Monday, December 29, 2008

Wedding 6 2008

By the end of April we'd been to six weddings (so far) in 2008....including our own.

The sixth one was just a day after the fifth. Joanna, a good friend of mine and also my ex-housemate (briefly) married Dan who is the brother of Joel from Wedding 5. Lots of people were wondering why they just didn't have a double wedding but I don't blame them for not wanting to. Not only did the two brothers marry a day apart, they were also in each other's bridal parties. Imagine getting up early the day after your wedding to be someone else's attendant! But that's what Joel and Sam did.

The ceremony was held at St Barnabas in West Leederville and they had an afternoon reception in the church hall.

The rest of the photos are on Facebook here and here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas......And Go Elf Yourself!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

This site is hilarious. Thanks to Mark for the link.

Last year I told you all to go Simpsonize yourselves. This year I'm telling you all to go Elf yourselves.

I've always wanted to be able to do the Charleston :)

Enjoy the clip and have a peaceful, reflective day filled with joy. Don't forget to put the Christ back in Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

An Empty Nest

Last Thursday, I went up to the chookyard with a bag of scraps and a bucket of water just like I did everyday. It was close to lunchtime, stinking hot and the first thing I noticed was that the chooks didn't come running to the gate the way they usually did when I approached. Often I can just call out "CHOOKIES" from the back door and I can see them running enthusiastically to the gate, their little heads bobbing around as they eagerly waited for their food. But this time no chooks greeted me. I called out "Chookies" as I approached the gate but could see no birds. Then I saw him, my handsome Randolph lying down in the middle of the yard, partly buried. I knew he was dead, there was no point going in and part of me didn't want to. I can't stand seeing bodies, well I can handle seeing roadkill but not the body of a person or animal that I love, it gives me nightmares. Dropping the water and scraps I ran back to the house and called Duncan on the two-way.

I said, "Randolph's dead. He's lying in the middle of the yard and I can't see the others."

My suspicion was that a fox was involved. Maya would never do something like that. She loves the chooks. When Yolko got out the week before, she chased her a bit but made no attempt to harm her. Besides if she was going to kill them, she surely would have done it before now.

Hayley overheard our conversation and she offered to come and help me look for the rest of the chooks. I gratefully accepted her offer because although I wanted to find them, I didn't want to stumble on any more bodies and I didn't want to get too close to or touch Randolph...or what was left of him.

Just as Hayley went into the chookyard, I saw the body of a hen, also partly buried, not far from Randolph. As Hayley pulled the hen out of the dirt, I realised it's head was missing. She said it was one of the pullets but I still don't know which one. After more searching, she found two more hens - Meeny and another one of the young girls. The pullet was also missing her head, Randolph and Meeny still had theirs. The other two pullets were missing.

What was really sad was when Hayley found a solitary egg in one of the nesting boxes. The young girls had started to lay in late November and we were up to our eyeballs in eggs. They were like little egg-laying machines and had gone from looking like scrawny eagles to fine young hens and they got their combs and wattles. I guess having a fridge full of eggs won't be a problem for us now, that was the last one.

We searched the bush area at the back of the chookyard to no avail. I guess I really didn't expect to find them. Hayley found a place where the wire was lifted up slightly and suspected that this was where the fox had got in. There was no doubt that a fox was responsible when we saw the headless bodies. No doubt the other two hens had been dragged away but a small part of me hoped they had escaped while the others were being killed and were hiding in the bush somewhere. This happened to my bantam Lily who hid in the nextdoor neighbours' garden when a dog killed our other hen. After a day of searching, Lily returned to her house. This time, however, the other two hens didn't come home. Obviously by burying the other bodies, the fox was intending to come back for seconds.

I hate foxes, I really do. Yes, I know it's not the animal's fault. I mostly blame the idiot who introduced them to Australia in the first place.

I know this is one of the harsh realities of life on a farm. There are all kinds of predators that want our animals and I feared this would happen to our chooks. I won't get any more until we rebuild that chookyard and it's like a fortress where no predator could ever get in and no chook could ever get out. It wouldn't be fair to the chooks, it'd be like giving them a death sentence. We never heard any squawking, Maya didn't even bark. No doubt she was sound asleep under the house and even if she did hear something, she'll never make much of a guard dog. She'd either run away with her tail between her legs or go and greet the fox, give him a big lick and say, "Welcome Mr Fox. Have you met my friends the chooks?"

