Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One Little Missionary Far from Home.

"You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving."~Amy Carmichael, missionary to India

Wow,  I can't believe that Liddy has been gone this long already.  Thank goodness for Skype!  Seriously.  OK, so it drops out on us pretty regularly & Liddy's connection is dodgy but for those few short minutes I can, as a mother does, glimpse my daughter's face ~ which tells me so much more than any words could about how she's doing.

So how is she doing? 

She's pretty tired.  That may partly be the altitude.  She's been working pretty hard.  Even their days of they get invited to participate in activities & mostly people choose to be involved.  It is, after all, why they are there.  She is finding the language barrier difficult ~ not just out & about but in house because there is only one other resident whose first language is English.  She is always getting asked to slow down, repeat, rephrase ~ so the usual way Liddy communicates [which is quick, barbed repartee, witty] does not work.  Nor are the others quite getting her sense of humour.  That is generally an Aussie problem.  The sly, sardonic & often dry throw away comments so typical of Aussies get missed in translation ~ so to speak.  She is missing home, family, friends.

On the other hand she loves Chile & the Chilean people & many of the difficulties are just a question of adjustment.  The team has jelled really well.  Everyone is getting on wonderfully & via Skype I have been able to *meet* & chat with the other girls Liddy is sharing her room with.  Makes me feel a little more in touch because we've never been so far away from each other before & it has never been so long that we have gone without seeing each other. 

Now the team has experienced all the ministries available & have chosen where they would like to focus their time & energy.  Liddy got both her choices.   Her first choice is one of the orphanages working with boys between 5 & 12.  No surprises there.  The children seem to circumvent the language problem also.  There are other ways of communicating ~ which Liddy is very good at so that's all good & as expected.  Her second choice was to work in the arts area.  This was a bit of a surprise.  While I believe, & have said for years, that Liddy is quite artistic, she has always prefered sport & when you have a Star in the house it is all too easy to compare & consider you've fallen short.  Not true, but it is true Liddy's artistic gifts fall in a very different patten to either Star's or mine!  She thinks she needs to strengthen this area & so has chosen it as her second ministry.  I think she will really enjoy it & find it very freeing.

In house the team shares the cooking during the week ~ which must be pretty cosmopolitian when there are 2 Germans,  2 Dutch, two Americans ~ & Lid, the lone Aussie.  And everyone can cook so no kitchen disasters!  Liddy did say she'd had an interesting toasted sandwich as the Chilean bread is sweet but live & learn!  Her days are very full from the moment she gets up in the morning for in house devotions, to when she falls into bed at night after a busy day of bible study & ministry.  She is still struggling to get a routine up & happening for her days;  Liddy does so much better with routine & regularity ~ & 12 hours of sleep a night!

Is she happy?

Very.  She is where God has called her doing what He has called her to do & there is great satisfaction in that.  Her GAP team are doing a great job & once a month someone brings their lap top to bible study so they can Skype together, pray for Liddy & generally include her  as usual.  Great idea for keeping everyone up to speed!

And us?

Well, we all have our moments.  There'll be that moment when something happens or gets said that we just know Lid would so appreciate & turn to share only to remember she's not around.  Those moments are hard.  However, even if she was here we wouldn't be in each other's pockets 24/7 so in that sense it is not hard.  Star & I are always pretty busy & as that hasn't changed, indeed is about to get even worse,  we don't have time to mope.  Both her grandmas are missing her & chat about her endlessly.  They too are finding perfect strangers, people they barely know, have heard Liddy's story & want to know how she's getting on.

Liddy has been too busy to do more than briefly catch up ~ & as I said her internet connection tends to be dodgy, which makes for interesting conversations!  Thank you all our wonderful prayer warriors because your prayers are being answered in wonderful ways.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

There is a reason we go away.  For a few days we do something completely different.  Back home it was straight back into all the chores because no one had washed while I was gone.  The washing up had been done ~ just not that day's.  There were invoices to be sent, envelopes to be addressed &, most important of all, cats to be cuddled.  Actually Kirby survived quite well.  He spends most of his time oustside during the day, only coming in for meals when he must & though he wanted his cuddle time he was a pretty happy puss.  Marlow is a cat of another colour & was verging on a complete meltdown when I walked in the door but he has recovered well & has been busily bouncing round & showing off how completely adorable he is.

