Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage ~ Seneca.

Do you ever want to just disembark?

I mean seriously. There's all these Christians out there who get their jollies from telling the devil just where he gets off, all backed with Jesus authority & everything. Me? I have issues being in the firing line of anything. Squabbles, upsets, rows, fights ~ never mind a war! ~ & I have major staying power problems. You know the whole Flight, Fight or Freeze thing? Flight is always my preferred option. I just never got why it is so much fun to wade in boots & all & toss grenades round about [spiritual or otherwise.]

Just so you know, God has been busy digging me out from under my rock, giving me a backbone, setting me on my rather wobbly feet, handing me my sword & standing just so, so I can't retreat back under that rock. *sigh* Man. I thought when the bible talked about being a soldier for Christ it was metaphorical! I'm a little slow sometimes. Really I am. I'm a Lit major. I live in my head ~ with the pixies. [All right Liddy, that will do. Just 'cause you don't have any imaginary friends!]

Apart from anything else I have a little trouble living in 2 worlds at once. I get confused. This one is hard enough without any intrusions from the spiritual realms [yeah, I thought that was metaphorical too ~ it's just easier that way!] So I am a little preoccupied just now, one way or the other. It's not that I don't love you guys, it's just I don't have any energy to spare & you really don't what to listen to me whinge & whine & generally carry on. Really you don't. Pity. I'm really up there in the whinging & whining department.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The girl is home. Chaos reigns here. Tuesday she whipped off to the beach with her sister chasing waves as far south as Byron Bay. Why, we aren't sure. If there were no waves on the Gold Coast there were certainly not going to be any more at Byron but nothing dissuaded they travelled interstate. She excused Star's absence [yet again!] from school on the grounds it was very educational: geography [they crossed a state line], history [the Byron Bay lighthouse], math [they bought icreams at the Fruit Factory], English [the child had to read the information at the lighthouse], music [ I have video evidence], sport [they went swimming].
The video won't load so you too can enjoy the joys of long distance travel with Star. Actually any sort of travel. The girl's mad, I swear. Ditz was such a good name for her ~ & I'm not allowed to use it any more. *sigh* I tried for 3 days, 3 different ways [including uploading into youtube first] to get the video up for your watching pleasure but nana. Zilch. Zippo. Anyone who can tell me how to actually do this feel free.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A man hasn't got a corner on virtue just because his shoes are shined. ~Anne Petry

 The things I don't know!  I am working on Revelation three ~ Laodicea ~ [for that other place, you know *wink, wink*] & I make no bones about the fact I'm no theologian.  Theology requires logic & logic is not my strong point.  As I'm sure I'm not the only one with this difficulty it always assures me of God's great love for His people when I discover He has made provision for those of us a little lacking in the cerebral department.  My areas, which always make my children groan & refuse to watch historical movies with me, are in the Arts ~ particularly history & literature.

I can desiccate a piece of literature with my eyes closed, both hands tied behind my back & standing on my head.  That's the way my brain is wired & I get all excited when I see symbolic associations that I can leap~frog on all over the bible.  I really do.  It gives me great delight.  I am not so strong on bible history but research is something I like & as it is invariably full of interesting bunny trails I could research forever & go nowhere fast.  I'm sure this is not bothering anybody as the world might be waiting with baited breath for my insights but it is certainly waiting with infinite patience!

You see the thing with bunny trails, & why I like them so very, very much, is the lovely places they take you, the symbolism that pops up out of nowhere & just how much insight they give you.
So, Laodicea.  At the junction of the Lycus & Meander Valleys & 3 major Roman highways near Phrygia.  Fed by 2 rivers & thus a primary hub for the Roman aqueduct system.  The water, by the time it arrived in Laeodecea was neither the freezing invigorating cold of a mountain fed stream nor the soothing, relaxing heat of the spa waters.  Rather it was so tepid as to be undrinkable!

Now ancient Laodicea was known primarily for 2 things: its textiles & its medical school. [It was also a central commerce centre that minted its own coinage & ran its own banks but that was because of the wool & the medicine ~ Oh, & the fact just about everybody else's goods passed through the place on their way to somewhere or other else.]  Laodicea provided the finest black wool in the ancient world & all the best people wore the finespun black designer garments made from this wool. *sigh* You can see when I'm going with this, can't you, & why the integral way scripture so tightly interweaves its symbolism gives me great joy!

Laodicea also had a very fine medical school & was rather famous for its eyes salves. [& can't you just hear John's sarcasm now in Revelation?!]  They had the stuff, John tells them they should use it!  Anyway what really intrigued me, & I bet you the ancient world knew all this, is that they had a particular salve known as kollourion which was shaped like small loaves ~ & what does bread symbolise in the scriptures. dancing a little jig here! 

