Thursday, 19 October 2017

Randomness.

So this week more odd things have happened than can be accounted for.  Why, for example did ODD find a not pregnant cat in her garage?  And where are her kittens?

And why, oh why, did all our finances fly out the door just when we are saving really hard for a new island car ~ which, by all accounts, looks like being pink...PINK! Not hot, bold pink, but that faint champagne pink...still...

And it bucketed & bucketed down when my MIL needed the plumber to fix a leak in her main, the MOTH shattered a tooth & needed the dentist, & we had an interview with Rhema on the other side of town, when what I needed to do was oil treads & stringers for OT ~ still not done & he is due any moment.

I was asked to babysit but that is not going to happen.  I just can't. I have a grumpy man, a sermon in the making & 2 psychotic cats who have been locked up for far too long & are hoping the rain is long gone.  It isn't ~ but I washed anyway.  They can rinse as long as they like!

We went from hot to cold overnight.  We lit a fire.  In October.  When we should be starting to swelter.  I do not like being this busy ~ but the worst is yet to come.  At some point we must drive across Brisbane, to the north side, to pick up a car.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

One Birthday...

My Chile Girl was a very chill baby. Adorable ~ much ~ but with very decided ideas of her own, like my family not passing her round like a rag doll to be smothered in kisses & cuddles, or scooped up & bear hugged by some complete stranger. Fussy.  That's my girl.

And because she looks slim & frail & rather ethereal lots of people make the mistake of thinking she is delicate & sweet & accommodating.  Nothing could be further from the truth. My CG is one of my soccer ones.  Until she was about 13 she always played on the boy's teams [because that was all there was] so she grew up tough.  Tough enough to board a plane for Chile via Holland all alone at 21  to be a missionary in a country whose language she did not speak & whose culture she knew nothing about.

She is a strong independent young woman who has just boarded a plane for Ecuador for 10 days intensive training but something of the little girl remains.  She rang me [what else are mothers for?] to discuss who she should fly with because there was a prolonged stopover & not all South American countries are equally safe. What would I know?  I've never been to South America.

And as mothers do, as my daughter dithered between differing risk factors, I pointed out bluntly [as only mothers can] her biggest problem was pride.  She didn't want to be the one arriving late because of the route she took. Hmmmm.  I think I need to work on my tact factor ~ but if you knew CG like I know CG you'd realise CG in a dither can dither for quite some time & it is best to pop the bubble early & bring her back to reality.

But today is her birthday. If she were here there would be presents & pavlova & lots of spoiling.  Instead there are FB posts of  candles stuck in  lamingtons & missed skype calls, complete strangers leaving uninterpretable messages in a foreign language & vast swathes of sea between me & thee.

The away birthdays are starting to add up & the ache of missing hurt more ~ which is very strange because last year she was home on furlough & actually here for her birthday.  Perhaps that's why...

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Gorgeous Girl.  May it be a blessed one.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Why?

My mother watches tennis.  My brother is a sailing addict.  My husband watches the NRL ~ as do 2 sons & one daughter. Sport is Australia's great idolatry.

As a thing I'm not very sports minded.  All that sweaty exertion, don'tcha know. So inane ~ fully grown human beings chasing little balls about.  I mean, really?  We don't have something better to do with our time?

The one exception, & only if I remember, & only if nothing better is on offer, is the socceroos playing for a world cup place ~ which they did last night.  Even then, more often than not, I don't watch because watching the soceroos is an exercise in avoidable angst.

Most of ours played soccer.  It is the sport for the under 12 crowd. The ones of ours who played played @ an elite level ~ so, you know, I know a little bit about soccer ~ the one sport my dear MOTH won't watch because he reckons it has to be the most frustrating game ever!  There are days I have to agree with him. And watching the socceroos is frustration upon frustration.

Australia has always been good @ sport.  As a nation we have excelled in Cricket, Union & League ~ American sports are not really sport ~ or universal ~ & we mostly leave those to the Americans because no~one else plays them.  We're a competitive bunch so we mostly play those sports where we can sit on our own dunghill & crow long & loud. Seriously.  When State of Thuggery comes round the only thing our news reports on is~ the State of Thuggery.  Kim Jong Un could press a dozen buttons & I swear our media wouldn't even notice.

Anyway, kids transition out of soccer when they enter high school & opt for Aerial ping~pong [Aussie Rules], Rugby League or Rugby Union.  Consequentially our international soccer team has lacked depth for years & we have never dominated in soccer the way we have in other sports. Over the last couple of decades that has been slowly changing.  Immigrants play soccer. They play well.  So our team is mostly unpronounceable names from all around the world until slowly we have edged into the bottom ranks of the *Beautiful Game*.

But we're competitive.  We like to win.  And soccer is not for the faint~hearted. It is low scoring.  It is difficult to score.  It is unpredictable.  And it is completely unforgiving of mistakes. The socceroos, love them to death & all that, have a tendency to dominate without scoring, to be fitter & have more stamina than their opponents yet lose their formation & open up huge cracks in their defense. *sigh* Which they did last night~ with aplomb.

