Showing posts from September, 2008

More on Introverts

Sunday night, a couple in our Bible Study group suggested a barbecue at their house tonight for all the members in the group. Sunday was a glorious day and eating outside sounded like a great idea. We agreed.

This morning we woke to rain. And the temperature wasn't exactly tropical either. I assumed the barbecue would be cancelled or that we would decide not to go. After a late breakfast (DH not me) DH and I went grocery shopping.

DH: "What do you want to take tonight?"

Surprised I asked him if we would still be going.

DH: "Why not?"

Several reasons ran through my mind:

Because it's raining. And it's cold. And I don't want to stand outside in weather like this.

Because it will be noisy. All those kids inside ... I can already feel a major headache coming on.

Because I'll have to make small talk. If it's raining I can't go wander around the garden and just enjoy the setting.

Because I'll have to bake something and I've already planned my d…

Hi, I'm Jules ...

... and I'm an introvert. I'm happy in my own company. I hate crowds and parties. I prefer to spend time at home. Some of my closest friends I've never met face-to-face - some I haven't even seen their faces!

Several weeks ago my workplace ran a training night on 'personality types'. I hate those kind of things. I've done a number of personality typing workshops over the years and the result is always the same: I never end up in the 'fun' group. It doesn't matter what this group is called - and it's usually the biggest group - it sounds far more interesting than the group I end up in.

Party-goers. Fun-lovers. People people. Peacocks. You can guarantee that wherever they are, something fun is going to be happening. Laughter, mirth, hilarity are never far away when they're around.

So I dragged my feet to this workshop, thinking I was going to be once more classified as 'boring'. The group no one else wants to belong to - or so I thou…

First Day

My first day of holidays and I've spent it in waiting rooms. First at the doctor's surgery, then at the Diagnostic Lab. What should have been a 10 minute consultation was drawn out to an hour and a half.

And now I've got a band-aid on my elbow and have been told not to do anything 'physical' for an hour or so because I'm prone to bruising. Aw man, I guess there goes the gardening. I'll just have to stay online a little longer.

Let's hope the rest of my holiday improves.

Daylight Saving

Last night we put our clocks forward an hour. Daylight Saving - I hate it! It's not so bad now that the children are older, but when they were little, trying to get them to sleep at night was next to impossible since it was so light at bed time. Although I can't complain too loudly. Compared to other parts of the world, we have more than enough hours of darkness on a summer evening to get all the beauty sleep we need (but I'd still prefer no Daylight Saving Time).

Today after church we picked up fish 'n' chips and went and sat down by the beach to enjoy them. Afterwards, to work off that extra fat in our diet, we walked along the beach. It's not the prettiest beach in the world. In fact, I would hazard a guess that it's one of the ugliest beaches in existence, but there's still something wonderful about the feel of sand beneath you as you walk, the smell of salt on the wind, the sound of waves crashing and seagulls screeching, and always the fun of searc…

Scrappy Baskets

Baskets hand-pieced, blocks and borders joined by machine. Hand quilted with grid pattern (cross-hatching) around blocks, and double grid (two lines running close together rather than just one) in large triangles. Bound with a wide bias binding that matches the backing.

Probably out of all the quilts I've made, this one has taught me the most! It started out as a Block-of-the-Month quilt (BOM). We'd just moved to NZ when I was laid up in bed for weeks on end after falling from the deck of a house I was looking at with a real estate agent. I did extensive damage to both ankles and was off my feet for weeks. After the first week or so I'd finished the projects I'd brought over in my luggage, and the rest of our worldly goods hadn't yet arrived. With nothing to occupy my time and no way of getting to the shops, I ordered this BOM from Queensland, Australia (and no, we didn't buy that house).

At the time the fabrics were quite different from anything I'd ever us…

End of Term

I've finished work for today - in fact for this term. Yay! It has seemed like such a l-o-n-g term yet it's only been 10 weeks like every other term. It's just been so physically and emotionally draining. Had the term ended the way it started out, I'd seriously be considering leaving, but things have settled down and the stress levels have dropped a little.

And now we have two weeks of holidays. My To-Do List isn't that different from the one I had last term (here) but I do have a few things to add:

1. Attack (yes that's the only word for it) the garden that runs the length of our property. It's looking like a wilderness! I've caught glimpses of spring bulbs and blossom, but they're hidden by all the weeds. If I plan it right, I should be able to enlist the help of some 'willing' teenage sons;

2. Clear out the garden next to our deck and plant some summer/autumn vegetables. Tomatoes need to go in soon if we want them to ripen before the end of s…

Happy Birthday Son#4

Yes, another birthday in our family, and there's still a few more to come before we can even think about Christmas.

