We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
[Marianne Williamson]

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ugggh... this weather!

In the last week, my favourite roses have roasted, my gardenias have gasped their last, my dahlias are dead and my crepe myrtles are crispy. I know I have neglected my garden since Wombat was born, but it's not as though we haven't been watering. Yeti has been pumping from the dam almost every evening... but to no avail.

Last night, he was telling me about his global warming premonition. He had a nightmare in which the entire earth was a ball of red dust and the devil stood astride what used to be the greenest, most luxuriant landscapes, laughing and laughing and laughing, with no-one to oppose him.

The scary thing is, it's quite feasible - and not that far away in planetary terms. I am somewhat of a mythical ostrich, burying my head in the sand (real ostriches aren't silly enough to actually do that!) As long as I can see babies, butterflies and birds around me, I believe the world will go on.

But what will my great great grandchildren see? Sure, it's a cliche... but perhaps the time has come to look beyond the rhetoric and seriously think about answering it (there's still at least two levels of procrastination there... I sure am predictable.)

I studied law as it seemed to be the best way to ensure I would be able to support my children when the need arose. I think I'm slowly hearing the message (being shouted at me from every side) that I should take an even longer term view and nurture my dilettantish penchant into a crusader's passion for environmental law.

I might surprise myself by making a difference.

This thinking is linked to two other ongoing mental themes:

First, there is our neverending discussion as parents about where we should move to provide the best surroundings for our adorable Wombat and his (twinkle-in-the-eye) siblings. Back in the archives, I mentioned a recurring dream in which I saw a big, white house with wide verandahs overlooking the sea. It was called 'Butternook' (that's how it sounds, though I'm not sure if that's how it is spelt). In our discussion last night, Yeti mentioned the same house (even though I had not told him of my dream, I immediately recognised his description). We had each focussed on different details, but as we filled in the blanks in each others' picture, we began to feel that this was a real place and it was waiting to be ours. It's out there somewhere. Now we just have to find it!

Secondly, there is my search for a word for this year. I wanted to take this challenge seriously and have rejected all the candidates so far considered (it would take too long to list and explain them all) as not having enough BITE to be sufficient inspiration. This year has a lot of potential to shape my... no, OUR future, and I don't want to let it drift by and be wasted like so many of my years have been.

I have thought and prayed and meditated and dreamed about finding the right word, and it seems significant that so many different threads are tying themselves into one consistent and very challenging pattern.

I have chosen my word for 2007.

~ Environment ~

What, Wombat?

Lol... I was wrong! After trying unsuccessfully to get used to Bunyip as a name for my boy, I realised it wasn't going to work... I mean, he's not scaly & feathery & living in a swamp (though I do admit I've been a bit slack about vacuuming lately!) No... my boy's blogging name is one that I have been calling him from the very beginning... one that conveys his strong and sturdy build and determined nature... that's right! He's my little wombat ;D

and in his new camo overalls, he makes the perfect combat wombat ;P

I've been busy setting up the new blogs for him and moving my posts over from my site... it's been great fun working with new blogger's customisation abilities. I do love tweaking html! Nourishes some inner creative urge, in a crafty but non-tactile sort of way. As soon as I have something to read up there, I will add the links.

I had more erudite things to say, I'm sure... but once again time has frittered away from me, it's 4am and Wombat is waking for his early morning comfort feed.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Love a boy in uniform

This entry is going to jump around like a frog on a hotplate, if you will excuse the somewhat painful metaphor...

Have you ever noticed that the more you have to write about, the less time you have to write in??? I am desperate to get the latest Bunyip update out - I've dropped back to doing them monthly - his month, not calendar. He is now 10 months old, and so much happened in the last month that I want to record... but between teething & the heat, he is not sleeping, and I am getting no time to myself at all!

