Monday, December 27, 2010

Just so you know, I still love rain.

Today is the day when as many of Mum's brothers and sisters and spouses and my cousins get together. Because we live in the same town as my grandparents and grandad has trouble travelling these days, the party is normally here in town.

So we were all systems go this end.

And it rained.

And the first lot coming from Brisbane couldn't get through because the highway was cut about 20mins from here.

Then the lot from Toowoomba couldn't get through.

Then the second lot from Brisbane who were bringing my uncle, who had flown down from Townsville as a surprise, couldn't get through.

Then the lot from Toowoomba rang to say the road was cut on the way back to Toowoomba, and they'd had to get accommodation in the little town half-way home.

Then we got a photo emailed of both lots from Brisbane because they'd had a party at a stop half-way back to Brisbane.

So Mum, Dad, my Beloved and I jumped in the car and did the flood tour of the town we live in. Some bridges that I've never seen under are under, and it's very likely the main bridge into town will go under tonight or tomorrow when the water from up-stream gets here.

Then we got home and my Beloved was looking for his shovel to shift a tree that is not happy in our backyard and he found a little situation:-

This is our house. We are built on a slope, so the garage is downstairs at the back, but the front is not full head-height.

This means that there's a space under the front part of the house which is not built in. My Beloved has been very clever and put drainage channels to stop the water getting in under the house.

Unfortunately this meant that water that gets in can't get out. We inadvertantly had a good start for the first canine hydrotherapy pool in town.

My Beloved dug a ditch to let the water out. The LBD 'helped'.

There must have been about 5cms of water lying against the slab for the garage floor.

And this is part of the culprit. The ground is so sopping wet that we have springs developing in the cutting under the house. There were a number of spots leaking.
It seems the project to get a retaining wall and put a concrete slab that drains to the outside may be more of a priority than we thought.
How much more rain do we need around here?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Why I had to go to Donut King.

I celebrated the death of four kilos today.

You'd think that as a result I'd be bouyed up with resolve to hold onto it for the next week of plenty of opportunity to eat very badly indeed.

But no.

You see, I had to go to Donut King.

And they sell warm, cinnamony, sugary donuts there.

And I love warm, cinnamony, sugary donuts.

I avoid the shopping centre like the plague because they have a Donut King.

But today I just had to go.

Why? You may ask.

My Grandad likes thickshakes.

We usually buy him a voucher for Donut King so that he can get some when he goes up the street (he doesn't get out all that much anymore). The man who owns the shop knows him and has been known to make the thickshake so thick you can hardly suck it up through the straw. He's also happy to cross off part of the value of the voucher so that Grandad can have multiple trips. This is the beauty of living in a country town.

So I went to buy a voucher for my Grandad.

...and I smelled the doughyness of the cooking donuts.

And the chance that leaving the shopping centre my mouth didn't have that delightful doughy tongue-sticking-to-my-hard-palate post-donut sensation?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

You know you need to clean your house when...

I was Zumbaing in my lounge room (DVDs are not as good as a real class, but a whole lot cheaper and can be on at times that are convenient to me), pounding my bare feet into the hardwood surface as I twisted and grooved when I evidently picked up some stray LBD fur on the ball of one foot.

And the chance I would ever try to Zumba in socks?

Friday, December 10, 2010

A problem. A solution. A problem. A solution.

My name is Hippomanic Jen, and I'm a book-aholic.

I love to read books.

I love to buy books.

I love to reread books.

I hate to give them away, because I might want to read it later.

I once answered a phone poll, and among other things they wanted an estimate of how many books I own. The options were along the following lines:

a 0 books
b 1 book
c 2 or 3 books
d 4 or more books.

I was astounded. So astounded that I can remember that the first and last options were 0 and 4 or more respectively. Who would have fewer than 4 books in their possession? I still don't know what the question was trying to acheive.

When we were having Dad design the house one of the essentials on the list was a wall to place our bookcases against that wasn't in a bedroom. I've known people who have had to give away thier libraries when they are expecting their second child, because they need the spare room for the new baby. This was not going to happen to us.

But over time, one acquires more books (particularly if one is studying and/or needs resources for preaching).

Then one ends up with the following problem:

Books on a cupboard in my office.

One of two huge bookcases full of books against the book wall my Dad made certain was in the house plans (it would've helped if I'd rotated the image, but you get the drift).

Books on a small shelf in the spare bedroom (it needed to be rotated too).

Books on a shelf in the cupboard in our bedroom.

Hmmm. Even though I have brought myself to do some selective culling of the book population, there are a few issues.
1. I'm asthmatic and seem to be having a problem with house dust.
2. I'm a terrible housekeeper and never have time to dust all the bookshelves.
3. I really need to rationalise book locations. After all, there is a perfectly good book wall to have a consolidated library.
The solution:
We priced cabinets with doors to keep out / minimise the dust and that would take up the entire length of the book wall (which had some space for more bookcases - but inevitably not enough length to fit the little bookcase that lives in the spare bedroom).
We measured the lineal metres of shelf required. Checked out what was available, and ordered three units (2 x 1200mm wide units and 1 x 600mm wide unit). If the skirting and cornice was removed from the sides, and they were made to fit together, they should fit perfectly. We looked at the example in the furniture shop and decided that the shelves were reasonably spaced, and that if we got the 2100mm high rather than the 1800mm high units we would get an extra shelf and that would get us closer to our desired lineal metres of shelf.
They came today.
They looked pretty.
They were heavy for the blokes to manhandle.

My Beloved had to take the skirting board off the walls along the book wall so that they'd fit. We were really hoping that the walls of the alcove were plumb. We joined the three units together and then slid them back into the space.

My Beloved pushed on the joins with his feet and I ran back and forth and pushed the ends back little by little until it fit snugly into the space.
Beautiful, hey?

Unfortunately, despite their beauty and the functionality of the new bookcases there is a problem.
We decided not to specify the distance between the shelves, because we decided that what they had was about right, why would we stuff them around any more? They were already putting doors on, and taking skirting and cornice off, and making them to fit neatly together.
It didn't even cross my mind that a taller 2100mm high bookcase would have THE SAME NUMBER OF SHELVES as the 1800mm one. (Doesn't everyone want to absolutely maximize how many books they can store? Or I might want to have all my 4 books on separate shelves, you know.)
And who would guess that those shelves would be evenly spaced, so there's not a hope of putting an extra shelf in between two existing shelves, because they are all 370mm apart and my shortest books are all 190mm tall.
One of the things I was looking forward to was not having books stacked on their sides.
Another was not having two rows of books on the shelf so that you can't see the back ones.
But my very clever Beloved has come up with a solution.
The smaller books could be stored in two rows with one behind. But this means you can't see what you've got.
However, by putting a half width shelf along the back that is slightly lower than the top of the front row (and entirely behind them) we can raise a back row so that the majority of each spine will be visible.
He is very clever, my Beloved.
And the chance that I'll let him go?

Monday, December 6, 2010


As of 11pm last night our niece Giggles has a new little sister!

Just over 3 kilos (7 pound 10 for the ancient among you). She even has a real name - but not a blog name just yet. I will need to work on that, but need to wait until I've actually met her and can come up with something suitable.

Giggles has been telling everyone that she is going to be such a good big sister. The baby can sleep in her room and she can look after her when she cries, and carry her into Mummy and Daddy... Chances?

Friday, November 26, 2010


I had to do some comparison shopping for house and contents insurance today.

Having found a better price by changing companies and some judicious rearrangement of excess and what's covered, I had to give the new company all the details.

I wanted to insure my laptop separately, so had to turn it upside-down in order to read off the model and serial numbers.

I dropped it.

And broke the plastic cover over the hinge on one side.

Chance the existing insurance policy would pay out for an accident that happened while I was arranging insurance with a different company?