Today is Son#4's birthday and he's also sitting his final mock exam. They call them 'mocks' because they don't count unless the kids are sick or there are other circumstances that prevent them sitting their final exams, in which case these ones will be counted. So it does pay to do well in these exams (as Son#1 found out the first time he sat his mocks because his beloved grandfather died just days before his 'real' exams started).

Son#4 wasn't overly impressed that he had an exam on his birthday. Some years his birthday falls during school holidays (which he prefers!) but not this year. Still, he did have yesterday off to do whatever he desired. I had suggested he study for his exam yesterday but he seemed to think that he had enough time this morning before the exam to do the study required, and anyway he asked, "How can you stud…

It is Written ...

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:

marvellous are they works;

and that my soul knoweth right well.

Psalm 139:14.

A Life Not Worth Living?

Various things over recent weeks have prompted me to share my thoughts on this issue but I'll mention only two: Jen's recent post on abortion; and the Paralympic Games. I've been watching the Paralympics and almost without fail have been moved to tears by the inspiration and determination of many of the athletes. Forget the 'other' Olympics - this is where the 'real' spirit of the Olympics is seen.

Obviously my feelings aren't shared by others. Even though the coverage and the commentator was good - it wasn't as good as the Olympic Games where the best and well-known commentators (plural not singular) brought us the Games every day. Despite winning more medals in the Paralympics than in the Olympics, it still didn't get the same coverage as the Olympics. There's a bias there. It's as if we're saying that the Paralympic Games aren't important for some reason. Could it be because consciously or subconsciously we consider that becaus…

Eight Random Things

Amy tagged me with this random MeMe. I don't mind being tagged but for some reason I'm really reluctant to tag others. It makes me feel bad when I tag someone (perhaps that can be my first random thought?) What if they don't want to be tagged? What if they think it's rude or an imposition? What if ...?

So I'm going to change it a little. If you're reading this and want to be tagged, please just leave a link in the comments section. I hope that doesn't spoil the fun too much.

Here goes:

8 Random Things About Myself:
1. I hate grocery shopping. In fact I hate any kind of shopping but grocery shopping the most. I'd rather clean grotty bathrooms than go shopping. I think it's a waste of time. It's just that if I don't do it we don't eat.

2. I wanted to be a journalist when I was at school but switched to nursing because I never thought I'd have the courage to actually go up to someone and interview them. So much for our school's Career A…

Growing Old?

I must be growing old. I think the signs have been there for a long time but I've just ignored them. The other day a clothing catalogue arrived and as I was flicking through I saw lots of loose pants with long loose shirts and what I would call 'grandmotherly' styles and colours. I threw it away in disgust. If I wore clothes like that I would look like my mother!

It later dawned on me: the model was probably about my age. No Way! Now that I'm in my forties do I have to wear clothes that conceal my womanly shape? Am I no longer female? Do I have to hide my body in shame because I'm now considered 'over the hill'?

Sure, I now choose clothes that hide those obvious outward signs of age. My upper arms aren't what they used to be. And if I looked closer I'd probably find some other areas that are also starting to age. But can't I still wear clothes that are feminine and attractive and that flatter my shape?

I don't want to wear tight clothes but on …

Forgotten Cookies

The other night as I was about to go off to bed it suddenly registered with me that Son#4 had two exams the next day. I'd been told earlier in the day (I was going to add 'of course' then remembered that this is the same son who didn't tell me he had exams this week and next and I had to find out from someone in our Bible Study group!) but it hadn't really sunk in until bed time.

He would have one exam from 9.00 am - 12.00 noon then another from 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm. The one hour break in the middle was for lunch. I had plenty of bread and fruit (well oranges and grapefruit not that anyone eats grapefruit apart from DH) and nuts and dried fruit in the house but I wanted to do something 'extra' for his packed lunch.

I threw the ingredients for Fruity Oat Bread into the breadmaker and set the timer going for it to finish the next morning just as we would be waking up. Made with wholemeal flour, rolled oats, olive oil, egg, dried fruit and spices it is wonderful f…

Two in One Day!

I walked into work this morning to see my supervisor desperately trying to blow dry her hair in front of a small mirror that the children use when they dress-up. Immediately I burst out laughing as did the teacher who walked in behind me.

Apparently my supervisor had gone to the gym before work and rather than go home, had gone straight to work and showered there. She'd forgotten her shampoo so had to use soap (eek!) and then was trying to tame her hair into some semblance of order.

I commented that one of the good things about long hair was that I could just wash it, put it up and not have to fuss with it too much (in fact, I'd done a scalp wash that morning and had my hair in a cinnamon bun). The other teacher who had hair at BSL agreed.

Then the other teacher asked " How long have you been growing your hair? It must be years and years."