I loved my chookies and I'm still sad they're gone. I look out the back door and still expect to see Randolph pumping his little neck and crowing at the top of his voice. I know it's not trendy to have any kind of attachment to chooks out here where most people I meet seem to see animals only for what they provide. Although Duncan was sad, he's never really had a pet before Ebony and Maya. The closest he's had was a pet goat and a pet lamb when he was a kid. I've always loved chooks and I guess it would have been different if I'd had sixty of them but we only had six and they were all named. I couldn't help but get attached.

I miss my Randolph, he was my first rooster and such a gentlemanly one. He always stood back and let his hens eat first. Not long after we got him, we found out the people we got him off had killed all of his brothers and cousins because no-one wanted them. I said to Duncan that I was glad we saved one rooster from being a table bird. Roosters have such miserable lives, I just wanted to give one rooster a long and happy existence. Now I'm wondering if letting him get his head chopped off would have been a kinder fate than being ripped up.

I miss Meeny. She was an ex-battery hen and I wanted her to have a nice retirement. I miss my four little girls who were not so little anymore at the end. I miss the way they would peck at my boot and peck at the bag of food impatiently until I fed them.

We had hoped that Randolph would indeed be a randy rooster and there would chickens sometime in the new year. Not now......

I'm trying to remember them the way they were, not the way we found them. All I have are the few photos I posted before so I'll post them again. The photos are all I have left of my fowls, along with a heap of feathers, four dozen eggs and good memories.

Goodbye Randolph, Meeny, Attila the Hen, Rebeakah, Yolko and Ginny. Thanks for the eggs. I loved you all :(

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Funny

I've decided to post a Friday Funny because since I've had a bad couple of days, if I post anything else it's bound to be morbid. So enjoy.....just in time for Christmas.


1. You believe in Santa Claus.
2. You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3. You are Santa Claus.
4. You look like Santa Claus.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good Times....Good Times

I haven't been blogging as much as I'd like lately and it's due to Christmas busyness, unreliable internet (yes my frustrations continue) and the fact that last week I went to Perth....twice. Two trips to Perth in a week, each for one night. No wonder I'm completely stuffed!

As much as I enjoy going to Perth, I'm beginning to realise my limitations. If there was such a thing as a 'Frequent Driver's Card' I would surely have earned enough points by now for a nice tropical holiday somewhere. While Duncan and I make every effort to get to Perth for other people's special occasions, sometimes too many consecutive trips are just draining. The first of my trips last week was for my friend (and former housemate) Sarah's birthday and the second for an appointment with a dermatologist. And in my usual style, I try to cram everything I need to do into an unrealistic period of time. The result is go, go, go......and a very tired me.
Here are some pics from my first trip about a week and a half ago.
First I stopped off to see Amanda's stall at the Oxford St Markets in Leederville, say hi and pick up some jewellery I ordered off her. Unfortunately my camera doesn't quite do it justice.

Then off to Sarah's birthday barbecue. Here I am with the birthday girl (obviously a self-taken pic)

Lyndsay and Sarah


Leanne didn't want her picture taken.

Ali and Richard.

Sarah's sister, Emily, cooking the meat.

Terios and Rohan

I finally got one of Leanne and Jason.

A self-taken picture of me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thank You Etiquette

This is something especially to think about around Christmastime.......

As I consider who to give presents to and who not to, I realised that I've vastly cut down my list this year. No, we don't have lots of money but that isn't really the reason. No, we can't get to shops easily but that isn't the reason. No, it's not because I'm tired of giving and not getting anything in return. I love giving gifts to people and I don't care if they don't give me one back. I don't need anything and it's not a great feeling getting a gift from someone only because they feel obligated to.

No, the reason is that I'm sick of giving/posting presents or cards and not getting a simple 'thank you' in return. Sometimes I've posted presents and I never know whether the person has even received it because they were too jolly slack to even pick up their mobile to send a text message!

I'm sure we're all tired of ungrateful people but the worst thing is that the people who never say thank you feel often they don't even need to. It's not that they've been too busy to reply...they actually think they haven't done anything wrong. My brother and I were brought up to always say 'thank you' whenever we received a gift, whether in person, by phone or writing a letter. I can't believe some people don't think it matters! They just take, take, take with no thought to where the present is coming from.