(and okay, it wouldn't be covered for such a tiny amount of damage anyway).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

King Kong?

While I was away - had a great time, thanks for asking - Emily Sue needed to get some cat-related stuff and while we were in the pet shop I bought a Kong toy for the Little Black Dog. The vet had suggested it as it keeps a dog's brain active and isn't too hard on their back legs if they just nuzzle and chew it, trying to get the treats out of the inside.

So I bought one.

Filled it with doggie treats and put it down for the LBD. Moved it with my toe to make it interesting.

So now the game goes like this: I move the Kong around with my foot. Every so often food falls out. The LBD eats it. Then looks at me for more. I move the Kong around with my foot...

The chance that this is how it is supposed to work?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Goin' ta Melbin

I'm on holidays next week.

And I'm going away - on a plane.

I have 6 nights at a wonderful resort in Melbourne where I've been promised a bed with two four-footed masseuses (and the male is a hunk - I've seen photos); trips to try the local cuisine; an A-list party at an exclusive venue; and a trip to a luxurious day spa where I can sleep on a comfy couch whilst reading great literature.

So I'll be seein' ya.

But the chance I'm enjoying watching the news at the moment? I'll have to book a seat where I can make certain those engines are still operating effectively.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm shrinking!

I had heard that as we age we begin to shrink, but what no-one told me was that it can start before age 40 and can be very quick to occur...

...or maybe my Beloved just wound the washing line up so that he could mow under it on the weekend.

And the liklihood that I didn't put it back?

Monday, October 25, 2010

I've got nuthin'

There is absolutely nothing happening here. Nothing funny, nothing worth saying.

I warned you.

I'm just wondering whether the giant ground beetle on the 55c stamp is going to eat the tiny coral rabbitfish on the 5c stamp.

I'm wondering if putting the detergent in the sink, then running the water, then realising that I hadn't put the plug in is an indication of early onset dementia.

I'm wondering if doing Koine Greek first semester next year is going to drive me batty, and whether being excited about it is grounds for declaring me mad.

But how much interesting stuff do I have to post?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Three Hundred Words

These are the final words that I had to ditch or bung into footnotes in order to get my assignment completed. Of course, I needed to take out more than 300 in order to put more words in to make things intelligible.

It has been submitted.

With 2996 words.

I am free.

the following questions will be addressed. First, what does Paul mean when he talks about “law” or “the law”? Is there a difference discernable from the particular terminology he uses? Second, what is it that Paul states outright that the law is not? Third, if the law is not something, what then is its purpose or role? How does it function? Fourth, what is the context for Romans? Lastly, what are the possible conflicts that come from Paul’s treatment of the law in Romans, and does the context help resolve them? which can and that really However, Romans does challenge the privileged status of the Jews, and their false confidence that God in his grace will accept them, and that their sin is not as bad as the sins committed by the Gentiles living around them The law brings our sin to our attention. Romans 4:15 (NRSV) Morris explains that our passions are passive, such that experiences happen to them. goes further to: “But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast of your relation to God and know his will and determine what is best because you are instructed in the law... For as it is written, ‘The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.’” In particular the food laws, Sabbath, and circumcision were at times ridiculed by the surrounding Gentile population. it each of which may shed light on that seem to occur These are Some can be hazarded within life in Rome with a double character but modern theologians This has lead to outside of the contexts of both Paul and Rome Sanders does not find all Paul’s arguments convincing to the contemporary mind, even if his basic views are true. must confess have a for that Gorman would remind us that We do not have to choose between these classifications could make As such, . , including questions like “What is Israel’s role in salvation-history?”, and “What is the function of Torah/circumcision?” would would Romans can be dense and confusing because Paul’s style, thought patterns, and argument are not familiar to modern thought. as discussed above for , as it causes division , his crucial saving act because of himself Jewish to the

How much sense do they make out of context?

Friday, October 8, 2010

You see, there's this assignment...


I've been very quiet.

Hardly had the computer on, in fact.

Pretty desperately trying to get the reading done on my final major research assignment that is due next Friday. A week. And I'm still reading. *Sigh*

That's in addition to the fact that tomorrow's the church Spring Fair.

And the fact that the LBD must be walked or he won't get his leg back working properly. Tried a swimming session today, but it was cold, misting rain and frigid breeze. I wasn't happy being up to my knees in the water, and the LBD had more sense than to try swimming.

So how much time am I spending on line until next Friday?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lessons from Lolly-Making

My Mum and I had a lolly-making working bee at our house today. It's the church's Spring Fair next Saturday. Together we made 5 trays of French Jellies, 1 of triple layer Marshmallow, and I made chocolate fudge after Mum left.

This was a pretty good day's work, lots of standing over pots and stirring involved (and one panicked call to my Grandmother seeking explanation of a weird thing that was happening).

The lessons for today involve:
  1. The stove heats up the mixture best if it is turned on at the wall;
  2. Avoid dropping the lid off the colour bottle into the jelly mixture;
  3. It is easier to have two people working in a kitchen if one of them is NOT doing Zumba moves;
  4. Marshmallow cut into dainty squares in the container will grow into mammoth squares once rolled in coconut;
  5. If in doubt whether the chocolate fudge is up to standard, don't tell your husband that he'll have to eat it if it isn't before he's pronounced sentence.
How much chocolate fudge is going to make it to the Spring Fair?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Letter From Grandma

In case you can't read Grandma's writing, this is what it says,

This is a funny story - Grandad was reading his paper and minding Peter,
and Peter climbed up on the end of the banana-bed. Grandad put his foot on
the top to stop it tipping up, then he had to put his other foot on the table to
him from tipping up, then he had to call for someone to grab

How much do I care if this might be embarrassing to some of my 'lations?

P.S. Peter is my cousin. He is also now famous (well, maybe not internationally famous, but certainly around the regions wherer he's worked). I'm still claiming I have a famous cousin.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dear Doctor...

I am writing to request transfer of my records to my local veterinary surgery on the following grounds:-
  • I took my Little Black Dog to visit the vet today, and was actually in the car on my way home a whole minute BEFORE my appointment time.
  • He didn't charge me for the consultation because it was just to check that things were healing properly (but when he charges me it's still cheaper despite not getting a Medicare refund).
  • He must know his stuff, because he treats a number of different species of animals (and his patients can't explain what is wrong).
How legal would this be? *sigh*


There was a man.

Standing on the steep roof of an old Queenslander house.

With a green grocery bag in his hand.

The chance I had my camera with me as I drove into town?

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Dog in my Kitchen

There should not be a dog in my kitchen.

The Little Black Dog is not allowed to go in the kitchen.

He believes that he is not allowed to be CAUGHT in the kitchen.

There is a difference.

At the moment a three legged dog on timber floors has resulted in a few falls, which has made him worried about walking on the timber floors, which means that he then tried to run quickly, which meant that he stacked it faster, which meant that he wouldn't walk anywhere, which has resulted in me putting down every old towel we possess to give him traction and make doggy highways between his favourite resting places.

Now, though, he will go off the towels and not be able to turn around (the turning seems to increase the liklihood of falls). This has resulted in him getting himself stranded in the middle of the timber and making a huge fuss about being lifted back onto the towels. It is not easy if he gets himself stranded under the dining room table.

Why does he leave the towels in the first place? How does he get himself into the middle of nowhere, and why can't he get back?

But today I caught him in the kitchen. I ordered him out. He looked at me with the, "I'm a poor lame puppy who can't walk on the timber" look that he has perfected, lay down on the floor and went floppy. He's really difficult to pick up when he goes floppy. I carefully pushed all 19 kilos of him around the bench with my foot, handily mopping up some water I'd spilled when filling the ice-cube trays.

The chance that he's not bunging it on when it suits him?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I have proof that I'm co-ordinated!

Those who know me in real life will be very intrigued by the title. It might not seem consistent with what they know of me.

