Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Get On Your Soapbox #10

I never expected to start the week with a rant but a rant is due.

I'm sick to death of the absolutely CRAP internet we have out here. It's like they think that country people don't deserve good internet connection or that they're all old farmers and don't know how to use it anyway.

Our internet has been down all day yesterday, most of today and even now it's dropping in and out. Sadly this is nothing new. Sometimes I have to pull the plug thingy out of its socket and back in again up to half a dozen times just to get on the jolly net. We're always ringing up the internet service provider to tell them that the net is down AGAIN!

Country people deserve better. Especially when I'm out here and the net is the easiest and cheapest way of keeping in contact.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Funny

I thought this would be a good one to lead into next week. Yep, you guessed it! Next week expect another lesson from Sarah's School of Dating ;)


I know I'm not going to understand women. I'll never understand how you can take boiling hot wax, pour it onto your upper thigh, rip the hair out by the root, and still be afraid of a spider.

A man walks into a pharmacy and wanders up and down the aisles. The sales girl notices him and asks him if she can help him. He answers that he is looking for a box of tampons for his wife. She directs him down the correct aisle. A few minutes later, he deposits a huge bag of cotton balls and a ball of string on the counter. She says, confused, "Sir, I thought you were looking for some tamponsfor your wife? He answers, "You see, it's like this,yesterday, I sent my wife to the store to get me a carton of cigarettes, and she came back with a tin of tobacco and some rolling papers; cause it's sooo-ooo--oo-ooo much cheaper. So, I figure if I have to roll my own .......... so does she.

A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position.
As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?"
"Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."

A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day...30,000 to a man's 15,000. The wife replied, "The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men."
The husband then turned to his wife and asked, "What?"

A man said to his wife one day, "I don't know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time."
The wife responded, "Allow me to explain. God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me; God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!"

A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning. The wife said, "You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee."
The husband said, "You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee."
Wife replies, "No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee."
Husband replies, "I can't believe that, show me."
So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says.........."HEBREWS"

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realised that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, "Please wake me at 5:00 AM." He left it where he knew she would find it.
The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up." Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Toilet Etiquette

A few people voted for this on my poll when I asked you all which one of my new series you were most looking forward to.....so now I launch 'Madam Sarah's Fine College of Etiquette'. As I said before, this is MY view on manners, not everyone will necessarily agree. To kick off, I thought I'd write you all a little poem :). As you may be able to tell, poetry is not my strong point in creative writing.

I am the loo.
I take care of you.
I hold your diarrhoea, your vomit,
Your wee and your poo.

So when you see me,
I'll serve you with glee
If you respect others,
when they need to pee.

Don't flush apples.
They're too large to fit in.
Sanitary napkins belong in the bin.
It's a bit gross if you leave me to greet,
Other people with pee on my seat.

It's natural to smell just don't go away,
And leave others to suffer cos you didn't spray.
Lastly I don't care if you're in a rush.
Keep me clean, remember to FLUSH.

The toilet has spoken.

Amen ;) Now that's what you could call 'toilet humour'!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Belated Kitchen Tea Photos

I never got around to showing you the photos from my kitchen tea. Sorry, I can't show the hens night pics......they're meant to be topic secret (them's the rules) ;).

For those of you who don't know what a kitchen tea is (I didn't until a few years ago), it's a gathering the bride has with her female friends and relatives, organised by her bridesmaids, and they all bring her something for her kitchen such as recipes, dry food etc. It was traditionally for brides who lived at home until they were married but even though nowadays most brides move out from the family home before then, many still choose to have kitchen teas to have fun with the girls and get pressies. I left home at 17 but still wanted a kitchen tea. Who doesn't want more recipes and free food?

Emma and I.

My mum (second left), Auntie Marion (second right) and family friends Ruth, Pam and Cheryl.

Aimee (my old housemate) and Lorraine.

Sandra writing out a recipe for me while we were playing the 'peg game'.

Gab (my cousin) and Rhianon.

Chris and Rianna.

Sarah, who I lived with for four months before the wedding. It was held at our house.


The 'oldies' sipping their coffees.

Christina and Sandra.

Sandy and I.

Corinne and Esther.

Chris, Sandy, Jill, Jane and Jen.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Welcome Axel

My cousin and his wife who were married last year, had their second child, Axel, a few weeks ago.

I got sent some photos.....so cute. I'm looking forward to meeting him in person one day.

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Please Don't Take My Reproductive System!"