I replied that I'd had it long for most of my life but that two years ago it was the same length as hers.

"Really? It's …

No Time, No Sense

I must be insane. Do I not think I'm busy enough as it is? Obviously not for I've started a quilting blog.

I know, I know: I'm crazy. Where am I going to find the time to maintain two blogs? Furthermore, I'm still having trouble at times viewing my blog. Do I want to double the frustration? The answer appears to be yes.

When I began this blog I had a vision for it that included sharing many of the things that I'm passionate about. Quilting is one of those passions. But slowly I've realised that while I can post photos here of my quilts, it's really not the place to post detailed instructions or helpful tips that I've picked up over the years.

So I started another blog just for quilts and I hope to be able to share there some of the knowledge I've acquired in the seventeen years that I've been quilting.

You can check it out here. Please be patient with me as I get it up and off the ground. I welcome the chance to answer any quilting questions so don&…

Happy Birthday DIL#1

Today is DIL's birthday. Appropriately for one born at this time of year, she adores roses so I ordered her a rose dangle hair stick from Sticks and Stones. Fox does beautiful work and her sticks are heirloom pieces. I hope you can get an idea from the photos just how exquisite this stick is. I hope DIL likes it. And I hope today we get a chance to show her how special she is to us and that we feel blessed that she's a part of our family.

I think Spring is a wonderful time for a birthday. It's a time of re-birth and renewal, of fresh starts and new life. Everything is new and fresh and the invitation to put aside our busyness and come outside and enjoy the air is almost too much at times. I guess if I had to choose a season I most enjoyed it would be Spring.

Just this past week it's been a joy to get out in the garden (between showers of rain) and discover the new treasures cropping up everywhere. I'd like to share some of these discoveries.

The First Climbing Rose


I've been playing around with my blog. I had to do something to stop myself deleting it due to my increasing frustration at not being able to see it. LOL! I've had fun and I have a few things planned yet. And guess what? I can actually see the changes today that I made yesterday!

I've been following the American presidential campaigns with interest. I'm so glad I don't have to vote. The more I read the more I am aware that neither candidate is squeaky clean and that there's a lot of bandying around of words and phrases that the voter loves to hear but do their policies and actions back up what they profess?

Just a thought from an "objective" (yeah, right) and not-very-well-informed observer.

I'm rather bemused that Sarah Palin seems to be the flavour of the month, particularly amongst evangelical Christians. I have nothing against Sarah Palin but do wonder how those same evangelical Christians reconcile her position as a working mother who has an inf…

Girls Night Out

It's pouring with rain today. It rained heavy all last night. Several times I woke to the sound of it on the roof and to worry about the kids and my blog and my weight and other issues that seem so important in the dead of night but in the light of day are revealed for what they are (except the kids - they are important).

I have to go shopping today - something that I dislike immensely. Ugh! Tonight I have a combined gift evening to attend for two colleagues: a baby shower for one about to have her first baby and a kitchen tea for the other who is about to be married for the first time at forty. The idea is for everyone to buy a small gift each for the bride and baby and then they'll all be placed in two large baskets and given to the recipients.

I have no idea what I'll buy for the baby yet but that can't be too hard. The hardest thing will probable be making my mind up. For the bride I hope to buy a pretty storage jar and I'll make up "Chocolate Cookie Mix in…

Humble Pie

No one wants to be considered opinionated or pig-headed but sometimes I'm scared that I am. After my recent post (and a similar one on a hair board) several people commented that they didn't think I was at terminal. At first I didn't listen because I was sure that I was. But after enough people had said the same thing, I decided to start listening.

To prove them wrong, I decided to graph my hair growth over the past two years. I was certain that the graph would show once and for all that my hair has stopped growing.

I was astounded at the results. For the last 18 months I've been convinced that my hair's growth has slowed down dramatically. Now I'm not so sure. From the graph it appears that apart from a period of 3 or so months when it did in fact stall, my hair has still been averaging 1/2" between trims. I say "between trims" because I've been trimming more often this past year or so and each time that I have, I seem to lose what I've …

What Did I Do?

I've been at the computer for a little over half an hour, deleting temporary internet files (again) and changing some of my internet options (I have no idea what I changed - I hope it wasn't important) and running a virus check. Still feeling frustrated because I couldn't see my blog I looked at other blog hosts and thought about signing up. I came back here to check something on my blog and voila! I can now see my blog.

I just wish I knew what I did so that if it ever happens again I'll be prepared.

Not Again

Am I the only one experiencing this problem? Again I can't see my blog. I've deleted my temporary internet files but the last post that my browser shows is "Lost Calling" from Thursday of last week. It also refuses to show me if any of my neighbouring bloggers have recently updated their blogs. I know I've posted since Thursday and that others have been able to read what I've published - I've had comments on the posts that I can't see.

