saved an average 10% on their weekly fuel bills, with the best achieving an incredible 33% saving.

Each drove normally for the first week and then applied our advice (below) to see how much they could save in the second week…

Maintenance

  • Servicing: get the car serviced regularly (according to the manufacturer’s schedule) to maintain engine efficiency
  • Engine oil: make sure you use the right specification of engine oil (check the handbook)
  • Tyres: check tyre pressures regularly and before long journeys; under-inflated tyres create more rolling resistance and so use more fuel (check the handbook and increase pressures for heavier loads as recommended)

Before you go

  • Lose weight: extra weight means extra fuel so if there’s anything in the boot you don’t need on the journey take it out
  • Streamline: roof-racks and boxes add wind resistance and so increase fuel consumption. If you don’t need it take it off – if you do, pack carefully to reduce drag
  • Leave promptly: don’t start the engine until you’re ready to go as idling wastes fuel and the engine warms up more quickly when you’re moving; in the winter, scrape ice rather than leave the car idling to warm up
  • Don’t get lost: plan unfamiliar journeys to reduce the risk of getting lost and check the traffic news before you leave
  • Combine short trips: cold starts use more fuel so it pays to combine errands such as buying the paper, dropping off the recycling, or collecting the kids
  • Consider alternatives: if it’s a short journey (a couple of kilometers or so) could you walk or cycle rather than taking the car?

En Route

  • Easy does it: drive smoothly, accelerate gently and read the road ahead to avoid unnecessary braking
  • Decelerate smoothly: when you have to slow down or to stop, decelerate smoothly by releasing the accelerator in time, leaving the car in gear
  • Rolling: if you can keep the car moving all the time, so much the better; stopping then starting again uses more fuel than rolling
  • Change up earlier: don’t labour the engine but try changing up at an engine speed of around 2,000 rpm in a diesel car or around 2,500 rpm in a petrol car. This can make such a difference that all cars in the future are likely to be fitted with a ‘Gear Shift indicator’ light to show the most efficient gear change points.
  • Cut down on the air-con: air-conditioning increases fuel consumption at low speeds, but at higher speeds the effects are less noticeable. So if it’s a hot day open the windows around town and save the air conditioning for high speed driving. Don’t leave air-con on all the time but aim to run it at least once a week throughout the year to maintain the system in good condition.
  • Turn it off: electrical loads increase fuel consumption, so turn off your heated rear windscreen, demister blowers and headlights, when you don’t need them
  • Stick to speed limits: the faster you go the greater the fuel consumption and pollution.

Is it best to idle or switch off?

You might be tempted to switch off the engine every time you stop, after all many cars now have automatic stop-start systems that do just that, but is switching off manually the best thing for your wallet or the environment?

Automatic stop-start systems have several important features:

  • They have up-rated batteries, starters and charging systems, and are able to re-start the engine much faster and more frequently than a conventional starter.
  • They may be configured not to turn off the engine if it’s cold or if head lights and other high current electrical loads are on because of the additional spike in battery charging requirement that these cause on re-start.
  • They won’t turn off the engine if the battery voltage or charge is too low
  • They won’t turn off the indicators or the radio and may maintain some heating/ventilation fan operation when off.

As a general guide, for a warm car in daylight conditions in mild weather, turning the engine off for a wait of around a minute or more will probably save fuel/CO2 – assuming it’s safe to be without indicators and you can live with the interruption to the radio and heating/ventilation system.

A cold engine, cold weather, or additional electrical loads will all extend the period you’d have to be stationary to get a benefit from switching off.

Diesel vehicles should not be turned off during DPF regeneration as failed DPF regenerations causes oil dilution and blocked DPFs.

Coasting

Although it used to be quite a common practice to save fuel, rolling downhill or approaching a junction with the car out of gear is inadvisable because the driver doesn’t have full control of the vehicle

  • You lose the ability to suddenly accelerate out of tricky situations.
  • You lose engine braking which risks brake fade on downhill stretches – overheated brakes require harder pedal pressures to stop the vehicle. With changes in vehicle fuel systems coasting won’t save you fuel these days either.
  • Old car with a carburetor – take your foot off the accelerator pedal with the car in gear and fuel is still drawn through into the engine. Fuel savings could be made by coasting out of gear.
  • Modern car with electronic engine management – fuel and ignition systems are effectively combined and controlled by one Electronic Control Unit (ECU). Take your foot off the accelerator and the ECU cuts the fuel supply to the injectors anyway so there’s nothing to be gained by coasting.
  • Modern diesel engines also have the ability to shut off the fuel when you take your foot off the accelerator.

