Friday, December 30, 2016

Is 2016 Cursed?

So many people think so, mainly due to the number of celebrities who have died this year. But, in reality,  many celebrities die every year; what these people mean is that celebrities they particularly like have passed on.

Then there's been Brexit, ongoing horrors in Syria, and Donald Trump becoming the US president. Again, troubling things are constantly happening in the world. 2016 has been no exception.

For me personally, 2016 has been a horrible year. Much of what happened flowed on from 2015; while it is nice to draw a line in the sand and say a new year is a fresh start, one cannot always escape past events. This year, I have been so unwell with postnatal depression, I probably should have been hospitalised many times. I've wanted to walk away from my marriage and family, desperate to seek help in the city. Our closest mental health service is absolutely appalling. I am so glad to be rid of them.

I feel like I've achieved very little, apart from surviving. I love my little family dearly, and it devastates me that I must live with my mind and body shrouded by a dark cloud. It feels like I've spent much of 2016 struggling in my relationship with God, desperate for Him to remove this thorn from my side. But, in His kindness and mercy, we have had two wonderful live-in nannies - Jordie for seeding and Liz for harvest. If I'd been well, I'd never have had the privilege and joy of having met them.

In recent weeks I've received the news that three friends of mine are now separated from their husbands. This has affected me deeply. It seems that hearing about separation/divorce and babies dying is a big trigger for depression for me. I grieve and I pray for there to be reconciliation and change in those marriages. But I'm trying not to let it get me down.

I'm praying for a better 2017. I'm praying for Flynn to sleep, as sleep deprivation is a huge factor in my illness.

Do I think 2016 is cursed? No, but it hasn't been a good year for many people.

Bring on 2017. May it be a great adventure.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

First Princess Layer, Now Princess Leia

A few weeks ago, my hen, Princess Layer, died.

Now the real Princess Leia has passed away.

Image from here
My dad texted me this morning reckoning my chook dying was an omen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Not a Pinterest Christmas

I tried to do some Christmasy stuff with my boys (well, Rory in particular) this year, without falling into the trap of becoming a Pinterest mum.  Although, I still fall into the trap of comparing myself with other mums, I wanted to keep it low key while at least doing SOMETHING. 

This was our advent calendar.  Unlike last year's, we made it before December started and had all 25 days.  Rory painted one side, I wrote the numbers on the envelopes and he traced them.  I (mostly) remembered to put M&Ms in the envelopes.  The downside was that the Bible readings I printed off the internet went over Rory's head a bit and he lost interest very quickly.  We did read a few Christmas stories though.

The tree went up on the 1st December, with Rory, Flynn and Liz the nanny all helping.  The playpen was VERY necessary.  We'd really need an electric fence to stop Flynn grabbing baubles.

Flynn grabbed a packet of wipes and put them under the tree.
I'm not sure if that was his gift contribution, or if that's what
he wanted for Christmas.
I made these biscuits a couple of times from a recipe someone shared on Facebook.  I just used Milk Arrowroots to save time, iced them and decorated them with spearmint leaves and red M&Ms or Jaffas.

I took the boys to their daycare Christmas party on the 21st December.

My uncle's ex-partner made Flynn his own Christmas stocking, like she did for me and my brother, and my cousins when we were little.  Two years ago, I passed mine onto Rory, so she thought it was only right that she make one for Flynn.  She is so lovely and I'm glad we're still in touch.  I sewed Flynn's name onto it (alas I'm not much of a sewer).

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fiery Flynn Has Found His Feet

Flynn is walking!  Rory didn't walk until he was 16 months, but within a few weeks he was walking a fair way down our driveway (which is approximately 700m long).  Flynn took his first steps at 13 months and at 14 months is well and truly on the move and into everything.  He is desperate to keep up with his big brother.  He turns 15 months tomorrow.

Oh, and his flame red mullet is gone.  He was starting to look a tad like Cameron Ling, so we took him to the hairdresser for his first haircut last week.

Cameron Ling image from here.

Monday, December 19, 2016

We Chose the Right Name

Duncan and I didn't know Flynn meant 'red-haired one' when we chose his name.

I only found out when I was browsing in a newsagent in Perth, back in August, and found this:

It's now on Flynn's bedroom door.