Am I getting annoyed? Frustrated? Ready to give up blogging?

A little. At least to the first two. And it would be more fun if I could see my blog.

So if you're out there, please don't give up commenting. I need to know that I'm still a part of the blogging world. And if you've got any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Fathers Day

It seems that we celebrate much later in the year than many of our friends up-over, but today is Fathers Day here in New Zealand and Australia.

Fathers Day has never been big in our household. While I might get breakfast in bed on Mothers Day (and I will never forget the year the boys served me up undercooked eggs on cold toast with cold tea and I actually ate it) poor DH is lucky if someone remembers to say "Happy Fathers Day" to him.

It seems that those sons that have already left home are more appreciative of their father. This year he received chocolates from Son#1, a card (and badge!) in the mail from Son#2, and more chocolates from Son#3. I'm not even sure if either of his two remaining sons wished him a happy day let alone made him a cup of coffee today!

Is it just in our family that the mothers are made a bigger fuss of than dads, or is it more widespread? I actually feel a little guilty.

I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and my sons with a wonderful dad. …

Please Don't Ring

It's happened again: the second time in a week that I've hung up on a caller. I don't know who she was but she was trying to sell me something I didn't want. I tried politely to say I wasn't interested but when she kept going on with her spiel I waited for her to take a breath and quickly interjected, "Thank you, but I'm not interested. Bye," and hung up.

I feel rude hanging up but I'm sick and tired of strangers ringing me up and trying to sell me stuff that I'm not interested in. They must be getting desperate because this is the third time that I've turned down this 'incredible offer' (their words, not mine).

When I was a full-time stay-at-home mum I used to hate the door-to-door sale people that would come around and waste my time trying to sell me whatever it was they were promoting. At least it's easier to say 'no' to someone over the phone that I can't see but I still don't like it.

So if you're reading …

A Lost Calling

Over recent weeks I've seriously been thinking about my calling as a wife and mother. I believe it's the highest calling given to women, and yet I've had to ask myself: does my life reflect this?

I've been tired. So tired. And because I work my family has received not the first fruits of my time and energy, but what's been left over at the end of a busy day.

I'm beginning to see that it's not good enough. They deserve more. Much more.

Last week I had an interview for a job that I thought would really suit me. The hours were flexible and much of the work could be done at home on my own computer. I would not have had the same holidays that I enjoy now (12 weeks a year!) but the work load could have been organised so that when my children were home I was also home - albeit doing work on the computer. But home all the same.

But (there's always a but) it was a huge drop in wages. Still I would've seriously considered it ... but I haven't heard back. I g…

When the Cat's Away

they say that the mice will play. Well ... DH is away (left early this morning) and I don't feel a lot like playing. In fact, I miss him and can't wait until he gets home tomorrow evening.

Before going away, DH learnt that the skin lesions he had removed last week were cancerous. I haven't spoken with the doctor but I assume they're the same as he's had in the past - the slow growing basal cell carcinoma. He has to have more removed next week. I wish there was something we could do to stop them. DH isn't concerned but when he gave me the diagnosis I realised again just how precious he is to me.

DH is not diligent about his annual check-up's. He doesn't go to the doctor unless he absolutely has to (and in his book that's never). I don't understand why he chooses not to go, particularly given his history and his family history, but after this, I'll be forcing him to have those yearly check-ups. After all, I want us to grow old together.

I've …

Can You See Me?

Obviously you can, because you've responded to my latest post, but I can't see it! I've tried deleting my temporary internet files and whatever else has been suggested and still I can't see it. I saw it for a fleeting moment yesterday, but it's hiding again today.

To comment, I had to go to "Edit Posts" and "view" then add my comment that way. How frustrating! I could ask my sons to help me but I'm in the mood for playing hide-and-seek. Not that it's that great a game because everyone can see me except for me!

The End of the Line

It's measure-in time again. Before I publish this post I'll get DH to measure my hair so that I can record my measurement but I've already decided that where I'm at right now is the end of the line for me as far as growing my hair. At least for now.

Looking at my hair in the mirror I would estimate that I'm about an inch from tailbone. But I'm tired of the slow growth. I'm tired of waiting for tailbone before starting my 'maintenance programme'. Tailbone could be anything from 2 months to 12 months away with my growth history and I'm getting impatient for super healthy hair.

I've decided to start my maintenance programme now even though I've not reached my goal. I want to feel that I'm starting to do some good for my hair. I want to see some progress as I work toward a thicker, straighter hemline. The plan is to trim approximately 1/2" every second month. If I get some good growth and manage to gain 1/2" the months I don'…