While we were gone Dino started putting down the drip & sprinkler system for the veggies.  We have talked about this for years but never got around to it ~ well, I wasn't doing the work as I don't actually mind standing round contemplating my navel while I hold the hose.  Everything has shot up so we have started picking even though it's only been in a couple of weeks.  The silverbeet was lovely steamed till it was just wilted &  I don't need a lot of lettuce for Dino's snadwich but so nice & crisp & full of flavour straight from garden to lunch!

Our spring weather has turned overcast & nasty but we are still on school break so life is good.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Those special moments...

"Take away love, and our earth is a tomb."~ Robert Browning

 Star gets the credit for spotting the Eastern Yellow Robin on its nest on the Wetlands Walk Saturday but I id'ed it.    I get such a thrill out of little moments like this.
 Flowering Mistletoe on the Wetlands Walk.  So lovely. There are 90 species native to Australia; 2 root, the others aerial. 71 of these species are only found in Australia.
 My mother & my daughter sharing one of those moments!
Saying it with L♥ve.


Why be afraid of tomorrow when today is all we have? ~ Sir Walter Raleigh.

 When we left home on Friday I had a migarine niggling but what I did not want to have to do was put Star behind the wheel on the open highway.  A leetle more experience required I think.  Thankfully by Sunday I was feeling fine again & we headed off to here.   It was absolutely glorious.  The old forest has been left & the garden planted  thoughout.  Grassy open spaces are intermingled with dense forestation & parkland.  The shelters are well spaced so even though there were a lot of people around it did not feel crowded & it has all been done by volunteers over the last 10 years or so!
 Mum & I eyed of the large hollow pieces of rock being used as bird baths enviously.
 The stone sculpture garden was truely reflective of the vision for unity of body, spirit & earth.
 Huge variety of sculptures.  I love the dark rock & many of these were fun pieces with a little frog to be found somewhere on the rock surface.

 We walked the lagoon circuit
And wandered gently through part of the Botanical Gardens before heading home for a quick lunch & the movie in the village theatre, which happened to be Elizabeth: the Golden Years, which we have but so glorious it is always worthwhile seeing again ~ though it does set Star & I off requoting Elizabeth to the Spanish ambassadors...I have a hurricane in me, Sir, that will strip Spain bare when you dare to try me! ~ which really is a wonderful quote & delivered with such panache by Cait Blanchett.

Saturday in pictures.

 Technically this is Friday.  We detoured because I was suffering *white line syndrome* ~ you know where the black tar becomes a blur & all you see is the white line as your eyes begin to shut ~ & we've talked for years about stopping to actually look in the opal shop ~ so we did.  The opals were lovely ~ & expensive.
 My mother has a knack with the little touches that make you welcome.  These roses are from one of her rose bushes which blooms prolifically all year round & is just a lovely, lovely rose.
 Eat your heart out Liddy because the Wetlands Walk was open & that's where we went first thing on Saturday.  Great walk along the raised boardwalk
 which terminates at the Maroochy River where Mt Coolm rises majestically in the distance.
 Then next door to have lunch at the Strawberry farm where Star & I promptly horrified Ma by deciding that the fondue for two was an acceptable lunch!
 It was very, very good!
 Then on to view the Finnish memorial.  Of all the surprising facts about this area of the Sunshine Coast this takes the cake: the Finns were the first to settle here.  Although it is boggish & prone to low lying pools of water I can't think it was much like their homeland in any other way. Weird.
And to finish the day, a walk along the beach.  It was very pleasant once the heat was off the sand & the crowds had dispersed. We all slept very well!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's not that we haven't seen my mother at all over the last 12 months; we have.  There was my cousin's 60th & Liddy's farewell & a concert of Star's but, well, there have been other people about & things to do & it's all been a bit hectic. 

Star's schedule does not make getting away easy & of course my mother is no slouch in the socialising department so although I had planned a short break these school hols actually co~ordinating our schedules has been extraordinarily difficult ~ complicated by Dino, who wanted to come & now isn't, Dearest [who needs me round for the invoicing etc on Monday] & the cats, who think I shouldn't go away at all & are threatening dire revenge on Dearest who quails every time *visit* & *cats* are mentioned in the same breath.

Consequentially our visit will be short but it makes a nice mid~point break in Star's vacation & means she will do something beside eat chocolate & watch old movies.  She waded through Gone with the Wind ~ which I declined to watch just for one good line: Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.  Nope, not my sort of movie though I did once try to watch it & gave it up as long~winded & boring & full of unpleasant people who really should have known better.  Yes, I know it's a classic.  That's why Star was watching it ~ but that doesn't mean I have to like it!

