Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So I'm conferencing....

...for the next three days. The national Occupational Therapy conference is on just up the road from where we live. It's a good opportunity to get some professional development without having to pay for accommodation, flights etc.

I'm looking forward to it. Except that every time I go to these conferences, everyone else looks like they're heaps younger than me. I suppose they are. Next year it will be twenty years since I graduated with my undergraduate degree.

Saying that makes me feel old.

I have done some previous postgrad study to masters level. One day I would love to do a PhD. Hoping this conference has lots of inspirational speakers to give me some ideas on what I can look at when baby and toddler days are behind me...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

eBay win

My other excitement for today was winning a dress on eBay. I don't use eBay that often but I am in search of a couple of cheap maternity-ish things to wear and I don't want to spend lots of money.

I've never actually won an eBay auction before. When I've tried in the past, we had a very slow computer and I would always get outbid in the last few seconds whenever I tried to bid on something.

But not anymore....

Very happy. Can't wait to get the dress in the post and try it on. It looks like it will be good to wear over tights and it also looks big enough to cover the bump for a while yet.

Five books that changed who I am

Meredith tagged me in a meme to list five books that have changed who I am. Cool. I've spent the day thinking...
1. Well, the Bible is the obvious number one.

This is the book that is continually shaping who I am now and also who I am becoming. It's great that every time I open it I learn something new or see something in a different light. And it's one that I read every day...(almost)...

2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis.

This is the first book I can remember being read to me at school. I was in Year 3 and one of our teachers would read it to us after big lunch. It made me want to read the whole series and it was probably the first book I ever read that took me to a completely different world. One I can go back and re-read again and again (or read to the kids) and not lose my enjoyment of it. I have to say that the movie was nowhere near as good as what I imagined in my head as I was hearing the book read to me for the first time back in Year 3. The cover in the picture is the first edition of this book that I owned.

3.A Descant for Gossips by Thea Astley.

An obscure choice, I guess. This is one that I read many times when I was at high school. The main character in it, Vinny, was a loner who was bullied at school, and although I wasn't completely friendless in my high school days, there was something about her that I found I was drawn to. And Astley's descriptions of the atmosphere and small town life in country Queensland were brilliant. Her writing was among the earliest to truly capture Queensland and it's differences from the southern states, I think. When I was first reading Australian books back in the 80's, there weren't many authors writing about life in Queensland. Thea was a true pioneer. It probably sounds a bit corny, but reading books about life in Queensland makes me feel proud of where I've come from....a Queenslander!

4. Baby Love by Robin Barker.

Essential reading for new mothers. I read it over and over again with each of my kids. This book is just full of good common sense and it was so reassuring to me, particularly in those early days of being a Mum when I didn't have a clue what I was doing and was spending a lot of time wondering whether my life would ever be the same again.

5.Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges.

Maybe I should say this one is still changing me. I have found it too confronting to read in one hit so I have to dip into it every so often and remind myself of how much changing I still have to do in my life. Every time I read it, I am amazed at the work of the Cross and how we have been saved from sin and death. It's so easy to think we're not sinful because we don't do anything really really bad, but this book is a great reminder of all those "little sins" that we tend to overlook in ourselves.

There you go. So apparently this is a "meme" which I think means I'm supposed to tag other people to do this? But I hate putting pressure on anybody...so if anyone wants to take up this challenge, please feel free to link to this post, name your post "Five Books that Changed Who I Am" and then fire away. If anyone does it, please let me know. I would love to know what books have changed others' lives too.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Life lessons for six year olds

Don't take your little Lego men into the toilet with you, especially if you are doing No. 2's.

No, Daddy or Mummy will not be fishing out the little Lego arm that you have pulled off the Lego man and dropped into the toilet bowl.

You'll just have to flush and hope the arm pops back up afterwards (for the record, it didn't).

This was the cause of great distress in our house as I was arriving home from work yesterday evening.

Sometimes you just have to laugh (while simultaneously being understanding and sympathetic, of course).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Medibank ad with the emo guy for Wendy

Thanks, anonymous (!). Do I know you? I've had a few people tell me lately that they can't put comments on my blog so just wondering if you're one of those people....

Monday, June 20, 2011

Up-side of being sick

Finished Mad Men Series 2.

I am first in the queue at the library for Series 3. Very exciting. If it comes back on time, I'll have it in time for our week away at Stanthorpe.

Of course, now that it is actually winter, I am wondering what on earth possessed me to book a holiday at Stanthorpe in July. Significantly more clothing/footwear etc needs to be packed for five people going away in winter.