OT geed me up. Australia V Syria to advance to the next level.  Do or Die. Played in Sydney.  Home ground advantage.  And you know, given the inanity of Australian t.v @ 6pm on a Tuesday night watching the soccer looked like a really good option.  For about 7 minutes it was.  Australia was looking good.  Dominating the middle.  Fast down the wings.  Keeping good formation.  Great passing ~ not always their strong point. One mistake & the away goal advantage ~ gone! 

At which point I rolled my eyes.  This is how it so often goes for the socceroos.  They like coming from behind or something. Don't ask me to explain the World Cup scoring system.  I don't think anyone really understands it except FIFA & I wouldn't put money on that either, so even the equalizer wasn't enough & despite dominating, despite numerous shots on the Syrian goal, it stayed @ one all for the full 90 minutes.

Now a pro soccer player runs 3 or more kilometers a game so the lactic acid build~up can get pretty bad & Syria wasn't in good shape to play an extra 30 minutes even before they got red~carded & lost a player.  I get it.  Soccer is a hugely exhausting game requiring the sort of stamina & mental strength required of marathon runners.  It requires similar sorts of stamina from its fans.  It was exhausting to watch shot after shot on goal deflected & the one rule I cannot abide [& will not watch] is a penalty shoot out ~ which is where we were headed.  Thank you, Timmy Cahill, for saving us from a penalty shoot~out!

I watched to the death ~ but my.oh.my!  By the end I had enough Adrenalin pumping through my system to power a small village! *sigh* And sadly I will probably do this again.  And again.  And again ~ until some European powerhouse or South American genius puts an end to the agony.  Why do I do this to myself?

You know, when the kids were little we always watched the World Cup & it was great.  Australia was never there so we chose a team to barrack for & when they got wiped out we chose another team, and another team, right up until the Grand Final. Reckon that's the way to do it but with Australia still in it...Aussie. Aussie. Aussie. Oi. Oi. Oi.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

A little Food @ a time...

 After a day or so of skulking round feeling sorry for himself my big, beautiful, boofer of a cat is back to normal ~ or what we define as normal for this cat.  With attitude like this, it's no wonder he's so big!

Meanwhile I've been having more than my fair share of "...But I don't wanna cook..." days. Gosh but I hate dealing with food! Eat? Sure.  Plonk it in front of me & I'm happy enough to make it disappear ~ mostly because I can do something else while I eat ~ like read.  Cooking doesn't work like that, though I have tried ~ mostly unsuccessfully.

My children have never understood this attitude but @ least now I don't have to deal with the 2 who don't eat tomato, the one not keen on pumpkin, 1 mint hater, the vegan & the vegetarian, the mushroom hater, the seafood lovers, the suspicious looks, the one who forages through her food in case something's snuck in she doesn't like [as I am apt to do the same I can't really fault this one!] & cries of, None of that for me, please.
 The MOTH is relatively easy to please though when you don't eat meat yourself cooking meat is pretty gag~making. So looking down the barrel of having to provide yet another meal when I didn't want to I came across this happy pasta meal. Twenty minutes from start to table.  Oh, happy me!

Steamed broccolini heads, pine nuts & a squeeze of lime ~ topped with Parmesan if you like. I made cheese bread instead.

As an inveterate food hater how did I manage to raise food lovers & good cooks?  Because given the right day & plenty of time I actually like to bake.  Baking was our go to activity when it was cold & had been raining for days on end, board games threatened to get violent & everyone was bored out of their brain.  I taught all of mine to make bread, pies, biscuits, cakes.  It could take all day & kept everyone happily occupied & fed.

Then the oven died & as the children left the house I decided this was a good thing because I couldn't get fat on my own baking.  The MOTH is more of a savory man ~ which means I was the only one eating all that sugary sweetness.

Renovating meant we got a new oven.  Oh dear. It has begun.

 I found this Impossible Pie recipe on line.  With a name like that who could resist?  Not me.

It was very yum.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Adventures with the Little Man.

 Last time I was @ the Little Man's it was because most of the household was sick.  From the look of Old Sobersides here you wouldn't think he was enjoying himself much but in fact, now he recognises me, he  can't wait until I make overtures for him to get in his stroller & head out.

 The new fangled contraption is nice & light & apparently converts, by degrees, into a trike.