Anyone who's been following this blog for a bit may also be somewhat surprised by the title.

A couple of weeks ago I went to my first Zumba session. I loved it. I went again the next night!

My Beloved and I came to a budgetary agreement that for the next two months I'm allowed as much Zumba as I can get to, based on the fact there are only 4 sessions in the week here in town (unless I wanted to back to back a couple, and I think I'd probably die!) and that I have stuff on for one of the others (except in the school holidays).

So due to other commitments and illness I've managed to get to two sessions the first week, one the second, and I could only make it to one last week.

So as of Wednesday night I'd done all of 4 sessions. Some of it is getting easier.

Anyway the local high school had its annual Rodeo and showcase thing with rides and entertainment before the rodeo. The Zumba ladies had been asked to do a display, hopefully to get the crowd involved.

They were a little short on people to help demonstrate.

In fact they were desperate.

I know they were desperate, because they asked someone who has only done 4 sessions to come and help them.

They asked me.

I figure I was the large, unco-ordinated one that proved to the crowd that anyone can do this.

And I know I have a maniacal grin plastered on my face when I do Zumba firstly because it's fun and secondly because there's every chance I will entirely stuff it up. It's like a preemptive laugh at myself for being on the wrong foot or raising the wrong hand for at least a third of the proceedings.

But I couldn't help going for an additional session in my week (which was free!).

And the chance that all the newbie high school girls got it down better than me their first go?

(Well you'd hope not!)

Friday, September 17, 2010



Some advice:

When writing an assignment, if you have about another hour of work to do (so that it can be handed in tomorrow), DO NOT decide at 9.30pm that it's a good idea to entirely restructure it.

On the other hand, the chance it isn't much better now?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I really need better notes

When I'm writing assignments, I have to wade through pages and pages of notes I've taken while I've been reading in preparation.

It can be quite interesting, particularly when I started reading weeks ago, so the matter from the first few books is not fresh in my brain.

There are times when I've obviously been tired and unable to reduce a good quote to notes, so I've written out the whole paragraph.

There are times I've used obscure abbreviations and hieroglyphs for particular terms.

There are times when I've used particularly bad handwriting (even worse if it's in Greek script).

And there are times when I come across gems like this, "Big Julie refounded Corinth as a colony - 44BC"

How much money would you bet me that I haven't been exposed in childhood to quotes from "Rinse the Blood off my Toga"?

- Thanks Grandad.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Beautiful Rainy Day

There is something so relaxing on your day off about waking to the sound of rain on the roof. It's been raining on and off all day and it is just lovely. I love rain. Anyway it comes.

The little watercourse that I can see from the back of our house is showing water beyond the line of the reeds where it is most likely to be wet.

Our rainwater tank is overflowing and creating a small lake where the water waits to pass into the neighbour's yard or soak in.

Our newly prepared vegie patch (my Beloved was busy last week and topsoiled, fertilised and mulched it ready for some new plants) is looking wet, and our sticks are continuing to put up fresh leaves.

And in celebration of a rainy lazy day I offer you another letter from my Grandma...

When Judy and John play tennis Grandad and Grandma watch them from the window.

And the chance that I'm not feeling lazy and sleepy on such a beautiful day?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fancy-Schmanzy Architects may have a point.

At different times I've seen photos of swish houses where the en-suite has two basins.

Sometimes I've seen them on TV.

You'd reckon that I might at some point have stayed in a hotel room with this feature, but we don't stay in places that cost that much. Even in Asia.

I've always thought that it would just mean more work cleaning...

... but last night as I was wiping down the handbasin in our en-suite I reflected on the fact that two basins (as long as they were strictly 'his' and 'hers') would give clear evidence of who was the messy one who therefore is the one who should be wiping down the handbasin.

Same location, same amount of atmospheric dust and linty fluff, same degree of 'hardness' or 'softness' in the water. Different user.

How impressed was I to find a blob of toothpaste in the clean basin this morning?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tad Troubling to the Ticker

Title just for Givinya, who has been enjoying my recent alliterative titles.

This one took a while.

I'm surprised I'm up to blogging.

Particularly summing up what I want to say in five words starting with the same letter.

You see, it is a study night and I'm supposed to be working on the reading for my second assignment. The plan is to finish the reading this week, then write it next in time for the deadline next Friday.

Okay, I've got to prepare a sermon for church on Sunday in the middle there somewhere, but as I'm sneakily using the same text as my assignment is on it should be the best researched sermon I've ever given, without taking up any extra time in the reading department.

So far that's fine.

Checked my email as I settled down to my desk. There were emails for a spate of Forum posts for the subject, so I'd better have a quick squizz.

One from the lecturer which included the words, "Friday is also the due date for Assignment 2, and ..."

I did not read the rest of the comment because my poor brain was fixated on the fact that Assignment 2, that I had marked in my diary as due on the 17th of September, was in fact due IN TWO DAYS TIME!!!!

The human brain is marvellous. It can race to top gear in a split second. People who think they are going to die speak of seeing their whole life flash before their eyes.

My brain can take in all that still needs to happen in the time frame and come up with the obvious answer that it is probably not possible, even though the lecturer had said Sunday evening was fine if we needed the weekend to finish (which wouldn't help me very much, because I have a service to prepare for).

Anyway, maybe I could get something submittable done with a couple of all nighters, and by not doing any more reading (leaving my Bibliography woefully short, unless I did the read-two-random-pages-in-each-of-the-remaining-books-and-hope-there's-something-I-can-reference thing).

My brain then flicked to wonder precisely how dumb it would sound to write and request an extention on the grounds that I can't read a Study Outline.

Then flicked to think that I needed to check the Study Outline, because I was certain it was the 17th not the 10th. I mean, I've done some dumb stuff before, but...

All this took about 0.3 seconds.

5 years of which was spent staring at the email in dawning horror.

Thankfully, the next email was from a concerned student who was certain that the due date was the 17th, not the 10th.

There was another on much the same topic.

And a response from the lecturer apologising because he had the date wrong.

How much did my blood pressure require the exercise?

... Approximately None!

The Traitress

I am a horrible woman.

Multiple times a day I am taking advantage of the willingness and obedience of a Little Black Dog.

I lure him into the laundry, put the bucket collar on him, then lock him in and go off to whatever is in the diary for the day.

His little eyes reproach me.

And the next time I tell him to go through the door he still does it uncomplainingly.

He waits for my return.

Either he is stupid or he loves me very, very much.

And, for the record, how much higher is my IQ than his?

... Approximately None!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Triumvirate of Terror

Pretty spectacular-sounding title, hey?

Might be a bit of an overkill.


My Mum and her two sisters are having a week together this week. Mum's younger sister from Brisbane picked Mum up on Sunday and the two of them have flown to Victoria to spend the week with their older sister in the deep south.

Doesn't sound too scary when it's put like that, but it is enough to send my uncle fleeing the country.

Well, okay, he was leaving the country anyway which is why the girls decided to have the week together. But it sounds better the other way around.

What odds will I give you that Victoria will still be standing by this time next week?

... Approximately None.

Monday, September 6, 2010

After today I think I've confirmed everyone's suspicions that I'm a bit air-headed...

It has been one of those days.

7.30am - Prayer breakfast

8.45am - Get home and take a picture as a background for our church's new website banner (for September - yep, right in time for the new month). Download it. Put the necessary writing on it. Get onto the admin site and upload the image. Realise that it has a typo. Not an important one, or anything. Just the name of the town the church is located in.

10.20am - Frustrated at not getting the website update finished, but take the LBD to the vet to get his dressing changed and for the vet to make sure that everything is looking good. It is, he's walking on it, but doesn't like the sticky bandage coming off. Pushes against me so hard that his good back leg falls off the table and he tries to take all his weight on the bad one.