Anyway, at some point today our bags will be packed & we will be on a boat for the mainland to drive north, where the sharks are cruising the shallows of all the holiday beaches looking for an unwary snack [I will not be swimming!] so that we can spend a long weekend with my mother & do some family catching up.  The camera is charged.  The garden is watered.  Adieu, Farewell, Sayonara.  See you all Monday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What we saw at the Shops.

“When cats run home and light is come, And dew is cold upon the ground, And the far-off stream is dumb, And the whirring sail goes round, And the whirring sail goes round; Alone and warming his five wits, The white owl in the belfry sits.”~ Lord Alfred Tennyson

There is a reason I go away when we go on vacation.  If I stay home I work ~ all those things we don't have time for in term time.  Two days it took me to get new tires on the island car & I practically had to beg even then ~ which is what you get when you have one officially retired but only available mechanic on the island.  He doesn't need to work....It's sort of a hobby & if he'd rather go fishing, well....And I still have to take the old tires to the tip!  To~day's job; Star can drive.

Then there was the mainland car  which I had been begging Liddy to sort out because she drove it waaaay more than I did.  I normally only need it at night ~ when the garage is shut ~ but of course she was always in a rush & needing to be somewhere so it never got done.  Yesterday we went & did it.  At least we did what I could afford.  All day affair ~ naturally.  We plan for these things.

So we went & bought movie tickets but with time to kill before our session started were wandering back towards the shopping centre when we spotted this gorgeous man!
 Isn't he something?!  He is a barn owl.  The wildlife rescue people were out in force with a 1/2 dozen or so animals in tow making the most of school holiday crowds to raise awareness.  I think Star sort of quailed in her boots because I am a sucker for a pretty bird & promptly started chatting up the young handler.  Barn owls we have but though we might have them we never get this up close & personal with enough light to admire the snowy chest with a delicate freckling of black, the tawny back feathers, the incredible angles that an owl can turn its head.  Hand raised & not ever able to be released he was inquisitive & affectionate & enjoyed sticky beaking the crowd.
 We came back a little later to visit with Anala, which means place of peace [I told you I chatted this guy up!].  Wedge~tail.  This guy is only tiny with a 3 m wing span & weighing just on 2ks, which is nothing in the eagle world but a whole lot of bird when he is tethered to your wrist.  The wing span can reach as much as 7m ~ out west these guys regularly take lambs or small sheep & have been known to take small dogs [of the lap dog variety] on the island.  Even jessed, even confined these guys are really something special.  I was delighted as even in the mall area he turned into the wind to get the lift as the breeze came through & every so often he'd take of, practically taking his handler with him.
 Yeah, he was affectionate too.  I am always amazed at how responsive wild animals can be when they are treated right.  I asked if they ever flew him, & yes, but he's never out long because he had a broken wing & tires easily.  It will take about 3 years for complete healing to occur.
Then there was this little guy ~ about the size I like them & I had a long chat about the flying foxes ~ I will pick people's brains when the opportunity arises & besides, the guy is the first person I've ever met who loves them as much as I do!

Then, because Star wouldn't choose so I did, we went & saw this:

Star about had a fit when she realised some of it was sub~titled!  Not sure about the story line; think I now need to go read the book, but visually stunning & historically/culturally interesting.  Poor Star.  Even on holidays she gets educated one way or another.

Picked up more seedlings & a grape vine & am now off into the sunshine to dig in the rich black soil & make my cats happy.  They missed me yesterday.  Dearest swears they have to go away with me because they do not love him when I am not around!