We certainly got his name right.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Don't Push Your Ministry Onto Others

My Bible study group has been looking at a series on the lives of different women in the Bible.  I usually expect such studies to include Ruth, Esther etc., so I was pleasantly surprised that this one contained some unusual choices.  One of these was Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus.

I'm used to hearing women's talks and studies on how we should be 'Marys' and not 'Marthas'.  But that's not what Jesus was saying when He gently rebuked her.  He wasn't saying hospitality is bad; there are other places in the Bible where Christians are commanded to be hospitable.  He wasn't telling her to stop serving Him that way.  He was gently rebuking Martha because she wanted Him to tell Mary to stop sitting at His feet and start helping her prepare the meal.  She was wanting Mary to fit into HER plan of how best to serve Jesus.

This was liberating to me.  Jesus is NOT saying you need to have a messy house and sit around doing Bible study all day (my husband would be happy about that).  We all have different gifts and ways of serving Jesus.  It's not up to us to stop people from what they're doing because we think they should be joining in with our ministry.  How many times have I seen that happen?  People having a single focus and passion who get annoyed with everyone for not dropping everything to be involved in their particular ministry.

A timely message at Christmastime to not judge other Christians because their gifts and passions are different to yours.  Just because they might not have time to be involved in what you do, doesn't mean they're doing nothing.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Jolly Expensive Dog

That was Duncan's reaction when it told him the cost of Gypsy's vet bill.

I'd better backtrack a bit to the beginning.....

Two and a half weeks ago, Duncan was doing sheep work on a Saturday and was using both of our dogs.  It was a warmish day, but not overly hot.  Duncan took the dogs to one of the dams for a drink and a swim.  Maya went in, but Gypsy refused to go in the water, or even drink (she hates swimming).

Later on, Gypsy collapsed from heat exhaustion and Duncan had to rush her to the vet.  She spent two nights at the vet on a drip and other medications, before I was able to pick her up.  She has to complete three weeks of rest before she's allowed to go back to work (not that there will be any work for her now, because it's harvest).  No running around, so she has to go for walks on a lead.  Being a farm dog, she's not used to being on a lead and nearly strangles herself on the rare occasions she's on one, but I've been impressed so far.....she can now walk on a lead as well as any suburban dog.

The grand total of this misadventure....$1000!

I love her and I'm so relieved she's ok, but that was a big, fat ouch to our bank account (bring on Duncan's overtime pay).

Gypsy after a nice bath.

Liz, our nanny, giving her a brush and
removing the dreadlocks from her bum and tail.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Death of the Buntine Princess

Princess Layer died yesterday.  At six and a half, she was my oldest hen, the only surviving hen from the Buntine days, and the only hen to survive the big move nearly six years ago.

She had a good and full life - two palaces, two roosters and numerous other hens to share life with over the years.

A friend of ours reckoned she lived so long because the force was with her hahaha.

She always used to come to up to me and have a 'chat'.

 I will miss her.

Princess Layer and Russell Crowe - the only survivors from
the move from Buntine.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Friday Funny


Can you imagine the nun sitting at her desk, grading these papers, all the while trying to keep a straight face and maintain her composure?

The following 25 statements about the Bible were written by children.  They have not been retouched or corrected.  Incorrect spelling has been left in.

1.  In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis. God got tired of creating the world so he took the Sabbath off.
2.  Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree.  Noah's wife was Joan of Ark.  Noah built and ark and the animals came on in pears.
3.  Lots wife was a pillar of salt during the day, but a ball of fire during the night.
4.  The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with unsympathetic Genitals.
5.  Sampson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah.
6.  Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the apostles.
7.  Moses led the Jews to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread, which is bread without any ingredients.
8.  The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert.  Afterwards Moses went up to Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments.
9.  The first commandments was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.
10.  The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.
11.  Moses died before he ever reached Canada then Joshua led the Hebrews in the Battle of Geritol.
12.  The greatest miricle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.
13.  David was a Hebrew king who was skilled at playing the liar.  He fought the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in biblical times.
14.  Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
15.  When Mary heard she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta.
16.  When the three wise guys from the east side arrived they found Jesus in the manager.
17.  Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.
18.  St John the Blacksmith dumped water on his head.
19.  Jesus enunciated the golden rule, which says to do unto others before they do one to you.  He also explained a man doth not live by sweat alone.
20.  It was a miricle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.
21.  The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels.
22.  The epistels were the wives of the apostles.
23.  One of the oppossums was St Matthew who was also a taximan.
24.  St Paul cavorted to Christianity, he preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marraige.
25.  Christians have only one spouse.  This is called monotony.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Local Eagle

My former boss's (at the last job I had before having Rory) son was drafted by the Eagles in the rookie draft on Monday.