Ok, so I'm a little odd. Shoot me. So many bunny trails; so little time.
Daft cricket. They slog your good balls and get out to your bad ones. ~Matthew Hoggard

 There are compensations to all the travelling on occassions.  We were treated to a rather spectacular sunset as we waited for the boat yesterday.  The sea had that cold turquoise hue & it was decidedly nippy as we strolled round the shoreline from the car park.

I had my hands full having detoured on our way into Coorparoo to acquire vegetable seedlings ~ a little venture that made us a tad late & not helped as we zoomed onto the school premises to find the construction work was still in effect & there was no seeable parking!  Don't you hate that?!
 So today was quiet.  No home group today so we rounded up the troops & spent a couple of hours watching the island cricketers whack sixes all around the pitch.  No not Dino actually.  He snavelled his highest score ever in sneaky little singles & left his partner to the big hitting.  Lucky too.  The big hitter  was dropped 5 times! Whew.  Exciting stuff.
We have a lovely pitch.  OK it's full of bindies & green ants but the view is totally worth a couple of hours of cricket.  Big Ficus edge the grass for some lovely shadey spots & the pitch overlooks the channel between us & the mainland.  Wouldn't be the first time [nor the last] a stray pod of dolphins has generated more excitement than the game itself.  Compensations! ☺

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The people who were honored in the Bible were the false prophets. It was the ones we call the prophets who were jailed and driven into the desert, and so on. ~ Noam Chomsky

Onions.  Map overlays. It's no wonder I'm a little batty on occasion. Peel a layer & something quite different is going on.

I hate 4th term  I really, really do.  There's just so much going on  & I'm not a big fan of Christmas so I flip when the Chrissy decorations start arriving before my birthday.  Seriously people.  It's October still!  We celebrate Christmas in December. De~cem~ber. That's over 8 weeks away & we  have 2 birthdays to get through before then.  That's just general madness & after all these years I can pretty much ignore the general madness but there's my kids.

Theo says he's coming home for my birthday.  That will be interesting because to the best I can figure out his rather garbled message he's coming home next month.  My birthday is this one. Yep.  He's mathematically challenged too!  Oh, & Star, who grizzled no end because I asked her to go on line & look up the English civil war, which falls within the Baroque period & we are looking at the Baroque period this term.  Bor~ing!Given 2 Stuart kings lost their heads round about then & they are family [in a round~about & very convoluted way] you'd think she'd be more interested, but nah. I thought it would be blood~thirsty enough for her too [yes, she's going through that stage] but all I got was lots of eye~rolling & pleas for help. Give me strength!  To make amends she put on Elizabeth: The Golden Years for me ~ which I have seen, several times~ & then proceeded to lecture me about Mary Queen of Scots. Um, when did she get to be such an expert? Not my period.  For all I know the child could be right.  Stranger things have happened.

Added to which, because we had a cancelled rehearsal on Wednesday, we are requested to attend rehearsal on Saturday.  At Cooparoo.  You know something?  I didn't even bat an eyelid over that one. Cooparoo? Yawn.  Maybe I am finally getting used to rushing all over Brissie like a mad woman. Oh, & we do know where this place is.  It's fairly straightforward so even if I sorta forget my way I know it's not going to end in a nightmare.

Liddy is coming home ~ I think.  Maybe.  She has been remarkably silent.  Maybe she died of the plague & forgot to inform me.  [Yes, I speaking to you, my daughter!]

At this point in time Marlow has the entire household extraordinarily well trained.  Every time I disappear from sight he sits in the middle of the floor & cries like a baby.  Invariably someone [yes, Dearest too] picks him up & carries him round petting him while looking for me!  No, my cats aren't in the least spoilt.

I think I could be forgiven for forgetting to pay the bills or buy the bread & milk [only I don't] ~ especially given that Star & I find the men in our lives unbelievable.  We arrived home the other day, well after tea time, to find neither man had eaten because they couldn't be bothered to cook for themselves ~ & yes, they were starving! Not impressed. How hard is it to toss 2 minute noodles in a pot or peel a banana?

