Saturday, 23 September 2017

New Things.

Parking is @ such a premium for all islanders that if you can afford to pay for a permanent parking spot you do.  It saves so much hassle.  We were lucky.  We got ourselves one of the last spots with the lady we've always parked with when we've had a mainland car.  While not the handiest park it saves the endless round & round, endless fines for parking where one shouldn't or risking the wrath of not removing a double~parked car in time.  It sounds mad.  It is mad ~ but our council has refused to either cap our population @ a sensible level or address the need for mainland transport, arguing, wrongly, that the public transport is adequate.  To the shops ~ yes.  Anywhere else ~ no!
Anyway, it has been a week of *new*s. 
New glasses.
New movies...
New skills.

The glasses I am super happy about.  I can see again to do all those multitudes of things that require I see clearly.

The movies I have been waiting to see. Hacksaw Ridge I didn't enjoy as much as I thought I would.  All that creeping about in the murky smoke with Japs suddenly emerging...Too much adrenaline for me! However Hidden Figures was an absolute Joy.  The MOTH deemed it slooow...but I remembered so much of the hoo~ha surrounding the space program when I was growing up ~ even the live footage~Kennedy & King & the racial tensions of the 60's.  So much respect for these women who overcame so much!  No sex.  No violence.  Wow.  Such a novelty in this day & age!

And the Little Man has progressed from tottering about on 2 feet to running everywhere.  I babysat last night & will be back over tomorrow as the Dilly is sick & my boy must work.  In between there is church...

Sunday, 17 September 2017

What My Pretend Friend Said.

When the secular world wants to be particularly derogatory to Christians they
refer to God, the Creator of the Universe, as our *pretend friend* or our *sky fairy*.

On these grounds they can safely argue that our opinion is null & void because we are obviously idiots who believe  in things that don't exist. That they also believe in things that can't be seen, & sometimes can't necessarily be proven, though their effects can be seen, like oxygen, wind, quantum physics & black holes, doesn't seem to cross their minds.

However  I suspect the ratio of real idiots is no higher among the Christian population than the secular which led me to speculate about the Great Divide Australia is presently experiencing among our Christian population.

Rightly or wrongly [& no~one can seem to agree about that either] our present government has asked for the population's opinion on changing the marriage act to include homosexual couples.  We are simply being asked do you agree that same sex couples should be allowed to marry? [Yes] [No]

One would assume, on scriptual grounds alone, that most Christians would vote No.  Apparently not.  Interestingly these Christians are not using scripture for their argument ~ though the word *love* gets tossed around a fair bit. I am not going to digress onto a definition of the word *love*.  What I am going to theorise is that not a single one of these people asked God for His opinion.  Oh, they may have prayed ~ but there is prayer & then there is prayer.  Some prayerers do all the talking.  Some ever shut up in fact.  They do not really expect an answer & for all intents & purposes they may as well be secular because their reasoning is just that ~ theirs.

 However some people have learnt to listen.

I put myself in the listening category.  Now I do not necessarily think I am a very good listener ~ so much so that I tend to qualify my prayers with instructions to be loud & very clear ~ as in no mistaking. God has always honoured that.

My first degree was in literature.  I can be completely pedantic about words & what they mean [just ask the MOTH] & I hate it like poison when people misuse words, so when it first came to my attention that all references to homosexuality in the bible were due to mistranslations, poor translation etc & that really the bible didn't talk about homosexuality at all, I began to investigate.  I knew enough to know that a work in translation is never going to be 100% accurate just because some ideas & concepts become terribly unweildy or are just impossible to translate.

At this point I was prepared to be swayed. I could be convinced by a good argument.  Like any good academic I was prepared to look @ the evidence & deal with it. However, not only did I not find the evidence compelling, I got a complete stop in my spirit. I have written about the Quaker Stop here.

I hesitated.  I did not want to displease my Lord by holding to a viewpoint He did not agree with.  At the same time I was not willing to change either way without a more compelling argument than those presented by either side of the divide.

So I did what all good little charismatics do: I asked. Despite what the secular world believes God is real & He has real views & opinions & He has a way of expressing Himself unmistakably. The answer came hard & fast & unmistakable, like a clip over the ear: homosexuality is an abomination in the sight of the Lord.  I was not expecting that.

So, I will be voting NO.  I have no doubt in my mind that homosexuality & all its associated baggage is displeasing to God.  I do not know how the Christian yes camp is going to vindicate itself but it certainly explains to me why the majority of charismatics are in the no camp; we are the ones that asked for clarification.

Outings with The Little Man.

Just recently our Little Man turned one.  We didn't go to his party because that was the day of ODD's concert & we had already promised to go to that ~ besides which the concert did not entail socialising ~ @ least only minimal socialising. Instead I was roped in for the Friday/Saturday help~out the following week.

For a year I have been spending regular time with the Little Man & having had a clutch of boys of my own [plus a goodly portion of other people's sons as well] I know little boys generally like to be outside & very active so I have moved my middle~aged sloth into action each visit & made the effort to get him out of the house & doing something interesting.  Just the same the Little Man was guaranteed to take one look @ me on arrival & proceed to massive meltdown.  It would take him most of my visit to warm up to me...