There comes a time in every dog's life when a decision must be made. As much as we love Maya, we realise that she's now six months old and if she continues to hang around Brad and Hayley's two unsterilised male dogs, we will soon end up with more Mayas!

So last Friday, Maya was sterilised. She wasn't looking this happy when she arrived at the vet.

Now she has to wear a bucket on her head so she can't pull her stitches out. The poor little buckethead!

We kept her inside for the first two nights and she must have needed to pee during the night because she tried to go in Ebony's litter tray. She really is a very intelligent dog. I wondered why the litter looked so wet and thought, Puss you must have really needed to go.
Maya is very impatient for her 'sick leave' to be over so she can get back out with the sheep and hang out with Jacko and Max (her older brother - same parents, previous litter). We have to keep her chained up so she won't go running and jumping and break her stitches so she's destroyed her bed in boredom and started to chew her water container. I think Ebony puss is glad 'that creature' can't chase her for a while.
Poor Maya puppy!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Season Over!

Netball is over for season 2008....well for my team anyway.

We finished second last (4th out of 5 teams) and still made the finals with only four wins for the year (three over the bottom winless team and one by forfeit)! The top four always make the finals. What a great association to play in!

So last week we had our semi-final against the 3rd placed team, the Skunks. I was hoping and praying that we would have enough people as we'd played the last three games with only six and had to forfeit one because we only had four. One of these games we won with only six players and they had seven. Sure it was against the bottom team but it was good to win regardless.

We had seven people last week and after a tight, fast and furious game, we went down 25-20. It was disappointing but we did our best.

One of the ladies in my team plays basketball and is keen to get us to all play with her in a summer competition. Most of us have never played basketball before but we are keen to stay together as a team. One chick said that it's a shame the season is now over as we were just starting to click together on the court. I'm glad we should all be back next year and will be welcoming a couple of pregnant ladies back again after they've had their babies. Looks like I'll be a Warrior next year and beyond which is good.

The grand final is next week and we'll all be coming along for the windup and to see who won the league best and fairest...Dally netball's version of the Brownlow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I have not been going so well over the past few days, particularly yesterday.

I can't put my finger on a specific thing instead I think it's just lots of things that have been building up over time. Most of the time I've been swinging between feeling extremely angry and very downhearted and sad. If you have a smart arse remark or a stupid joke that you think will cheer me up or if you just feel like 'stirring' (I hate that word), I advise you to keep your mouth shut if you want to keep your teeth intact.

Here are a few reasons why I've been feeling so bad.
  • Feeling peopled-out. We've had visitors last weekend, will have visitors this weekend and possibly others on the long weekend, then it's church camp and then I'm going to Albany to catch up with a friend that I haven't seen for 12 years. I like visitors but I find I get more and more claustrophobic the more people there are in our little cottage.
  • Feeling more exhausted than I have in a long time. I went on a day trip to Perth on the weekend and now realise it was a bad idea. I'm angry with myself for allowing myself to be talked into seeing more people than is humanly possible in a single day and now I feel like I did before the wedding. Exhausted but too tired to sleep (if that makes sense). I'm trying not to go back to the sleeping pills.
  • Having a bad time at work, accidentally breaking stupid things. The shop is so crammed with stupid breakable ornaments that staff can't help but break things while cleaning etc. The lady I work with told me she has broken heaps and nearly went broke herself because she had to pay for it all. Yesterday I broke a stupid baby ornament that was worth $50 but thankfully my boss said I didn't have to pay for it. Someone had stacked a pile of things so that when I tried to move one it created a domino effect.
  • I'm sick of lopsided friendships. Since moving here, Duncan and I are realising that some people seem to be very lazy in keeping in touch even though we've tried through Facebook, SMS, calling etc and we never get any reply! We've been hearing through the grapevine about events that we'd normally expect to be invited to if I were still in Perth and now that we're not it really hurts. It's like 'out of sight, out of mind' for some people and just because we've moved three hours away, we seemed to have completely dropped off their radar.
  • I'm sick of people talking about the election, particularly those who ask my opinion or who I voted for then proceed to lecture me because I didn't vote for who THEY think are the best and I can't get a word in. I'm tired of getting political propaganda in my email and thoroughly fed up with Christians who go and on about the Christian Democratic Party and implying that if I didn't vote for them I must be pro-gay and a lesser caste of Christian.
  • I'm fed up to the back teeth with people who deliberately try to stir me and others when I'm angry or upset but would absolutely go psycho if anyone did the same thing to them when they're down. Hypocrites!