For me it has always been easiest to learn a new area by walking it so each time we go in a new direction on @ least one trip out.  This time it was to one of the Green Spaces council has put in ~ though, quite frankly, I think it is less they are ecologically minded than because the majority of these are swampy.
 The one we visited is a large patch of mostly grass but someone has put up a lovely driftwood  bird feeder.  Wrong time of the day to see much but nice to know it is there.  Apparently all the dog owners like to walk their animals there & one lovely lady stopped to chat so the Little Man could pet the easiest of her 3 very large dogs.  Not being much of a dog person I'm always a little leery of any dog;  One never knows...However this one behaved itself & like so many dogs liked me far more than I liked it.  Too sad making.
 In the middle, where the land dipped down, all the swamp had drained into a large billabong ~ obviously the waterhole for any native wildlife around & a huge attraction for the Little Man. As he wasn't going to be content just looking, I put him down knowing full well the prickles on his bare feet would put an end to any wild ideas he had about paddling!
 I know most people like their suburban gardens to be neat & rather unimaginative so I am always charmed when I find someone with a bit of imagination ~ even if it's not particularly my thing.  If you click on the image you can see the huge variety of old farm implements these owners have on display.  Their lawn is just like everybody else's though ~ half dead.  We haven't had rain, any rain at all, in months & all the sidewalks were brown & patchy.  We often walk by here & I always like to stop & look because...well...there is something to look at!

As we go round our circuit we are invariably accosted by large braying dogs hurling themselves against their fences ~ one reason I don't like dogs.  Most people seem to own @ least one, some people several.  Cats are rarer but we do see the occasional one & for the most part they are far more friendly & will come over to investigate & get a scratch under the chin.  As the Little Man doesn't have a cat he finds these encounters most exciting.

Most times I've visited we've been able to head down to the little park not far from home & have the swings & slides & round~a~bouts all to ourselves but last time was school holidays & there were children everywhere.  Like his father, the Little Man is a social animal but despite his overtures One is too little for the big kids to be interested.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Cat Misadventures.

Cats!    Own one & you know you're alive.  They have a knack for turning a humdrum, ordinary sort of a day into something else entirely!

At present my mornings consist of something as dull as taking postage stamps of paper for our home business & putting them in blotting books to dry.  This exercise requires no expertise.  You don't need to know a single thing about stamps ~ which are nearly as dull & boring as golf ~ or watching wet paint dry.

In this exercise of dulldom I am generally accompanied by a cat ~ or two.  They are either sprawled at my feet or curled upon my kitchen benchtops keeping an eye on all my doings because obviously I cannot be trusted to get my life together without their help.

My cats, however, are ragdoll crosses: double coated, semi~longhaired animals with minimal moult & we have gone from winter to full blown summer heatwave almost overnight.  The only thing making this bearable at present is the westerly winds blowing at a steady 25+ knots, & the most pleasant place to endure all this is on our verandah, cool but out of the full force of the wind. Guess where my cats have been?

This is all fine.  We have always given our cats the run of outdoors because by nature cats are outdoor creatures, though some like their creature comforts more than others.  Marlow is rarely far from his people & not generally the cat I worry about. Kirby ~ well Kirby is super smart, super stubborn, a hunter of anything than moves & generally the sort of trouble you don't want.  Marlow is a sloth.  He lies around waiting to be loved on. He is not the one I expect to have to rush to the vets at a minutes notice.

Mid afternoon Marlow wandered inside to be sick.  Why do cats do that?  Marlow is always throwing up so I didn't think much of it but some time later I noticed a thick spool of drool running continuously from his mouth & he kept stretching his mouth as if it was bothering him.  I had a look but could see nothing wrong.  He was showing no signs of paralysis, indicating a tick, & seemed bright eyed & alert apart from continually wandering up to me with all this drool. *sigh* I rang the vet.

I hate ringing the vet.  It always means money I don't have.  Sure enough ~ Bring him straight in. This sounds easier than it is.  Apart from wrangling my rather large cat into a carrier it means finding a boat, lugging him in a car to the boat, a boat trip, another car trip & then the vets ~ all of which stresses him to the max. And guaranteed, once on that boat all his symptoms strangely disappear!

Now being a ragdoll, Marlow is pretty easy to handle though once in the carrier he does what he does when he doesn't want to be removed from a chair: He hunkers down in one corner, applies all of his not inconsiderable weight into defying gravity, & requires upending to get him out.  I felt for the vet.

A preliminary consultation had me looking down the barrel of sedation & exrays ~ & huge expense.  The expense had to be paid before I left the surgery.  Panicked phone call to the MOTH.  However on a second examination the vet was able to get a really good look at Marlow's mouth & under his tongue ~ all very swollen, as was his throat. I wondered if a bee or a wasp might have stung him...? As he was otherwise fine the vet suggested a steroid shot.  My bill plummeted from $500+ to just $95.00.

Just the same, Marlow is now officially, a more expensive cat than Kirby! Everyone jolly glad to be home again safe & sound.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

One Children's Book.


There were 5 of us.  My mother is one of the most intelligent women I have ever known.  She was smart across the whole academic spectrum: English, math, history.  She is an artistic homemaker & an excellent cook.  She was also a prolific reader & read to us children so much that we were reading before we began school.

My mother is a realist.  She likes realistic books.  My first brother likes scientific books & my youngest brother liked animal stories. I generally read fantasy but among all the books on our shelves were my mother's school prizes:  Billabong Books; Dimsie Stories; Milly~Molly~Mandy.  They were there so I read them. 