 

Safety – Charmayne Meyer | Safety officer

In all our lives there are times that we feel stressed and angry at the world. Please read the letter below, it makes a lot of sense especially when people are working tightly together and in each other’s faces all the time.

Anger: Just One Letter Short of DANGER

If you have angry workers in your department or you yourself are angry, you may end up reporting more injuries on the job. A recent study by the Annals of Family Medicine found that high levels of anger increase the risk of injury. Angry people are more likely to sustain injuries serious enough to require emergency medical care, and the risk is higher for men than women.

The study, in the Annals of Family Medicine, found that nearly 32% of all the patients reported being irritable just before they were injured, 18% reported being angry and 13% reported being hostile.

Anger more than quadrupled a person’s odds of being injured, while being hostile increased those odds sixfold. For men, the link was particularly clear. Another study that followed 100 drivers for two weeks linked episodes of anger with “near accidents”. Two additional studies found that angry people were more likely to have car crashes or sustain football injuries. There is little doubt that anger can be a contributing factor in workplace injuries, but what do you do about it? Here are some tips:

  • Consciously determine to be calm. Don’t react, think! Remember your goals and respond appropriately. Choose to remain calm!
  • Communicate. When someone upsets you, tell them. Calmly talk to them about how you feel about their words or actions. Learn to express yourself better — clear and composed. Choose to!
  • Remove yourself. Get away from the scene until you can respond without anger. Your success will not happen overnight. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time.
  • Remember to relax. Relaxation exercises or music can be helpful. Keep in mind you can reach out to someone you trust for help. Choose to!
  • Frequently take time for yourself. Do something you enjoy like walking in the park, swimming, reading the Bible, or seeing a feel-good movie. Do something nice for someone you admire. It’s okay to feel good about yourself. Choose to!
  • Look for the positives. Don’t dwell on the negatives. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Don’t worry about things that are out of your personal control. This is difficult, but an attitude and behaviour that can be learned!

Let’s be safe out there.


 The G-Spot – Pub and Diner | Pam Gibbons

As everyone knows we had our Valentine’s dinner and music evening on the 13 th February. It went very well but unfortunately it wasn’t as well attended as we would have hoped it to be. Thank you to everyone that did support the evening, we greatly appreciate it.

We are excited to announce that very soon we will be bringing out a new menu for the G-Spot. It will still be your usual pub grub but with a few added extras to tickle your taste buds.

This month I’ve decided you give you a little recipe for home-made Mayo since a lot of people have started this year off with diets or just being plain old healthy!!

BANTING MAYO

Ingredients

1 Whole egg
2 Egg yolks
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1⁄2 Cup Coconut oil
1⁄2 Cup quality olive oil
1 Tablespoon Double thick greek yoghurt
Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine the eggs, mustard and lemon juice in a food processor
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a small pot until it turns to liquid, avoid heating it too much or it will cause the eggs to curdle
  3. Turn the food processor to a fast speed and slowly pour the coconut oil and olive oil into the egg mixture
  4. Once the mayo has emulsified, add the yoghurt and season to taste. This should keep for about a week in the fridge – Makes about 400ml.

Egg Free Option

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons live apple cider vinegar
11⁄2 Teaspoons ground mustard
Sweeten to taste with about 2 tablespoons raw honey, or your favourite sweetener.
11⁄4 Teaspoons salt
1⁄2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 Cup coconut at room temperature

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, mix lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, sweetener, and salt.
  2. While mixing, add the olive oil slowly through the hole in the top.
  3. Open the food processor and add the solid coconut. Mix until smooth and creamy. Process as briefly as possible to keep the mixture from heating up. Then it will be thick enough to use immediately.
  4. Pour into a bowl or jar. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator up to one week.

 Arnfred Nursery

In keeping with the “Green Planet” concept I thought maybe I should give some ideas about UPCYCLING some items that might be lying around in your garden shed or back yard.