10.55am - Put dog in the laundry because I have to go out soon. Madly work on the computer to fix the typo, re-upload September's website banner and fix it. Try to insert a new news article, that doesn't end up showing on the public site, but I have to go out again...

11.30am - Meeting with one of our music ladies about a potential solo for Sunday. Words of song are perfect for the service. Can't get onto Sunday's organist. Have a bit of a discussion about deep theological stuff. Get fuel, pick up the hospital pastoral care phone on the way home.

12.45pm - Get home, put some soup in the microwave to defrost. Check dog. He has managed to eat or in other ways get rid of half his bandage. Ring vet. I can bring him straight down. Great.

1pm - try to lift resisting dog out of the back of the car. Drag him into the vet. Vet fixes new bandage. Buy pigs ears to try to keep the LBD entertained while I'm gone.

1.15pm - Put soup on to reheat. Find the LBDs bucket-collar in the back of the top shelf of the cupboard so that he can't eat his bandage. Gather materials for 2pm meeting, remembering the letter I have to post, and the CD to leave for someone at the office.

1.30pm - eat lunch quickly. Burn tongue.

1.45pm - Grab dog. Put on bucket collar, grab pig ear in other hand, then pick up the dog to carry him downstairs to the laundry. Try to push him into the laundry, despite his unwillingness and the fact that the bucket collar gets stuck on the door, which can't open fully because he's rearranged all his bedding. Run upstairs and grab handbag and stuff I need.

1.50pm - Realise that my car/house keys are not in my handbag. They are not on my desk. They are not in the kitchen. They are not in the bedroom. Put everything down and check each of these places three times. Stop and think about what I did when I first got home. Check the shelves in the cupboard where the bucket-collar was. Grab keys. Grab stuff.

2.03pm - Apologise for being late to the meeting. Have meeting to organise Sunday's service. Find out that our organist is away and is not due back til the end of the week. Scrap potential solo.

3.30pm - pack up stuff after meeting. Decide to have a quick run-through of a new song for Sunday (to be accompanied by guitar). Realise that I've lost the CD I had to leave in the office for someone to pick up. Go through all the stuff I have with me. It isn't there. Check the car, my path between the car and the church hall, the office and the meeting room three times each.

3.40pm - Decide that I really need to get home to my Little Black Dog.

3.47pm - Find CD and letter I was going to post on my desk. Ring the lady who was going to pick up the CD. Get her husband. She's just left for the church. Leave message. Ring church. Leave message.

Just now - get new email with the minutes of last week's meeting to plan the Spring Fair. Realise that I should have been there and wasn't because it had entirely slipped my mind.

What amount of respect am I going to have from my church after today's little effort?

... Approximately None!

Friday, September 3, 2010

I like Spring, too.

Okay, so I don't like the weeds.

And I don't like the fact that when you take off your jumper you can't keep pretended that the extra Jen is just the added bulk of heavy clothing.

But it is a truly beautiful day.

And the air has a special promise of good things to come.

Yesterday was the first time I'd worn a skirt in months.

And the chance that I didn't have to spend a little more time in the shower and a permit for vegetation removal in preparation for my lilly white legs being on display?

... You guessed it! (Not that it's too hard to guess, really)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The LBD is AOK

Just letting you know that the LBD's surgery yesterday went well. He spent the night at the vet's (it was a late surgery due to the vet having to semen test 30 bulls in the morning - glad that it isn't my job!) and was very glad to see me this morning.

Chris popped in to see him last night and got a groggy tail thump.

The LBD loves his Daddy.

His back leg is strapped up in a crimson bandage that he is determined to eat. Whatever is left will come off on Monday, we go back to get stitches out a week later, then we can start with the slow walks as he improves.

How much excitement is there in his life right now?

... Approximately None!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


For Christmas last year I bought three tiny trees for my Beloved.

The plan was that we will have some shade in our yard one day.

There's something very disheartening about buying deciduous trees, though. By the time they were planted out in February the leaves all started screwing themselves up and dying.

Not encouraging.

Surely they are supposed to lose their leaves in autumn?

However, I've continued to water our three sticks over the winter, and last weekend noticed this:

Beautiful focus on the weeds, hey?

How likely is it that Spring doesn't start tomorrow?

...Approximately None!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Out for the rest of the Season

My Beloved watches football.

I know, it's a character flaw, but I love him anyway.

So during the last 9 years I have learnt a whole lot of things I did not previously know.

When there's AFL on one station, League on another, an international cricket match on a third and lawn bowls on good ol' aunty it does not mean that there's "nothing on tv."

Or so I've been told.

I can have a pretty good go at putting together the name, location and colours of most of the Leauge and AFL teams.

I have some understanding of the the general timing for the State of Origin.

And I know it is a real problem when the teams lose their star players in August, because if their injury is bad enough, they are out for the rest of the season.

One of the big ones I've heard of is when they 'do' their cruciate ligament.

I might as well tell you at this point that our LBD is out for the rest of the season.

He was very lame (sadly, in his good back leg) on Friday night, I took him to the vet Saturday and he's having surgery on Wednesday. He's done a good enough job that the vet could tell by manipulation of the joint.

Poor baby puppy.

So we have to keep him quiet for a week/10 days after surgery. Good luck to us.

The good news is that dogs that do one leg are very likely to do the other. How exciting is that news?

... Approximately Not at All.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Story Based on Luke 14:7-11

And the chance that I'll spend as much time on the actual "grown up" sermon?
... Approximately None!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The cold that Will. Not. Die.

I'm nearly over it.

I hope.

I have said that on at least 3 other occasions in the last couple of months.

It is lingering.

It is not an infection.

Therefore there isn't much the doctor can do about it.

But she has put me on a whole heap of supplements to strengthen my immune system, a magic nasal spray that I could only use for three days, and suggested keeping away from the hospital for a bit.

Still sneezing.

Still coughing.

Still fighting sleep each afternoon.

And the chance that I'm not soooo over being sick?
... Mmmm.

But the fish oil makes your hair all soft and shiny.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The post I couldn't be bothered logging on to post...

It was Saturday night.

I had failed to remember that it was one of those nights where it would have been a really good idea to make a quick stop at the video shop so that we had something to watch.

It was the Federal Election.

Each of the four free stations had election round up starting at 6pm.


The polling booths only close at 6pm!

We really need to get a set-top box.

So here we have Channel Hippomania's Election coverage:

Greta: So, Stanley, it's been a big day all over Australia as people have gone to the polls.

Stanley: You are so right, Greta. (excitedly) And now the counting can begin...

Greta: Well actually, Stanley, in the vote for the marginal seat of Stuffeditallup is already showing an AMAZING swing - 100% of the votes counted are for Labor so far...

Stanley: That's unprecedented, Greta! Who would have thought that would happen?

Greta: ... And in news just in, they've counted another two votes and it looks like an even 50-50 split...

The chance that I watched any of it?

... Approximately None! But please someone let me know when we have a Prime Minister.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ibid. et al.

It's all coming back now.

I've been struggling with this assignment. The reading was lengthy and then I had no idea where to start. Blank pages are scary. It's been a bit of a while since I last had to write a piece of scholarly work, but today everything was finally coming together.

Good thing, really, given that it's due this week.

I just had to reduce the text down to the required word limit and format all the references and viola, it would be done.

I always used to use in-text referencing. I hate the way it clutters the text, but it is easy to work with in the drafting process. Also, when I first started study all those years ago the dodgy word processing equipment couldn't do automatic footnotes that stayed on the same page and renumbered themselves when you added something in.

But in order to reduce my essay to the required length (and a quarter as much again has got to be too much), I decided to bung the excess text into footnotes for some of my discursive "by the way..." arguments and that was really wierd having both notes and in-text references.

So I decided to change to footnotes.

Then remembered the other reason that I never have liked noting.

To note effectively, one must remember what all the latin abbreviations stand for: ibid., op.cit., loc. cit., etc.