Phew! There you have it. I woke up feeling a little cheerier today. Let's hope that today is a better day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Force Was With Us

Two of the most common questions I get asked since I've been with Duncan are...

Is Duncan an Eagles supporter?


Would you marry him if he wasn't?

My answers are "yes" and "dunno".

Duncan is a rugby man mostly although he does follow the Eagles but just not as closely as he does with the Wallabies and the Western Force.

So, as an early birthday present, I switched codes for a night and took him to a Force game at Subi a week before our wedding. I was told by Duncan that rugby is a gentleman's game and that rugby fans don't boo and go psycho like AFL fans. How boring! But seriously it was the best game I could have taken him to. We ended up surrounded by South Africans (the Force were playing the Bulls, a South African team) which was interesting but didn't stop us cheering madly when the Force won at the last minute after trailing for the entire match.

As for me, well it was enjoyable but I'm still Aussie Rules all the way.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Who's the Boss?

This post is related to yesterday's Bible verse.

I'm sure we've all had our fair share of bosses over the years and maybe we've even been bosses ourselves. 1 Peter 2:18 is one of those verses which make me say, "Surely not God?" Surely God does not want us to work for tyrants who hold us under their boots? No, he doesn't want us to deliberately place ourselves under bad bosses but it's a reality of life that not all bosses will be kind and considerate. Some will be harsh.

I've been fortunate to have had good bosses in 95% of the jobs I've had. I've worked for my dad and later my auntie and cousin. They were all good bosses. Of course I'm biased but I've found working for family to be a positive experience as they tend to be a bit more lenient. Although I was only working one day a week at my auntie and cousin's bead shop, they used to give me months off at the end of the year so I could perform in a pantomime and then go home to Albany for holidays. I don't think just anyone would allow that.

I was also fortunate to have a string of good managers at the library. The first was Gill. I found her to be great to work with although I knew some of my workmates didn't like her for various reasons. I had no problems with her at all and perhaps this was because I've had one really terrible boss in my lifetime and I was grateful for anyone that was better than her. After Gill left, we had Kerry for a few years. Kerry was probably the best. You could go to her for help with anything and she'd never make you feel like you were wasting her time. When I had to go to a doctor's appointment in the middle of the day, she offered to cover my reference desk shift for me and even tried to help me go part-time when I said I wanted to write my book. She had control without being a tyrant, she was kind but not a pushover. I was sad when she left in July 07 to go and live in the US. The next boss I had was Daisy and I only worked with her for about five months before I left. She was great as well.

My point is, it's easy to like those who like us. It's easy to work hard for a boss who treats you well. Anyone can do that. It's much harder to be godly when your boss is mistreating you.

Let me tell you about my worst ever boss.

This lady takes the cake for the 'worst boss of the year' award. She was horrible....and still is apparently. It was December 01. I was 18, had just finished my first year of uni and was back in Albany for the holidays. Since I was going to be there for a couple of months, I was looking for some temporary work so I could save up for my first car. A lady who worked with my parents told me about a position going so I applied for it. At the interview, I realised it was going to be bad. This lady was not friendly or welcoming at all. She proceeded to tell me about all the supposedly bad, slack young people she'd hired in the past. I was terrified of her but I think the thought of a car was what kept me going. Nowadays I would probably reconsider whether two months of hell for a car was worth it.

Nothing I did was good enough. The boss was constantly looking over my shoulder and making me nervous. Sure, I stuffed up at times but the training I got was pathetic. I told her at the interview that I had no experience in that area but she didn't offer any decent training or support. Her family worked there as well and they weren't that nice either, except for her youngest daughter. I used to ask for the breakfast shift all the time because I knew the boss didn't work then. I worked so much better when I wasn't under her critical eye and I loved working with the other staff. They were encouraging and because they were also treated badly by the boss (despite being such diligent workers) they used to have bitch sessions about her. I was reluctant to join in because I wasn't sure if they were going to tell her what I said or something.

The boss lived just up the street from the business so even when she wasn't working, she used to pop in and yell at us. It was like she didn't trust us to keep the place going properly. So many times I used to go home in tears and shaking with rage. The boss never used to let us have breaks and I'd regularly work 10 hour days with little or no break and on my feet all day. Another new girl started after me and the boss got angry at her for asking for a glass of water. I found out later from another staff member that she had got angry with another guy who worked there (who had quit just before I started) because he came to work with a very slight crease in his shirt. He explained it was where his seatbelt had been pressing but she still went ballistic and he eventually told her to stick her job! My self-confidence plummeted and the whole experience made me very reluctant to seek further employment.