So stuff, you know.  Life heading for chaos, as it invariably does round about this time of the year.  Not a good time for the Lord to start tapping me on the shoulder ~ especially as NaNo starts next month & I'd really like to do NaNo again this year.  I missed last because we were gearing up for Singapore &  chicken pox!  And then, out of the blue, another child says they think they have a call to missions [I think he's right] ~ which requires time, & prayer, mentoring & more prayer; & this will be an ongoing process.  Did I mention prayer?  Prayer, prayer, & more prayer.  In amongst which the Lord is telling me other stuff, some of which I have to do something about.  Meanwhile we have the cooking & the washing, the homeschooling & the music while I now feel like under all the everyday stuff that has to be done, & which gets done, there is this running stream of spiritual stuff bubbling & burbling away & requiring at least some of my attention most of the time.  To say nothing of the cats.  My 2 very neurotic, psychotic cats.  The cats who think my sitting down to prayer is is an open invitation to leap in my lap, lick my face, clean my ears, rub their faces all along my jawline, knead my knees & generally make themselves at home. Lord, it is a little distracting, so talk a little louder. Please? Seriously people, I know why those monks sat on top of poles for years on end in the middle of a desert. Pole & desert both looking good about now!
Did St. Francis preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats. ~  Rebecca West.
 There's nothing wrong with my cat; he's just showing off!
 About this time of year we get *puffballs on sticks" ~ curlew chicks.  This one is half grown.  They make the most scarifying racket ever but I like curlews.  They form family groups & are generally good parents.  I've had them take on the car to keep the chick safe though pretending to be a dead stick is more their usual thing.
They make pretty good dead sticks.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yesterday,  this.
Today, this.

It poured  as if all heaven's dams had burst at once.  Star & I rushed round frantically looking for the crying cat.  Kirby; naturally, who had got himself stuck outside & was drenched through.  Marlow, equally naturally, was snugly ensconsed on a pile of boxes & purring fit to wake the dead.  The washing has reached desperate levels.  The lad is watching the weather like a hawk because he is due to head south for the wheat crop in just a few weeks ~ assuming a deluge  doesn't make the whole exercise moot.  All in all I was rather pleased Star's rehearsal got cancelled.  Not the weather to be paddling round on the mainland ~ oh, & I sent a quick thank you prayer heavenward because we hadn't snagged a 3 day park last time we were over ~ which would have necessiated a trip over just to move the car!  It is worth the walk to not be fined & not have to travel just to move the car. 

So we are being dull & eating too much chocolate & teasing the cats, who have cabin fever.  I don't have a coherent thought in my head.  My, my, completely waterlogged all round.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

[An intellectual] is someone who can listen to the "William Tell Overture" without thinking of the Lone Ranger. ~John Chesson

Another mother/daughter bonding moment.  The one that started with a power failure ~ & a power failure means no computer!  Oh my!  All our information lives in the computer: venue details; venue times; venue address; Maps & directions.  No problemo.  We have a Refedex in the car ~ except neither Star nor I are crash hot on using it.  Having filled the car with fuel & wrestled with the refedex for 10 minutes I gave up & wandered back into the servo thinking if I could just get a general direction we'd take it from there.

God is good to the mathematically challenged.  The servo was being manned by an Islander who knows us & knows we are nowhere near as ditzy as we sometimes appear & gave me the sort of clear & understandable directions that have me breathing a massive sigh of relief.  Why can't men explain things this simply? " See this road outside?  Go to the very end then turn left.  Go to the end of that, turn right..." Nice & simple & not the least complicated & we made very good time. Star did have to use the refedex to negotiate us through the last little bit but she did really well.  No wrong turns.  No getting lost.  I think she's getting better at this.  I really do.

Now this wasn't a concert. This was a professional development day for music teachers.  You know people who are musically literate & are used to standing up & bossing people about.  They conduct school choirs & school bands & give those lovely little lectures we all like to give our kids about: Nothing attempted, nothing gained; The only failure is the failure to try; Everyone gets nervous/makes mistakes; there's nothing to fear but fear itself ~ I'm sure you know the sort of thing. The sort of good advice we're prone to giving when our kids are baulking at a wonderful opportunity that's come their way.  I figure about 50 or so teachers & 10 of Alison's singers roped in to show everyone how it's done ~ & when it comes to showing how it's done Alison is brilliant!  I've been watching this woman for years now & I'm still amazed every time I watch her work her magic.

I think Alison is one of the few truly kinesthetic teachers I've ever witnessed.  She's running these teachers through the standard sort of practises I witness every week ~ which involves lots of body use to remember a music sound.  I know it sounds weird but it is really effective & even just listening to the warm up exercises you could hear the improvement as Alison actually got these people to sing in tune, in time & according to what she was conducting!  BUT, do you think they would put up their hand to stand in front of their peers & have their conducting scrutinised by someone who does it professionally?  Not on your nelly!!!