UPCYCLING is creating ideas or uses for items that you are no longer using, old or new, and transforming it into an item that can be useful to you again.

Although some of the ideas will not be everyone’s cup of tea, I have put together some pictures and hope that these will give you some creative inspiration.

REMINDER THAT OUR NEXT OPEN DAY IS SUNDAY, 8 TH MARCH FROM 9 TO 2.


 

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Dates to Remember in March

6th – Employee Appreciation Day – Even if it’s just a please and thank you, the little things count
9th – Panic Day!!
11th – Worship of Tools Day – For all the guys
14th – National Pi Day
21st – Human Rights Day
30th – I am in Control Day


 

Word of the Week – Ambrose Williams

Deuteronomy 11:14

“I will send rain on your land in its season, both Autumn and spring tains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil.”

  • It is God’s Intention to bless and provide for you.
  • In His time it will happen.
  • So put God first and expect it.
  • Your Heavenly Father will supply and undertake.

PRAYER: Lord, thank You for the promise of the blessing you have prepared for me. As a farmer waits for his harvest, I will trust with expectation for Your ‘rain of blessing’ in my life.
Amen.


 

Health

The health benefits of cumin include its ability to aid in digestion, improve immunity and treat piles, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis, common cold, lactation, anemia, skin disorders, boils and cancer.

Many of you might remember having hated those curries and soups which had roasted or fried cumin seeds in them when you were kids, because they looked like small black insects. However, you probably liked the taste. So your mother might have removed these flavorful parts before she served you the food. That was cumin!

Cumin, scientifically known as Cuminum Cyminum, belongs to family Apiaceae and is extensively used in culinary practices of the Indian Subcontinent and some other Asian, African and Latin American countries as a condiment or spice. Those who are of the opinion that spices are bad for one’s health should note that cumin can be beneficial for some of the most dangerous diseases, and is generally consider a boost for overall health.

The health benefits of cumin include the following:

Digestion: Cumin is extremely good for digestion and related problems. The very aroma of cumin, which comes from an aromatic organic compound called Cuminaldehyde, the main component of its essential oil, activates our salivary glands in our mouth, which facilitates the primary digestion of food. Next is thymol, a compound present in cumin, which stimulates the glands that secrete acids, bile and enzymes responsible for complete digestion of the food in the stomach and the intestines. Cumin is also Carminative, which means that it relieves from you from gas troubles and thereby improves digestion and appetite. Due to its essential oils, magnesium and sodium content, cumin promotes digestion and also gives relief for stomach-aches when taken with hot water.

Piles: The main cause behind piles (hemorrhoids) is constipation added with infections in the wound in the anal tract, which are also caused by constipation. Cumin, because of its dietary fiber content and carminative, stimulating, antifungal and antimicrobial properties, acts as a natural laxative in powdered form. These characteristics are due to the presence of essential oils comprised mainly of Cuminaldehyde and certain pyrazines. Adding cumin to your diet also helps in healing up of infections or wounds in the digestive and excretory system and speeds up digestion as well. That pretty much means that cumin clears up all of the symptoms and causes of HEMORRHOIDS , so keep that it mind when you start itching!

Diabetes: Although research is still ongoing, early studies report that cumin, among a number of other spices, can have a powerful effect in preventing diabetes by reducing the chances of hypoglycemia. The animals that were tested showed a sharp decline in hypoglycemia when fed cumin seeds in their diet, and they also showed a decrease in glucosuria, which is a condition where the urine contains too much glucose, also resulting in hypoglycemia and diabetes. Human testing is ongoing, but early reports show that cumin can be a very powerful tool in the battle against diabetes!

Insomnia: This is a very peculiar property of cumin. It is a stimulant as well as a relaxant at the same time. This property cannot be attributed to a single component alone, just as causes of insomnia cannot be attributed to a single cause. However, studies show that the proper intake of vitamins (particularly B-complex) and good digestion help to induce a sound sleep. Cumin helps in both of these factors. Some of the components of cumin essential oil are hypnotic in nature and have tranquilizing effects, which also help to relieve stress and anxiety that commonly causes insomnia.