And once I'd finished I had MORE words than I'd started with.

The chance I'd unchecked the box that said, "include end and footnotes"
... Approximately None!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Perils of Speedy RE Preparation

Trying to get everything done for my Religious Education class for this morning. I take a grade 2 class and they are lovely. Noisy and never still, but lovely.

Just quickly trying to copy and then highlight some verses I need them to read out. Quickly grabbed one - Jeremiah 31:3 "... Israel, I will always love you; that's why I have been so patient and kind."

Lovely thought for the day. God is patient and kind and loving. Great.

Onto the next one I read quickly Jeremiah 3:2 "Just try to find one hilltop where you haven't gone to worship other gods by having sex."

What!?! That can't be right! Definitely not age-appropriate. Check the reference.

Jeremiah 3:12 "... Israel, I am your Lord - come back to me! You were unfaithful and made me furious, but I am merciful, and so I will forgive you."

That's more like it.

How funny would it have been if I hadn't actually read the selections, then given them out to my unsuspecting 8 year olds?

... Approximately NONE!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Eat Your Heart Out Maid Marion

Okay, so I don't want to perpetuate the popular image of Maid Marion from a certain television show that I only used to watch to drool over Guy of Gisbourne*, but will ever sacrifice tradition to a reasonably catchy title.

And I did sort of get a nick-name from some of the blokes at the regional youth and family camp that makes the reference relevant.

I did Archery as an elective at the camp.

Lots of the blokes brought their children down, but I ended up being the only adult woman who had chosen this particular elective when many of the others were up at the main hall making craft. Others attended a discussion group, and a few were off try to get babies down for a little sleep.

I'm a bit of a freak.

I was idly sitting awaiting the start of proceeding when I recognised Peanut from over at "Graze". Then I recognised her big brother and dad, who had all come out for the day. I should not have been surprised because I know they go to one of the churches that was coming.

Having referred to Peanut by her given name, and having been corrected by dad, I began to wonder if he really wanted me to introduce him at lunchtime as "Yummy Hubby"? I should have asked.

But didn't.

He's a policeman. I didn't want to get him off-side.

I caught up with Crazy Sister who brought out the kids on Sunday. Got to see her new house with the huge kitchen and everything on the way home! (Seriously envious of the kitchen. And the beautiful glossy white architraves and skirting boards - but not of the red dirt. Red dirt goes everywhere!)

But thanks to Yummy Hubby who took the photos and to Crazy Sister who emailed them, I can share these with you. Yummy Hubby takes pretty impressive photos, and I love that my double chin is hidden by the angle. I should employ him as my personal photographer.

Nice instructor who was helping with a technique for drawing back that would not involve the sort of injury to which, as the only adult female, I was the only one susceptible.

Then he also helped with release technique that added some more POWER to my arrows (possibly helped by the fact I was no longer worried about the chance of injury). Then I no longer needed to aim higher than I wanted to hit.

How many of my arrows struck gold?

... You think you're so smart - but as a matter of fact I managed to be the first one (apart from the instructor) to hit gold, but also got another couple later on. Hence spending the next 24 hours being referred to as Maid Marion by one of the blokes.

It appears that archery is a sport that requires no ability to catch, throw, hit moving projectiles with an implement, run, be flexible or have any sort of cardio-vascular fitness. I should take it up.

And how many of my arrows missed the target entirely?
... Approximately None

* Was that bad casting or what?! Aren't you supposed to like Robin Hood? And not be relieved when the seriously irritating maid Marion finally can't be irritating anymore?

What? You mean I'm supposed to have value for worth of character? Oh. Yes, I suppose you're right. I mean, of course you are.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You know you're avoiding study when...

You actually listen to the 'really good deal' on your phone bill the Indian voice (who very firmly said she was from Melbourne) on the other end of the phone is trying to sell you.

I took notes and everything.

After the second time through (I got handed up to Janet's supervisor) I decided I was wasting my time, but had some difficulty ending the phone call.

So how much study have I got done in the last 10 minutes?
... Approximately None. (now back to Antioch and the assignment I really need to finish this week)

Monday, August 9, 2010

You know your week is off to a brilliant start when...

You offer to check the church Post Office Box while you're there to buy stamps for a whole heap of kids group invitations. So the office lady hands over her key.

You get to the post office, only to remember that you should have asked what the Post Office Box number is, because you can't remember.

You ring the church office to check, sound like a total idiot, but manage to get the mail. Then you go inside to buy stamps and remember that the 40-odd letters you are holding ALL have the church's return address printed on them.

How brilliant is my week looking?

... hmmmpf

Friday, August 6, 2010

Finding my own level

I've always been a bit of a klutz.

I would have been excellent at sport if only I could throw a ball, catch a ball, run or hit a moving object with any sort of implement.

Having a modicum of balance and flexibility may also have assisted.

Oh, and some cardio-vascular fitness.

As you can see, I was not ever the first person picked on teams at school. And I fear I wasn't a nice person at all because I was always glad that at least I wasn't the last one picked. There was always a very real possibility that I would be, but the team who started picking at least chose me over the very last one left that the other team had to have. *sigh* I am not a nice person sometimes. Particularly when I was in high school.

Yesterday I felt I found my level.

I was throwing balls to a group of 3-5 year olds.

Nice light plastic balls that don't hurt.

Balls that were big enough to catch and hold.

Thrown gently in an arc.

Over a distance of about 1.5 - 2.0 metres.

When my reach is about three times theirs.

And they just expected that I would be able to catch them. There was no judgement. No waiting on me to fail. It was the best time I've ever had that involved round objects in motion.

But the chance that I managed to catch two balls at once when they came at me unexpectedly?

... You guessed it!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

OH NO!!!!

Phone numbers are funny things.

Sometimes when you're getting a new one and they ask "Is that okay?" you think about how it has repeated or sequential numbers and you really want to grab it.

On the other hand, maybe the question you should ask is, "Who had it last?"

And they are probably not allowed to tell you due to privacy.

When my whole family first moved to my town we got a number that worked. What we didn't know was that it had used to belong to, let's call them "McFreddy's Transport". Mum's favourite was the irate lady who rang up demanding, "When are you coming to pick up my potatoes?!!" She wanted to answer, "I'd love some spuds, what's your address!" Even 20 years later I think Mum and Dad were getting the occasional Mc Freddy's call.

I think I've blogged before about how my home business number ended up only slightly different from the local police number (if in fact it wasn't a former police number). The 2am calls are the hardest to take. One of the wonderful things about the thought of totally winding up my home business is the fact that we wouldn't get them anymore.

And today the new nightmare began...

In the olden days we had 6 digit phone number locally.

Then they added an additional 2 digits to the front so that they had many, many more numbers to play with for the local area.

BUT - everyone knew that all numbers in town started with the same 2 digits. So now we all had the same 4 digits at the beginning.

EXCEPT - that people are greedy and wanted more numbers, which were available now that we had 8 digit phone numbers, so now we all have the same first 3 digits and the rest might not be the same.

AND - this is a very traditional place, so people still automatically only look at the last 4 digits and ring the "normal" first 4 digits.

I shall illustrate:-

Let's say our number was 4556 1101 - Great number, hey?

It is close to my home business number which was 4556 1189 so that I don't have to remember as many numbers. (Clever idea, hey?)

BUT - the police station were seeking a new range of numbers that would allow for multiple extentions. The community liason officer's number was 4557 1101. So she would put that on brochures for events and things like Seniors' Week and all the old dears start ringing her to RSVP.

ONLY - the old dears know that the first 4 digits for the whole of my town start with 4556. So they all ring 4556 1101 and get me, telling them that Mary is not here. No, it is not the police station. Then panicking because this was our HOME number, not my BUSINESS number and we don't get calls for the police on our HOME number. Please. surely. Help.