At least we are staying indoors, and linen and blankets are supplied. And a wood stove. Hoping there'll be electric blankets too.

Ads you'll never see again #4

And thank goodness we won't be seeing it again.

But while I'm on the subject of smoking (unlikely to happen again!), here is an interesting little article on the recent No Nanny State advertising campaign. For those lucky enough not to have to put up with it on their television screens, this campaign is an attempt by Big Tobacco companies to encourage smokers to complain about the Australian government's decision to implement plain packaging on cigarettes.

There is a link to the ads in the article, I won't be posting it here because of my own beliefs about the dangers of smoking. To me, even allowing this ad to be on television is an indirect way of advertising smoking.

My understanding of the plain packaging rationale is that by making the packages less attractive, young people (ie. teenagers, the age group where smoking is most likely to commence) are less inclined to take up smoking. Many smokers are arguing otherwise, but I think that if there are any tactics which can prevent teenagers from starting cigarette smoking in the first place, then they should be given a try. Even better would be a complete ban on the sale of all cigarettes, but obviously that's never going to happen now.

It's been a while since I've worked with older people, but you don't forget seeing the long term damage that smoking can do to people's physical health. The cost to the government in supporting these people in their later years is astronomical. Not all of them die a quick death from lung cancer, many of them linger for years with a range of chronic medical conditions. It's a slow and painful way to die.

I hope my kids never smoke. God has blessed them with healthy bodies and minds, something that we are very thankful for. I really pray that they will value those things and that we will be wise in educating them about the dangers of smoking, alcohol and all the other dangerous substances that are out there.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Too sick to book chat....

...or do anything else for that matter.

Lying around feeling sorry for myself (interrupted by brief spates of commenting on other people's blogs) is the best I can manage right now.

I wish my head felt clearer. And that I could take something besides Panadol for all this congestion that won't go away....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Chat this Saturday

This term we've been reading My Seventh Monsoon, by Naomi Reed. Naomi is a physiotherapist who worked with her husband Darren (also a physio) in Nepal as a missionary for many years during the 1990s.

I enjoyed reading the story, although I wouldn't say the writing style is fantastic. I'm putting that down to the fact that she's a physiotherapist. Physios, by and large, get into the physio course at University because they are good at maths and sciences rather than humanities subjects. They might like reading, like my physio husband does, but generally writing great descriptive stories isn't their thing. (Although I do work with a physio who is a bit of an exception to this rule. She is an artist when she is not working as a physio, and is pretty creative. But, like I said, she's an exception rather than your standard garden variety physiotherapist).

What I probably found most interesting was the story of how Naomi and Darren became missionaries and how God led them to Nepal. It's amazing how God worked in their lives for it all to come about. And it was also good to read about how sometimes, God's reasons for why events happen may only be revealed with the wisdom of hindsight rather than at the time they are actually happening. Her conceptualisation of life as a series of seasons was helpful too.

Worth a read if you're interested in what one person's experience of missionary life was like. I'm looking forward to the day when Wendy gets her book of stories of missionary women's experiences published. Since I would guess that there are as many different experiences of missionary life as there are countries they go to, I think it would be great to read lots of different stories on this topic.

Medibank Private ad

Not up on YouTube as yet, so unfortunately I can't link to it here.

But I am really enjoying the ad with the emo guy in the bus shelter outside the church. If you pay no attention to the Medibank spruiker with his huge smile, and just look at the emo guy for the whole ad, it is really really funny.

Is it just me with my "small things amuse small minds" personality or does anyone else find this amusing too?

Job application review

For the past few days I've been reviewing some job applications for some interviews I'm participating in later this week.

My employer has decided in recent times to ditch the traditional government job application method of addressing a large number of key selection criteria in favour of a two page summary of the applicant's work experience and how it is relevant to the job being applied for.

At first impression, this sounds pretty good, but when you have (or think you have) lots of experience, it can be challenging to condense it all into two pages of summary.

What to do about this problem, I hear you ask? Well, one of the applicants for this job has been very creative. They've used the ampersand sign (&) instead of the word "and" every single time the word comes up in their application. It seems like there are hundreds of them in the two pages.

And prior to or post every single ampersand, they've omitted to use the space bar.

And they've used single line spacing and the smallest possible font size they can get away with. If it was any smaller, I'd need a magnifying glass to read it.

They also have an annoying habit of writing incredibly long sentences. Think paragraph length (4-5 lines at least) for every sentence.

I hate long sentences. Short sentences work. They get the message across. See?

I have to do some written notes on each application as part of the shortlisting process. But I think I'll have to find something more constructive to say than "overuse of &" and "underuse of space bar."