Children's authors don't write books like this for children any more.  We have become way too politically correct but these stories of everyday children doing everyday things in an everyday manner were the sort of books you didn't have to pre~read to ensure the content was suitable for your child.

So down the road I became a very indiscriminate reader.  If it was printed I read it: junk mail, jam labels, newspapers, magazines & more books than anyone else in the house ~ both adult & childrens.

I was blessed to have an excellent Primary School library with a brilliant librarian & the freedom to change my books as soon as I had finished them.  I did not have to wait for library day. This meant I waded through the packed shelves at a truly frantic pace but much of what is now considered children's classics I didn't read till much, much later.  I was in my 30's before I read the Anne Books.  I have never read all the Little House Books.  I read Heidi backwards; Tom Sawyer but not Huckleberry Finn; Pocomoto & myriads of Chalet School Stories, The Abby Girls ~ & that staple of so many young girls, pony books.  Not that I liked ponies or horses & I never wanted to own one but, well, they were there & so I read them.  I said I wasn't discriminatory.

That is how I found Lorna Hill.  Tucked in amongst all the ballet books, which I read afterwards & disliked intensely, was a little red book minus its dust jacket called They Called Her Patience

For some reason this book fired my 10 year old imagination.  I could visualize the Northumbrian landscape vividly. I played tennis [badly].  I had been to Teen Ranch & ridden my first ever horse [also badly]. I empathised with spoilt Judy & her long rats~tails plaits.  I was intrigued by Patience. I longed for a protective older brother like David.

Unlike the ballet books, Hill's stories about Patience weren't all that popular, though I liked them better, & getting copies of these now out of print books is extremely difficult.  So many years down the track I couldn't even remember the title of the book I had read.  All I could recall was that the name Patience was in the title. Still the internet is a wonderful thing & Mr Google a wonder of misinformation so eventually I tracked down the author & eventually a book title.  It was reasonably priced so I forked out my hard earned cash & waited patiently for the book to arrive.  It was the wrong one.

Still I hadn't read it so I was only minimally disappointed.  Not as good as the book I remembered but I now had titles & was fairly sure of the one I wanted.  What I hadn't counted on was something that I have also struck with Antonia Forest ~ there aren't a lot of fans around but those of us who admire these now hard to get & out of print  books do not part with them willingly & when they do become available they are exorbitantly expensive.

I had horded my Christmas money as there was nothing I particularly wanted at the time & on a random search found They Called Her Patience was, unbelievablly, available through Abe Books.  Three copies: 2 in excellent condition, one fair ~ & with price tags to match.  The price tags put me off. Let's face it, new the book wouldn't have cost that much. Then it slowly dawned on me that this was my Spending money & if I wanted to blow the lot on an out~dated, out of print children's book then I jolly well could! So I did!




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!







hashtag#vm#vocman

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. ☺


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Visiting with the Little Man.

The Little Man has been sharing germs.  Consequentially 2 homes are down with the lurgy ~ which did not stop T1 from ringing to ask me over as he was behind on work & was getting our DILLY to help out, which meant, of course, they needed someone to take on the Little Man.

I had been battling sinus & tonsillitis since my last visit but what are mothers for if not for helping out when things get stressed?  So off I went. My DIL did not leave for work until the Little Man went down for his morning nap which meant I had 2 good hours to get things done in.  I made soup for dinner: this one. It is healthy, light & refreshing but surprisingly filling ~ & I had ODD about to deal with the gas & find me a bit pot to cook with.  And the bonus is it doesn't take forever to make.  Making it early meant the lemon had plenty of time to season the soup & extra to be added later. Washing in & folded.  I'm not even this good @ home in my own house! ☺
By the time the Little Man surfaced again I was all organised so off to the park with dog Teddy.
We have done the little slide but we tried the big slide ~ which is designed for children, not aged grandparents, & involved climbing & shonky wooden bridges & heights.  We were both a little unsure by the time we sat down & prepared to fly down the slide.
The swing was much more the Little Man's deal.

However the Little Man decided that an afternoon nap was completely out of the question even though his mother had come home specifically to put him down. I said not to worry, we would manage ~ & so we did.  We hung out ODD's washing.  We watered the garden & pulled weeds. When he began getting tired we walked down to the highway & watched the traffic.  I have no idea why the Little Man likes sitting in his stroller & watching the noisy cars & trucks, buses & trains but he does.

I gave him his bath early so his parents didn't have to deal with him, fed him & was just settling down with a book when his uncle arrived. There is always great excitement as all the Little Man's extended family begins arriving home & it must be wonderful from his point of view.

After nearly a year I think we are beginning to manage a relationship.  The Little Man knows I will take him out ~ quite a lot.  He gets very excited when his stroller makes an appearance & now he is walking was down the steps & underfoot as I tied Teddy to the stroller in preparation, all the while babbling at me excitedly.