When I was little, I read lots of Enid Blyton stories. Now we might think her books are cheesy but they always had a moral to them. One short story was called 'He Didn't Say Thank You' and it was about twin boys called Morris and David. Morris always said thank you and David couldn't be bothered. Then eventually their relatives decided not to bother sending David any more presents so one birthday he found himself staring enviously at Morris while he opened his.

I think it's sad that out of the six weddings we've been to so far this year, we've only received thank yous for two of them...although the last wedding was only three weeks ago so I don't expect one from them for a while.

No more presents for rude and ungrateful people from me this year!

When you open you mailbox and there's a gift there for you,
Now you know what you must do.
If you do not, this gift might be the last.
So pick up the phone and say thanks, you slack arse!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wedding 5 2008

We lost our status as the most recent newlyweds just six days into our marriage. We came back from our honeymoon to hand the mantle over to Joel and Sam. They got hitched at St Matt's in Shenton Park on the 18th April and had the reception there as well, in the church hall. It was a lovely wedding and so nice to just relax without the pressure of getting married.

Joel and Sam cutting their yummy cake.

Me and my husband of six days.

The rest of the photos are on Facebook. Click here.

Monday, December 08, 2008

What Your Facebook Status Says About You

Dunc's cousin Chloe who is on Facebook linked to this very interesting article about Facebook status updates. You can read it here.

Basically it gives examples of what people commonly write as their status updates, what they are intending to get across by writing that and the message their readers are getting from it.....which may not always be the message they intended!

For those of us who are Facebookers, I wonder how much thought we put into what we put as our status sometimes. Now I'm really careful to think before I type.

The ones that are annoy me the most are number 2 in the article....the attention seekers. It's like me writing Sarah is depressed and then a friend commenting on my status asking what's wrong and if they can do anything to which I'm extremely blunt and refuse to elaborate. I mean honestly, if they can't explain then why did they write that in the first place?!? I don't have any problems with people being open and honest about their daily lives but if they're going to be mysterious or bite people's heads off for asking about something they wrote publicly then it just sounds like attention-seeking to me.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Living Out Romans 14

A couple of weekends ago, Duncan and I were in Perth for a wedding and on Sunday morning we decided to visit our old church before heading home. One of the elders was preaching on Romans 14 and it was one of the best sermons I've heard recently. Perhaps because I'd just been thinking about 'liberty garden' issues myself and it's strange how God has continued to get me thinking about how to live out Romans 14 in my own life and then I hear a sermon on it. God works in mysterious ways.

Ollie spoke about how he had grown up in a home with no TV, no alcohol, no dancing etc etc. He explained that this was his parents' view of how to live as Christians and when he moved to Australia from the UK, he struggled with seeing Christians partake in all of the above and not judging them. Now he partakes in many of the things his parents didn't. I think whatever our upbringing, we all struggle with being judged and being judgemental.

I'm going to relate this post to my previous one on Christians and alcohol. I am convinced that it is ok for Christians to drink just not to get drunk. I fully respect other Christians' decisions not to drink. Duncan and I both drink, Duncan more than me, but we both want to be careful that our drinking doesn't become a stumbling block for others.

What I've been struggling with lately is how to do I NOT let my drinking be a stumbling block? What would that look like practically? I always think of the term 'stumbling block' in relation to addiction for some reason, like I can see why I wouldn't drink in front of an alcoholic. But what if it's someone who just doesn't like alcohol as in not a temptation issue but a sin issue. What if they're like my friends in the previous post and would probably give you a disapproving look if they happened to spy a beer in your fridge?

Duncan and I disagree how we should handle it if staunch non-drinkers come to our house. Obviously we're not going to crack open a beer in front of them although Ollie did mention in his sermon that it's tempting for the 'strong' person to try to show off their freedom in front of the 'weak'. Often when I feel like I'm being judged by a non-drinker (even though I'm not drinking in front of them), I get the urge to crack open that beer, skull it in front of them and shout "Freedom!....FREEDOM!" like William Wallace in Braveheart. But I never act on that urge....that would be very unloving.

While I don't want to shove alcohol in a non-drinker's face nor do I want to 'hide my colours' in my own house. Other people know we drink, it's not like we're pretending to be teetotallers and have successfully managed to fool everyone. When a non-drinker comes over, Duncan takes the bottles of whiskey and wine off the top of the fridge where they usually reside and hides them in the pantry. I understand why he does it because one time a mate of his came over who had struggled with drinking too much in the past. But I've told him I don't get why he does this when it's just someone who doesn't believe in drinking, as in there is no temptation or addiction involved. He said it's because it's better to avoid any possible arguments with the guest/s. I'm of the view, that while I respect others and will do my best not to offend them, this is our house and when people visit they need to respect us for who we are. Romans 14 works both ways. The strong are not to put stumbling blocks in the path of the weak but the weak are not to judge the strong either.