As they're not kids you can't randomly insist.  I think one young man volunteered but one & no~one else was even looking like they'd volunteer.  Scattered through this group were about 4 of Alison's junior singers & all I could think was what a lousy example these adults were giving.  I'd'a put my hand up & volunteered [& wouldn't that have embarrassed Star no end!] but I don't even read music that well & have no idea how to conduct anything.  They'd paid good money for this course but everyone wanted to talk in circles & no~one wanted to actually do anything.  It seems peer pressure doesn't abate as we get older but how can we expect our kids to stand against the flow when even adults huddle together in the peer group too afraid to become conspicuous, too afraid to take a risk, too afraid to look like a fool. It was something of an enlightening moment.

I think I need to get off the island more.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world ~ Virgil A. Kraft
 I think I've lived here too long.  Maybe it's just me but during the course of a rather odd conversation all I could think of was a rather insulting line in Emma's War: " The Americans are cowards."

See my day starts early anyway so when I knew I had to tote the car up to the garage to get the clutch adjusted I planned on doing it early ~ early enough that all the dog walkers were out & about & a neighbour I've never set eyes on before today bailed me up on my own verge [while assuring me her unleashed & very yappy dogs were perfectly harmless] to enquire about our recent cyclone.

I was more than a little bewildered.  What cyclone?  It's not even cyclone season yet! Certain that the earliness of the hour had addled my brains rather more than usual I let her rabbit on...& on...& on some more while it slowly dawned on my fog that this poor deluded woman was referring to our recent high winds, which had apparently terrified her husband.  She then felt obligated to mention the snake on the road ~ by which point I'm sure my casual attitude was making her think I was a super~duper hick but honestly!  At which point my brain started making odd associations with completely unrelated subject matter ~ hence the quote.

Have we really become so used to living safely a little bit of wind has us scurrying to an even safer corner?  And if she likes her safety soo much, what on earth is she doing living here?  I swear, people, I was good.  I really truly was.  I was polite & friendly & I explained as nicely as I could that wasn't a cyclone ~ only a little bit of extra wind & it shouldn't worry them overly much because council insists all our newer buildings are cyclone strength.

I took my car up to the garage & walked home through the sort of spring day that makes you glad to be alive to enjoy it. The water table has risen & all the little streams that criss~cross the island are running [but we have to fence the pools!]. The pockets of malaluca & rainforest echo with a myriad of birdsong.  Actually the only thing to spoil it was the dogs.  Now I know all my bloggity friends who own dogs are responsible & sensible dog owners so perhaps you can explain something to someone who is a little chary of which dogs she's friendly with & dislikes dog owners assuming she is overjoyed to see their beloved pets scampering unrestrained through her yard ~ especially when she knows perfectly well a black & white cat is belly down in the camouflage with enormous eyes & palpitating heart ~  yet even on being informed of this said dog owners seem to think their dogs have more rights than my cats in their own yard.  Peculiar. Yes, it annoys me.  I'm not a big dog fancier ~ yet dogs adore me.  Maybe because I smell so strongly of cat!  And I do have dogs I'm very fond of ~ usually the very well trained sort that don't jump up on me, don't yap frenziedly every time I step into my yard & who have obviously had enough obedience training to not be an unmitigated pest to the general public ~ oh, & who don't terrify my cats!

 I miss Issi.  He had all the dogs so terrified they wouldn't walk past our place.  The number of owners I've watched trying to drag an unwilling dog past here while the poor animal is rolling it's eyes almost into the back of its head trying to anticipate where Issi was going to spring from this time is beyond counting. Iss had a very bent sense of humour but Kirby just cowers & he's neurotic enough already!

OK, I'll stop griping ~ if only because I want something left over to gripe about yesterday! Gird your loins people!  I'm tired.  It makes me crotchety. ☺
An expert knows all the answers -- if you ask the right questions. Game time!  I so need some trivality in my life this week, so thanks, Amanda, who has tagged me for 7 questions.1. Where did you meet your husband? generally speaking ie highschool, work
This is going to sound incurably romantic [it wasn't really] but I met Dearest in a poetry writing class.  Yep.  Sad but true.
 2. What is one of your most favourite movies?

Just one? Actually that's really hard as I tend to like foreign films & promptly forget their titles!  French films are often delightful & I do like Babette's Feast with all that lovely gloomy landscape & an entire live turtle filling the kitchen & about to be turned into soup.  Grubby ~ yet fascinating.  And the feast inself, with the entire village's secrets getting spilled with the wine ~ who could ever forget it!?  Need I say the kids absolutely hate it.

3. If you could have any career you'd like, what would it be? (besides wife/mum lol)Any career at all?  I'd be a Heavenly Harpist ~ & seriously, I expect a major improvement in my singing ability once I get through those pearly gates!  It is so frustrating to love music & not be able to reproduce it! So as that isn't terribly practical how about Celtic archaeology?  Except for the wet & the mud I think I'd get off on that ~ but then it does get very wet & very muddy.  I could get off on being a Celtic Poet ~ only I got born too late.  Beach bum?  I'm halfway there already...

