Monday, November 30, 2009

Bible Verse of the Day

...He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Matthew 5:45

Friday, November 27, 2009

Marriage 101: DINKs in the Middle

The thing I've discovered, while being a newlywed, is that we are in rather an odd spot. Probably a more accurate title for this post would be 1.4INKs in the middle since I work part-time (DINKs is Double Income No Kids in case anyone didn't know that).

We are not single. We cannot go out at the drop of a hat. We have responsibilities to each other and need to make time to spend together. We are somewhat flexible, but not as flexible as our single friends. Sometimes that has disappointed people when we've told them we will not take calls or call people because it is our date night. We have a lot of people to catch up with in Perth so we cannot see everyone every time. We will never be as 'available' to some people as they would like. But that's too bad.

However, we are not in the third stage, which is parenthood. Our lives don't revolve around kids....yet. We can go out and have fun without needing to plan too far ahead. I'm wondering if some parents find this annoying. Whenever we make a comment on Facebook, such as we're about to go away for Christmas or Easter, we're almost guaranteed to get what sounds like a jealousy-tainted remark such as "Wait til you have kids. It's so much harder.....blah blah blah." No, we aren't in that stage yet, but one day we might be, and we want to enjoy the stage of life we're currently in.

We feel like odd bods sometimes because it seems the majority of our friends fall into either the 'singles' or 'parents' categories. The number of DINKs we know seem to be falling by the day, as more and more start having kids. One DINK couple, who are our good friends, commented that we are the ONLY DINK friends they have....Christian and non-Christian. Because of this, it seems that people don't quite know what to do with us. We're sort of stuck in the middle, so I think parents see the answer as telling us we need to have kids. Since the moment we've been married, we've been inundated with people asking when we're going to start a family. Ummmm we got married FIVE MINUTES ago! It doesn't help either when some people do nothing but complain about their kids.....on Facebook, in person (note I said SOME people not ALL). Gee, that's really a lot of encouragement to move on to the next stage.

Yep, it seems we're the odd bods stuck in the middle...but we're loving it. This stage of life will never come again and we want to make the most of every moment.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

And the Winner is......Get On Your Soapbox

The results are in. Thank you to those five people who voted, I appreciate you taking the couple of minutes it took to click a few buttons. Although, I was disaapointed to discover I was getting far more direct hits than there were votes. I am a little discouraged that people, who appear to be regular readers, couldn't take a few minutes to vote ANONYMOUSLY but, oh get that.

3 votes
Get On Your Soapbox
2 votes
Calling All Theoblogians
Marriage 101
1 vote
Sarah's School of Dating
5 Things
Diary of a Wedding Planning Machine
Friday Funny
The Pendulum

I still can't believe that Get On Your Soapbox was the winner! This is the one where I have a rant, people, and this is the series I was recently considering doing less of, because I don't want to be seen as someone who just rants all the time. I want to be a bit more positive. But, oh well. I will continue to rant if you wish.

Rant forthcoming :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I have a question for you all.....what is a 'hometown'?
Is it the place you were born? The place you grew up or spent the majority of your childhood in? Is it the place you've lived in the longest? Is it your place of current residence?
One of my friends jokingly told me that true Albanyites are born in Albany Regional Hospital, so therefore, I am not a true Albanyite because I was born in Perth, and didn't move to the great south until I was five. But I will always consider Albany to be my hometown. It was where I grew up and spent my formative years. I lived there from June 1988 until February 2001 in six different houses. My closest friends hail from there, I went to school there and I have some precious memories from there. Not to mention it is such a beautiful place.

I went through my 'Albany is a hole' stage in my early twenties when I'd already left and used to come home for holidays. Unfortunately, it does have small town mentality, despite being a city of 30,000, and there are some annoying individuals and families, but doesn't every place have that?
Sometimes I want to go back, and sometimes I think it would be an unwise idea since I've now moved on and can't relive the past. But, wherever I am, I will always consider it my hometown.

Princess Royal Harbour. 4th October 2009

The new entertainment centre under construction.

Beautiful Frenchman Bay.

A place with so many good memories.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Blog Policy?

Since discovering for myself the wonders of the humble blog, I've encountered a few bloggers who have mentioned in their posts that they have created a 'blog policy.' When I first got wind of this, I was quite surprised. A blog policy? Is blogging that serious that I could possibly need one?

I can see that blog policies have been designed so bloggers and their commenters can interact graciously with each other. For example, I've seen that quite a few fellow bloggers dislike anonymous comments, especially when the commenter is hiding behind their anonymity in order to cowardly have a go at the blogger and their views without ousting themselves. Fair enough, I say. I've also seen policies that ask people not to comment if they are going to post abusive, degrading or overly critical things. Fair enough too.

When I started my blog, I had no idea what direction it was going to head in but I quickly discovered what annoyed me along the way. So I guess this is my 'policy'. I realise that I can't ban people from my blog, but I can ask them to be decent human beings. I also realise that some fellow bloggers will disagree with my policy or think I'm being too anal....just as I may disagree with theirs but I respect their right to have it. Fortunately, I haven't had many problems with abusive or argumentative people and I hope it stays that way!