But at least I'm guessing that the midnight emergency calls on this number will be...

...approximately none!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's a Good Thing I Didn't End Up a Teenage Mother

At lunchtime I will be off to give a religious education lesson to my class of little grade twos.

It quite often ends up as mayhem and I'm not certain what they are actually learning, but they are so enthusiastic and I love them all.

When I was in high school I really wanted to give my hypothetical children distinctive names. I thought it might be nice to use the less popular spellings for traditional names. (This is probably due to the sheer numbers of Jennifers in my classes growing up.)

In more recent years I have repented of that desire.

There are so many variants.

Young Cayleb informed me at the beginning of this term that I spelled his name incorrectly on the front of his book. I had written 'Caleb'. I had written my list with it spelled the way he spelled it, but my brain must have done an automatic spell-check while I wasn't paying attention.

So now there are a whole generation of kids who are going to have to spell their names every single time someone is writing it down.

How much do I wish I was them?

... Approximately None!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Accidental Cleaning

Sometimes life gets on top of me.

I was away at regional-level church meetings this weekend. It is always great to catch up with representatives from all across this part of Queensland.

But I was busy before I left and so my packing was very much in the "grab and shove" method where you hope you've remembered everything in the 5 minutes you've devoted to the task.

I did remember all my readings and a folder to put them in.

And my pyjamas.

And a toothbrush.

And clean underwear.

So I did pretty well really.

But it was this morning when the fall-out hit me.

You see last week I used the same folder to take notes for a roster that I'm responsible for typing up before the end of this week.

And when you're doing "grab and shove" packing, you do silly things like pull the pages with the roster on it out of the folder and put them on some flat surface somewhere between the place you found the folder and where your bag happened to be when you completed the 'shove' part of proceedings.

And to know where the folder or the bag happened to be during the whole of the whirlwind 5 minutes that you were shoving stuff you remembered into the bag is not easy three days later. My brain was concentrating on "what do I need for Fri/Sat/Sun" not "where did I put the thing I must type up next week".

I've checked the bedroom floor near where I was packing clothes and can't find those pages anywhere.

I've cleaned the dining table and can't find those pages anywhere.

So I've been cleaning my office and can't find those pages anywhere, despite finding lots of other interesting stuff.

And I just pulled out the reports and notes from a weekend's worth of meetings and found the missing pages clipped in the back of the folder.

Right where they would have been from when I took them last week.

So how much work in tidying up my desk remains to be finished?

... well, I still have a little bit to do, but not very much at all!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I take it back...

There are two yappy dogs that live next door to us. Well, actually one yappy dog and an encourager, but who needs to be that precise?

The neighbours are considerate when they are home, because if the dogs are barking they take them inside so that peace once more reigns supreme, but when the neighbours are out the dogs are very likely to bark continously for extended periods. There's not much that the neighbours feel they can do when they are not home, and I only wish our anti-barking collar would go small enough for us to lend it to them.

Now, dogs bark - and a certain amount of barking I can tolerate in the interests of living in a community that values pet ownership. And I don't like to sound hypocritical because our LBD will bark on occasion, too. Usually specific occasions for a short time. Unfortunately his three or four barks at the postie will start the neighbours off for a good 20 minutes.

Ever since I timed the dogs next door barking for a whole 30 minutes by the clock (before I left home and was very glad to have work to do elsewhere that afternoon), I have wondered precisely how long a yappy dog can yap without pause. (Emily Sue - pun just for you!)

We found out that they have stamina a couple of weeks ago when the dogs had been barking for some time before we sat down to watch tv at 8.30pm and continued to do so until we presume the neighbours came home at 10.52.


That's more than 2 1/2 hours of barking.

It was not appreciated.

Later in the week they tried it again, and the neighbour over the back yelled at them. I could sympathise.

Then last week was quiet for a couple of days.

I put out multiple loads of washing without needing earplugs for the high pitched squealy bark from next door. Our garage door could go up and down without being serenaded. The LBD could run around his own backyard without being told off by the pip-squeak from next door. We could walk around our house and open curtains without trembling for the noise it could cause.

I began to get worried that something had happened to them. Despite mentally devising excruciating deaths and torture for them over the last couple of months, I actually began to get worried that something had happened to them.

But they are back now and I take back any concern I might have felt for their safety. How glad am I to see them (or more correctly, hear them)?

... Precisely!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Just for "Aunty Rain"

I've been studying.

And coughing.

And doing lots of reading.

And taking a funeral.

And lying in bed.

But not blogging.

And I should go to sleep now, or the chance I'll be up and working tomorrow?

... Approximately None!

Monday, July 12, 2010


So, I start studying today. Exciting, hey.

Textbooks arrived Friday, Study Guide and Readings today, and this evening I have half a dozen messages in the online forum.

So I have dutifully sat me down to do some reading, closing the study door to keep the television noise at bay and I am continually being interrupted by the LBD deciding to come in.

Among the many idiosyncracies of our house is the fact that we decided to paint it ourselves. This meant that there was no sense in putting the door handles on until the doors were painted (except for bathroom and loo - we decided those were important enough to be removed and replaced when we got around to the painting thing).

So my office door has no means of securing it and it opens in. So the LBD simply pushes his way into the room, bringing the distracting TV noise with him. He doesn't want to settle in here and whenever I put him out he comes back in.

How much work am I getting done?

... Hmmpf

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Can Someone get the Feathers Out of My Jam?

In-keeping with yesterday's culinary post, I submit this post for your entertainment.

This one involves my Mum.

That means it should be quite amusing.

Earlier in the week I happened to look out our bedroom window over to what remains of our kitchen garden.

It's frosty at the moment, and there's not much left of the summer's growth, some strawberries struggling with the morning frost, the last of the spring onions and some leeks that have taken nine months to not really grow much at all. There's also the remnants of what once were verdant basil bushes that went to seed and then died. We haven't pulled them up yet.

I was delighted to see two gentle parrots quietly helping themselves to the seeds. My Beloved and I stood and watched them for a moment before I bethought myself of the camera.

Sorry about the quality of the image. It was a grey day and I took the picture through the fly screen on the window so that I didn't startle them.

We think they were rosellas.

Of course, in a quirky coincidence there is another sort of rosella commonly known in Australia. It is a fruit that is often used to make jam. Many people love rosella jam, but it is not commercially available. You have to know someone who grows rosellas, and not many people seem to grow rosellas because the fruit is only ever used to make jam.

Vicious circle, that.

So when I was talking to my mother on the phone and told her that we had rosellas on our basil bush she was a little confused.

In her experience rosellas are usually grown on a rosella bush.

How many parrots does it take to make jam?
... approximately none!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pea & Ham Soup with Louisa Musgrove

Masterchef I ain't.

And there are many reasons for that...

...But sometimes all you need is a little help.

I have never made Pea and Ham soup before, but I carefully froze the ham bone from Christmas, and had time today to give it a go. Fortunately the packet of split peas had a recipe on the back, which I intended to follow.

The first thing is to take your packet of dried split peas and reconstitute them according to the instructions.

So I carefully washed them and put them into a pot with the appropriate amount of water (3 cups of water for each cup of peas). I got the ham bone out of the freezer to defrost, then left the peas to soak and bone defrost while I had some lunch.

Then I noticed that the difference in cooking time between peas that have soaked over night and peas that are being boiled immediately was all of 10 minutes. So I put them on the stove and brought them to the boil, then reduced the heat to allow them to simmer for 35 minutes.

The pot boiled over - all over the bench and floor.

Then I noticed that the peas were becoming very broken up and suspended in the liquid in a way that made me doubt the wisdom of following the instructions and draining the liquid. I would not have had many actual peas left to make the soup with. So I compromised and put the ham bone, other vegetables and spices in the existing water and went with that.