In one way I can see Duncan's point...I don't want to start arguments. But I don't want to have to hastily rearrange everything when a non-drinker comes over. Now obviously not every non-drinker cares about whether other Christians drink or not.....I'm talking about ones who would disapprove of our choice to drink and show by either their words or facial expressions. Am I being selfish? A friend who agrees with me pointed out that we can't always hide stuff anyway. For example, some things have to stay in the fridge and can't be moved so if the guest looks in the fridge and sees beer there there's nothing much we can do anyway.

Please vote on my poll on the right or leave your opinion about this dilemma in the comments section. What would you do in our situation?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Calling All Theoblogians #5

A couple of years ago I got into a conversation with a close friend and her husband about alcohol. This couple are staunch teetotallers and while I'm certainly not a big drinker myself, we found ourselves disagreeing on the question....should Christians drink? At all?

I had always been of the view that drinking is not a sin but drunkenness is. My friend and her husband believe that drinking is a sin, even if you're only an occasional drinker like me, even if you only have one sip, it's wrong, don't do it. They won't even go to a pub to have a soft drink. They think being anywhere around alcohol is wrong. I really don't know how it is possible to avoid alcohol in our alcohol-saturated society but that's what they believe.

What really surprised me was that they pulled out the Bible to justify their beliefs. Not that I think this is wrong but I just couldn't think which passages they would use to support their position.

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise - Proverbs 20:1

This passage seems to be dealing with alcohol as a wisdom issue rather than a sin issue but they think it means that alcohol for a Christian is always wrong.

Next they turned to John 2 where Jesus turns water to wine. They said there are two different Greek words which are translated as 'wine' means alcoholic wine and the other means grape juice and that Jesus turned water into grape juice not alcoholic wine. None of us know Greek and I would rather hear from people who actually know Greek rather than know of someone who does. Duncan has a copy of Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words and there are two words oinos (the general word for wine) and gleukos which means sweet 'new wine'. Neither seemed to indicate the wine they meant was unfermented. I don't know anything else about Greek words though so I'm not going to pretend I do.

One thing another friend pointed out....if Jesus turned the water to grape juice then why does the master of the banquet say to the bridegroom, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." If the water that Jesus turned to wine was non-alcoholic then why does the master say it is the best?

The post is not about our personal convictions although I am interested in hearing yours. Some people believe they have the freedom to drink alcohol if they choose but abstain for various reasons.....perhaps they struggle with drinking too much, they think it would be a better witness not to drink, they think abstaining from alcohol is a healthier lifestyle. Some see it as a Romans 14 issue and choose not to drink so as not to cause a non-drinking brother to stumble in their faith. My issue is, are my friends right and it's a sin to drink at all or do we have freedom to drink as long as we drink wisely? Personally I think it's the latter but I just wanted to hear your thoughts, particularly your own convictions and if any you know any Greek which could clear up this matter.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I Was Married To Chopper!

This year I think I've been very generous in allowing Duncan to grow some Movember whiskers. When he first got a text message from a friend of ours asking him to join a Movember team, my man was a bit reluctant. After a bit of encouragement from yours truly, he did a complete turnaround and decided to go the whole hog, copying our friend and growing a handlebar moustache.

For those of you who haven't heard of Movember, it's a fundraiser for men's health issues such as prostate cancer and depression. If you'd like to sponsor Duncan online, you can still do so here.

I'm quite grateful December is here and the mo is no more. Duncan did admit he became a bit attached to it but I gave him a nice ultimatum.....the mo or the wife. He chose wisely and the mo went last night. I'm not a facial hair fan (apart from eyebrows) and the mo felt like the bristles of an outdoor broom!

He shaved it off in stages and went from Chopper Read to a sleazy used car salesman to Hitler in one night! See the pictures on his blog.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Small Groups: Laying Down Some Ground Rules

Here is long awaited first post on Small Groups.

I realise the title of the post sounds a bit serious. Ground rules, you may ask? That sounds strict. What I meant by 'ground rules' was that with any group of people meeting together, you need to define your reason for meeting. And if you do it early it can solve a lot of potential problems.