Monday, September 19, 2011

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.3John1:4

Christian parents have it tough.  We don't just want to raise decent, moral, caring human beings; we want to raise Christ lovers who will pick up their cross & follow after Him who has called them by name.
To that end we pray for our children, with our children & about our children.  We take them to Sunday school & to church.  We send them to bible camp & youth group.  We teach them memory verses & catechism questions, the standard creeds of the faith.  We say grace at meals, bedtime prayers, family devotions.  We talk with them about the things of Christ ~ all of this in the hope that it will be enough, that somehow they will love where we love & that God will become vibrant & real to them.  I've lost track of the grief & heartache I've witnessed as the children of Christian parents reach maturity, turn their backs on the faith & walk away from everything they've been taught.  It is devestating.
I have been both the child who walked away & the parent who grieved & I have done a lot of thinking about this.  We do everything we can, everything we know.  We spend hours in our prayer closet in prayer & still we lose our children to the world at a phenomenal & ever growing rate.  We never even know we have a problem until it is too late because while they are young & under our roof, under our covenant, they are protected & biddable ~ then they reach their majority, move beyond our authority & the ugly truth is revealed.
Some of it is genetic.  Stubborn strong~willed parents are not going to produce gentle, pliable children ~ not as a rule.  Some of it is just the old sin nature at work.  Some of it is simply we have taught our children about Christ, rather than introducing them to Christ. Some of it is generational curses & some of it is downright spiritual warfare & even after all I've learnt I still get gaught by this one because I just never ever think we are that important!  In truth we're not but because we're Christ's Satan will happily use us to hurt the Father.  I know this. I have seen it in action over & over.  More devestatingly they have looked at us, looked at the church & gone Yuck!
Most of mine are big now.  We cover the spectrum from the full blown aethiest to the mission oriented.  I know the joy of discussing Christ with children who also know & love Him, who are walking in The Way, immersing themselves in the scriptures & over the years each has expressed the same concernes:
                                  The church is soft
Why doesn't the church teach on these things?
Where is the power of God?
How can I know God?
For each, as they have struggled for a mature faith, they have been apalled by the discrepency of what the scriptures teach as to how the church is.  I understand.  How can we, as the people of the Living God, sit through three hymns,  a short inercessory prayer & a 3 point sermon week after week & never once expect the Spirit of God to move through the congregation, ignite the people with His power & passion, set us alight?!
Dino, who has just come out of his first full on fast & touched the edges of walking close with God, once asked me, "But why didn't you talk to us about these things when we were growing up?"  Because I didn't know then!  No~one taught me.   As I have learnt, so have I shared.  I warn my children, " It will cost you everything."  I have passionate children.  They're not interested in half measures. 
 Now Dino is starting to understand just how difficult this all is.  A little tentatively, because it is all new & he is unsure, he came to me & said, " I didn't get anything...I just asked God to show me what it all means".   And then he added, "But we have to wait....the timing's not right".   I grinned at him.  You got something, I said.  That is what I have been getting.  The time's not right.  We are waiting on others also being ready.   There was a look of wonder in his eyes.  He'd heard from God! 
 And this is our starting point; children raised in such a way they can hear from God for themselves; hear from Him, recognise His voice & are prepared to act on His instructions.  Not church sitters.  Not pew warmers.  Not 3 hymns & a 3 point sermon people.  We are living in volatile times. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: It is not just pretty rhetoric.  It is a Living Truth.  May our children grow strong.  May the spirit of God be a fire in their bones & may the Living God consume them!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What Price Vanity?

The most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. ~ Salma HayekThe morning light is luminous, the air already warm & heady with scent.  Mist lingers in the hollows & pockets amongst the shadows as I drive Dino to his morning boat & the cats greet the new day with delighted chirrups.  Spring has definitely arrived.

I learnt a long time ago that certain activities are not for me.   I knew I was never going to be a girly~girl.  Perfume is a migraine trigger; make~up gives me hives & rashes, itches & sneezes & other unpleasant things.  When I was performing regularly the greasepaint turned my skin into a blotchy, bumpy mess.  Skin care is warm water & a gentle wash.  We don't experiment with laundry detergents.  A lavender sachet amongst the linen is the extent of any perfumery & it is a major catastrophe if our non~allergenic deodorant line ceases production!  My girls have inherited this unhappy state of affairs.

So when I was invited to one of those show & tell evenings for skin care products I very politely declined ~ for obvious reasons.  A twenty minute boat trip inhaling someone else's deodorant has been known to have me hallucinating & spewing & I curse the women who have a preponderance for heavy, musky scents, applied liberally over cigarettes & wine.  The smell of sweat is preferable.  In our overly sanitized world that is not very acceptable but then some of us are forced to avoid certain people for the benefit of our health!

Having not attended the evening I was more than a little surprised to be chased up & presented with a free sample kit.  Being chronically incapable of being rude & saying no I accepted the kit with a smile & a thank you.  After all it was a very sweet gesture.  In my house it was likely to get lost before it got used.  It's non~allergenic, the host assured me.  No animal products, no perfumes, no testing on animals.  I forbore to mention the long list of non~allergenic products I am, in fact, extremely allergic to!