4. What character in the Bible do you really relate too the most?

I actually have 2 ~ not so different either.  I love Isaiah & I adore john: visionaries, poets, God~lovers.

5. Where did you get married? ie what city/town?
I think it was Toowoomba, but you know, I'm actually not real sure...

6. What makes you laugh easily?

Irony.  It's awful.  I'm always seeing the wacky side of things & laughing in all the wrong places but life is just so bizarre!  I don't get physical humour at all.  It's never funny for me but a clever play on words, a double entendre,  the quirks of life & I'm howling like an idiot.

7. If you could live in another country, which one would it be?

I'd have to say a time as well as a place & for me that would be pre~Roman Celtic Britain when, to all intents & purposes, the English weather was far milder & more pleasant & one could make a really good living as a poet.

Now I have to tag 7 people.  This is always really hard for me so if you want to play & I haven't tagged you feel free to join in & if I have tagged you & you don't want to play that is ok too.

1 Seeking.
2 Birbitt.
3 Lobstar.
5 Ruby at Mumma's Place.
6 Jeanne at A Peaceful Day.
7 Foxglove spires.
And now for your questions! ☺

1.What is the one moment in your life you would love to live over again & why?
2. Which historical figure would you like to meet & what is the one thing you'd really like to ask them? [yes, I know I'm sorta cheating. lol]
3. What is your Heart's Desire?
4. What is your most irrational fear ~ & are you game to share it here?
5.Cat person  or Dog lover?
6. If you could be a tree what would you be & why?
7. When you meet Jesus what is the one thing you really, really want to say to Him?

Ok ladies, have fun!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bless the flowers & the weeds, my birds & bees.
The clouds are finally starting to roll away but it is soo bitterly cold here!  Unbelievable for the middle of October.  This time last year we were already sweltering.  At night Marlow is tucking himself around someone's feet with his spine just under the edge of the doona & purring up a head of steam.

It has rained so much you would think all the birds were waterlogged but the other day I found a pair of pale Rosella's wallowing in a mud puddle, so plastered I thought they'd never get airborne, Kirby or no Kirby!  Actually we have a lot of birds around.  There are friar birds nesting out the front & just today Star came rushing in to ask what the birds were she'd got on camera; channel billed cuckoos!  Ok, so not a big fan of cuckoos but these are so weird looking [ok, downright ugly] they deserve a fan club!

And while I was shivering & wondering what had gone wrong with the weather to give us back a winter that should be well over Liddy rang to say Tamworth was only 6 degrees & she was freezing!  I immediately felt warmer.  It was certainly more than 6 degrees up here though it blew so hard Star was able to collect a huge pile of firewood & has marshmellows planned for one night this week.  Mmmm...

Tomorrow I take Star into town so she can play guinea pig for some wannabe choir conductors.  Now, that should be fun!  The cats will be so unhappy.  They have grown very suspicious any time the car keys jingle & investigate exactly what we are carting out the door with us.  So long as it doesn't include any large bags they seem to accept that we will be back ~ eventually.  A busy week shaping up, the first of many. *sigh* I need a holiday ~ no, I mean a proper holiday.  The sort I can't afford.  Five star luxury.  Housemaid.  Cook. Somewhere that accepts pets.  Can you imagine the boys?!  They'd be psychotic trying to decide whether being left behind was better or worse than being dragged along! At least it's the last term of the year.  Nearly all done.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Did you notice I have been uncharacteristically silent? I know! So unlike me. I have been busy & dithering; I am sooo good at dithering.   I'm almost as good at dithering as I am at being practical &  I dither as well as I procrastinate. Ooooh, you want to know what I've been dithering about! You know I was almost not going to blog about this because, you know, this is my social site & it was all set up for a very particular purpose ~ which has worked out very nicely, thank you very much, & I didn't really want to change anything but.....

And it is a very BIG but ~ The Lord has been nagging at me, the way He does & we've been having this ongoing conversation [the way we do]. *sigh* I hate when the Lord starts leaning on me but isn't terribly specific.  I like my instructions laid out nice & clearly & highlighted in fluro colours ~ you know, UN~MIS~TAKE~ABEL!!!  I'm funny that way.  The Lord says jump & I stand there going, "High jump or long jump?  How high?  How far?  Does it count if I land flat on my face?"

Anywaaay... I keep getting given these messages but nowhere to deliver them.  Talk about frustrating.  I leaked dribs & drabs out here ~ & the Lord must so have been rolling His eyes but if He will be vague it's hardly surprising if I am obtuse.  This is the long way round but I am getting there.

