Friday, January 30, 2009

Albany Holiday

We headed to Albany on Boxing Day. Dunc only stayed for a couple of days before he headed home (with the animals) to finish harvest. I stayed on until the 31st and we arranged that I would catch the bus to Perth and we would meet up there for New Year's Eve.

I naively had high hopes that Ellie and Ebony might really hit it off and become good kitty friends despite the 14 year age difference. I should have known better. Ellie hates other cats and she looked at me with disdain for the weekend as if she were thinking, How could you Sarah, how could you replace me as your puss with this black thing and bring it into MY house? On the first night, the two cats got into an almighty fight. Ellie stalked Ebony and finally lunged at her so there was a ginger and black ball rolling around with fur flying and lots of yowling. Despite Ellie's old age she showed that she was the supreme fighting cat by having the upperhand before we quickly separated them.

Maya meeting Ellie. She got plenty of hisses and kept her distance.
Moments before Ellie struck. There were hisses from both parties before the big brawl. It was the cougar vs the panther.
Duncan and Maya at the dog beach.
Maya loved a little dog that looked like a mop. She kept running after it and sniffing it as if to say, You call yourself a dog?!? HAHAHA

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Christmas in Dunsborough

We, along with Ebony and Maya, spent Christmas in Dunsborough last year. The boarding kennels were booked out so we left Christmas Eve for the LONG drive down south (over six hours). The animals were reasonably well behaved except that we drugged Ebony with some pills the vet gave us so she would sleep but they had the opposite effect and she wouldn't shut up the whole way down.

Madam Puss was content to spend Christmas grooming herself.

In the arvo Clayton, Duncan and I took Maya to the beach for the first time.

She met a handsome kelpie/dingo/whippet.

It was love at first sight!

She loved the water.

In the evening we went to Dunc's auntie and uncle's place for a barbecue.
And a game of cricket with Dunc's cousins and their families.
Dunc's cousin Andrew and his son Roman.
The in-laws' goats.
And their emu.
Me and my best canine friend.
With our friend Harriet.
A family photo on Boxing Day before we headed to Albany.

Monday, January 26, 2009

G'Day G'Day by Slim Dusty

What more appropriate lyrics for Australia Day could there be than the chorus from this dinky di Aussie song. I've had it stuck in my head all day.

G'day g'day, how ya goin'?
What d'ya know, well strike a light
G'day g'day, and how ya go-o-o-in'?
Just say g'day g'day g'day and you'll be right.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Church Camp

I found these photos from our church camp back in early October so I thought I'd share them. We spent the weekend at Kirkalocka Station, about 60km south of Mt Magnet. I had a brilliant time; it was one of the most relaxing camps I've been on and I really appreciated it not being a weekend packed with activities so we could do our own thing and get to know others better. Duncan and I organised a games night which most people seemed to enjoy. The scenery was beautiful.

Playing cricket.


Our interim pastor Ron and his wife Zeta.

Haha it was anything but a Hilton but it suited our purpose.

Racehorse Goanna.

Some of the youth went for a row in an old boat.

I don't think it was built for that many people.

This place is called Breakaway which was a bit of a drive from our campsite.

View from the top.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

O Holy Diet

Duncan and I have recently completed a 10 day detox diet called Daniel's Diet. Some of you, who are Christians may have heard of it. The book is available at Koorong (and probably Word as well). The diet is based on Daniel 1:8-16 in which Daniel chooses not to defile himself with the king's royal food and instead asks to eat only vegetables and drink only water for 10 days. At the end of those 10 days, he and his friends look better and healthier than those who eat the king's food. So all Duncan and I were allowed to eat for 10 days were fruit, vegetables, rice (brown or Basmati), potatoes and certain nuts and seeds. After the 10 days, you can return to your normal diet but hopefully with a few positive changes. You can do the diet for longer if you like or you can do the 10 days again at a later stage. For those who think 10 days on rabbit food would be torture for me, yes you were right! But we survived! Duncan managed without coffee, beer and meat and I managed without chocolate, pasta and bread. It did get easier as we went along but we're very glad it's over!

I had never heard of this diet until last month when Emma told me she and Peter had bought the book and were planning to do it. I thought, 10 days doesn't sound too hard so I mentioned it to Duncan and he was quite enthusiastic about it. We'd been eating so much crap around Christmas and harvest time so it'd be good to clear our bodies out. Although slight weight loss is inevitable for most people, the main aim is detox. On the first day, we both felt very weak and had withdrawal headaches and I continued to feel weak off and on during the diet. People's reactions will vary. Some don't start feeling good until Day 5 while I've heard of others who have felt quite sick and depressed because of all the toxins leaving their body; that's why it's good to drink lots of water.

