Showing posts from November, 2010

Wars Have Been Fought Over Less

But thankfully as far as I know, no country has gone to war over a dessert.

Pavlova: the 'national dessert' of both Australia and New Zealand which consists of chewy meringue on the outside and a marshmallow-like centre. Both countries claim to have invented the pavlova - or 'pav' - in honour of the Russian dancer Anna Matveyevna Pavlova. Naturally as an Australian I lean heavily for the Australians having invented it but there are many New Zealanders who equally believe that their country deserves the title of inventor.

Having lived in both countries the only difference I've noted (and this is definitely a generalisation) is that Aussies prefer to decorate their pavs with fruit such as strawberries, banana or kiwifruit, while Kiwis often opt for chocolate chips or tiny marshmallows. The fruit is definitely better (in my humble opinion of course).

The debate continues in the kitchens of both countries but in the dining rooms all agree - or almost all - that nothing b…

Feels Almost Like Summer

We took a few minutes to enjoy the sunshine and the glorious it-feels-like-summer feeling that was in the air before Son#3, his girlfriend, and his friend had to leave to journey home.

Weekend for Thanksgiving

Several years ago we were introduced to Thanksgiving by our American boarder and so began a tradition in our home. However this year we chose not to celebrate it due to various reasons and yet we had a Thanksgiving celebration of sorts anyway.

Last night we held a twenty-first birthday party for our third son. Just over twenty-one years ago we had no idea whether he would be born alive, so this party was for us a Thanksgiving celebration - thankfulness to God for the life he gave us, for the twenty-one years we have had with Son#3, and for the man that he is becoming. Perhaps today as the family gathers to polish off all the leftovers, we might remember other things that we are thankful for. There are certainly a lot of them.

But since this post is really about Son#3's party, here are a few pics.

The cake that DIL#1 made. If you know my son and how much he loves games (and how he always wins) then you'll understand how appropriate this cake is. Didn't she do a fabulous job?


And Now

A Nation Mourns.

There was a second explosion this afternoon. All twenty-nine are assumed dead. It's said no one could have survived this explosion.

The youngest was just seventeen. The eldest sixty-two. Many were in their twenties. They are sons and brothers and husbands and fathers, grandsons, perhaps even a few were grandfathers. One was about to become a groom. For another it was his first day working underground. Some did it because they enjoyed it; some because they needed to support families. They are now all gone.

Their families waited and hoped and now weep.

And we mourn with their families.

A Nation Waits

And hopes. And cries. And hopes again.

On Friday last week an explosion ripped through the Pike River coal mine between Greymouth and Reefton leaving 29 miners and contractors unaccounted for below ground. Specialist search and mine rescue staff and other emergency services are on site but rescue efforts are hampered by unsafe gas levels, the possibility of further explosions, and the terrain where the mine is located.

There has been no communication with the trapped miners. No indication of whether they are dead or alive. Despite the length of time that has already passed there is the very real possibility that there are survivors.

Meanwhile we wait. And pray. And hope.

This and That

On Saturday we took The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World#1 to see the Christmas Parade. We almost missed it - thinking it was happening this coming weekend and not last weekend. It seems awfully early to be thinking about Christmas which is why we got the dates mixed up.

Anyway, we sorted it out in time and went. It was great to see more of a Christian influence in the parade with some local churches getting involved. Even the first carol that was played this year was about the babe in the manger and not the jolly red guy in a suit. I am still shaking my head at a letter to the editor I read in a newspaper a few years back complaining about the Christmas parade and how Christians had to bring their religion into everything! We have Christmas because ...?

However there are no photos of the Christmas Parade this year. The time had been changed from 1 pm to 5 pm presumably so that adults with young children were not standing out in the hot midday sun.

This year that wasn't a pro…

No Better Than This

Case Study One: Thursday as I was buckling The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World#1 into her car seat I commented that Grandpa didn't yet know that she was coming to stay the night. The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1 replied, "Grandpa loves me lots, doesn't he?" He does indeed!

Case Study Two: Recently when I've said "I love you" to The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1 on the phone she has replied with "I love you too."

Case Study Three: The Most Adorable Granddaughter#2 loves to be held and will often get upset if you put her down if she hasn't had a long enough cuddle. She wraps her little arms around your neck and holds on as tight as can be. I like to think of it as her way of saying "I love you."

Case Study Four: Whenever The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World#2 stays overnight at our house she sleeps in our room. If she wakes during the night I will often bring her in to bed with us if she doesn't settle back to sl…

Driving in the Country

The plan was simple: drop DH at Son#1 and DIL#1's home, pick up The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World#2, and make the short drive to pick up the remainder of Son#4's belongings from the hostel (since he's now finished for the year but there wasn't enough room for all his stuff in the car when his brother brought him home last Monday). While we were gone, DH, Son#1, DIL#1 and The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1 were going to make sausages from the goat that Son#1 had successfully hunted last weekend.

Simple plan. "We'll be back by 4.30," I casually mentioned as I took off with tyres spinning (much to DH's disgust).

A few minutes into our journey and we could see an ambulance ahead of us moving quickly. It always gives me a nasty feeling to see these emergency vehicles tearing down the highway but when we reached the intersection with the main road, it had disappeared and I breathed a sigh of relief. Ten minutes further down the road and we were fo…

I Should Be Excited

I've just typed the last word for book three in the Distant Land Series. There were times in the last few months when I thought I would never reach the end.

But I have. I think it's complete. It just needs now to be edited.

And edited. And edited. And EDITED.

Perhaps that's why I feel so flat.

Armistice Day

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in the year nineteen hundred and eighteen the guns fell silent on the Western Front. For many, even though hostilities were to continue on other battle fields, the war was over.

As a school child this day was commemorated by the marking of the eleventh hour with two minutes of silence. It was a solemn occasion and we were encouraged to remember all those that had died during what was known as The Great War, later to become known as the First World War.

Nowadays, I find that people I talk to don't even know what Armistice Day is all about - if they've even heard the term.

How sad that so many who gave their lives for our freedom and our country are unremembered by those who benefit from their sacrifice. Will we always be so unaware of what has been fought and won on our behalf?

In Flanders' fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, …

A Great Pair

DH's face has swollen to one and half times its usual size and for probably the first time in his adult life he is resorting to pain killers to help him sleep. It started with a painful jaw, then it quickly became swollen and a visit to the dentist confirmed his fears. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in soon and the swelling will go down and he will have some relief from pain. It's not just the pain of the tooth that's bothering him but with his face so swollen it's pressing on nerves and causing additional pain in other parts of the face and neck.

As for me I'm just itchy. Insanely itchy. I asked DH to check for nits (eeewwwww!) but came up clean. But I think my problem is lice - just not the hair variety but the bird variety.

Part of where I work is in an old house and the birds get in under the eaves and nest in the roof space. I had a similar problem years ago when my sister moved into a house that was unfinished. Then I could go home and get away from it but…

Far Above Rubies

Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

(Proverbs 31: 10-12, NKJV)

The first verse in this passage was the basis of a short daily devotion that DH and I read the other day (although in my case it should probably read sapphires since I love them so much). He must have been thinking of it all day for when we went for our evening walk he commented on how much he appreciated me and then added, "I wish I could give you more."

Give me more?

What exactly does he want to give me that I don't already have?

If we're talking about what we have and have not, then let's look at the haves first:

Twenty-six years of marriage. Twenty-six! in an age where divorce seems far more common than celebrating the tenth wedding anniversary.

Five wonderful sons of whom I am so very proud. Contrary to what some feminists would have us believ…