He is 1 in a fortnight ~ getting old enough to remember from visit to visit that I am good for certain things even though I am not his mother.  And after 30 odd years & 5 children I am used to doing things with a child in tow ~ & at a child's pace.  If only I had been as wise as I am now 30 years ago!!! ☺

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Little Surprises.

 The big news this week is the electrician has been! Yay!  After  months of work OT finally put in the microwave shelf ~ which he will have to adjust.  However we now have power in our kitchen & are nearly fully operational again. What's more, it cost us nearly a third less than expected because the boys had lifted out the cooktop & placed the oven on stools, ready to just be lifted straight in.  Moldings & things still to go but the big effort has been done ~ & very nice it is too.  It is super functional.  Even the MOTH has noticed.

 While we are technically still in winter with enough cold days still to light the fire, it is starting to warm up periodically bringing an extraordinary flush in my azalea bed despite the fact all my plants are still quite small.  Of course I now have to water more often & that is when I noticed it.
The first azalea I put in was a plumbago because I was taken with the deep maroon leaves & I thought it would add contrast during the months we were without colour.  Everything else has flowered constantly since it went in the ground ~ which is lovely but sort of worrying.  The plumbagos [yep, I bought a 2nd one] stubbornly refused to do anything at all, not even put out new leaf, but I wasn't fazed.  I had bought it for the leaf colour, not its flowers.  Besides the little tag on the plant said the flowers weren't anything spectacular.  Then this! Even given the photo is  washed out I though those deep maroon buds were sort of spectacular.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

The Great Homosexual Lie.

I do not support the LGBT crew ~ so if you do I suggest you
don't continue reading.  I have a different viewpoint & that does not make me bigoted, homophobic, a hater [or hateful], mean, nasty or whatever other names normally get thrown around.  It means I have a different viewpoint & some evidence to actually support my POV.

I bet you've heard a version of "I was born this way" or "God made me this way" or "I can't help the way I was born~ like you can't help being heterosexual " & most people seem to have bought into this clever piece of propaganda without ever checking the scientific evidence. There is none.  Zilch.  Nado.

At least according to the John Hopkins study which was immediately & vitriolically attacked by the alphabet crew.  I can't keep up.  They keep adding letters.

If you really know God & your bible you know He hasn't made anyone *gay*.  He made people *tov* ~ that is functioning in the manner in which they were designed to operate. Tov is the word translated *good* in Genesis. The 1st command was to go forth & multiply so all the clever arguments about homosexuality being a normal aberration of nature do not hold water because homosexuality is by its very nature sterile. It is an aberration, pure & simple.

Now that alone should be enough for any sensible Christian before we get onto things like we are not meant to look like the world, talk like the world, think like the world or act like the world.  Nor can we expect the world to think, look, act, speak like we are meant to do.

Just the same the level of vitriol against conservative Christians has been incredible.  But of course the hippie generation bought into the *higher consciousness* ~ *we have evolved* ~ mindset, so Christians are being seen as unevolved & stuck in an ancient mindset with *an imaginary friend in the sky*. No, He's not imaginary.  Just because you haven't meet Him doesn't mean He doesn't exist.

It seemed to me there was no explanation for the sudden increase in the whole homosexual agenda, no explanation for why there were so many people running round saying they were born this way when many of the homosexual people I have known most definitly were NOT born that way.

Then, as so often happens, I was studying something I thought was completely unrelated ~ Romans 12:2.Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...

Most of my life I've heard this passage taught as knowing scripture, learn to listen to the Holy Spirit ~ that sort of thing ~ & quite right too!  But along the way I ran across the science of neuroplasticity ~ & yes, it is a science. 

Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to reorganize itself both physically & functionally.  It is used in cases of brain trauma, stroke, birth abnormalities etc. When functioning positively [ie as God designed us] it wires the brain  in healthy ways.  If we focus on negatives: depression, anxiety, hate whatever it also rewires but instead of creating healthy pathways it creates neurological chaos. Every thought we have is a choice & every choice is either reinforcing our neurological wiring or changing it & as this happens throughout our lifetimes it is perfectly feasible that homosexuals have trained their brains in aberrant ways from childhood ~ so early they do not remember when it began.

 And thus  homosexuality is indeed a choice ~ & why the *safe schools program* ~ what a joke! is so very dangerous.  This is why Christians can call homosexuality a sin ~ not because we hate the people [that is also a sin] but because the act is not beyond their control. Sin starts in the mind: These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. James 1:15

Homosexuality is a Great Lie ~ & we know who the Father of Lies is, don't we!



Friday, 18 August 2017

Fun Things.

So this is how my week went. I spent part of 3 days on the mainland looking after The Child ~ the grizzly, cold~ridden grump, then 2 days recovering from the trauma of it all & another day on the mainland to celebrate The Girl's birthday...& pretty cheerful about it all because I wasn't supposed to be preaching this week & I figured it has been so long since I had a week of I could afford to be a little laid back. I should never suppose anything.

