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!