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.