I got 48 hours notice that my preacher had been unexpectedly called away & I would have less than 24 hours to come up with something!  This does not make me happy ~ despite the fact I regularly terrify those in the know by writing sermons @ the last minute.  Wonderful for the concentration ~ like the quip that the imminent prospect of death really focuses the mind!

Just the same there are some sermons that require a little more cooking than others. OT, who arrived to put in the microwave unit & the phone shelf, was most unsympathetic.  As a preacher himself he considers all one needs to do is pull out a bible passage & expound on it for 45 minutes ~ only that's not how I work!

 I have a 3~fold gift & one prong of that is teaching.  I am chronically incapable of simply expounding a passage until I have pulled it through the mangle of the actual Greek [or Hebrew], looked at what it is really saying & then looking at ways & means to apply this to everyday life.

I had the jump~off point several weeks ago [Romans 12:2] & as so often happens for me I had found some excellent teaching that would be very helpful from a practical point ~ only I hadn't listened to all of it, & a great little story illustration ~ I swear, this stuff just lands in my lap! ~ & hadn't stressed because I was supposed to have another week, wasn't I?

Even so, I got up Saturday morning & wasted several hours on Skype with my wonderful American friend, Seeking, then pottered round making coffee & considering my Farmville2 disaster, while I let the Holy Spirit percolate the whole concept of renewing one's mind on the backburner of mine.  No stress.  Seriously.

Once I get going I then just steam ahead because the Holy Spirit gets in there & just starts plonking it down: bing, bang, bong! I was getting along great guns & feeling pretty happy with how it was all going.  I'd got all my definitions sorted & was halfway through, heading into the more difficult aspects when our internet dropped out. No immediate panic.  I always save my work as I go.  At the worst I would only lose a line or so & probably easily recovered.

I don't know what happened but the whole blooming thing disappeared on me!  It was not on the clipboard.  It was not in *recover*.  Undo did nothing. After 5 minutes I realised I was in dire trouble. In 10, I wept.  All my work was gone & all to be done over again, on a day when I had a limited number of hours to pull this whole thing together! And despite everything I had just learnt about neurological pathways, about the way the brain is wired & the cause & effect of our thinking in purely physical ways.  Ouch.

Then, naturally, the printer refused to print & I spent a frustrating hour replacing ink cartridges, cleaning heads & nozzles & aligning things before it would even consider following commands.

Of course the other thing is somebody does not want me getting up & preaching this. The niggling, *not sick sick, just a little unwell* feeling that has plagued me all year suddenly bloomed into a full blown* My throat!  My throat!* of raging germs. I need all the spare prayers I can get.

Now that the sermon is safely finished, printed out & safely ensconced in my little black folder I think the whole thing is hugely funny.  It always is after but just at the time...well, I can think of more pleasant things that might have happened.

Friday.


I don't see a lot of my girl these days.  Even when I go over to babysit the Little Man ODD is invariably working.  It is rare that we get to spend more than a few minutes together so Friday was special.

Her birthday was nearly a fortnight ago but for 10 years ODD has worked on her birthday & so we opted for the first free day available for all of us & took her to The Courthouse.

This is a heritage listed building with lovely views & very pleasant surrounds ~ & depending on your view of life considered to be *classy*, though as ODD quipped, it was a lot less classy with her in it!

Ok, so we weren't dolled up like the really elderly couple who were obviously going to make an afternoon of their dining experience & were dressed to kill, but neither were we as yokelfied as the women sculling red wine; just somewhere middling & looking forward to a really nice meal.  

Brisbane, especially the outer suburbs, is not as cosmopolitian as Melbourne or Sydney & I knew from experience vegetarian choices would be limited but what there is is very nice & I thought the girl would be ok with the stuffed capi ~ which she was.  I had the entree of fried Camembert with a side salad of rocket, pear & walnuts as my main & the Man opted for seafood.

The courthouse is renowned for its service.  They always ask if you are celebrating anything special & of course we were.  ODD's sorbet berry basket arrived with a fizzing sparkler.  She loves sparklers!  I thanked the girl serving us & she was delighted we got so much pleasure from it.  Sometimes ODD reverts to being about 3!

And then we took selfies ~ not something the girl is enamoured of doing & as I gave her the camera the results are a little disturbing ~ to say the least. ☺



Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Weirdness of People.

It's no secret; I find people difficult.  Nothing personal.  I find
me difficult ~ which is what you get when you have a difficult & complicated personality.  I learnt long ago most people don't get me & that makes social interaction hard.  I mean, what do you talk about when no~one has heard of Skara Brae & could care less about which strange book you are finding particularly fascinating @ present ...& did you know NASA...? I am generally woefully ignorant of the island gossip but Christians should be different ~ shouldn't they?