Respiratory Disorders, Asthma, Bronchitis: The presence of caffeine (the stimulating agent), and the richly aromatic essential oils (the disinfectants) make cumin an ideal anticongestive combination for those suffering from respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis. It acts as an expectorant, meaning that it loosens up the accumulated phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tracts and makes it easier to eliminate them from the system via sneezing or coughing up and spitting. By eliminating as much of the mucus and phlegm as possible, it can inhibit the formation of additional material and help to heal the initial condition that led to its formation in the first place.

Common Cold: The common cold is a viral infection which affects our body frequently when our immune system becomes weakened or vulnerable. Again, the essential oils present in cumin act as disinfectants and help fight viral infections which can cause the common cold. Cumin also suppresses the development of coughing in the respiratory system since it dries up the excess mucus. Cumin is rich in iron and has considerable amount of vitamin-C, which are essential for a healthy immune system and keeps infections from forming or becoming worse. Vitamin-C is also a natural antioxidant, so it defends against other infections and toxins as well, further boosting the immune system.

Lactation: Cumin is rich in iron and thus very good for lactating mothers as well as for women who are undergoing menses or who are pregnant, since they are more in need of iron than others. Moreover, cumin is said to help ease and increase secretion of milk in lactating women due to the presence of thymol, which tends to increase secretions from our glands, including milk, which is a secretion from the mammary glands. Also, cumin is more beneficial if taken with honey. Cumin has remarkable amount of calcium (more than 900 mg per 100 grams) which accounts for over 90% of our daily requirement of calcium. This calcium is an important constituent of milk and hence cumin is very good for lactating mothers.

Anemia: As stated above, cumin is very rich in iron (more than 66 mg. in every 100 grams) which is more than 5 times the daily requirement of iron for an adult. This iron is the main constituent of hemoglobin in the red blood corpuscles of blood. It is hemoglobin which transfers oxygen (as the oxide of iron) to the body’s cells and whose deficiency causes anemia. So, cumin can be a nutritious additive to daily diet for anemic people and avoid the symptoms of anemia like fatigue, anxiety, cognitive malfunction, and digestive issues.
Concentration and Cognitive Malfunction: The amount of iron in cumin leads to increased hemoglobin production and subsequent prevention of anemia, but that increased blood flow has other benefits as well. When your blood circulation is in top form, adequate amounts of oxygen are able to reach the organs and the brain, leading to optimal performance of those bodily systems. Proper amounts of oxygen and iron in the brain lead to increased cognitive performance and a decrease in cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. For other organs, increased oxygenation increases efficiency and speeds up the metabolism, which can boost your overall health, increase strength, and prevent signs of aging.

Skin Disorders: Almost everyone knows that vitamin-E is good for the maintenance of skin and the prevention of premature aging symptoms. It keeps the skin young and glowing. This vitamin is also present in abundance in cumin. The essential oils present in cumin havedisinfectant and antifungal properties. This prevents any microbial and fungal infection from affecting the skin. Not all skin issues are disorders or infections, some of them are simply signs of aging. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in this regard and combats the free radicals that attack the skin and result in signs of premature aging like wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin. This, combined with the antibacterial capacity of cumin, makes for healthy, beautiful skin that lasts far into your old age.

Boils: Boils are outlets for the removal of toxic substances and foreign matters such as microbes from the body. This means that they are symptoms which show that a high amount of toxic substances have accumulated in the body. In this way, cumin can help you a great deal. Those who regularly use cumin in food have a significant reduction in the occurrence of boils, rashes, pimples, and other signs of excess toxin content. Components such as cuminaldehyde, thymol,and phosphorus are good detoxifying agents which help in the regular removal of toxins from the body. The healthy way of removing toxins is through the excretory system, not through boils.

Immunity: As discussed above, an abundance of iron, the presence of essential oils, vitamin-C, and vitamin-A in cumin boosts our immune system in a number of ways. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants that we have in our body, and it also stimulates the function and activity of white blood cells. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights the detrimental effects of free radicals, which are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism. They are constantly being created in the body, and therefore, must be constantly eliminated. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that lead to many diseases, including, but not limited to, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Cancer: Cumin itself has detoxifying and chemopreventive properties, and accelerates the secretion of detoxifying and anticarcinogenic enzymes from the glands, as it also does to other secretions. Furthermore, it has beneficial antioxidants like vitamin-C and vitamin-A within its chemical makeup, in addition to those essential oils. Besides having countless other benefits, the antioxidants have anticarcinogenic properties too, and those found in cumin are particularly good for colon cancer prevention.

