Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Like a duck paddling

No, I am still here.  I am just paddling very, very fast under the water to get the year started for everyone in the family.  I'll be back when everything is labelled, contacted, found, bought, signed and delivered.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Saving a baby

This is a lovely true story of a doctor who saved a baby who saved a doctor.... well, read it for yourself.  I have a profound and enduring respect and admiration for men and women who save babies (including, of course, those who saved mine more than once).

HT A Holy Experience

Anne of Green Gables for less than 90c


Quickly, quickly, quickly take yourself over to Amazon and buy the WHOLE Anne of GG series for Kindle for $0.87.  I am not kidding.  But it won't last, I'm sure.  You don't need a Kindle - you can download the Kindle app for your PC or your i-whatever and use that.  And there's links to download the audio versions as well.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Net filter

We've been using Safeeyes as our net filter for the last few years.  I've been very happy with it until about the last year or so when it's been mucking up.  Some Googling suggests that the product hasn't performed so well since McAfee bought the original company out.  So I'm thinking about switching to Net Nanny.  Anyone out there using Net Nanny or K9 or another filter?  How have you found it?

Friday, January 17, 2014

You will always have a Margie in your life

Great post about the woman who is better than us over at girltalk.

Not for me

So I've come to a big decision over the last couple of days.  It is no doubt minor in the scale of world issues but nevertheless here it is...

I'm not going to buy a slow-cooker.

The concert pianist kindly lent me hers for numerous weeks to try out.  I've attempted about four or five meals in it now.  "Meh" is the overall feeling.  Look, it smells fantastic while it's cooking and the meat is undeniably tender, but it all tastes rather bland when it finally gets to the plate.  I once was installed in one of our city's large hospitals for 10 days and it reminds me of the hospital food.  One night you'd be having sweet and sour pork and the next lasagne but somehow the taste was.... the same.

I had hoped I'd be able to use it for simple hospitality and quick dinners on work nights.  But I can't see myself serving any of the dishes I've tried to guests.  And the kids have been very opposed to the food so far so it'd be some time before they ate happily.  The other thing I'd hoped was that I could cook larger meals and then freeze half for another night.  But I couldn't see myself heating the leftovers we've had again - they've been cooked to death already.

I'm probably overcooking everything.  But I did follow the recipes religiously.  Anyway, the end result of it all is I think I'll use Nana's birthday money for something else.

What about you?  Anybody out there found their slow cooker fabulous enough to use regularly.  So far I've done hedgehog meatballs, Hawaiian chicken, an Indian stew of some kind and I can't remember what else.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Not doing much

Ah, the lazy summer holidays.  Not getting much done.  Hurt my back a few days ago and so I've limited myself to folding the occasional bit of washing, making peanut butter sandwiches and serious reading.  Some of the reading - a history of ancient Britain up to the Tudors - is work related; other reading not so much.  I've also whipped up some more word art.  I wanted some posters for the kids' areas of the house.  Couldn't believe the shipping costs on posters! Even in the same country as me!  So I decided a $10 colour poster print at Officeworks was the way to go.  Here's today's effort (click to see detail):

If you'd like the jpeg of it, email me (see under the tab "contact me") and I'll attach it and send it your way.  Happy to share :) Our poster will probably go on the back of the door in the little room of the house. *Ahem*

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hot cross buns

Just bought my first hot cross buns for the year from Woolies!  Seriously.  I can hear Meredith saying, "Outrageous!" all the way over the other side of this great land.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A coat or two of paint

You might remember our chests of drawers which had seen better days (days before small children disobeyed their parents by attacking them with crayons).  So we've had a bit of a paint-over.

The drawers were quite shallow IKEA drawers.  We turned both drawers sideways and then screwed down a top to make them into a desk.  Coat of paint and ....ta dah!

Must get a desk chair and so on but the little one is pretty impressed with it so far.
While we were at it, we did another of the children's drawers that also had *ahem* similar issues.
Looks heaps better now.

Friday, January 3, 2014


What does a great big empty space have to do with being generous?

Yesterday I found out. One of our local businesses just moved to bigger premises.  Left behind was a very, very, very big empty warehouse that was bought by people we knew a little bit from school and through mutual friends.  As a treat, before the new fittings were built in the now-empty warehouse, they invited friends with children to come with scooters and bikes and just ride.  Ride and enjoy.

So we packed the car and went off.  About 25 kids and a number of parents to sit around and watch and chat. And a once-only chance to see the old building empty and play in it before the work begins.


The owners could have said no.  Or they could have just taken their own kids.  Or just a couple of select friends.  "Too much trouble to invite others.  It's the holidays - let's just relax."  And that would have been okay.  But instead, they said, "Come. Come and enjoy."  And their generous hearts opened up to us a beautiful space.

It's the kind of generosity I need.  So often when I give, I do it without a giving heart. Yesterday I was reminded that giving is not about money (although it often includes that) but about looking at the good things in your life and finding ways to let them overflow into others'.  Sometimes generosity is even a great big empty space.  The lady who hosted us yesterday is a living, walking giver.  Her orientation is always to giving - you see it everywhere she is.  Big and small ways.  Every day, all day, she gives and never seems any poorer in spirit for having done so.  I'm hoping rubbing shoulders with her will have rubbed off on to me something of her heart that loves to gives and an orientation towards generosity.

Yes, I want to be generous with the means God has given me.  Not just money.  All of me.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Word art

I'm doing a little re-decorating in the kids' rooms.  Today I fiddled around on the computer for a while to make a series of four graphics which I'm printing and framing for one of their rooms.  The words are the lyrics to one of my favourite songs.  Here are the first two in the series.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New year and all that

It's so quiet in the blogosphere.  Everyone is feeling sluggish and relaxed and none one has that itchy angst that keeps the posts coming.  Oh well.  It's what holidays are for, I guess.  So here's some randomness from the last couple of weeks at our house:

1. We went on a trip to see the family.  A few days beforehand, Honey suffered a deep gash to a back paw.  So we went with a sad dog with a neatly bandaged paw and had to ring ahead to book a Christmas Eve slot at a vet near our destination to have the bandaged changed at the correct time.  It's nearly healed now and it didn't seem to bother her too much apart from the sorrow of not being allowed to go on her daily runs.  She didn't need to wear a collar because she didn't attack her bandage.  She was so cooperative at the vet that he declared her to be "a very civilised piece of equipment".  We agree.

2. Lego and Nerf weaponry were the main Christmas presents in our house.  We also treated ourselves to Finska.  It's a Finnish outdoor game.  It's been lots of fun.

3. Now that we are home, we are doing some of those jobs about the house that add up over the year.  And watching DVDs and chillin'.  A trip to IKEA is in order at some point but I haven't got the energy up for that yet.  I've cleared up the mountain of paperwork that was plaguing my desk at the end of the year.  And next I've got to seriously tackle the master wardrobe.  Oh, that's a scary place.

4. I'm currently reading Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J. I. Packer.  One of those "I've always meant to read that" books.  And it's very readable.  What's striking me most are the passages that relate to my own understanding of salvation.

5. At some point, I've got to think about the year ahead.  I feel like my life is currently in the same state as my kitchen cupboards.  Everything's working, and dinner is still getting made, but it's disorganized and inefficient.  I'm not sure what needs to stay or go or be rearranged in my priorities but I do know I need to sit down and sift through before the year hits that frantic pace again.  Maybe that's going on in background of my mind as I fiddle around the house doing this and that.  Or maybe I need to just sit and stare at a wall for an hour or two and see if I can figure it all out.

Well, thanks for checking up on me.  Hope you'll stick around to chat further in 2014.  Cheerio, Deb.