It'll be so exciting to see a local boy in the blue and gold next year.

Photo from

Here's his post-draft interview.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bible Verse of the Day

My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You.
Job 42:5

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Pendulum: Not Wishing It On Anyone, But Not Wanting To Be Alone

Having postnatal depression has been one of the toughest experiences of my life.  Sorry to use a cliche, but I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

However (and I feel kind of evil for saying this), I do sometimes wish someone else I know had it.  All of the friends I have that have/had postnatal depression, I have met through the Mother Baby Unit, or in groups dedicated to helping mothers recover from PND.  I only know of two people that I met in everyday life that have confessed to having had major PND (both before I met them).

Therefore, I feel kind of lonely.  The statistics say that one in seven mums will suffer from postnatal depression.  Either they hide it very well, or the stats just seem wrong.  Of course, many mums will admit to having had the baby blues or mild PND, but when it comes to being hospitalised and suffering majorly, I appear to be alone.  I've watched friends have babies recently and they appear to just be coasting on by.  Yes, they admit the sleep deprivation is tough, but otherwise they said they're doing well.

I don't want mums to suffer...I just don't want to feel alone.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

12 Things You've Never Done

Rodney has created a list of 12 unusual things he's done or had happen to him in his life that most of his readers wouldn't have (at least not all 12).  Read it here on his blog.

This is my list.  I haven't done as many exciting things as Rodney has, but I'm guessing no-one reading this post has done all of them.  Let me know if you've had any of these experiences.

1.  Had a Transient Ischaemic Attack at 19
I was in my third year of uni when I woke during the night with agonising pain in my head.  Worse than a migraine, my head hurt just touching the pillow and it felt like my skull was going to blow apart.  I was so dizzy and I lost feeling in the right side of my face and down my right arm.  I was left with a pins and needles sensation in my face and arm for nearly a week afterwards.  After numerous tests and doctor's visits (including a CT scan to check for a brain tumour), ruled out a number of other possible diagnoses, the doctor decided it must have been a TIA.  My family on my dad's side has a history of stroke; my dad has had many TIAs.  I've never had one since, but I'm mindful that I need to reduce stress as much as possible and get plenty of sleep (haha why did I have kids?).

2.  Played a black cat, a farmer's wife from 1914,  and an old crone with a bucket on her head in some of the plays I've been in.
I'm willing to bet some people reading this have been on stage....but I doubt any would have played these characters.

3. Played tennis against Casey Dellacqua
It was 1996. She was 11, I was 13, and she was part of a group of state-level juniors who came down to Albany to play some of the local kids.  We thought we were to be playing against ordinary kids like us.  Talk about a mismatch.

Image from here
4.  Been hospitalised for postnatal depression...twice
Related posts:
Where I Am and Where I've Been
It's Happened Again

5.  Had two short stories published in creative writing magazines
My first was in Brillig (a literary journal of prose and poetry for teenagers, which existed between 1995 and 2000) when I was in Year 10 (1998).  The second was in Sitelines when I was in my first year of uni (2001)....unfortunately the older editions aren't online anymore.  I want to try to get some more published. 

6.  Been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis
I never thought I'd get arthritis.  Thankfully, I'm feeling pretty good at the moment.
Related posts:
Life with AS 

7.  Eaten crocodile
Our local butcher stocked some for a while.  It was very expensive, but delicious.  It tastes like a cross between chicken and fish.

8.  Had my photo taken with a giraffe
It was when I was doing a play at the Perth Zoo in 2003.  I wish I had a copy of the photo.  You'll just have to take my word for it.

9.  Made a chicken hat
I've made this hat several times...once for an Easter hat parade when I was in primary school, once for a friend's mad hatter themed birthday, and once for a hat competition at our local agricultural show.
Related posts:
Show Business

10.  Made a watermelon bra
Another show competition creation
Related posts:
There Are No People Like Show People

11.  Seen The Doctor Blake Mysteries being filmed
It was in Williamstown, while we were on holidays in Melbourne in 2012.
Related posts:

12.  Written a novel about Aussie Rules football
The big one!  Still working towards publication.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bible Verse of the Day

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:16

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pure Sex

No, it isn't a sex manual haha.