  • I'm not entirely against anonymous comments, as some people are, but if you're going to make a controversial or argumentative comment, then please put your name....even if it's just 'Bob' or something. Otherwise, I'll assume you have something to hide. General anonymous comments are fine.
  • This is not a 'rule' or anything but I'd appreciate it if lurkers on this blog would give an occasional comment....even if it's anonymous. I realise that there are always going to be more lurkers than commenters and lurkers are more than welcome to lurk if they wish, but letting me know you visit would be an encouragement to me.
  • If I know you in 'real life' and you think something I've posted on this blog is downright wrong, then please let me know in person rather than leaving anonymous comments. If you think I'm going to bite your head off.....then maybe keep your head and don't say it ;)
  • You're more than welcome to use my photos or quote things I've written here, but please acknowledge me if you do. There's nothing worse than finding out someone has ripped off your idea or creative work. You don't have to ask my permission although do be careful about using photos that I've taken of other people, especially if you plan to use them publicly. It's a bit like quoting something in an assignment. You don't have to personally contact the author, but you must acknowledge it was their idea.
  • If you read this blog, I'd appreciate it if you didn't 'advertise' for me by telling mutual friends that I have a blog and where to find it. I'll do my advertising myself. My blog isn't a secret, but I don't want some people here (particularly those who fall under the third dot point).
  • You may disagree all you like, but I ask that you do it with maturity and respect.

Well, I guess that's my policy :)

Do you have a blog policy? What are your guidelines for your readers?

P.S. Please vote in my 'Favourite Series' poll if you haven't already. Only four people have voted so far (thank you to those four).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

From Head to Hand: Inspiration and Perspiration

I know a lot of people never thought they'd hear me say this but......MY BOOK IS NEARLY DONE! Yes, I'm at the climax of the story but I can't give too much away because I want you all to read it. However, when I tell people I'm nearly at the end of my epic adventure, many of them say, "Is that the book you started years ago?" or "About time."

Unless you've written a book, it's hard to understand the hard slog involved in getting a story from head to hand. There are moments of writer's block, distractions, busyness, tiredness and laziness to contend with. Writing a book is a bit like study; it requires self-discipline and motivation. Some people, who are not writers assume that only an inpsirational idea is needed to write a bestseller and that all I need to do is regurgitate my idea onto my computer. I wish! It's more like 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. It's easy to have an idea and fine-tune it in your head. It's much harder to stick at it when the going gets tough.

Some writers are 'inspiration writers' who have an idea and then rush off to their computer to record their thoughts. This can happen at any time, even in the middle of the night.....basically whenever they get their 'inspiration'. I find it frustrating when I go to bed and immediately think up some great dialogue for my book....but I'm supposed to be sleeping. I COULD get up and immediately get it down on paper, but I have another job and I need to be disciplined. It wouldn't look good turning up to work with bags under my eyes and struggling to stay awake but some writers don't worry about that.

I'm more of a 'disciplined writer'. I set aside a designated period of time to write and I stay there until the inspiration flows (and it usually does eventually). I figure that I can't rely on mindblowing 'inspirational moments' because they might not come or might come at inopportune times. Some hard yakka is required.

If you've got a book in the pipeline, please don't give up. If it was worth thinking up, then it's worth getting down. The actual writing part may not be as fun as refining your plot and characters in your head, but it's all part of the journey. Don't listen to people who tell you how long you're taking. Keep going! I'm going to have a massive party to celebrate when my book's finished and prove all the doubters wrong.

Monday, November 16, 2009

500 Posts!

WOOHOO! I've made it halfway to 1000. Boy, am I glad I didn't shut my blog down in January (although I've had a few more of THOSE feelings along the way).

To celebrate, please leave a comment or vote on my poll on the right to let me know which of my 'series' you enjoy most. You can vote more than once if you wish. I'd just like to see what my few loyal readers enjoy most....for curiosity's sake :)

Please take a moment or two to vote. Thanks!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mum's 60th

At the start of October, Duncan and I headed down to Albany to help my mum celebrate 60 years of being on this earth. She was NOT impressed about turning 60 and was initially planning to do not very much, but yours truly convinced her she needed to party on in style and that we would help her organise the big bash. Hence, I was assigned 'decorations' as my task (Mother is getting good at delegating).

It was a fabulous night; a gathering consisting mainly of fifty and sixty-something-year-olds who danced the night away to old records. I'm surprised the neighbours didn't complain. ;)

My parents.


Nan giving some of the guests a tour of her bathroom.

My rellies.

Father and father-in-law

Cheryl, Linda and Mum.

Nan being the life of the party. She didn't go to bed until 1:30am!

Gary and Wendi.

Leo and Wally.

Jan, Joan and Neil

Hmmm which old record shall we play next?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

5 Favourite Pearl Jam Songs

I wish I could go to their concert this Saturday night. My friend, Sarah, and I tried to get tickets but we were too late! Oh well, I'll just have to listen to my CD instead.