The kit arrived home safely but once out of my bag promptly disappeared, to be searched for frantically when the email arrived wanting to know how we'd found the product.  Now I have a ruddy Celtic complexion that makes me look like a full blown lush on occasion.  Star has the porcelain white skin that sometimes goes with red hair, does not tan & makes her look like she's related to a vampire.  With puberty she has been having a lot of trouble with her skin ~ as I did ~ & the muck she has to apply to it for every performance does not help.  So last night while we watched Bones we experimented.

The cleanser was brilliant.    Not so much for me as for Star.  The angry red inflammation was greatly reduced & our skin was left feeling really clean & silky smooth.  I admit to being impressed ~ especially as neither of us got a reaction.  Ditto the toner.  I couldn't believe it.  Having had so much success we got careless.  We didn't do a test patch on the night serum. Yep.  That was the one.  Angry welted patches rose up on our cheekbones with a burning sensation & despite keeping it well away from our eyes they grew red, sore & puffy.  Won't be using that one again.  And it will be a few days before we can trial the other  samples but I can assure you we will be being much more cautious!  After all these years you'd think I'd know better.  Non~allergenic is rarely non~allergenic in my case

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it. ~ Patrick Young

 The mulch has arrived ~ & just in time.  The larger bananas are throwing their leaves but having investigated I have seen the new furled leaves just poking  out so I know all will be good.
Already it is warm & steamy & the garden is only half done because Marlow was helping &, well, it was warm!  Too warm.  My gardening partner was on the water fishing! No I don't know why.  The sun was shining, the water was pristine & smooth as glass, a light haze on the horizion... why would he be fishing?

My cats are looking unhappy: a sudden blast of warm weather & them still in their winter fur coats! We are on holidays & I have a sick man about the house.  Luverly.  Someone shouldha' told him I was on vacation & it was no time to get sick!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me." ~Erma Bombeck

Star got rather a kick out of her morning by declaring loudly, "But I don't want to go to school today!"  Funny Bunny, because today is the day we went in to Star's umbrella school.  Not that our visit was mandatory or anything but our supervising teacher likes to catch up once a term.  Normally she comes to us & Star does the lunch because Home Ec is one of her *subjects* & doing the lunch is practical application.  This term, however, was complicated by Liddy & when M had the school car we were deeply mired in angst & fraughtness & absolute bedlam so we deferred & agreed to come in to the school, hand in Star's work, have a chat & generally make the right noises that keep the governmental departments happy before heading on to music.

In the four or five years we have been with the school we have never ever been in to visit before.  I have all the navigational ability of a stunned homing pigeon & Star, whose map reading skills have improved markedly, invariably waits till I'm lost before finding us on the map & deciding on a route to get us to where I'm going.  All well & good when you have plenty of time & don't mind aberrant directions such as...Which way, Star?  Star: It doesn't matter; you choose....Um, yeah....  Still find the school we eventually did.  Where is Liddy when I need her?

We came in the back way so had to prowl across the entire campus of the regular school to find the  D.E building, which was definitely an afterthought.  Now in Queensland you can belong to the State D.E program, or a private D.E program or you can register independently with the education department but however you do it the State likes to keep tabs on us homeschoolers because we're naturally subversive & goodness knows what we'd do if we weren't kept tabs on don'tcha know.  So the school started life as a regular school & when the D.E program started it was tiny ~ 8 people in a regular house on the school grounds because people send their kids to school & Christian parents send their children to Christian schools; no~one home educates.  It didn't take long before the school realised they had got it wrong & had to build a proper school building that now houses 20 *teachers* who are available to help, support, direct & co~ordinate home, school & government.

Having started with BSDE we were used to a big distance school which was always swarming with kids & visitors any time we went in.  Groves D.E program is small by comparison & all the work stations were quiet as most of this term's work is already in & marking under way.  The school itself [not the DE part] was much bigger than I expected  ~ which didn't prevent Star from swanning round like Lady Muck because it's always fun to be the homschooling student while everybody else trudges back into class.