This time we had a break through.  He eyed me a little cautiously as I came through the door, then seemed to realise it was me & came right over to bounce all over me.  Yay! What's more any time the front door opened he was right there eyeing off his stroller until the exciting moment I popped him into it & we headed down to the park.  OK.  So we have arrived @ the delightful age of remembering who our  Mórai is.

 Birthdays are the sort of thing to make me fraught.  There is so much expectation ~ not from the Little Man who is far too little to know much about it but I am not prepared to begin something I can probably not maintain.  I opted to buy some bubble blowing stuff ~ inanely simple & generally so much fun for the adults as well as the children because @ one the Little Man is certainly not equipped to blow bubbles on his own.
 His parents had brought a stroller that converts over time into a trike.  We had it out several times over the Saturday & it warmed the cockles of my little heart to see how he has remembered from previous visits & was excited for the moment we headed out, Teddy in tow.
 Actually we did pretty well all round this time.  I am not his mother but we have our own routine & way of doing things together & like most little ones he is pretty flexible.

 I'm a talker.  Just because he's one & not really verbal yet doesn't mean he doesn't understand.  As we went up the big slide I explained how we were going to do it each step because, you know...heights, wobbly things...& on the top platform I sat down so I could wiggle into the chute before the Little Man sat in my lap ~ only the clever lad twigged he needed to sit & plonked down alongside me.  Not going anywhere like that, bucko!  Not sure how his mother does the slide thing but I know the ODD doesn't get on herself.
And yes, I drove myself there ~ & back ~in our new blue barina & I didn't get lost once!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Done & Dusted.

We don't live where we do because it's convenient. we live where we do because it is beautiful. The price tag comes in the inconveniences.  It is a lot harder to do certain things. It takes more planning because you can't just hop in a car & drive yourself ~ or get on a bus... or even get on a boat.  Nope.  Some boats are unbelievably crowded &  it is cheaper to travel off peak when possible.

So when I broke my glasses, again! I scrounged round for an old pair to make do with until someone was going to the mainland.  As that turned out, that was Wednesday, when we went over to pick up our mainland car.

And because we live where we do we buy a lot of stuff on~line & wait for it to arrive by mail.  We bought the car on~line; pity they couldn't post it.

So how many islanders does it take to buy a car? In our case ~ 3.  One whose car we borrowed to get to the car yard; one to drive us all there & one to drive the new car home.  We all had errands to do before heading off to Ipswich, which is over an hour away & pretty much guaranteed to make me car~sick , which it did.   Can't take me anywhere.  I have been known to throw up after the 2 minute trip up to our shops.

Ipswich is Bogansville Incorporated ~ a label I'm sure most Ipswichites don't appreciate but hey, when roof hopping is a thing in your city...& it's stinking hot or freezing cold, completely lacking in charm or views.  Pretty much it's the half~way pit stop between Brisbane & Toowoomba, somewhere you drive through on your way to somewhere else.  Anywhere else.  Neither the MOTH nor his mum had ever been there.  I had & in my view it's only recommendation is, it's not Brisbane.

So our new Barina is pretty much exactly like ODD's, just a darker blue & with real leather instead of vinyl ~ & not brand spanking new.  Bonus, because I was the one driving it home.  Mind you, I would have asked to anyway simply because it keeps the carsickness @ bay if I'm driving instead of just swaying about in a back seat.

The MOTH, like Chile Girl, has an internal map in his head, so I followed him out onto the highway while both He & his mum watched their rear view mirrors anxiously.  I am not known for being the calmest & most sedate of drivers & traffic makes me inordinately anxious.  Usually I am fine one I hit the highway.  Speed doesn't bother me & I can read the signposts.

However roadworks meant the truck traffic had backed up & we were constantly surrounded by huge semis that didn't acknowledge lane lines & thought hogging half my lane as well as their own was the way to go.  The MOTH sat in the middle lane & let everything go around us while I talked to the Holy Spirit.

Now  I used to upset the Chile Girl no end when she drove with me because no matter how heavy the traffic was I would always have this little bubble of 2~3 car spaces all around me & she could never figure out how I managed it when really, it is very simple.  The Lord knows how much I hate traffic & being hemmed in so He invariably organised my carless bubble to reduce my stress.

Coming out of Ipswich I was terrified of losing the MOTH in the traffic because I have absolutely no sense of direction & the MOTH's track record in this regard is not terrific. The Lord & I worked out the required space necessary to prevent tailgating while shutting down any would be lane hoppers, which left the merging traffic...& you know, every time a merging lane arrived I watched this long, long stream of cars plunge into the eastward flow ~ until we got there!  For those few seconds there wasn't a car in sight.  Once we were past there were cars galore again.  My Lord is so good to me!  Eat your heart out, Chile Girl!