The worst thing was that the customers seemed to love her. She would suck up to them and they thought the sun shone out of her butt while she continued to treat her staff like crap. Although I have since found out that many Albany locals know what she's really like. A few weeks after I started working there, I found out that the boss had been to court because she had kicked two of her employees at her previous business. I don't know the outcome of the court case but I wish I'd found out about it BEFORE I applied for a job with her.

I have never been back into that place since I left in February 02 and I never intend to unless she leaves town. It look me a long time to be able to feel confident to apply for jobs again because I was afraid I would get another boss like her. My current boss is great, I don't often see her anyway as she works mostly from home and only pops in occasionally.

That's why that verse is hard for me to deal with. God wants us to obey our bosses even when they are unkind. It's no credit to us if we are lazy or unreliable and receive a beating....that's what we deserve. But when we receive a beating for doing good, it is commendable before God (see 1 Peter 2:19-25). We are to follow Christ's example of not retaliating. This is hard for us to swallow. If we have horrible bosses, they usually emotionally abuse rather than physically in this country. But we are still to obey them, remembering we are working for God rather than men so our light will shine before these wretched bosses and glorify God.

It's hard to put this verse into practice in our Western society. So many workplaces are big on preventing workplace bullying. At Curtin, we always used to get pamphlets telling us to see our managers if another workmate was giving us grief or discriminating against us. But what if the boss is the bully? I wonder how we can obey this verse yet still stand up for ourselves? Or are we not meant to? Obviously we are not meant to obey the boss if they are asking us to disobey God (by doing something illegal for example).

Any thoughts on this matter? Please share your experiences with bosses.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bible Verse of the Day

Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.
1 Peter 2:18

Still on the topic of work, I'll say why I chose this verse tomorrow.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Nobody Wants Me!

Job-wise that is....

I have been knocked back for two more jobs that I applied for - a teller position at BankWest and the customer services job at the Shire.

I was fine with it at first but now I'm starting to become a bit disheartened and I don't feel like applying for any more jobs.

Before you say, "Well you have a job, Sarah," yes I know I do. And I'm happy there. But a few weeks ago, I found out through the local grapevine that I wasn't first choice for that job. Another girl originally got my current position but quit after a week. I thought it was weird that my boss took so long to get back to me. She said she'd just been too busy. Now I know the truth.

It is a bruising blow to the ego to know that I'm not the first choice anywhere. I just want to be chosen because they like me and I'm the best for the position, not because everyone else has turned the job down. The trouble is, I know I could go back to Perth and get another librarian job easily. In country towns it seems like no-one wants to hire you if you have a degree. It's so frustrating because I just want a job and I don't care about the money. Because I spent so long studying towards my qualifications and then working in a related field, I have no experience anywhere else. I want an office job but I have no office experience and no-one will give me a chance. They're more willing to train you out here in the country but if there's someone with more experience then it's tough luck.

It's been suggested to me that I ask around and see if I can do work experience in an office. Sounds good in theory but I know from experience that many workplaces see work experience people as a nuisance and a burden on their time. They don't want to put the effort into training someone who isn't going to stick around. I know because that was the attitude of many people I worked with at the library. We're busy enough, we don't have time for work experience people. And at several places I've done work experience/prac at, although they've been nice, I got the feeling that there were things they'd rather be doing than training me. Either that or they give you all the stinking tasks they hate and you don't really learn anything of value, you just end up being a slave picking up the boss's lunch or something.

I've considered deleting my degrees off my resume but I've realised it won't work because then I'd have to explain what I've been doing with myself since I left school.

I think this is always going to be an issue for tertiary qualified people in small country towns...unless you're a teacher, a nurse or a doctor. There just isn't a lot out there and they seem to prefer unqualified people. I think it's always going to be a problem for us because Duncan loves being a farmhand and so we're most likely always going to be in tiny places.....but there isn't much there for me. If we move back to Perth then he'll be unhappy.

It's just a bit discouraging getting knocked back all the time.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Funny

I get so frustrated being a part of Generation Y sometimes but I had to laugh at this one :)


The Silent generation, people born before 1946.
The Baby Boomers, people born between 1946 and 1959.
Generation X, people born between 1960 and 1979.
Generation Y, people born between 1980 and 1995.