Whether you're in a group of three or a group of 15, in my experience, I think it's vital that you all sit down together and chat about your hopes and expectations for the group. You may think this is obvious...we're a book club, obviously we're meeting to discuss books. But I've found it's not always so clear cut. Group members will have different expectations and I'm sure we've all been in groups where we've felt unappreciated and disrespected at times by other members who do things they assume we won't have a problem with.

In this series, I'll be mainly referring to Christian small groups/Bible studies/growth groups/homegroups (yes I've heard them being called all of the above) but I think some of the principles can be applied to any group whether it be a mothers' group, a book club or anything really.

In most of the Bible study groups I've been a part of, the leader/s have initiated an 'expectations' discussion during our first meeting together. This was because it was a new group of people meeting together for the first time. We chatted about what we hoped to gain from and contribute to the group, our fears, our goals and what activities our meetings would consist of. In my opinion, this was so important. Some of the groups I've been involved with didn't do a very good job at sticking to what we'd planned and some fell into a hole because of it. I and others have been ticked off by many things that group members have done, some which they probably assumed wouldn't cause a problem.
  • Group members being late for no good reason other than they thought it wasn't important that they be on time. This especially became an issue for night groups when the group would start late and finish late as a result of people's tardiness.

  • People inviting others to the group without checking with everyone else if it was ok. Obviously this is a complex issue and I will discuss it in more depth in another post. That's why it's vital to discuss these things in the beginning. In the past I've met up with just one or two people at a time who kept inviting people to join us without considering how I felt. This really annoyed me because I thought it would just be us and I think it can damage group confidentiality.

  • Which brings me on to the next confidentiality. Things that are meant to stay in the group which haven't have lead to gossip and hurt.

  • If you're a Bible study group....what are you going to study? Who will lead?
Obviously these are just a few things you'll need to discuss. It sounds boring but honestly it's better than dissension among group members. Even if you've been meeting for a while, why not stop and assess how the group is going. No, you'll never be able to please everyone or have the perfect group but good communication is a key to a healthy group.

Mike from The Upper Room has some good things to say about Christian small groups. Read his post here.

What have your small group experiences been like? Positive? Negative? Have you been meeting with your small group for years or do the members seem to change from year to year? Please share your experiences and your ideas for future posts in this series.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quote of the Day

To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten.
- Unknown

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why I Can't Stand Generation Y!

Whichever generation you're a part could do worse than have a look at this story that was on 60 Minutes last month. See Part 2 below.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Funny


1. Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?
2. Border Collie: Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.
3 Dachshund: You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!
4 Rottweiler: Make me.
5. Boxer: Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.
6. Labrador: Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I? Pleeeeeeeeeze, please, please, please!
7. German Shepherd: I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.
8. Jack Russell Terrier: I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture.
9. Old English Sheep Dog: Light bulb? I'm sorry, but I don't see a light bulb!

10. Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.
11. Chihuahua: Yo quiero Taco Bulb. Or "We don't need no stinking light bulb."
12. Greyhound: It isn't moving, who cares?
13. Australian Shepherd: First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle...
14. Poodle: I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.


Cat: Cats do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs. So, the real question is:

"How long will it be before I can expect some light, some dinner, and a massage?"


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Something You Don't See Everyday!

While I was on holiday in Albany last month, my mum and I had just sat down to watch a movie on a Friday night when we heard a loud crash which seemed to be coming from the backyard. She and my dad and I raced outside to be confronted with this.

Our neighbours from over the back fence have their garage backing onto the fence. As soon as we'd arrived outside, the guy who lived there had come through the fence and was looking in horror at the state of his car. Apparently he'd lent it to his partner's friend who had been over at their place and wanted to borrow their car to go and pick up another friend. Instead of reversing out of the garage she must have accelerated forward at a terrific pace, smashed through the rear wall of their garage and right through our back fence. When my dad asked the guy if his partner's friend had been drunk, he replied, "She must have been." Anyone must have been to do that! Why he'd lent his car to a drunk person I don't know; I wouldn't want a drunk person anywhere near the driver's seat of my car or any car. But he obviously didn't realise just how drunk she was because he was very devastated about his car. Luckily the driver was ok.

My parents are renting so they don't have to worry too much about organising repairs for the fence. Someone came to tow the car away the next morning but I don't know if the fence has been fixed yet.

That sure was my bit of excitement for the night!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Facebook Reunion

It's true a lot of people don't like's weird, a time waster, provides an excuse for not catching up face to face, people can put up embarrassing photos of you for all to see.....

