Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tall man begins people mover hunt...

Who would have thought it would be so difficult for a 6 foot 8 inch man to fit into a people mover?

Many options were crossed off the list during today's tour of the car yards. Internet research has already eliminated lots more.

I hope there will be something left that he can sit in without hitting his head on air-conditioning vents, electronic sliding door apparatus, sun-roof openings, etc etc. The list goes on.

The car itself can't be too tall either. The opening of our garage is only 192cm high when the door is fully up.

The kids' criteria for a good car were far simpler. Rosie liked anything with seats that she could sit in and wave at people from. For the boys, lots of drink holders, air conditioning vents next to their seats that they could adjust themselves, and a television in the roof got big ticks from them.

We are not at all keen on DVD in the roof of the car. For many reasons, including that it's just one more thing for the tall man to hit his head on.

Ads you'll never see again #5

I think I can understand why this idea didn't take off...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shamelessly pinched from Simone's blog...

Sorry, not feeling too much creativity this week. In fact, I think most of my ability to think of anything new and exciting has deserted me this pregnancy...

But maybe I am just sad. I went to visit our friends Simon and Kate this afternoon. They are doing it tough since Sam's sudden death earlier in the week. Leaving a container of biscuits doesn't seem like all that much help.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Joy and sorrow

Tonight I was going to post about finishing this puzzle. Since I started it two days after Christmas last year, it's taken a long time to reach this point. So I was pretty excited that I was finally finished. But this evening, that doesn't seem so important anymore.

Today is a sad day for friends in our church family who have lost their little boy, Sam. You can read his story here. Sam was born with a condition called campomelic dysplasia. He lived longer than anyone expected him to. He wasn't expected to survive birth but he defied all the odds. He would have turned three in early September. We rejoice knowing that Sam is in heaven and that there will be no more tears or pain for him there, but we grieve with his family who will be missing him so much right now. Please pray for his Mum and Dad, Kate and Simon, and his big sister Faith.

And I was also sad this evening to hear the news that Margaret Olley has also died today. It seems fitting that her portrait by Ben Quilty which I blogged about here a while ago won the Archibald Prize this year. A great tribute to an amazing artist who was painting right up to when she died.

As it says in Ecclesiastes 3, "for everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven." Sometimes these times just seem to all come very close together...

Panic at Rock Island

Between us, Chris and I watched this movie on Sunday night. "Between us" means that I watched the first bit while Chris was tidying up the kitchen, then I dropped off to sleep and he filled in the gaps of what had happened when I woke up again ten minutes before it finished.

For those who might have missed it (and really, it wasn't the greatest movie), it's an Australian telemovie about a highly contagious killer virus that spreads like wildfire through a music festival on Rock Island (I think it might be called Goat Island in real life?) in Sydney. You could probably have slept through the forty five minutes I missed and not really missed all that much.

We were having a half-hearted debate about what kind of movie it was. Sci-fi? Thriller? Horror? Combination of the above? My position was that it was more science-fiction based, but Chris was of the belief that it would be entirely possible for a killer virus to strike (think SARS, swine flu, Spanish flu, Hendra virus etc etc).

I don't know. I have no doubt that killer viruses exist, but I think I'd prefer to believe they would spread far more slowly and be far less infectious than the Rock Island variety. Obviously the fast incubation period and easy spread from person to person that we saw on the TV was necessary to provide the most shock value for the prime time viewing audience. But I'm not up on the latest viral mutations either. Chris works in higher levels of health management than I do. It seems that in higher echelons of health services, they do sometimes talk about this kind of adverse event as a distinct possibility. That's a bit scary to think about.

The cast read like a roll-call of television actors from every single Australian drama series of the past twenty years. And I wasn't sure about Grant Bowler in the lead role. In my mind, he's become a bit too ingrained as a television show host/commentator to seem very believable as an actor anymore.

Book Chat Term 3

This term we are reading a J.I. Packer classic. I haven't read it before.

Several people told me that they found it heavy going to read. So far, I'm not really finding that. Maybe it was the expectation that it would be difficult that is making it seem okay. It's challenging material though. If I'm completely honest about it, evangelism is something I'd rather let someone else do because they're likely to do a much better job of it than me. But it's not helpful to think that way.

Would love to hear thoughts from anyone else who might have already read it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

And a few more...Girraween and Bald Rock National Parks

Holiday snaps

Just had a word verification that was actually a word!

Continuing with the inane posts here.

But I just got the word "patted" for a word verification. I think that's the first time I've had a real word!?

Name of the week #2

Update from Thursday's post....I didn't even have to ask. He is named after Raffa. Not quite sure how he manages to play tennis though, most of the other fine motor skills I looked at weren't fantastic.

And another great name I spotted yesterday. Vogue. Yes, like the magazine.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Name of the week

This week at work I am assessing a little boy called Nadal. He hasn't started school yet. I think he's around three or four years old.