Sadly, the brothers & sisters in Christ have been the worst of the worst. Now that should, perhaps, bother me more.  I should, perhaps, have worked to mend fences & build bridges but as I don't actually like these people & have nothing in common with them [sadly I don't recognize their Christ, which is terrifying] & I am not by nature social, I simply let it go.  I rarely even run into them casually as I am so rarely out & about.

The Church is used to me & they have learnt if they talk about God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, I can actually be quite a good conversationalist.  I can even manage some politics.  History? Certainly!  And so we have jogged along.

Then the Spirit began on the MOTH about how this all looks ~ because oddly the MOTH is actually out & about more than I am ~ not me.  I mean, it's hard enough to get me to engage with people I actually like so the others had no hope.  However as the MOTH dithered we had one of those weekends when the lads arrived, fished & crabbed & prawned until my house was a salty nightmare ~ & forgot to take it all home with them!

Now I don't eat seafood so this was beyond a nightmare in my books.  I hate things to have died for no purpose so as the MOTH filleted & called the lads unmentionable names the Holy Spirit whispered: You know who should give this to, don't you?

I have an extremely wicked sense of humour & a fine sense of the ironic, so I was highly entertained as I passed on this revelation to The Man. I was not required to do anything except relay the information. The MOTH, who also has a delightful sense of the ironic, was also highly entertained.  What's more, it was the sort of doing thing that really amuses him ~ so off he went to deliver packages of seafood to all these people who have been very vocal about how much they hate our guts.

Now, they are all completely untrustworthy but it seems the Lord would like the visible barriers mended.  One group is prepared to do that, the other...well, they started to & then we did the Goodbye for John's dad. Like I said: I go nowhere, I see no~one ~ but John does: on the boat when he goes to the doctor; @ the doctors; when he does the mainland shopping; in the car while waiting for me...& people talk.  What they have been talking about is how brilliant the service for John's dad was.  Even the mainland doctor had heard about it & asked questions.  It seems the green~eyed monster, Jealousy, has once again reared his ugly head.

It extends, sadly, right down to a family level because our kids are mostly serving the Lord & even the ones not are doing great things ~ & because people gossip that does the rounds & adds more fuel to the fire.

Then our friend from the park ~ yes, that one, the one who screamed @ us, informed us roundly that the whole island hated us.  The whole island? Over 3 000 people? Most of whom have never met us & probably don't even know we exist. Surely you exaggerate, sweetheart...?

Meanwhile I am standing @ the checkout waiting to pay for my bread & milk, which is taking forever because of some holdup or other, when the chappie behind me, whom I actually particularly like despite the fact he is married to an avowed witch who is less than fond of us [& you wonder why I have people problems?] starts up: Had I head the news?  Trump is about to start WWIII.  Really? And hearing the real fear being expressed all around me I merely said I was glad I had something far greater to rely on in this sort of a crisis ~ & to chappie, if anything actually happens, well, it's been really nice knowing you...

And that is before we mention the elephant in the room~ aka marriage equality.  What a misnomer! Impossible to have a civil debate to express the Christian viewpoint without being howled down.  Beyond me how anyone @ all can support the madness but they do.  They are.  It was distressing me seeing Christian after Christian being vilified despite every attempt to express their viewpoint lovingly & respectfully but I think I have got a grip on it because it could have been anything really that has caused this Great Divide.  The issue is not marriage.  Not really.  That is just the rock this wave of rebellious man has chosen to break on.

So there are some things that I am holding on to.  No matter what happens Jesus is still Lord.  We have not lost till the law is changed. This is the clash of 2 world views diametrically opposed to each other & there is no way to reconcile them.

What's more, the Lord told me years ago, before Rhema, that He was going to shake everything that could be shaken & He was calling out His remnant.  I am seeing that now.  The Liberal church is in grave danger because the remnant, by its very nature, is always small, always counter~culture, always called to holiness in a wicked & degenerate generation. I do not think this is going to be a fun ride. I do think Jesus meant exactly what he said when He said He didn't come to bring peace, but a sword. And people think we're the mad ones...

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

How I Spent a Long Weekend.

 One of the drawbacks of growing older is that quite simply you don't bounce as well as you once did.

 T1 asked if I would come over after church & help out.  As I haven't seen my grandson in over 5 weeks [because he has been away with his mumma visiting his other GPs] I could hardly refuse.

 However one night became 2 ~ & would have been more if T1 could have swung it.  Seeing as my cats were most put out & misbehaving for the MOTH that was not really an option.  Besides, I really, really hate the mainland.  There is a reason I live where I do.

The Little Man had a cold ~ & we all know how much fun that is & how they so love having that long stream of snot wiped ~ but I am never quite sure that I'm all that much help.  Just one more person in the house not getting any sleep.  However I am usually up early & can take the Little Man while other things get done ~ though that would be easier if the child didn't scream @ the sight of me.  I know this will change as he gets older but just @ present it doesn't make me feel wonderful.

However colds make for grizzly, clingy children & so I walked ~ a lot.  Out of the house &  away from his stressed parents the Little Man was fairly amiable & happy to be entertained by the passing traffic.