We did a massive scenic detour coming out because Star muddled her lefts & rights then decided she didn't like the route she had chosen because it was tolled & made me turn around & go back!  *sigh*

Music, on the other hand, is lovely.  The kids are back with John Curro in October for a Bach thingy so rehearsals are Bach~y & I'm so not complaining,  all day workshop not withstanding.  Over the holidays I will organise our QPAC auditions.  Star is so determined I not embarrass her she is giving me singing lessons.  I got my first one in the boat coming home.  Sol-fa ~ which are the hand signals for singing on pitch .  Despite having seen this in action for years I have never exactly sorted out what's what & the kids go so fast!  Going up the scale is hard.  Coming back down is impossible.  Seeing I'm the academic one in this household I understand the theory much better than the practical application.  The practical application comes hard.  By the end of our 20 minute boat trip my wrists were aching!  Who knew music was so physically strenuous!

And it's happened.  Random skype messages from Chile:  What's a good craft to do with children 9~12 for the story of the fall of Jericho?  A craft to illustrate any other bible story? OK, at least she's not standing on the street corner going, Where am I?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Because you asked...

Click the link to hear AVAE in rehearsal.

Monday, September 12, 2011

...summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens

Spring is here ... sort of.  It got warm round here & we started removing the layers of clothing, started removing the extra blankets on the beds but we didn't pack anything away because the cats haven't started moulting yet.  No moult, there's still cold weather coming.  It arrived with a vengeance with the westerlies bringing down trees & power lines, stripping the sails out of the trees, squashing the baby lettuce & miniature silverbeet.  The bananas stood firm.  The cats reverted to being indoors cats & Kirby cowered in the bathroom while the rain thundered & the wind screamed & whistled round the eaves & roared across the bay.

So for two days we have been picking up the dead wood & burning, burning, burning.  Dino & I did a massive overhaul of the house that included several trips to the tip.  Now I am eyeing off Liddy's room...;P  Star & I have been collating her work to take in to her umbrella on Wednesday.  I am calculating money for new tires for the island car &  a tune~up for the mainland car so Star & I can take a trip up north.  Star has complicated my life by taking up the violin again: prac & theory!  Two hours we were there but as Star says, she's older now, she knows what is required, she is prepared to do the hard yards ~ & she is eyeing off a better quality violin! Um. Yeah.  Wednesday she is doing  private singing lessons.  The word eisteddfod got mentioned.  Star had better get her driving together fast!

We go on school holidays at the end of the week.  I so need to regroup!  It has been a really messy & complicated year so far, not helped by my son, who thinks the 3 minute drive to the jetty at 5.15 am is the perfect time for deep & meaningful theological discussions.  Doesn't he know I drive on auto~pilot at that time of the morning?  I am barely functional, let alone at my theological peak! 

 Now Dino is one of my doers, & the only one of my children who has never been a reader.  Why read about it when you can just do it, right?  For years I have been saying to this kid,"You want to know God, you want to know God's will for your life ~ then you need to know your scriptures!  You need to know them inside out & back to front", but like so many before him Dino thought there must be an easier way, one that did not require so much effort on his part to do something he wasn't madly keen on.  The penny has finally dropped & hit bottom with a resounding clang!  The kid who hasn't opened a book since he left school & has never, ever read for pleasure is steadily working his way through my theological library ~ a library that is not for theological wimps!  We have been here before but Liddy's mind rolls along completely different tram tracks, so much so she has bought her own library.  Dino's mind works scarily like mine.    He is experimenting with meditative prayer & wants to compare notes, wants to know what's on my shelves that discusses this.  Foster, that's who.  Like others in this house he is touching on the prophetic & now he has borrowed my book on fasting.  Am I rejoicing?  You betcha!  I am also flipping out a little...ok, I am flipping out a lot.  I rabbit on about this stuff here but there's lots I don't say.  It is intensly personal, unformed, raw.  I struggle to give expression to the lived experience, to articulate in a way Dino might understand & I am being forced to expose parts of my spiritual journey that I have kept carefully hidden because  the waters are deep & treacherous & few venture into them.  The Lord wasn't joking when He told me he would undertake my children's training Himself!  Liddy was straightforward compared with what's going on with Dino.

There's not a lot of the peace, the quiet, the stillness I need to recover & regroup.  There are days I envy my cats: a patch of sunlight, a cosy bed...mmmm, bliss.
The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. ~Harold Wilson

I am so over being without the internet. All my friends live in my computer & I have lots & lots to say but no way to say it! Our provider is so awful that contract or no contract we are ditching them. We have tried twice to sort the problem but just get outsourced to somewhere where no~one speaks understandable English & just want to tell us things that aren't true. Over it.