I know nothing about how anyone else deals with stuff like this but I start getting really agitated, especially when I start getting a sense of urgency from the Lord ~ or maybe it's just frustration that I'm so, "Like, which planet am I on, Lord?"  And Dearest hates it.  I can so work myself up into a tizz.  Worse, trying to hold so much of the Holy Spirit who is bursting with something to say is like being a walking minefield.  I'm telling you, not fun at all.  So we have been having these sessions, the Lord & I, then Dearest & I, what Quakers might call, "Meetings for Clearness" trying to discern clearly just what the Lord expects me to do, how & where & we think we have an answer.  Maybe.  Perhaps.  Sort of...?

So for those of you who visit Out of the Silence, I am moving everything on that site & shutting that blog down because originally it was the simplest way of sharing with my friend, MamaO, who wanted to know my thoughts & stayed up because I'm lazy & disorganized & never got around to shutting it down. I have been putting together a new blog specifically for all this ~ one I hope to be posting a relevant message on once a month but there will be no links to it from this blog.  I have a different user name [complicated but one the Lord impressed upon me with interesting symbolism] & I didn't want anyone visiting here to feel obligated in any way.  Besides, I need some time to get my act together over there! lol  Anyone who really wants a link, e~mail me & I will provide it but it really needs to stand or fall on its own merits, hey what.

So there you have it.  That's what I've been doing this week.  Maybe I'm delusional.  Could explain a lot...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness~ Galatians 5:22

There've been some nutters around down the centuries.  Take Frederick II, a Holy Roman Emperor who thought if babies were never spoken to they would somehow grow up speaking Hebrew ~ & set about to prove his hypotheses by raising a group of orphaned infants who were never spoken to & received only the minimal amount of touch necessary to bath & feed them.  Not surprisingly all the infants died before they uttered a single word.

In 1915 Dr Henry Dwight Chapman found that there was nearly a 100% mortality rate of infants under 2 years in American orphanages ~ directly attributable to a lack of touch.  At the time there was a "No Coddling" policy in place.

Then in the 1940s Renee Spitz thought he could reduce the incidence of disease by limiting human contact.  Another unlucky batch of orphans was experimented upon. More disease, more death & in the cleanest & most sterile environments the death rate rose to over 75%!

Sometimes the only thing to be done is hold someone as they weep, press their hand in sympathy, offer a hug. Simple kindness is a rare commodity these days, rarer than I thought.  See Star is innately kind.  She's the one I can rely one for a hug when I need one.  She's the one who will see a need & cheerfully assume responsibility for seeing that need is met.  Invariably if I lose Star getting off the boat it's because she's stopped to help someone carry their groceries or steady their walker, hold a baby, or a purse or the cat cage & I wait at the end of the jetty until I see her pony~tail bobbing towards me, her face wreathed in smiles.

Now in this day & age I can understand an older person being reluctant to hand over their belongings to a strong strapping teenager but a simple, "No thank you," is at least polite.  Sadly the rebuffs are usually less than polite.  Star has the happy knack of being able to shrug those off but I want her to continue to think of others beside herself.  We all need that touch of gentleness in our lives, the sense that someone has noticed our predicament & cares enough to draw alongside & help.  We all need a little kindness, the comforting hug, the blessing of touch.  I'm off to give Star a hug.  Who are you going to hug today?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tuesday Trivia.

"With the bomb squad, you can usually stop running after the first couple of blocks. If it involves the physics department, keep going." Ernest Rutherford

This is last Tuesday's post.  Just as I was about to hit publish my internet dropped out & was gone for the rest of the week.

Just to begin your day with a worrying thought ~ the human brain can process as many as 70, 000 thoughts in a day but a single cup of coffee contains over 1000 chemical substances! I'm sure the 2 are related but it's still early & I'm not properly awake yet.

Shipbuilders beware! The Black Ironwood tree (Olea laurifolia) wood is so dense that it can’t float on water.

However the bark of the giant redwood tree is fireproof ~ not a good choice for firewood! Redwoods actually depend on fire to clear room for their growth, and to enrich the forest soil so seeds can sprout.

According to some sources you will test positive for opiates on a drug test if you eat just two poppy seed bagels (or muffins) for breakfast but the westernised poppy seed should have little or no active opium. That one is a little concerning. We all like our poppy seed rolls round here.

And the most dangerous animal on earth? No, no the shark, not the crocodile, not even a rogue elephant! It's the Mosquito! Mosquitoes transmit countless diseases & kill more animals – including humans – than any other animal on Earth.

The oceans contain enough salt to cover all the continents to a depth of nearly 500 feet. Obviously the inspiration for the world’s only hotel made entirely of salt (including the dining tables and chairs) ~ the Hotel de Sal Playa in the Uyuni salt flats of Bolivia.