But, seriously, it's probably not a book you'd want to read on the train on your morning commute to work.  Then again, it could kickstart some very interesting conversations.

Despite the title, this is not a book about marriage.  It's about the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s and how it promised sexual 'freedom', yet delivered pain, broken relationships and confusion.  It's about God's view of sex, which is often very misunderstood by non-Christians (and even some Christians).  Many of those outside the church assume God is a prude, that He is anti-sex, that Christians consider it to be something dirty and shameful.  But, really, it's Christians who consider sex to be dirty and shameful that should be taking a long, hard look at themselves.  God is FOR sex, He designed it, one need only read Song of Songs in the Bible to know that.  It's just that He created boundaries for it to be enjoyed.  When people strip (pardon the pun) those boundaries away, that is when it becomes sinful and terrible consequences come about...even though it might feel like 'freedom' at the time.  Sex within the boundaries of marriage is meant for our good, our enjoyment, and God's glory.

The book explores the history of the sexual revolution and the Bible's teaching on sex.  It's not a terribly profound read.  It's good that the book offers hope at the end, by pointing readers towards the forgiveness offered in Christ.  While the world may be a mess, God can and will forgive sexual sin if people turn to Jesus.  I first read it as a new Christian back in 2002 and I learnt some new things.  A new Christian or someone interested in what Christians believe about sex would be the people most likely to benefit from this book.

You can order this book from the Matthias Media Australian online store here.
Or the North American store here.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Please Vote For Flynn

I'm so desperate to raise the money I need for my surgery, that I'm exploiting the bubba for financial gain.

I've entered him in the Weet-Bix Messy Kids Search 2016.  First prize is $10,000. It's about time he paid for all of his nappies haha.

But, seriously, please vote for him anyway.  He's very cute!

Follow the link (unfortunately only people in Australia can vote).   Voting closes on the 2nd December.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Death Day

Last Friday was a bit depressing...

We did a day trip to Perth for Duncan's uncle's funeral.  I didn't know him well, but I could see he was a kind, caring man who loved Jesus.  At his 80th over two years ago, he asked me how I was going and spoke of his own battle with depression.  I don't know too many older blokes who are open like that.

On the way to Perth I received a message from my good friend Sarah, telling me that she was going to the vet later to have her beloved ragdoll cat Mocha put down. He was almost 16 and his health was deteriorating.  Long-time readers of this blog may remember that they looked after Ebony for me for a few months before my wedding.  Ebony and Mocha's relationship was interesting, to say the least.  I mourned with her.  Mr Mochs was an absolutely beautiful cat.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Bremer Beach Babes

Every year, we try to get to Bremer Bay to go camping with friends for the Queen's Birthday long weekend at the end of September.  At this stage of life, 'camping' means paying for a ridiculously overpriced cabin.  I look forward to the day when we can actually take tents and go camping with the little fellows, and it will be more fun than stressful.

Can you see the whale?

Four-wheel driving fellows.

Flynn LOVES sand.

Dinner time in our cabin at the caravan park.

It was cold at the dunes.

My sand sculpture.  It's supposed to be a turtle (you knew
that, right? Haha)

Rory climbed to the top of this big sand dune with Duncan. He just
needed a bit of help at the last bit.  The right
side of the photo shows how far below the cars were.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Jehovah Jireh by Don Moen

We have a nanny!  She starts next Tuesday!

I am so relieved and thankful to God.

Jehovah Jireh, 
My provider.
His grace is sufficient,
For me, for me, for me.

Jehovah Jireh, 
My provider.
His grace is sufficient,
For me.

My God shall supply all my needs,
According to His riches in glory.
He will give His angels,
Charge over me.

Jehovah Jireh cares for me, for me, for me.
Jehovah Jireh cares for me.

Lyrics from here.

Friday, October 28, 2016

In Light of the 'Dark Day'

Today is a year since I had the 'breakdown' that ultimately landed me in the Mother Baby Unit. Tomorrow is a year since I arrived at the MBU.