I like Facebook, it has many pros in my opinion. But one in particular. It helps you reconnect with people you lost touch with years ago which can lead to renewed relationships in the 'real world'.

In September last year, a girl whose name I didn't recognise added me as a friend on Facebook. Only when I saw her profile picture did I realise that she was an old friend, Lesley, from primary school who I hadn't seen pretty much since then. She's now married (which is why I didn't recognise her name) and has kids. We lost touch because we went to different high schools, had a fight and Albany is big enough for two people to live in the same town and not bump into each other for years. Once she added me on Facebook, I apologised for being a teenage cow, she laughed and we were friends again. Yes, Facebook has its good points.

Since Lesley now lives in Newcastle, it was a bit difficult for us to be anything other than Facebook friends but when I heard she was coming to Albany for a bit, I thought I'd seize the chance to catch up in person. Duncan had to work so I went to Albany alone last month and Lesley and I met up for coffee at Dome (her husband was away overseas).

We'd chatted freely and easily on Facebook and it was never ever awkward but I was still worried about how meeting up in person would go. I've heard many stories about online friends who experience a wonderful virtual relationship but struggle to maintain conversations in the real world. I was quite nervous about meeting up with Lesley again. It went ok. To be honest, I was surprised that she wasn't as open and chatty as she is on Facebook but I decided to interpret aloofness as shyness. At times I felt like I was the one keeping the conversation going but I realised that my nervousness was just being manifested differently to hers - into overt chattiness. After we resumed out Facebook interaction I was convinced that she'd indeed been shy as she is keen to catch up again sometime. I can't blame her for being shy I guess.....I was and it had been over 12 years!

Online is definitely easier in many ways although real life is more rewarding. Some can't stand the thought of having their monitors stripped away and people see them as they really are.....much more than words and photos on a page. To be honest I do enjoy hiding behind my monitor sometimes.

It also made me think about how I view God. Sometimes it seems like God is distant. I talk to him but we haven't met face to face. But there will come a day when Jesus will return, all will see him, and we who trust in him will dwell with him forever. As good as it will be, I know seeing him return will also be an experience that we cannot imagine and there will be no computers to hide behind. Awesome and good but scary.
Have you ever had an experience similar to mine? You've met up with someone you haven't seen for years or maybe met a fellow blogger for the first time and things were more awkward than you expected. Not bad, just awkward. I'd love to meet many of the people I interact with in the blogosphere but I'm worried that I won't be as I seem least not straight away. And I'm also worried that they'll be shy and I'll be the one trying to keep the conversation going because I can't stand difficult silences.
Anyone want to meet up with me anyway? :)

Lesley and her kids, William and Chloe.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Fowl Friends Have Names

I have consulted the blogosphere and Facebook to name our birds.

And their names are.......
  • Attila the Hen (which I thought of but it was also suggested by Iris.)
  • Rebeakah (yes that's ReBEAKah...which is one I thought of).
  • Yolko (suggested by a Facebook friend).
  • Ginny (which I got from Ginger which Amanda suggested but decided to make it Ginny instead because I'm a big Harry Potter fan!)

Thanks to all who contributed. I liked many other suggestions as well and I'm sure they'll be used in good time when Randolph gets his butt into gear and there are chickens....hopefully.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Name Our Hens Competition

Recently Duncan and I bought some new fowl friends.....four pullets and a rooster (the rooster was free).

We've been looking after our friend Jane's chooks for about a year now. We started off with four and sadly are now down to one. Up until a month ago, we had the last two, Meeny and Outcast, but Outcast had started looking sick for a while and spent a lot of time standing around with her head under her wing. Then one Sunday in October when I was in Albany, Duncan came home from church to find a hawk in the chook yard over Outcast's body. He spared me the grizzly details but he was certain the hawk must have seen her as an easy target and killed her rather than her dying first and it feeding off her carcass. Hawks like it fresh after all.

So now we only have Meeny left. I'm not sure how old she is but I'm guessing around five. She's an ISA Brown and an ex battery hen so she's heading towards retirement and only lays when she feels like it. We have to grab her eggs quickly too because despite us feeding her plenty of shell grit, she's an egg eater and doesn't like us taking her eggs.