Venus, the second-closest planet to the Sun, is the brightest natural object in the night sky, except for the Moon & orbits the Sun in a clockwise direction, whereas the rest of the planets revolve in an anticlockwise manner.

"The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people." ~ John Blasik

Twenty~one today.

Live as long as you may. The first twenty years are the longest half of your life ~ Robert Southey

My beautiful girl is twenty~one to~day ~ & she's not here to celebrate!  I was telling a friend, who is pregnant with her first child, that she will never forget her baby's birth.  I remember each of my children's births with startling clarity, which is rather surprising when you consider how busily occupied I was at the time!

My mother had come down to help prior to Liddy's arrival [as we'd just moved into the house by the skin of our teeth & didn't even have all the floors down yet]~ & Liddy was nearly the death of her.  Every afternoon ma would round up the troops & head off around the block for an afternoon walk.  I'd hit the nearest corner & contractions would start.  I'd turn tail & waddle just as fast as I could for home to make sure we were all organised for an imminent departure ~ to no avail.  By tea time it was all over bar the shouting ~ a complete non~event; and this went on for a week!   Dearest swears it could only have been a girl fussing about her appearance & totally unable to make up her mind!

Drama, drama, drama, because having once again spent my evening timing contractions I went to bed in disgust & was sleeping the sleep of the just when my waters finally broke & Dearest initiated the bedlam that passes for organisation in this house.  In the old days we had to call out the ferry ourselves ~ & I can assure you the skippers hate having a labouring woman on board & make short work of the twenty minute trip to the mainland!  I think we did it in under 10 minutes that night but having finally made up her mind Liddy was wasting no time at all!

Dearest was a little worried as we had to detour for petrol, by which point it was obvious to both of us that this was going to be a very quick birth ~ & so it was.  Liddy arrived peacefully in the early hours of the morning.  After 3 boys she was something of a shock to the system. The boys all fussed & bellowed & wanted to be held & carried.  Not Lid.  Nope, not this girl.  From the day we got her home we had to ditch the bassinet because Liddy slept like a star fish ~ but from day one she slept through the night from 7pm to 7am!  I thought I'd arrived in baby heaven!  She never cried.  Never. [Actually crying was such a rare occurrence with Liddy that her biggest threat as a toddler was: " But I might cry!"]  When she was hungry she let out a polite squawk & then waited patiently till I got to her.

Liddy had brothers ~ 3 of them.  She worked out early you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  Up until she went to school she was my absolute shadow.  She barely spoke to her father.  After all he was the man who used to nibble her toes & threatened to gobble her all up!   Her mother on the other hand would park her in her high chair for the hens coffee mornings & feed her milk & cake in generous amounts!  Yep, she became a Little Miss Have~A~Chat early.

It was Liddy I had with me when we acquired our first island cat, an abandoned cream with ginger points part Siamese whose creamy fur was so riddled with fleas he looked black.  She was so excited as we walked home with this seriously gorgeous cat & could barely contain herself until her brothers arived home from school.  Technically Lid should have been in pre~school but having done 3 years of pre~school ~twice with her brothers & then once for herself with Distance Ed] she was over it & I pulled her out & we continued on at home. A good thing too because once at school Liddy discovered competitive sport: running, high jump, softball, soccer.  She was seriously good at all of it & we spent a lot of time travelling to various sporting events.  She seriously wanted to do soccer professionally but God had other things in mind & for a few years there they had a serious war going on.

Liddy has worked really hard to have a close relationship with Dearest & I.  At a time when most teenagers are pulling away Liddy was drawing closer, building relationship, making sensible choices.  She has been a joy to have in our lives & such a blessing.  No matter where she goes or how far she wanders across the face of the earth she will always remain my wide~eyed, brown~eyed little girl who asked nothing more of life than to be allowed to follow in her mummy's footsteps.  Happy 21, sweetheart!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

“May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you and all your heart might desire.” ~ Irish Blessing
 We are snug as bugs inside the house but outside the wind wails.  Unseen things thump against our roof as they fly past.  We cannot seen the next point over let alone the next island.
 The yard is under water.  Bit like living in the middle of a large duck pond really.  We wade out to the car ankle deep in swirling eddies.
Marlow is not impressed.  All the old salts say the weather is gearing up for the worst cyclone season we've ever had.  Like I need some more excitement in my life.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

 Well we are back from whence we've gone ~ & just in the nick of time.  Kirby has done his dash & Dearest has sworn he will never be solely responsible for my cats ever, ever again. *sigh*   Kirby expressed his upset & displeasure at my absence by attacking Dearest's stamps ~ which are his home business as well as his hobby so not the thing to do, Kirby!  I had to confine Kirby last night as he is the escape artiste extraordinaire & will do his dastardly deeds in the dark of night.   I knew it was going to be touchy but not even I expected such wickedness.