Reviewing his notes I discovered he plays tennis. Quite well. He already has a couple of trophies.

Apparently there's good genes for tennis playing in his family. Not to the extent of making the professional circuit, but immediate family members have made it to regional representative level.

I really want to ask his Mum if he's named after Rafael Nadal. I'm hoping it might come up casually in conversation if I ask her what she thinks his eye hand co-ordination is like.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Eddie Ukulele Gold

No video to go with the song but isn't the album cover amazing?

Next song to learn on the uke, methinks....

Hard to believe, I know

But there appears to be a national shortage of trumpet valve oil (funnily enough, however, no shortage of trumpet valve oil images on Google...).

Chris has been to the local music shop twice now to try to buy some so that Aidan can't use the stuck valve excuse to avoid practising his trumpet.

Not only does the shop not have any, but the supplier also appears to be having trouble getting it in.

We might have to try a music shop further afield. The trumpet isn't sounding too bad when the valves are working properly. And Aidan is on the verge of making it into the school band. I'd hate for a lack of oil to be the thing that stops his promotion.

That's Life....or is it?

So this morning I was waiting in the check-out queue at Coles and my eye was caught by this week's That's Life magazine.

I found the following headlines particularly interesting (all capitalisation here is courtesy of That's Life):
"PREGNANT AT 13. Now 16 and a mum of two"
"BASHED at my wedding BY THE GROOM."

Unfortunately the queue moved a bit too quickly so I couldn't read on to find out more. When I arrived back home, I had a look on the magazine's website. It wasn't much help. Although I did learn in doing this that the byline for That's Life magazine is "real life has never been so good."

Well, I'm not sure that life could get any better than being a Mum of two at sixteen, or being bashed up by your husband on your wedding day.

I actually find the name of this magazine quite bemusing. I sincerely hope that life isn't like this for the majority of people in our society. I think a more apt title would be "Strange People Seek Quick Cash and Five Minutes of Fame" (with the byline "plus a few crosswords and recipes to add an element of respectability"). But I guess that's a little too long to make it sell.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Muppets

Back for a limited time only....

Eddie Vedder on Ukulele

Eddie Vedder has recently released an album called Ukulele Songs.

I'm learning to play the coolest instrument ever!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sliding Doors...or the road not taken....

Remember Sliding Doors, that movie where Gwyneth Paltrow got to see the paths her life might have taken, all depending on whether she caught a train or missed it? Not a great movie, but I had one of those moments today where I caught a glimpse of another track that I could have been on....

This morning at church I picked up an old issue of Australian Presbyterian magazine. It was going for free on the book table so I thought I'd take it home for a look.

Looking at the prayer list that takes you through prayer topics each day for the whole month, I found a familiar name. A doctor who did one of his medical student placements at the first hospital where I worked, back in 1993. He stayed for a few weeks in the nurses' quarters where I was living at the time.

He was a nice guy. I remember going for a walk at the beach with him. He wrote me a few letters after he went back to wherever it was that he was studying. Life went on. I moved to another town and met Chris. Before things got too serious with Chris, I received a Valentine's Day card from the doctor. I never replied to it, but I did hear later that the doctor had met and married someone else. I was happy for him. By that time Chris and I were very much together and planning our own future.

So, fast forward fifteen years. Thanks to the wonderful world of the internet, you can Google people to find out where they are now. And so, as you do after finding a familiar name and having lost contact with the person, I put the doctor's name into Google. And discovered that these days, he is doing cross-cultural/missionary work as a medical superintendent of a hospital in the Western province of Papua New Guinea. As well as the hospital work, the hospital trains community health workers, and is supported by various missionary partner organisations, including Australian Presbyterian World Mission. After finishing his medical training, this guy went on and did training as a GP, is married with three kids (one of whom is named Rosie...okay, that part did freak me out a little...) and he divides his time working between PNG and the NSW Central Coast. He has a blog where he updates his financial supporters with info about his family and his work.

God's plans for me were different. I have no regrets at all that I didn't reply to that card all those years ago. Things might not have been any different even if I had. God has richly blessed me in the life and family that I have. But sitting at the computer, I just had one of those moments where I saw another path my life might have gone down if I'd chosen differently.

I think it's absolutely fantastic that this guy has gone on to become a missionary and to use his medical skills for the furthering of God's kingdom overseas. I'll pray for him and his family. Maybe one day I might even have the courage to email him to see if he remembers who I am....

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Stanthorpe was cold. Very cold. To the tune of -7 degrees cold. Wood fires, heaters and electric blankets can only do so much in the face of those temperatures. Getting up in the morning was a very difficult thing. I took a few frost photos but they would have been better if I had been up at the crack of dawn before most of the ice melted.

As the week went on, the cloud cover increased so the mornings were warmer. But then there was no sun during the day because of all the cloud, so then it just stayed cold all day. Reading books and watching DVDs next to the fire was a very attractive option.