Why do we call the last one Generation Y? I did not know, but a caricaturist explains it eloquently below...learned something new!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Launceston and Surrounding Areas

This is the final installment of our mad adventure in Tasmania. Launceston was the final stop where we stayed for three nights before flying back to Perth.

Downtown Launceston.

Us after a morning of shopping and exploring.

We went to Platypus House.

There were also three very tame echidnas there called Eddy, Edwina and Edna.

The gardens at the lavender farm.

One of the few bushes looking good in the winter.

Dunc went on the chair lift. I don't like heights!

View from the chair lift.

We visited Devils' Heaven, a Tassie Devil wildlife park. Here's a peacock.

There were heaps of birds.

A friendly wombat.

Tasmanian Devil.

Feeding time.

The devil enjoying a carcass.

Apparently the ones bred in captivity enjoy cuddles.

Liffey Falls. Dunc took these photos. I was too tired to walk there so I stayed behind.

Overall reflections of Tassie:

  • Tasmania has been criticised for being 'behind the times' but I think that's part of its charm. It's common to go for a drive in the countryside and see heaps of little towns with old churches and old schools that have now closed down.
  • From talking to a few locals, I gathered that Tasmanians are a bit annoyed at always being the 'forgotten state'. They want their own AFL team and seem to be proud of their state. When some people heard we were from WA, they said we must know how they feel because we're the forgotten state too.
  • You can go anywhere in Australia and still find someone who pokes fun at the Dorkers. At the Tassie Devil park, a burly bearded guy (who looked like a bikie) looked at my Eagles' jacket and said, "you must be from WA." He said he was a South Australian and said he wasn't too happy with how the Crows and the Power were going (although he didn't say which one he barracked for). Then he turned the conversation to the Dorkers and laughed, saying "What have the Dockers achieved in their history? Nothing. Haha. They're the biggest joke....." I joined him in his laughter :).

It was a lovely holiday and if you haven't been to Tasmania, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Show Business

Nearly two week ago, Duncan and I went to the annual Dally Show. I haven't been to a show in years. I used to go the Albany Show each year when I was a kid and have been to the Perth Royal Show once but it was 10 years ago.

I was looking forward to entering some of the many competitions. And the good thing was that you didn't have to be a pro to enter. From cooking to craft, to crazy hats and decorated bras...there was something for everyone.

My entry for the 'Funky Farm Hat' competition which won 1st prize (and $25)

I entered three necklaces in the beaded jewellery category. This one is my fave....but it didn't win anything.

I made this one a few years ago...but again it didn't win.

I made this piece two days before the show...and it won 1st prize (and a grand prize of $2). My mum wants it for her birthday.

We entered a heap of photos but this photo of Dunc's was the only one which got a prize (he got 1st....and $2 :))

Obviously you don't enter for the prizes but it was a lot of fun. I got my entry fee reimbursed and was able to buy a couple of showbags (chocolate ones of course). When my bro-in-law texted me texted me and asked how I went and when I told him he said, "you crow very well and I thought you were an Eagle." hehe.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Pain is Over!

I am thankful that the Eagles' wretched season has now come to an end! That's three hours I get back from each weekend from now until March. Not that I didn't enjoy watching them for those three hours but it does get more than a little frustrating watching them handball themselves into a mess. KICK THE JOLLY THING! Out of all the games I got to see, I stayed and watched each beating to the end. Duncan did not understand why I didn't change the channel or watch a movie or something.

It is such a relief to finish 15th. I never thought I'd hear myself say that. So much for Mark's 'West Coast for Wooden Spooners' group on Facebook then....hahaha :P

I'm sure there are exciting times ahead for the Eagles. Michael Voss is coming to be an assistant coach and I hope he can coach as well as used to play. Darren Glass showed he was the right choice for captain, wanting to play on and lead despite being in obvious pain.

I remember when Geelong captain, Tom Harley, was interviewed after they murdered us at home a few months back. He basically said that the Eagles are going through a low right now and they'll be back and that Geelong went through that not long ago. Now look where they are.

I read the book of Daniel in the Bible recently and one of the main themes was that earthly kingdoms will rise and fall but God's kingdom will never end. Although a kingdom may seem all conquering, powerful and unbeatable, they eventually will fall and another will rise as the new superpower. That's the same with AFL teams. It's Geelong's time now but they too will eventually fall and have to rebuild. It was the same with Essendon in 2000-01 and Brisbane in 2001-04. Everyone thought they were unstoppable but now look where they are.

The Eagles will be back. Bring on 2009.

Basically I can conclude by saying.....every team will have its day....except the Dorkers ;)