Saturday, June 11, 2011


For dinner, we're having pot roasted chicken with cider and apples. With mashed potato and beans.

Followed by golden syrup dumplings for dessert.

Followed by a game of Scrabble and another Mad Men episode.

A day to stay inside. It's very cold. Not used to this kind of weather where we live.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So much to do....so little time...

I have book club on Friday night. I got the book today. I am working tomorrow and Friday, and going out for coffee tomorrow night. I think I will be reading it in the middle of the night if I am going to get it finished.

I got the Mad Men DVD working again, so I am also busy watching many episodes of that. Although at least I have it for three weeks from the local library so I have a bit more time to watch it. Hoping for a rainy long weekend this weekend so I can watch lots more episodes.

Kids are busy practising speeches for school public speaking competition. I wish they were more responsive to the feedback they receive. I feel like a broken record saying the same thing over and over again.

Need to work on tact and diplomacy skills for tomorrow night's coffee evening. A couple of other women from church want to discuss the recent sermons at church on men's and women's roles. My understanding is that I have been approached to participate in this discussion because my thoughts might differ slightly from those presented in the sermons. How to maintain respect for all involved is the challenge. I do actually think it's good to hear different points of view presented because it makes me think more and read my Bible more to get a clear idea of my own beliefs on a topic. The thing is, I'm a bit tongue tied when it comes to explaining stuff to other people.

A few extra hours in the next couple of days wouldn't go astray, I am thinking.

I want to blog about the banana diet I was reading about in last weekend's newspaper but it looks like that will have to wait a bit longer.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Another poorly-chosen name

There is a new girl in Liam's class.

Her name is Harmony.

Today while I was helping in Liam's classroom, she refused to come and read with me, then rolled around under the desks pinching kids' legs, and when she was told off she ran out of the classroom.

I don't know why parents set up their children to fail this way.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Definition of frustration....

....Mad Men DVD getting stuck two thirds of the way through Episode 2. Couldn't skip the stuck bit and rewind either.

So it's back to the blog so I don't lose the sense of calm I've had all afternoon.

Me, myself and Mad Men Series 2

This afternoon, Chris has taken all the kids to my nephew's ten pin bowling birthday party in Brisbane. They are having dinner at my Mum and Dad's house so they won't be back until at least 7.30 tonight . I couldn't go because I had to go to my booking in appointment at the hospital.

Not that I'm sad about it. I've had a great afternoon. After I was finished at the hospital, I went and had an iced coffee, a melting moment biscuit and read some newspapers in a cafe overlooking the river. It's a beautiful sunny day here, so that was very pleasant. Then I went and wandered around our local Tender Centre to see if there was any cool stuff I could put a bid on (there wasn't, but it was nice to wander around slowly and not have to worry that children were getting into things they shouldn't be). I was hoping to find the second hand bookshop open but unfortunately it was closed.

And now I'm blogging. I'm about to go and get the washing off the line, think of meals to eat this week and write a shopping list. Some ukulele practice for tomorrow morning. And then an evening with my Mad Men Series 2 DVD that was waiting for me at the library today. Hopefully I'll be able to stay awake.

Solitude and stillness are blissful things when you don't get them very often.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I was contacted by a journalist from a major Brisbane newspaper to be a source for a story she is writing on the continuing saga of my employer's payroll stuff-up. Last year I wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper about my pay issues that I didn't expect would be published. But they did publish it and she found my contact details from that.

I spoke to her on the condition that my name would not be used in anything they publish in the paper. So I hope she is an honest and ethical journalist.

She said the story is being published in tomorrow's edition of the newspaper. I'll have to do a quick check of the newspaper tomorrow when I get to work to make sure she hasn't outed me....
Not that I said anything too rude about my employer, in the end. I'm paying back the money I owe them, so that is good. My tax for the last financial year isn't yet sorted, so that is not so good. I tried to sound as neutral as I could. I hope it worked.

Don't you just hate it when...

...you just can't quite remember the tune for a song?

This Sunday I start a month of leading Sprouts, the kids program for the littlies (18 months - 3 years old) at church. The first topic is "The best book to read: the Bible."

So I am racking my brains here trying to remember the tune for the song that goes "The best book to read is the Bible, the best book to read is the Bible, if you read it every day it will help you on your way, oh, the best book to read is the Bible."

The boys have both sung it at Scripture in the past but neither of them are good enough to sing the tune back to me.

And if I can find a tune, I want to play it for the debut of the ukulele for the little people.

Arrgh. Frustration. I think I almost have it but it just doesn't sound quite right. I wonder if I could get away with what I've got...