Having already boiled the pot over, I was wise enough not to leave my pot unattended. I decided that I'd sit and read my book at the dining table and carefully selected the chair at the end of the table that allowed me to see the stove at a glance between paragraphs.

I'm on a bit of a Jane Austen kick this week. I've been sick and haven't felt like reading heavy stuff. I'm in the middle of "Persuasion" and, for those who are familiar with the story, I was coming up to the part when they visit Lyme - lyrical descriptions of the town and surrounding scenery, with the slight anxiety in the back of my mind about the tragic accident coming up.

So I was reading about the swelling of the blue-grey tide watched by the tourists at a time when I should have been paying attention to the inexorable swelling of the green tide from the pot on my stove.

Thankfully Pea and Ham soup is thick enough in consistency to simply run all over the bench. It didn't make it to the floor.

How many thanks do I offer to Louisa Musgrove for claiming my attention at the fatal moment?

... Approximately None!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


There was always going to be some tension in our household today when our ninth wedding anniversary clashes with a State of Origin footy match.

Or at least, there was huge potential as soon as my Beloved informed me when he returned home this afternoon that it was the final State of Origin tonight.

But, for the record, he then informed me that I was more important than the footy.

Then he went and got us some Chinese takeaway from our favourite place because I'm still not well enough to go out in the cold and wet.

And he loves me despite mucous, whey-face, unwashed hair and dark circles under my eyes.

And how much attention would I pay to anyone who told me that he's not the most wonderful Beloved that there happens to be in the Whole Wide World?


But for some reason he's off watching TV right now. I wonder what's grabbed his interest?

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's a Good Thing my Dog knows Sign Language...

Well, he doesn't really. But when we were training him there were certain gestures that went alongside some commands, and I must admit it is useful at times to be able to send him off without words.

Especially today, when the cold in my head has almost entirely removed my voice from usefulness. I can manage an impassioned whisper with occasional squeaks or croaks.

It was frustrating when planning worship for a couple of weeks time not to be able to sing the verse of a song so that everyone knew the tune I was thinking of.

And answering the phone today has been a riot, particularly when woken from a drug-induced doze and totally getting confused about precisely who was answering my message from when. I actually corrected my caller as to who she was.

For the record, she was right.

Anyway, it is frustrating for someone who... well... talks easily not to be able to effectively communicate. Particularly when a Little Black Dog is in the wrong place, and you want him to come in, but you can't inject the appropriate command with sufficient authority to get him to obey. He did follow the finger-snap and point. Quickly. Good Dog!

The number of words I've managed today?

... Approximately None!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Remember This Time Last Year?

This weekend we're heading to the Coast for Giggles' birthday party.

She is three.

The chance that I'm sad about BUYING a present this year?

... Approximately None!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I don't think ducks are very smart...

There were two.

Crossing the road.


When I saw them, I slowed down.

When they saw me coming they started waddling fast.

Away from the car...

... in the same direction I was travelling.

It made me think of problem solving in maths at school. "If you have a vehicle travelling at 60km/hr how much does it have to slow down in order to miss ducks travelling at x km/hr in the same direction?

The answer is: It depends when they work out that the waddling is just not going to help and they need to fly.

How many of the ducks did I hit?

... Approximately None!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The girl who deserved donuts and didn't buy them.

I decided to walk down town today. It was a beautiful day and I had a few things to get and so decided to pick up the LBD's lead and take him for a walk.

I walked the 30 minutes into town, left the LBD tied up under a tree, then walked around some shops. Bought two reams of paper and put them in my backpack, picked up the LBD and came home again.

As I left the shopping centre I had to walk past Donut King.

I was tempted.

I didn't stop and buy any.

I felt good about that decision.

But two reems of paper are heavy, and I was struggling for the last little bit of the walk home.

I deserved those donuts, but the chance I regret not buying them?

... Approximately None!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Favourite Fester Fest

To Fester (verb). (1) To waste time one should be using for the purpose of study (confined to members of a certain university college about 15-20 years ago, but nonetheless a useful term)

I have no ideas for a post. Approximately None.

Givinya and I were Google Talking and realised that we both were entirely bereft of bloggable material. So we set a topic and are thinking about it. She might not post on it at all. I might not be able to come up with anything, either. But surely taking the amount of festering we managed to fit into our college years we MUST be able to come up with something.

And now I'm worried what embarrassing photos she might have access to.

Or what stories will pop up.

The chance that this was a good idea?
... Approximately None!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In training.

In a few weeks I'll be studying.

It's a while since I've studied.

So I'm trying to get into the habit of coming and sitting in the office each evening.

Tonight I've got my order of service done for Sunday's service.

Now I'm blogging.

And Google Talking.

And the chance that blogging and Google Talking is good training for studying?

... Approximatley None.

But it's got to be better than watching TV, right?


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Oh, by the way...

Charles Sturt University has made the mistake of offering me a place in a Bachelor of Theology by distance education.

I'm a bit excited.

I've been looking at all the great subjects they have available, and decided that really, all bar about 8 or 9 of them would be interesting to do.

I have to pick 24 (actually I only get to pick 15, there are 9 core subjects).

My first cull of subjects got it down to about 35.

Then I needed to be extra-specially ruthless. So I've got it down to about 27.

If it's going to take me 12 years to do the degree (one subject per session), do you think that they'll let me do some extra subjects? Do you think they'll allow me to enrol in a second degree to catch all the other subjects I've had to cull? Do you think that the government will support me to do all the subjects that there are?

And the chance of positive answers to all these questions?

... Approximately None!

Better than The West Wing

I've said before that when I'm trying to get fit I've been putting on an episode of The West Wing and then doing my stretches and rowing.

A 41 minute episode allows for stretching, 30 mins of rowing (even with occasional breathers) and then either a sit for a couple of minutes or warm-down stretches. It helps me to keep going when I'm really not enthused by the prospect of exercise.

I'm not a huge fan of exercise, but without it I become simply huge, so I perservere. And The West Wing helps with the mind-numbing process, because it gives my brain something to think about, other than the fact I'm tired, puffed and want to stop now.

Yesterday I decided to use the time to pray instead. And it worked! There's something about rhythmic breathing that helps me keep focussed on prayer, and the prayer keeps me calm about doing the exercise. I can work out why I've not thought about this before, except that I'm not usually that awake of a morning, so I can't think. Yesterday was my day off, so I was rowing later than usual, which means that my brain had a chance to get into gear.

I'll have to see if it works on a normal day (particularly in winter when the sun doesn't get up till 6.50am).

The chance that I can think of a witty way to segue into my tagline from here?

... Approximately None.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Yesterday my Beloved and I headed up to Toowoomba for an appointment.

Afterwards we had a bite to eat at a cafe, then headed on to a brief Koorong stop to find a book that is next in line in a series I accidently started reading. They didn't have it, so my characters are temporarily stranded on their way to Alaska. Sorry, people, but they just didn't have the next book, so you'll just have to stay there for a bit.

Anyway, on the way between the cafe and the bookshop I nearly had an accident at an intersection.

Actually, it wasn't close to an accident, but my sudden diversion of all concentration onto another vehicle (including an excited pointing incident) could have caused an accident if anything unexpected had happened.

You see back in 2005 I took our little blue car to Toowoomba and traded it in on a lovely, new white car. I loved our little blue car. It was my first car and we had much fun and drove many miles together.

To see it yesterday was very exciting. Same number plate still, which gave an absolutely positive identification. I felt a bit sorry for the driver after I'd wildly pointed at him to draw my Beloved's attention.

The chance my Beloved has any lingering doubts about my lack of sanity now?

... Approximately None!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Not quite magic.

I've heard a number of friends talk about the fact that they catch up on Google Talk, so I thought I'd install it, then... abracadabra... I'd be able to chat online.

Not quite that simple.