I think I would like to go back there when it's warm, to pick fruit and see some green trees rather than all the trees without leaves on them. But we had a good time exploring the national parks and eating stuff. And I read some books. And caught a cold to bring home with me.

A few photos later when the unpacking is done.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Some weeks are just about surviving. This was one of them.

Off to Stanthorpe tomorrow for a winter holiday break. Looking forward to some recovery time. Holiday from the internet time as well.

Forgot when I booked this holiday that going to the coldest place in Queensland for a break means that you have to pack every single item of cold weather gear that you own. For five people that is a lot of stuff.

See you all when I'm back.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Back to the real world...

(The above is just to remind myself....)

I'm working again tomorrow after a week of conference inspiration.

I'm really not excited about the day ahead though. Two child care centre visits, one of which involves dealing with a family that are not quite ready to accept how delayed their child actually is. Dad in particular is very resistant and doesn't seem to get, despite being told several times, that when a three year old shows up with an eighteen month delay it is unlikely that he'll just "catch up" before he goes off to school.

Seeing another little person at another community health centre which means I have to pack a bag of activities for him to do when I get there. Every time I do this I forget to take something vitally important. This makes me feel disorganised.

And, last but not least, a case discussion about a little guy that I really don't have much of a clue about. Couldn't really pinpoint anything when I saw him. And his case manager (not me, fortunately) forgot to organise for the paediatrician to take a look at him, so we are going to have incomplete information. I couldn't complete a full evaluation with this kid because he was unco-operative. Nothing in particular seemed to prompt the unco-operative behaviour. He would just get up and leave the table even if he was going okay with the things I gave him to do. I wasn't that impressed with the parents though. Their response to the kid's refusal to do anything the psychologist asked was to give him the iPhone to play games on in the waiting room. Not what I would have been offering him, that's for sure. So to date, we can perhaps say "parents need some more appropriate behaviour management strategies." But I think we might need a bit more than that to run with.

Sigh. Like I said last week, after a week of being excited by all the wonderful things going on in the world of occupational therapy, at some point you have to return to the daily grind and all of the previous week's unfinished business.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Runaway bride

Except she didn't quite manage to escape. You can read the full story here.

I don't really blame her for trying to get away actually. Rumour has it that Albert hasn't been entirely faithful and is having paternity testing to determine if he has fathered an illegitimate child with another woman. There have been two earlier illegitimate children, but this one appears to have been conceived while he was engaged.

And I don't know about anyone else, but I also had a good giggle at the fact that her name is Princess Charlene. If you say it with the broad Australian accent (think "Char-lain"), it doesn't sound terribly princess-y.

The Monagesque royal family has always been great fodder for tabloid journalists. From the death of Princess Grace to Caroline's husband perishing in the speedboat crash, Stephanie running off to join the circus and now this wedding which may or may not have been against Charlene's wishes, it doesn't seem that much has changed.

I think we should pray that things work out for them both and they all are converted to Christianity (do I have it right that they are Roman Catholics?). Sounds unlikely, but with all the twists and turns this family has taken over the years, maybe it could just happen?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This is a great post about being a parent


If you haven't read Jenny's blog before, I highly recommend you take a look. Her reflections on parenting are pure gold.

And because she loves to read, she often has great book recommendations as well.

Band Of Horses - "Marry song"

Here is a rather cool song. I like the music and the harmonies better than the words though. When I looked up the lyrics I thought they sounded a bit weird.

Acknowledgements to Anna (if you're reading) for prompting my search for them on YouTube.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

5 things I don't like about conferences

1. Mental exhaustion. After three days of inspiration, I feel completely brain-dead today.
2. Socialising. I avoid the drinks, dinner and any other social function I can. Not that I don't talk to people I know during the day...but non-stop interaction all day and all night is a bit more than I can handle.
3. People who are disrespectful to the speakers. Texting while someone is speaking is just rude. As is leaving after a speaker delivers their opening slide. If you are room-hopping to hear someone else's paper, then leave before the speaker starts. It's been many years since I presented at a conference, but trust me, it's very off-putting.
4. Carbohydrate overload. I realise that giving people lots of cake for morning tea and sandwiches made with huge chunks of bread is a filling option, but three days of it is a bit much. More fruit please! The hot lunch on day one was good but the food quality went a bit downhill from there.
5. That when they are over, you have to go back to the daily grind and deal with all the unfinished stuff from last week...

5 things I love about conferences

1. New ideas.
2. Being inspired by amazing thinkers.
3. Not having to think about what food to take for lunch.
4. Freebies. The kids were excited to score a new brain each (the squeezy toy advertising some working memory rehabilitation product).
5. Hearing how people are still reading the single article I've had published. It's just over nine years since it was published so I thought it was probably dead as a doornail by now. But it got a couple of mentions. One presenter told me when I introduced myself to her that she first found it only a couple of months ago and it gave her a bit of a lightbulb moment for her own thinking. That's kind of cool. I think I should write something else for publication. Think I can manage it before I go on leave....maybe....