I wish I could say that everything is rosy a year on, but that would be a lie. There have been many horrible moments throughout the past year. While I'm grateful for the support I received and the friendships I made, the experience continues to highlight the vast differences between city and country, and the frustration I've felt because of where I live.

Thankfully, today was nothing like that dark day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tummy Troubles

Another door that has been slammed shut.....but I will sure not stop fighting to kick it open.

I've mentioned before that I've been diagnosed with abdominal diastasis following Flynn's birth.  The only real fix for this issue is an abdominoplasty, but, thanks to the government, this postpartum condition, which affects many women, is now deemed 'cosmetic' and is no longer covered by Medicare.  Due to this, I cannot claim private health on hospital fees, either.  No coverage at all.  I'd be $15,000 out of pocket. 

Yes, $15,000!

The only people who qualify for Medicare benefits now are those who have lost a massive amount of weight, or if they have an abdominal hernia.  My doctor, the surgeon she referred me to, and my physio all thought there was a high likelihood that I have a hernia, and I was sent for a CT scan at the start of September.  I never thought I'd be praying to have a hernia.

Unfortunately the results said I don't have a hernia, but the area is very close to herniating.  Apparently near enough is not good enough.  When I had the scan done, something didn't feel right.  They didn't get me to lie in the positions that the physio said they would.

So, now after ruling out other options, including cheaper surgery in Thailand, selling our four wheel drive to pay for the surgery, and taking out a loan, I'm going back to my doctor to get a referral for a second opinion.

Yes, I'm desperate.

For the past year, I've been unable to exercise due to the risk of making the muscle separation worse.  I miss tennis.  Another netball team was set up this year and I wish I could play again.  My self-esteem has taken a battering because I still look pregnant.  There's always some insensitive twit who will ask.  I'm still in maternity clothes because nothing else fits.  I still get some pain in my stomach area because both of my bubbas stretched me so much and I carried all out the front. My pelvic floor is weak.

I'm sick of people who say stupid things like, "Your body carried a baby, you should be proud of it," or, "You can't expect to look like a supermodel."  I'm not wanting to look like a supermodel, I just want some of my old life back.  This makes my depression worse.

Stupid government.  Why do they reward people for losing weight by giving them tummy tucks covered by Medicare, but women who've had children are left to suffer?

Could I ask you to please do two things for me?

1.  Pray that I will somehow miraculously qualify for Medicare and that I'll be able to get a second opinion.

2.  Sign this petition.

Thank you!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Slamming Doors

Since services for women with postnatal depression are minimal where I live, I've had to work so hard to build my own support network.  At times, I've felt very jealous of the support my city friends from the Mother Baby Unit receive.

Lately, it seems like every door of help has been slammed shut in my face...

My mum is not well and is therefore unable to help out at the level she used to.

Daycare are short-staffed, so they can longer take as many kids.  I'm not guaranteed of getting a place one day a week for the boys, so I can get six hours of respite.

Our search for an au pair for harvest time was becoming fruitless and frustrating.  Harvest is just weeks away.

Although I didn't want to, I was becoming increasingly angry at God.  Why was He taking away every avenue of support?  When I tried to find help, why was He slamming every door in my face?

Eventually I exploded and did a bit of door slamming of my own.  I walked out on Duncan and the boys one evening.  I drove off rather recklessly before realising I had nothing but the clothes on my back.  I sat on the side of the road in the dark and screamed and cried out to God.  Why?  Why?

Sleep deprivation makes everything worse.

Of course, I had to go back home.  I had nowhere else to go.

Maybe God was trying to teach me yet again, that where else have I to go but Him?  Maybe He wanted to break me to get me to stop trying to solve everything in my own strength, and turn to Him first in prayer?


I've been able to get a spot at daycare for the past couple of weeks, when it all seemed hopeless.
My mum was able to help out the past couple of days.
And....we might have found an au pair.

Once again, I've been humbled by our Almighty God's love and care for little me.  How nothing is impossible for Him.

My anger has been turned to repentance and thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Underwater Adventure

At the tail-end of our stint with the flu when we were in Perth, we took the little lads to AQWA for the first time.  I hadn't been there since I was a kid (it was called Underwater World back then).

Rory loved it.  Flynn just wanted to get out of the pram.

Rory and the jellies

Old Wife haha.