In between I did get all the washing either off the line or on it ~ depending.  With 4 adults in the house, all of whom do their own washing, there is generally a full line, a full machine, a pile of wet clothes piled on the floor to be hung out & another in the tub waiting because whoever manages to snag the line seems to be chronically incapable of bringing in their washing once it has dried.  OT, for example, just gets what he wants to wear off the line rather than bringing everything in & putting it away.

T1, like the Chile Girl, really needs his sleep.  Without it he gets stressed & cranky, which probably accounts for his: I don't suppose you'd like to move in permanently, mum...? Um...love you all to bits, son, but ...No.

Meanwhile OT spent His extended weekend in my home & on my computer! *sigh* No, I don't really mind but I wish he would leave things as he found them rather than me having to ring to enquire where my lovely green alpaca rug ended up & why my computer screen is now in giant mode ~ plus there were 3 alarms set on it, which he had forgotten to mention to anyone!

So I haven't bounced well.  I have been sooo tired & my back is full of wonderful little knots that feel like I have been walloped by a 4 by 2 & bruised to within an inch of my life.

Home is a funny thing.  Ours is half finished & old & run down but it is where I happily potter.  I have my cats, my garden, my books ~ & I'm really not all that keen on being elsewhere. The curlews have arrived with their newly hatched chick. My cats have been lavish with their affection for how could I possibly abandon them like that & leave them with *That Man*, who obviously doesn't know they once were gods & treats them like... well, like ordinary beings!
Two days back & I am starting to feel normal again.  Just in time to head back to the mainland again as we are taking ODD out to lunch for her birthday on Friday. *sigh* I know it will be lovely but I sometimes feel like a hamster in one of those wheel thingies: running to no purpose.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Don't Tangle With the Holy Spirit.

I hate like poison to find myself embroiled in any kind of conflict. I do not like angry, aggressive people & under normal circumstances will go to great lengths to avoid any sort of conflict.

Hence Church~in~the~Park has always been problematic for me.  I believe, absolutely, we are called to do this.  At the same time I get why people get upset with us but of course the Tolerance Brigade has never been very tolerant of anyone but themselves. Legally we have contracted with our council to use the park for 2 hours each Sunday.  We are not always there due to weather, illness or other commitments but we are fairly regular during the good weather.

We have missed about 6 weeks but were right on track to return last Sunday.  It is still winter weather so a little chilly out of the sun & absolutely no good for swimming. We rocked up & began to set up to find that a single woman had highjacked both power points with the sole purpose of denying us power ~ with the intended purpose no doubt of sending us home with our tail between our legs, unable to deliver our message.  Normally I would have  been only too happy to head home but we had had a wonderful morning service ~ powerful & very anointed & obviously to prepare us for the park so I was in no mind to go anywhere. Nor was the MOTH.

This woman ostentatiously perched by the powerpoint ~ that we did not dispute despite our legal right to it ~ while we gathered round the table.  The MOTH is usually right into this stuff so he just opened his bible & began his standard preaching prayer from Romans 10.

The funny thing about people is they always know when they are in the wrong & she sooo knew she was in the wrong she was in fight or flight mode & literally shaking; shaking & backed into a corner.  We had not gone away as she intended. She could only get her ipod so loud ~ easily drowned out by Amazing Grace ~ about the only hymn or chorus I know multiple verses off & can sing without music~ & the MOTH's voice.

By then I was itching to get up & preach, which is so very unlike me, but itching I was because, boy! Did I have a message for her! What's more the Holy Spirit popped in some little extras about abandonment, both being abandoned & doing the abandoning & she began yelling & screaming @ me ~ so I just lifted my voice & went over the top of her.  Such a lot to be said for being drama trained. I refused to engage.  It was her problem, not mine, & if the Holy Spirit had something to say to her it was nothing to do with me.

The irony is, if she hadn't made such an issue of hogging the power she could have packed up & left any time she wanted but fuss she had & so she was stuck until we decided to end it. What's more she got a male with a good strong voice & a drama trained preacher so even when she got on the phone she couldn't drown us out.  We know the person on the other end could hear us too! She had backed herself into a position where she was forced to listen to a sermon discussing Lordship & sin.

 I know it hit home.  When I began on everyone serves someone or something, whether they know it or not, she got even angrier & ...well you can image but I just blithely went on pointing out we all have to obey the law of the land ~ drive on the right side of the road, get educated, do all sort of things we mightn't otherwise do because the law is our master ~ & that is not something you can really argue with.  Not logically anyway.

She was fuming with anger when she got on her phone & so we could hear quite a lot of her conversation ~ jailbird; lost her partner; lost her kids; denied access to her kids; due back in court ~ so sad.  So unnecessary. It really doesn't pay to tangle with the Holy Spirit when you don't know what you're doing. As the MOTH said: Captive Audience  ~ & all her own fault.