Here are my five favourite Pearl Jam songs:

1. Daughter
2. Alive
3. Better Man
4. Last Kiss
5. Given to Fly

There are heaps of others but I had to restrict it to five.

What are your five favourite Pearl Jam songs?

Monday, November 09, 2009

New Job!

Well, as the title of this post indicates, I have a new job!

Last year, I applied for an admin job at a farming organisation in Buntine, went for an interview and was turned down. In May this year, I approached them about doing my TAFE prac with them and they were happy to have some slave labour for two and a half months.

Three weeks ago, they rang me up and offered me a job (yes, a paid one)!

It's for two days a week, although I'm doing induction and training for one day a week until Christmas and start properly in January. I've committed to my current job until Christmas and maybe I might work one day a week with them as well next year. The boss is still working out her staffing so I'll have to wait and see.

After doing a fairly mindless job for a while, I feel I'm ready to move on to something a bit more challenging. I've enjoyed my time at the gift shop and I'm still hoping I don't have to leave completely. I had my first day of induction last week and my head is spinning a bit. They have so many committees, meetings and events....I have a lot to learn.

I can't remember the last time anyone (who wasn't family) just rang me up and offered me a job, without even having an interview!

Strange how things work out.....

Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday Funny

What do you call a man floating in the ocean?

What do you call a man sitting in a tree?

What do you call a man lying on the floor?

What do you call a man lying under a car?

What do you call a man with a legal document?

What do you call a man with no feet?

What do you call a man with a shovel?

What do you call a man without a shovel?

What do you call a man driving a truck?

What do you call a man doing exercise?

What do you call a man sitting on the toilet?

What do you call a man wearing a kilt?

What do you call a man with a map?

What do you call a lady standing in the middle of a tennis court?

What do you call a lady wearing denim?

What do you call a woman who is singing?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Alien and the Clique

I've been living in Buntine for over 18 months now and have been doing some reflecting on my time up here so far.

If you've ever been the new guy (or girl) in any situation, then you will probably be able to relate to this post. Some days I still feel like an alien. I'm not local. Apparently you need to have lived in a place for at least 20 years before you're considered a local, so I have 18.5 to go!

I've discovered that while everyone else welcomes the alien on the surface, the alien doesn not share the privileges lavished upon everyone else. The arrival of the alien means increased population (especially if the alien were to spawn more life in the future), more hands to tasks and fresh ideas. But it is dangerous for the alien to just assume they are suddenly one of them. The alien doesn't decide that. It is decided for them.

The alien can participate, but not criticise. Everyone loves the alien when they join in with everyone, but the alien is not to speak out against the prevailing culture. If the alien dares to criticise, they will surely receive 'the look', reminding them they are still on the outer and not yet in the centre of the fold.

Nobody ever says this quite so bluntly, but I know my place. It's not my place to criticise Dally. It's not my place to speak out against the prevailing culture of drink driving. It's like when you join a new workplace and you sit quietly at morning tea before becoming comfortable enough to join in conversations and knowing you're accepted as a fully-fledged member of the workplace.

Don't get me wrong....I love it up here! But as I look back on our 18 months of living here together, I can't help but feel disappointed. Disappointed because I had such grand plans of reaching out to people in love, in hospitality, in friendship and, hopefully, with the good news of the gospel and I can't help but feel that we've failed. While the church up here has given me such a warm welcome, we have found it much harder to build friendships in the wider community. Right now I'm in the place of feeling that all of our friends up here are Christians. The place may be small, but cliques exist. I've tried to get involved through netball, through work, through fitness classes, through tennis....but it seems the best places to meet other women is through the school and playgroup. But we don't have kids! I'm finding it hard to get to know young mums outside the church for this reason! There is a mums and bubs club!

Then, of course, we find ourselves in the position of trying to be salt and light and being in the world but not of the world. We felt it recently at my netball team's windup. To put it simply, it was a major piss-up. I guess I'm somewhat used to this environment due to being surrounded by it during my student housing and theatre days, but for Duncan, it's like being in a foreign culture. And I feel uncomfortable too. I want to love these people, to get to know them....but there are barriers. I will always look different because I'm a Christian. I will always be an alien of some sort.

From being the new person, I've learnt it is always, ALWAYS up to the established people to welcome the outsider. It is not the newcomer's job to muscle their way into cliques and look like a tryhard. I've wanted to go beyond the shallow connections I've built up through my various networks by inviting people over for dinner but a nagging doubt remains. Would they come? Shouldn't THEY be the ones inviting US for dinner? We're the new people! Should I just take a leap of faith?

Despite my feelings of failure, I'm not going to give up. Moving is not the answer because it's likely another country town will be just the same. I'm going to persist in this thing called following Jesus in this place because it is His work after all.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Wildflower season up here is during August and September each year and it's also tourist season where grey nomads arrive in their hundreds to view these little beauties. I took some photos in late September when Duncan's parents were up for a visit. His mum and I went for a drive out to Wubin Rocks because I'd never been there before.

It's soooo beautiful here.
Anyone up for a visit? :)


View from Wubin Rocks.

Dunc's mum enjoying the sights.

We saw these by the roadside on the way home.