As you can see from the photo, Meeny was very curious about my camera. Duncan doesn't believe that animals have personalities but I told him he's so wrong. I think it's incredibly interesting spending time in a chook yard and observing the politics that go on in there. Maybe I've just got too much time on my hands but I find chooks fascinating. Meeny is a bossy, dominant bird and as soon as we put the other chooks in her yard, she flew at them and pecked them, including the rooster who is twice her size. Even now she gets first choice of the food. I'm thinking of changing the spelling of her name to Meany ;) She's very tame and comes running up to me every time I come into the yard, thinking I have food for her and she pecks my boot. Maya finds her enthralling and Meeny's not the least bit afraid of a dog looking through the fence at her. Maya will lie outside the chook yard watching Meeny attack a piece of bacon rind (her favourite) and look in awe at this strange bird.

This is our rooster who I have named Randolph because we all know roosters are randy birds.

I've been told that Randolph looks like he is a very proud bird which is understandable of course because he has five hens to choose from. He's part ISA Brown and part something else, I can't remember what the breed is called but his dad is a big black rooster. He also seems to have a permanent surprised look and has learnt to crow but at completely random times. I have plans for him to be a breeding rooster. Duncan likes him too but thinks he has potential for other things. Lately we seem to be having many conversations like this....

Duncan: The rooster....the rooster for CHRISTMAS.
Me: Don't you dare hurt Randolph.
Duncan *smirking*: Oh but he won't feel a thing!

He is just stirring me. He knows that if I come home and find Randolph gone and a roast chicken in the oven, it'll be the worst for him!

And lastly, here are our four new unnamed pullets. They should start laying by Christmas. Presently they are a bit leggy and have no combs or wattles yet. Although they get bossed around by both Meeny and Randolph, they are cunning and it was hilarious watching them steal Meeny's bacon rind when she wasn't looking. She was NOT amused and they got a few pecks for it.

Now this is where you come in. Please help me name my hens by leaving a comment with your ideas. Be anonymous if you like. Please nothing unoriginal like Henny Penny or Henrietta. Be creative! Have a go!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christians and Sport

Those of you who are regular, long-term readers of this blog, may remember this post I did back in March this year about how our faith needs to transcend into the realm of sport...whether as players or fans.

Then I was reading the GirlTalk blog last night and saw this post about a book which sounds like it's exactly what I was going on about. It's called Game Day for the Glory of God. Take a look here.

Now I really want to read it. If you're a somewhat sporty Christian, you might like to check it out too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Buntine/Dally vs Perth

I've been living in Buntine for more than six months now so that's probably enough time to do a 'review' of how my lifestyle now compares to the one I had in Perth. Remember, this post I did in January when I announced I was moving? Well, I'm going to list many of those categories again and do pros and cons for each....just so you all know a bit more about how my life is now.

We get it rent free and can have as many animals as we like.

The size. It's a small house compared to my last place in Bibra Lake. There is a lack of cupboards etc and as a result we've had to put a lot of our stuff into storage at Dunc's parents' place.

We're out in the middle of nowhere which definitely has its advantages. Lots of peace and quiet, space and it certainly puts an end to people just randomly 'dropping in'. No-one in their right mind would drive all the way out here to drop in on us because with the price of petrol it would be costly trip and a waste of time if we were out. Because we're so far out, it also helps with saying 'no' to things and not getting too busy. And when we don't want to go to something, the distance is a perfect excuse ;)

Our location also has its disadvantages. More petrol is required and the price of it up here is about 20c/litre more than Perth. I'd quite like to be involved in a few things in Dally but I'm not a good night driver and don't want to fall back into bad habits from Perth of getting involved in EVERYTHING.

The thing I like about shopping up here is that everything is in the main street and it takes far less time. This is so much better compared to Perth where I would go to the Carousel to buy two things and end up spending an hour there because there was no parking or long queues or both.

I'm not used to shopping being a 'social' experience. Here, you can't go down the street without bumping into about half a dozen people you know. I'm used to 'anonymous' shopping where I can go to a big shopping centre and not know a soul. Sometimes I really don't feel like stopping and chatting, however that doesn't mean I want you to ignore me if you see me in the street. It just means I'm not used to it and I still get the 'I'm in a hurry' mentality which is so common of Perth shoppers.

Another downside is there is only one supermarket and because there is no competition, the prices are ridiculous and a lot of the stock is past its use-by date. Disgusting! I always make sure I do a big dry goods shop each time I go to Perth. Also, it's frustrating not having everything at my fingertips like I was used to in Perth. Some things are just not available here.