Other benefits: Even more? Cumin is also beneficial in treating renal coli, weak memory, insect bites and painful stings. With all of these benefits, how could you say no? Add some cumin to your diet as soon as you can!

Add a lil spice to your life!


 

Larking Mad – Gary Larkan

Man, oh man, March is upon us, and the year 2015 is burning up at a rapid rate. It feels like that New Year hangover is still there, and yet Easter is just around the corner. Where does the time go? Eish. Barely enough time to recover financially from Christmas, and Easter is upon us. Hell, it’s not like some chocolate eggs will break the bank, or so we think, but still. It seems that everyholiday is becoming a Hallmark Holiday these days. Shell out the cash, people. Its holiday season!

The unfortunate thing about Easter, and most other religious holidays, is that people lose sight of what the holiday is in celebration of. Chocolate and marshmallows are certainly a part of the celebration, but they are not the reason for it. Children getting fat whilst scoffing down candy for a full month should at least know the reasons behind their newfound “Easter Keisters”, as without the history, there would be no reason to consume sweets like a gannet in the first place.

I suppose, though, that the good old tradition of sending the kiddies into the garden on a wild goose chase for an inadequate amount of hidden treats is one way to keep them active during the holidays, as opposed to Playstationing it up with controller in one hand and partially-consumed melted chocolate egg in the other. Pfffft. Kids these days. When we were younger, the only things we had to do during holidays were based outdoors. Even Easter Egg hunting has become an indoor activity all of a sudden, and kiddies just aren’t going outside anymore.
The long and short of the whole thing is that it may be only one other holiday involving chocolate and sweets, but to what end are we force-feeding candy to the kiddies? The calendar year is a chain of holidays and birthdays revolving around Hallmark gifts and sweets, and the younger generations certainly aren’t benefiting from the additional intake of sugar and preservatives.

Somewhere around mid-January, I found myself trolling the isles of my local Spar, and I couldn’t help notice the masses and masses of tinfoil wrapped chocolate animal shapes and varying sizes of mallow eggs. What I cannot justify, apart from the obvious early start date, is the cost of said paraphernalia and how parents tend to load the trolleys full of these treats for their little ‘uns. Back when I was a “laatie”, we got one or two of these things, and that was if we behaved and did our chores and the like. Nowadays, the maid takes care of the chores, little Johnny is a nightmare of a child, and he lives on a permanent sugar high, burning his way through gaming consoles like no kid of the eighties ever thought possible. I guess this is just a sign of the times. When the poor little buggers have become chunky heifer lumps, I guess we have only ourselves to hold accountable… Well, us and the sweet companies, of course. Why live in the 21 st century if you can’t hold somebody else liable, right?

At the end of the proverbial day, the kids of today are going to have more and more of a hard time keeping their weight down and their health up due to simple things like Easter treaties and too much “ass sitting”, instead of picking up a skateboard and hurtling down the nearest hill, into oncoming traffic, at 17h00 in the afternoon. What ever happened to the good ol’ days where kids die because they got hit by a car on their bike, and not because they had a heart attack or choked on a hard candy? I miss those days. They weeded out the weak and needy from the strong and more-denser-boned. I recall a good few bone breaks from days gone by, but all the kids break nowadays are scales and their parents’ bank accounts. Man, living in the 21 st Century is hard work. Better go get myself an Easter Egg and play some Playstation to ease the pressure.

– Gary Larken – thegaryza@gmail.com


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On Monday the 2nd of March the Memorial for Helene and Ambrose’s son Timothy was held.

Listening to the things that people had to say you can see that he was a very well loved young man. What was very evident was his love for his drums and the Lord. Everyone was able to reassure his parents that he loved his Lord very much and that he has moved on to a good place.

The memorial was very joyous, not at all what I have ever experienced before. I myself believe in an Irish Wake and went to a bar after the memorial with my brother Tony to have a few drinks on behalf of Timothy and what sounds like an unbelievably happy life he had.

From everyone here at CREC to Ambrose and Helene, we support you 100% through this and hope that you will be able to carry on living your lives and being happy in memory of your son. Always cherish the moments you were able to have with him while he was here.

Regards
Peter Petersen


 

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