Thankfully FB still worked so I have been able to tentatively keep in touch with Liddy & will update to the Chile page as soon as I can. Briefly the girl is safe in Chile. She has seen her first llama, which for some reason was hugely exciting. She has made her first child contact on the streets, more understandably exciting. She is sharing a room with 3 other girls & has the bottom bunk! She is now very happy she took her Doona cover with her because it's like she has a little piece of home with her. She has done 2 prayer & fast days since leaving home & for someone who loves her food & whose first thought when she wakes up involves investigating the kitchen, that is a hard penance indeed!

Meanwhile I have been reading, reading, reading. Speak no Evil on the Nickle Mines shootings. Plain Secrets ~ on the difficulties in relationship between the Amish & the rest of us. Something on Shamanism that Star borrowed & was never in a thousand fits actually going to read ~ but which I found fascinating! Archaeology, people, not some New Age gibberish. Half of Star's reading matter ~ much to her distress because I read faster than she does & know more about her reading material! National Velvet ~ for school. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty because we have been looking at the short story. If you've read it, was he henpecked or a spy? Maybe both?

We have looked at Bonaparte for school & not because we are very interested in his battles which were very messy & bloody & frankly boring because one war is pretty much just like the next; only the causality count changes. Nope, the man was a fascinating egomaniac who is on record as saying that he couldn't see an empty throne without wanting to sit on it ~ which explains a great deal. Brought on, perhaps, by the 48 cups of coffee he drank daily. And besides meddling in the governments of multiple nations he designed the Italian flag & lost Waterloo due to his hemorrhoids. There is more. I am considering posting our multiple choice paper so you all too can enjoy the absolute bizarreness of Napoleon Bonaparte!

Star has wrestled with her maths. Dino dug up the front yard & he & I went to the mainland in the tinnie to get supplies. The wind chose to howl across the bay at 25 knots. It was very rough ~ both ways. I eyed the shore askance calculating whether I could ditch my heavy jacket & ugg boots in sufficient time to make it to shore before drowning. I splurged on a raspberry cane & pomegranate because I adore raspberries & pomegranates & you can never buy them fresh. Dino bought a peach tree. We picked up bags & bags of chicken manure & more bags of horsie poo. We bought beans & peas & corn, lettuce, watermelon, rockmelon, celery, capsicum, 2 sorts of tomatoes ~ & God willing we will get a return in produce so it will all have been worth it!

Um, Star is driving. The very first thing she did was put my little red island rocket in the ditch. Luckily the ditch was shallow & I was able to reverse it out without trouble & on the whole Star's driving has been good. Better by miles than Liddy's. It was ages before Liddy stopped wandering all over the road & refrained from driving *at* objects & people. Star hugs the left & my biggest problem is stopping her from riding the selvage. However I tend to break out in a massive sweat every time Star takes off. Her overweening confidence is shattering. So far she is just driving me up to the shops & back. At this stage Liddy was still confined to the backroads because she was a road hazard. If we can get her up to speed ~ which means keeping her head in traffic, reversing & parking without giving me heart failure, smoother take offs without the occasional stall, then she can start driving on the mainland. I break out in a sweat just thinking about it!
And for those who want to see us in action....
Enjoy, people.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It has been a busy week or so ~ complicated by losing our internet just as I needed it for research purposes.  Goodness only knows what Star is suppossed to be doing for school but we are slowly getting our rythmn back & plodding along to the end of term. Meanwhile Liddy arrived safely in Delden, Holland, with all her luggage intact & has had a great GO conference.  Will update all round as soon as I am assured our internet is here to stay ~ not yet! :( but a couple of prayer points: 
 Libby is flying on to Chile on Sunday.  She has 2 stopovers & it is a long flight so travelling mercies would be greatly appreciated.

She is already feeling a little homesick.  Some of that is all the others  on her Chile team have come paired already, boy/girl from Germany, America, Austria, Holland.  Libby is the only Aussie & as we all know Aussies have a pretty wacked sense of humour that not everybody else gets. 

 The slowness of working with translation is eating at her too! Hope that is motivation to pick up the lingo fast!

Some of what she has been doing she has really appreciated making the conference very worth it.  Some has been difficult & frustrating. 

Facebookers: she does have a Chile FB page where she has been leaving updates as time permits [not much spare time] so if you are interested friend her & get the link.

God bless you all.  Back soon.