Although the diet may sound like a good idea, I really don't think any Christians can use these verses in Daniel to say that God expects all of us to eat this way or that he intends us to be vegetarians. Romans 14 disputes this for a start. The verses are quite vague, all we're told is that he ate vegetables and drank water, not specifically what vegetables or if fruit was included. The diet allows potatoes and rice on alternate days but there is no mention of Daniel consuming either of these. Obviously parts of the diet had to be made up. Secondly, I don't think Daniel chose to eat this way purely for the health benefits. Daniel 1:8 says that he chose not to defile himself with the royal food, in other words he was choosing not to align himself with King Nebuchadnezzar. While it is true that a good diet would contribute to him looking healthier, I'm sure God would have had a hand in it all. He was the one who caused the chief official in charge of Daniels' diet to show favour and sympathy to him. So I think anyone who uses these passages to justify their belief that God wants us to be vegieheads are quite mistaken. A friend pointed out that it probably wouldn't have mattered if Daniel had eaten only red meat for 10 days, the point is God can make him look better if he wanted to. Although this didn't stop a friend of ours being concerned that we were listening to what he thought was dodgy teaching. I will state again....we were NOT doing this for religious reasons!

When Emma suggested I buy the book, I said "Nah, we can get along fine just on what you've told me about it." I think part of my reasoning was that without the book, I could get away with disobedience and count ignorance as bliss. We were mostly pretty strict but there were some things that the book didn't allow that we did anyway. We had too much extra virgin olive oil on some things, we ate Cruskits for breakfast and salted peanuts and cashews for snacks and then justified it by saying, well, it's OUR version of the diet. Really I don't think it did any harm, it's only a diet and who cares if we don't do things EXACTLY right. The point is that this is the very same attitude I have towards God. If I open his Word and read how HE wants me to live (not what I think is good enough) then I have no excuse for not knowing. So I often neglect to read my Bible because to be honest I don't want some command which is going to make me squirm. This is much like my reason for not buying the Daniel's Diet book; if I don't have the book then I can claim I didn't know and I get away with stuff I know I shouldn't. I need to keep being reminded by God to listen to him, to fall at his feet and repent of my own pride and do things HIS way because he knows best and cares for me. One outcome of the diet I didn't expect was that it revealed I am far more addicted to sugar than I am to God sometimes.

Has anyone else done this diet or planning to? Was it a struggle for you or easy? Did you feel lethargic, sick, depressed or full of energy? I know I have a greater appreciation for fruit and vegies now. I'd be VERY interested to hear your experiences.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Seven Weird Things

I was tagged by Iris to list seven weird things about myself. It was nearly a month ago but I do get around to things eventually. My first thought was only seven things? But when I actually had to think about it, I was struggling to come up with enough. Perhaps I'm more normal than I thought....;)

1. I'm a bit anal (borrowing Bek's favourite word for a minute) about use-by-dates on food. I'm always checking stuff in my fridge and when I go to other people's houses I check the use-by-dates on their stuff too if they pass it to me to use (I just do it subtly). I'm more relaxed with dry food but I won't ever consider eating dairy even a DAY past.

2. I talk in my sleep regularly and sometimes sleepwalk or at least get out of my bed in my sleep even if I don't go far. I could create a whole new series of 'Sarah's Night Adventures'. Lately I've been dreaming a lot about spiders, in fact I had dreams about them about three nights in a row and woke up screaming and yelling to Duncan to kill the spiders that I was convinced were in our bed. He was VERY annoyed at me.

3. I remember dates very easily so History was a breeze for me in high school. I remember people's birthdays, anniversaries etc even when they forget and they just stare at me like I'm a freak. Sometimes I find I have to 'tone down' my long-term memory so I don't scare people.

4. I have a general dislike of what I call 'outdoor adventure activities' such as rockclimbing, abseiling, bushwalking/hiking etc. Well, I don't mind doing some of this stuff with Duncan and just one or two close friends but I hate doing them with big groups.

5. I have a few eating habits which others consider weird such as cheese and vegemite sandwiches and celery with peanut butter. Oh and I LOVE pouring some drinking chocolate powder into a cup and mixing it with a tiny bit of milk to make a thick chocolate sludge. YUM! When I lived with Emma I used to use it all up in the blink of an eye and she wasn't amused when she went to make a hot chocolate for Peter and found only a tiny bit left.

6. I have a special 'voice' I talk to Duncan in. In fact, he has a special voice he talks to me in too. Maybe a lot of couples do this.......or maybe we're just weeeeeiiird!

7. I had a long time obsession with Shane Bond when he played for the Eagles. Everyone else had crushes on Ben Cousins and Jess Sinclair but for me, it was Shane Bond. He was hot and I was devastated when he went to play for Port Adelaide and from him I got a lot of inspiration for my book.

I'm supposed to tag seven people but I can't be bothered so if you have a blog, please consider yourself tagged.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Funny

In celebration of us heading down south this weekend, here's a Friday Funny. Enjoy!


At age 4 success is........not peeing in your pants.
At age 12 success is.......having friends.
At age 17 success is.......having a drivers licence.
At age 20 success is......going all the way.
At age 35 success is......having money.
At age 50 success is.....having money.
At age 60 success is......going all the way.
At age 70 success is......having a drivers licence.
At age 75 success is.......having friends.
At age 90 success is.......not peeing in your pants.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ok You Twisted My Arm....

I'm staying in the blogosphere.