I enjoy the food from the bakery and the pub and I guess the pros of eating out in Dally is that there isn't much debate about where you'll eat because we're not exactly spoiled for choice.

The lack of choice is a downside. I miss my fast food! Bring KFC to Dally!

It's small, it's friendly. The people have been welcoming to me. Can't complain about that side of things. Besides I'm finding out that more and more of them read this blog ;)

These aren't really cons, more things that I've found hard to adjust to. I've only ever been a member of one other church in my life so its been strange going somewhere else that is so different in many aspects. At my old church, we had singers and more musicians. Here, we just have one pianist and that's it which I find hard sometimes because I'd rather someone lead (since I don't know many of the songs) and makes the congregation sing with more gusto in my experience. Also, I find it strange that people dress up more, sing so many hymns and read from the KJV during the service. Because I went to an evening church, I'm used to rocking up in whatever I was wearing that day. If I had my way, I'd have less hymns with confusing lyrics to make it easier to invite non Christians but church is not all about me....that's just my point of view. For the first time, I'm at a church that actually has people of all ages and they're all related. At my old church there are a lot of people that don't have extended family at the same church and most of the demographic were under 40 and university educated. Here, there are sometimes three generations from the same family at church and most are farmers or married to farmers. Again, not bad things, just different.

I have work.....that's a good thing. I work with only one other person compared to being in a department of a large library which I was in before. This helps me get to know my workmate better because there's no-one else to talk to. I like that the job is cruisy and that it's part-time and that I get to meet so many people from the community.

I've had to deal with being on a lower wage than I'm used to and sometimes I miss the big social atmosphere from my old work. Luckily the person I work with is nice because it could have been very unpleasant if she wasn't. Also, working in a shop that sells so many things I like is VERY tempting.

Concerning Duncan's work, I'm finding being married to a farmhand quite strange in some aspects because they work such long hours during busy seasons and I'm used to a 9-5 job. I'm not begrudging about this because I understand that's the nature of his job, I'm just trying to adjust.

Most people I've met outside church have been very welcoming. It helps that a lot of others are new too and finding their feet. I particularly like the tennis club at Buntine who have been so inclusive and welcoming. It's good being a part of a small community. I think that community is harder to create in Perth because it's such a big, sprawly place....where do the boundaries of each community begin and end?

Being a newcomer, I often feel like an outsider just because I don't know everyone and it feels like everyone else has known each other for years. I miss my friends in Perth most of all and sometimes I think if I'd moved up here as a single person, I'd find it very hard. And what they say about small towns is true.....gossip is rife and everyone seems to know your business before you even know it yourself.

So there you have it. If I had to choose out of the city and the country, I'd definitely pick country. There's no way I'd ever want my fast paced, stressful city life back again. On the downside, it's the relationships that I built in Perth that I miss the most.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Funny

My friend Rachel sent me this one by sms. I thought it was a hoot! Enjoy!

A priest gets pulled over for speeding. The officer sees an empty bottle of wine on the seat.
"Have you been drinking?" he asks.
The priest assures him it's just water.
"Then why do I smell wine?" the officer inquires.
The priest sniffs the bottle and says, "The Lord be praised! He's done it again!"

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Honeymooning With My Honey

Here are the pics from our first and brief honeymoon down south. We spent two nights in Pemberton and one in Donnybrook plus a few at the Pagoda in Perth.

Duncan thought it was lame that the first photo I took was of a chook! hehe

At the Lavender and Berry Farm in Pemberton.

Awwww it's the honeymooners.

Dunc was in his element at the trout fishing place.

Haha it looks like he's taking a leak here. He wasn't by the way.

One fishy.

Two fishies. The staff there cooked them for us and we ate them for lunch.

Beautiful view from Karri Valley Resort where we stayed.

Our little balcony over the water.
Meeting more furry friends.
The road was blocked due a tree needing to be felled. Apparently it was leaning dangerously over the road....or maybe the shire just wanted a new table.
The trees are soooo tall!
I like this pic of us.
We visited the Bicentennial Tree. Haha look at that girl pulling a wedgie out....caught on camera!
Crazy people, including little kids, climbing to the top in thongs.
I got about two metres up.
Tree graffiti.....not cool!
Dunc's reaction to me taking a photo of him driving.'s me!
At Jarrah Jack's Brewery.
The beer I had was disgusting. Can't remember what it was called.
View from the brewery.
At the cider factory in Donnybrook.