After downloading, then fixing the anti-virus hiccup, then downloading, then establishing a separate gmail account in order to delete the new gmail account in order to register, then entering a couple of friends' addresses so that they exist in Google Talk for me. And now, two days later I haven't found anyone online anyway and so I'm left wondering if:-

a) no-one wants to talk to me, and me not being on Google Talk was a ploy to explain why they were always talking and I wasn't invited

b) their Google Talk doesn't have me listed, so they don't know I'm waiting for them to come on line so that I can talk to them.

c) it is technology. Of course it wasn't going to be simple. What was I thinking?!?

The chances that this post makes me seem anything other than a paranoid technophobe?

... Not going there!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


(Noun) The name of the feeling that overtakes drivers when the government hasn't ensured timely construction of road infrastructure.

Okay, so I made that up. My inspiration came from a board in a coffee shop. All coffee shops should employ at least one staff member who passed senior English. Or can read English. Or has had some exposure to English at some point during his/her life.

That said, I will give them credit where it's due. There were no grocer's apostrophes. None. Well done, coffee shop chalk board writer!

Now to find a dictionary to help them with the half-dozen other mistakes.

We had the meeting of the Axe Wielding Murderers Inc. on Thursday and it was great. Emily Sue then came here for two nights and then this afternoon headed back to Givinya's for a few nights until she leaves Queensland.

It's good to know that all cyber space people are not either figments of my imagination, or psychotic. And now she knows that Queensland is not just a fictional place where all the characters from southern soapies go when they leave the show. Win-win really.

And the chance that, having just been a bit catty about the standard of English at one particular coffee shop, there are no errors in my text?

... Approximately None!

Emily Sue - put down the red pen!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Axe-Wielding Murderers Inc.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow so much.

It will be the inaugral meeting of Axe-Wielding Murderers Inc.

Or at least that's for all Emily Sue knows.

You see, our southern bloggy buddy is coming (actually has already come) to Queensland to meet some of us. For all she knows we're psychotic. Let's meet the players, shall we?

There's Crazy Sister. Bit of a clue there in her name. She has an acknowledged relationship with flame that has been well documented on her blog. She also mentions handcuffs. Enough said.

There's Swift Jan who admits to extensive training with sharp implements. She says it's because she's a hair-dresser.

There's Givinya. Now she says she's a speech pathologist, and we've pretended that we met at a university residential college. Who knows, really. I can tell you that she once SMSed me about storing murdered bodies in the void under my kitchen bench.

Then there's me. I've tried to pretend I'm a 30-something woman who works as a pastor in my church. All sweetness and light. Who's to say that I'm not a 57 year old man called Bernard with a fetish for cat-lovers? After all, when asked what my favourite office equipment was during a getting to know you exercise I once answered with much enthusiasm and a dark tone, "the shredder!". No-one was too friendly after that. I'm not certain why.

But now I think about it, what's to say that Emily Sue is all she seemed in cyber-space?

... Approximately Nothing!

And there would have been links within this text if parts of my computer hadn't tried to crash after a monumental "Graze" related confusion. Thankfully blogger automatically saved this tripe for your reading pleasure. How lucky are you?

Tee, Hee.

Monday, May 31, 2010

So I've done it!

I've applied for a University degree.

Now we'll see if they want me.

And how unhappy would I be if they rejected me out of hand?

... Well, I probably would be, you know.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I found out yesterday that friends of ours from our old stomping ground lost their baby grandaughter in a freakish accident.

My heart cries out for them, and for their son and daughter-in-law and all the family in this time of grief.

My heart cries out at the injustice that their son's home is considered a crime scene until the time when the authorities decide that it was definitely an accident.

I hope that their son can know that it wasn't his fault.

I hope that the family can come together to grieve with and support each other.

The chance that my heart isn't very heavy today?

... Approximately None.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I am not good at making decisions.

I was awake for a couple of hours last night second-guessing my misguided desire to do more study.

I have always wanted to do more God-related study. I don't know if I really should say "more" because I've really done very little, but I've always thought when I hear of someone studying Theology, "you are so lucky!".

I've finally managed to separate studying theology and becoming a minister in my mind, which means that I can study without feeling guilty if I don't actually do anything with it. I know that I work as a Pastor (which may mean Minister to some of you anyway), but my role has very set boundaries and I'm qualified for the parts of the pastoral work that are in my job description. But I'm feeling that I need more knowledge and some different perspectives to be better at this role, even if I never want to do all the stuff that a regular minister does.

So, a Bachelor of Theology sounds like a wonderful idea and I love the sound of some of the units on offer. BUT 24 subjects is a big committment. I don't see how I could fit more than one subject at a time into my life without neglecting my Beloved, my work, or the state of cleanliness in my abode. This means that for the next 12 years I lose my nights and weekends. Hang on, I already lose nights and weekends in my work. How is that going to work?!

I could knock it off in 6 years if I could manage 2 subjects at a time. But that's a huge comittment of time over a significant period. I don't know how people manage it.

But I'd love to have the opportunity to study.

And the Federal Government will help fund the subjects if I do them as part of a course, rather than picking off one-off subjects. That's very nice of them.

But it is a very long time comittment. I will miss much television. Oh, that's right, there's very little worth watching on it anyway, so maybe not really a sacrifice.

But I want to learn more.

But I like having time to spend hanging out with my Beloved.

But there's some really good units that sound interesting.

But there are weeks when I entirely lose my drive, or I get a cold and don't feel like doing anything much.

And I need to make a decision this weekend if I want to do a subject this coming semester.

The chance that I'm certain about what I should do?

... Approximately None!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Letter From Grandma

I have no inspiration today, so:-

This picture is for Jenny - drawn by Uncle John (Not Auntie!). This is Grandma and Grandad playing tennis at Sherwood.

See, my Grandma used to cheat, too.

The liklihood of having both inspiration and time enough to blog on the one day?
... Approximately None

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things I'm not certain I want to do...

I've just come back from our church's statewide gathering/conference/meeting.

I feel challenged to do some study.

I've spent the day looking at a few options.

I think Charles Sturt is the pick of them, because they have distance mode.

You need a qualification in information technology to find information.

It will require work.

Over about 12 years.

Or 8 years if I were to do a subject in the summer session as well.

Which would be stupid because in the church game Christmas is pretty darn busy.

But then, so is Easter.

So that leaves me with one semester a year for 24 years.

I think it is one of those things that sounds wonderful in theory, and I would like to do, but is going to take way too much time.

But I have to make a decision before the 1st June, or I miss next Semester.

The chance that I'll ever get it finished if I never even start?

... Hmmmm.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LBD Versus Computer

No. He didn't do anything nasty to my computer.

I was just reflecting. It happens sometimes.

And when I reflect, odd combinations of things end up in the same post.

Computers drive me nuts. They spend all the time I'm not working here at my desk in trying to come up with new ways to stymie me.

And then, when they do what they're told it can drive me nuts because I want it to do what I WANT it to do, not necessarily what I TOLD it to do.

The LBD on the other hand proved on Monday night that he is nothing like a computer.

We had guests for dinner and he was beginning to be a pain. What I wanted him to do was find a spot out of the way and drop and stay there so that our guests could finish their meals in peace.

We have never established the command, "leave these poor people alone, they don't WANT you right now, and by the way, neither do I". Such a command would possibly be a little longer than suggested at dog obedience classes.

We do, however, have access to the command, "on your mat", whereupon the LBD sighs, gets a look of great resignation on his face, and reluctantly heads for the nearest mat. It is also useful at the vets when they want to weigh him.

On Monday he just headed for the corner and dropped down. Not on a mat of any description. He did precisely what I WANTED him to do, but not what I had ASKED him to do.

A better mother than I would have made him get on his mat.

I did not.

There are probably reasons that it is better that we don't have children.

The chance that anyone makes a 'dog' chip for a computer, though?

... Approximately None.