Once we were back on home territory & it didn't matter any more I did lose the MOTH but I just toddled along to our prearranged car park & breathed a sigh of relief that we had all arrived in one piece.  I will go over to the mainland soon to buy seat covers & a sun visor to protect the insides as the car won't be under cover but she is a lovely little car to drive & we are both very happy with it.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Extremely rare footage... ☺

Saturday we headed into Coopooroo for the Heavensong Concert.  We were so excited because our girl was doing a duet.  She has grown so much as a singer but even so I think I am about the only person who has ever heard her really sing full force.  She has always tended to be rather soft in rehearsals & concert so people found it hard to believe she had grunt & raunch & could really let rip.

Alison has done a wonderful job of growing her up through the Vocal Manouevres ranks given we never could afford to do very many private lessons, so the girl has had to work extra hard.

As I sometimes got the full force of her singing personality I was less surprised but just so happy she is finally feeling confident enough in her singing to up the anti.  It was rather rocky there for a bit as her voice changed  but she sounded great & looked absolutely fantastic.  Love my girl!


Little Blue Cars...

Once upon a time we had a Great Car Dilemma. I got fraught ~ as only I can.  You can read all about it here.

And the end result was a blue barina that got the girl & I safely round Brisbane for years & years & got 2 of us through bible school before succumbing to old age & the decay of this world.

By then, of course, the girl had herself a brand new car & was driving herself & I was cosily holed up on my island under the naive belief I need never go anywhere or do anything requiring Brisbane ever, ever again.

It is not so.

For one thing there are performances...

For another I now have babysitting duties as the Little Man's Móraí...

Then there is the MOTH....

Our ministry has been going through some mighty changes & one of those seems to be to send the man to bible school ~ an option he has firmly resisted on the grounds of finances, car, & he's not a preacher. That I disagreed with him on all counts did not matter.  He was adamant.  So was God.  He agrees with me! ☺

Consequentially the man has been saving & planning for the needed car.  Saturday morning he began looking in a general sort of way because we didn't have quite enough cash...& that little voice in my head whispered, Blue Barina...

I didn't listen.  We weren't actually buying a car ~ just looking.

Saturday afternoon we bought a Blue Barina. We have to travel out to Ipswich on Wednesday to pick it up but though it is an older car it looks like new, has low mileage & is spic & span both inside & out.It opens up a number of different areas for us.  And it was the Sale of the Day ~ meaning it was the best price & the best value on offer!  Thank you, Lord ~ but what is it with us & little blue cars?

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

When the other half is a Carnivore.

I don't like to cook.  It's not that I can't, it's that I don't enjoy it. Food & I have an uneasy relationship based on necessity rather than love.  It is why all my children learnt to cook early & cook well!

Things have, perhaps, been made more difficult by the fact that for different periods of my life I have been vegetarian.  Most of my household is not. Going off meat was always the first & surefire indicator that I was pregnant & going back to a carnivore diet was more out of convenience than because I enjoyed my meat.

When you don't like to cook anyway it gets complicated.  Do you do your carnivores meat & 3 veg & just eat the veg? Excruciatingly boring over time & dull beyond belief.  Do you cook 2 separate meals? [Perish the thought!] Do you cook vegetarian & put up with all the complaints? *sigh*

Then in her early teens ODD decided she would be vegetarian.  Way to go girl!  That we like & eat very different vegetarian dishes quickly became apparent.  I'm not much of a one for lentils or tofu but I love my mushrooms & chickpeas! Reverse for ODD. Somehow we muddled along, finding a variety of interesting dishes we both enjoyed ~ or could @ least tolerate but now it is just down to the man & me.  Needless to say the man is not vegetarian!

However there is a solution.  I plan a vegetarian meal & his meat becomes a side dish just for him.  There is just one little fly in this ointment of compromise:  I don't do the shopping!

I am rather European in my food shopping ~ more because I can't really be bothered to plan so far ahead as much as because I know if I only buy what I need for any given day there will be far less wastage than if a  lot of stuff gets bought that just doesn't keep well for a whole fortnight.

So coming to the end of our fortnight I considered what the man had bought home that was still edible ~ which is to say, not much. We had pumpkin: lots & lots of pumpkin.  And some rather sad carrots that really needed using up. The last of the salad mix & a few peas ~ none of which sounded very appetizing on their own...and don't you just hate standing in front of a fridge full of food feeling totally uninspired?

I must say though, if the internet isn't much good for anything, @ least it provides a seemingly endless variety of inspirational recipes for all sorts of things. Like pumpkin. I hadn't looked very far when a marinated Japanese recipe appeared.  It looked good & would work as a main for me though I had to get the sauces.  Mirin was a new one to me & someone has taken the soy but ginger & limes we had. 

I almost always do a salad of some sort because I like salad & I like my salads crunchy with nuts & seeds & other nibblies; caramalised carrots; peas & the pumpkin. I wasn't sure about the recipe which had a little chili in it because chili doesn't like me so I have to be super careful if I use it but it was really yum & I will cook it again.  

However I had a second choice & I am going to try that tonight: onion & pumpkin with pecans. Mmmmm.  I'm a nutty sort of girl. ☺