No, I didn't get the 10 votes I was hoping for. I got 8 plus a random comment and I'm thinking that maybe that person didn't vote on my poll so that's 9. Or maybe they did, I can never be sure by looking at stats. At least I didn't get any 'no' votes which makes sense because if someone rarely visits my blog then they probably wouldn't drop by to vote anyway!

Thank you to those who did vote and for the kind-hearted comments. I appreciate them, ta muchly.

I think something Middo said has helped me see past the numbers blog for myself and see comments as a bonus, that it's possible for others to comment even if they don't always. I have always enjoyed writing for myself, writing for anyone else would suck. I think that's why I prefer to work alone writing my novel because I can't stand anyone else telling me what to write about. In the past, people have suggested that I become a writer for a TV show but I would find it too hard writing about characters I didn't create in a way that would possibly feel foreign to me. And I have so many potential posts for this blog which I will eventually get around to doing, comments or not. I just have to believe that somewhere, someone is getting something out of what I write.

Michael's suggestion about my blog helping my online presence as a writer was also something I've been thinking about. I think that if I was a published author then I'd definitely like to have a website and a blog attached to it.....but not this blog. Don't ask me why, I just don't feel comfortable with it. I see a lot of photographers have websites and blogs but their blog is always quite general, never overtly personal. I don't even want to mention the title of my book here in case someone one day Googles it and ends up on my blog. Now I know this doesn't make sense when I said I'd like more readers. But for me to speak honestly about some things, I can't have certain people here. If they find it, they find it but I'm not going to advertise it.

Thanks again. I may blog more on these thoughts as my book keeps edging closer to completion.

Stay tuned for more at the Sedshed in 09.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Interview by Iris

Iris from Double Half and One Ten Without Ham was interviewed on her blog and asked if there was anyone who'd like to be interviewed by her. I thought it sounded like fun so I agreed. Iris chose the questions and here are my answers.

#1 What´s the best part about "living in the middle of nowhere"?
I'd say definitely the peace and quiet. Living out here has been much more beneficial for our marriage than if we lived in Perth. Friends who got married before us told us that the first few months of their marriage were crazy because EVERYONE wanted to catch up with them! Out here, we have less pressure (and less opportunity) to be super social and can spend time getting to know each other more as newlyweds.

#2 Your family is just beautiful. Anything you want to say to them?
I love them. That goes for both my new family (Duncan, Ebony and Maya) as well as my parents and brother and my extended family and now my family-in-law. We have our differences but I wouldn't choose anyone else to be my family. For those who aren't Christian, I pray they'd turn to Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

#3 In research to your writing ideas you get – it´s just fair, no? ;-) - an unlimited amount of money to go where you want to – where do you go?
Well if the money was specifically for writing research then I'd choose to go to Adelaide, Melbourne and Broome since parts of my book are set in those places. That may sound boring but since all of my books are set in Australia, I have no need to go overseas for that reason. In Adelaide, I'd like to visit the suburb of Alberton where the main character Brad grows up. In Melbourne, I'd love to visit the St Kilda and Port Melbourne areas because that's where the main characters reside. Having never visited Adelaide or had the time to see Melbourne properly, I feel I need to visit those places to have credibility as a writer.

#4 If your Mum and you changed bodies.... is there anythng you´d change in your upbringing?
Well, I'd want my mum to raise me to know Christ instead of secular with a few 'Christian morals' thrown in but then she couldn't have given me something she doesn't have herself. Less physical discipline would have been great but I guess most kids say that! Yes, I was bad some of the time but at times it felt like she smacked out of anger rather than love. I suppose I'll do the same thing when I'm a parent so I probably shouldn't judge. Overall, my mum did her best for me and that's what I'm grateful for.

#5 You are lucky, you met your Prince Charming!!! :-)In ten years – is there anything in addidion you wish for? Tell us!
In about 10 years it'd be great if we had a family...three kids maximum (God willing). I'd love to be the author of several books and screenplays and see them made into movies (and star in them)....that'd be cool! But mostly I wish that many I know would choose to follow Jesus and that I will keep loving them regardless.

P.S. You have LESS THAN 24 HOURS to vote in my poll on the right. See a couple of posts below for details. Thank yoooooooouu :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dad's 60th x 3

Here are some very belated photos of my Dad's 60th birthday last year. Technically he is now 180 years old since he had three 'gatherings' - drinks the day before his birthday, cake with family on his actual birthday (17th May) and a joint birthday party with two friends (one also turning 60 and another turning 70) on the 19th July.

Dad at his old business. They have since merged with another local business.

My family.

Dad with cake on his actual birthday.

One of the big cakes at the combined '190 years' party. It was held at a tennis club in Albany.

My bro and I. The theme was 'Glitz and Glamour'. Not sure what/who I'm supposed to be.

Dad had more hair that night than he's had for a while.

He's mine! ;)

Wally who was turning 70.

The photoboard I made for Dad.

A local band did a really good job of getting most people up and dancing.

I have more photos on Facebook. Click here.
P.S. Don't forget to vote in my poll on the right if you haven't already. You have until 7pm on Tuesday (West Australian time).