Star & I left for mum's after her choir rehearsals on Wednesday ~ so a night drive which is mesmerizing & hypnotic over long distances.  Star sang the entire way, which should have been enough to keep anyone from slumber but I have extraordinary powers in that direction so she sang & fed me jelly snakes & told me wild tales of impossible deeds ~ at least, I hope they are impossible!

Mum's, like us, has had an inordinate amount of rain over winter which has been very good for her garden & it is looking lovely though I think mum is about to come to blows with the employed *gardeners*, who seem to know nothing about growing anything & are responsible for cutting the lillipillies into the most extraordinary shapes, pruning the roses just as they have all burst into bud & dump mulch on bone dry garden beds.  Mum is beside herself ~ understandably.    Everywhere she has lived she has established an absolutely riotous garden & to see good plants so abused goes against her grain.

We only had a couple of days; after all, school has resumed up here.  I mourn the early days when we could ignore the public school schedule at will  & take good solid breaks outside of regular school hours but these days all Star's music is tied into the school schedules so that is that.  Our first day was lovely & we managed a lovely long walk along the empty beach & a lovely afternoon tea at The Loaded Lizard, who do the loveliest homemade biscuits & slices.  Very yummy.  A good thing we didn't wait as the clouds came over & the rain came down & our second day was wet, windy & miserable.  We played darts & ping~pong & watched a movie but mum was a bit concerned as flash flooding hit the low lying areas & while the highway remains high & dry, Star & I are not guaranteed to remain on the highway!  We headed off mid~morning Saturday during a break in the weather & remained dry until the Brisbane outskirts.  Naturally we just missed a boat & got rather damp around the edges getting home but we are back & Star is gearing up for a really busy term.  She needs to get stuck into her school work as the reality is she needs to get all done this month.  Next month is a nightmare & we just won't be here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A really quick not to say my internet provider is not providing just now.  Issues.  Who knows?!  I am at my mum's ~ with unreliable & very slow access.  Hopefully will be back on~line by the time I get home.  Looking forward to catching up with what eveybody's been doing in my absence! ☺

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just the very act of letting go of money, or some other treasure, does something within us. It destroys the demon greed. -- Richard J. Foster, Money, Sex & Power.

Remember when you were little & there was some dispute over a coveted toy?  The admonition was always, "Share nicely now."  I remember saying it often enough when my kids were little.    Seems like God is still saying it to me.

Liddy came home for the weekend ~ theoretically it was for her birthday weekend, for which she will be in Tamworth.  Ha!  She slept here but I don't think she ate a single meal under her own roof.  We saw almost nothing of her.  There was a long long list of people who wanted to catch up with her:  people she needed to see, people who wanted to see her, people she was obligated to see...even on the boats people drifted over to chat with her.  Poor old Star got home & must have felt rather abandoned. 

And doesn't the flesh want to scream, "What about ME?!" We are learning anew how to share because that's how it is.  She's not just ours anymore ~ not that she ever was really but despite the bumpety old road the road to  the mission field is proving to be it is still definitely the God~led path Liddy is travelling & certain things come with the territory.  There are networking obligations with the church.  There are people whom Liddy has been mentoring & people who are mentoring her.  I'm exhausted & I'm not the one doing all the socializing.  Her net is cast wide & lots of people are snared in it but this is the prayer base that will undergird everything she does & as necessary as the air she breathes.  This too is what is meant by being part of the body of Christ: of letting go, of giving up, of the Lordship of Christ.

Liddy is sensitive to all this ~ one reason for Star's visit on the farm, but it is a delicate balancing act & almost impossible to keep everyone happy.  There always seems to be one disgruntled friend who expects more than Liddy can reasonably give.  So my prayer is that I am never an impediment ~ only a help & an encouragement & happy with the scraps that fall from the Lord's table.  Loving & letting go 101 is not for God's wooses ~ & I have a nasty, sneaking suspicion it does not get any easier further down the track, just more of the same.  Much, much more!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sisters in Arms.

We are sisters.  We will always be sisters.  Our differences may never go away but neither will our song. ~ Elizabeth Fishel.
What happens when the Couch Potato vacations with little Miss Ants in Pants.

 Serenading the river...?
 I think it was cold...
 Umm, we all know getting Star to get the directions isn't the brightest move...
 But keeping the girl busy requires thought power...
 I can't show you the one of Star in the tree; it ate her...
 Yep, weird runs in the family.
A girl's best friend is her sister! Yeppity~yep.