I am in the process of redesigning my home website, and have the template all prepared and ready, but part of my reasoning is a fresh dose of paranoia. Now I am posting so many photos of my life all over the internet, I don't want to have quite so much personal information associated with them... on the very slim chance that someone undesirable finds an unsavoury use for them. This raised the new dilemma of finding a blogging name for my son. I wanted to be a little bit original, and a little bit Australian, which cut out most of the candidates as they were either too American or already being used... anyway, to cut a long story short as it is already 3:30 am and I MUST get to bed, I finally realised that there was only one name for the aussie offspring of a Yeti and a Myth... BUNYIP!

(Other possibilities seriously considered included Snugglepot, the L'il Bloke, Jackaroo, DJ and Number One Son...)

One of my motivations for keeping this blog is to record the more crafty things I make... so here is my latest project - overalls to protect my Bunyip in his new-found mission of exploring the world. MIL came home from a charity shop with a couple of army cadet camouflage shirts that didn't fit either Yeti or myself, so I remade one into overalls. I am very pleased with my ingenuity in getting two overalls from one shirt!

The pattern is very simple, traced from a pair of existing overalls. It is a size 1 but I have added extra seam allowances and hems where possible - the Bunyip is not going to stop growing anytime soon!

This pair use the sleeves of the shirt as the legs of the overalls. The sleeves were double fabric in front, and had button-adjustable cuffs, making them ideal for the purpose. Whoever gave the shirts away forgot to remove their shoulder patches from one of the shirts, so Bunyip got his own military insignia as well!

I didn't have enough fabric to make two bibs, so this pair use the epaulettes to fasten the straps, and the pockets were unpicked and resewn as knee patches.

This pair were made from leftover scraps from a skirt I made while pregnant and still wear. I put the buttonhole in the wrong place, so added the heart motif to disguise my mistake and it ended up being my favourite detail! If you look very closely, you can see that the legs are patched together in several pieces as I had nowhere near enough fabric, but I am pleased the pattern doesn't show the joins.

Here he is modelling his new actionwear!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Water, water everywhere

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry about this one.

It's nearly as awful as the Aussie model/triathlete who was out jogging with her baby on a hill above the Torrens river in Adelaide. She stopped to answer her phone and turned away to write a number on her thigh. When she turned back, the baby was gone. Being a celebrity-type, her first thought was to run around screaming "My baby's been stolen." It was a while before anyone bothered to look down the hill and see the pram floating in the water. The baby died later in hospital.

Yeti (my husband-like person) claims that my generation has a habit of dissembling. It's never our fault, always someone else's. Being considerably older, he can get away with making such sweeping generalisations (he makes different and equally cogent criticisms of his own generation, but that's another story) . I guess he's not the only one who has noticed this trend, as I was amused to read this in the Driver's Handbook (while studying for my final driver's licence test):

And when people make insurance claims after crashes, they generally avoid taking the blame. The experts call this ‘external attribution’ – where you attribute blame or the reason that things happen to things outside of yourself. As you might have guessed, ‘internal attribution’ is when you assign blame or the reason that things happen to yourself. The healthiest situation is where you can recognise the things that are due to you and what you do and the things that aren’t. Research suggests that people who can honestly recognise what is their fault and what is others’ are safer drivers.

It’s tough to accept that some things are down to you.

Tough is not the word, when you think of that little boy's mother. I can't help wondering - did she see what really happened and then automatically invent a way for it not to be her fault, or was she really that clueless? Either way it's going to be bloody difficult to live with...

Leonardo's favourite stuffed toy lion sat atop his white coffin, next to a bunch of white roses, while songs played at the service included The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

But the story which prompted me to write tonight involves a different kind of tragic stupidy, and it would be very hard to attribute blame to the ones who will suffer as a result.

Apparently a mother with three children died from water intoxication after trying to see how much she could drink without peeing. The reason? She was participating in a radio contest to win a Nintendo Wii.

Who is to blame for that senseless waste of human life? And how will those three kids deal with a lifetime of 'internal attribution' - believing that it was their fault. After all, she was doing it for them... wasn't she?


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Mine... all mine!

So what do you think? I've just finished redecorating the Bordello. Does it suit me?

Friday, January 05, 2007

New beginnings

I miss not having a blog - somewhere I can write the thoughts not suitable for those updates that I publish on my website and share with family and friends.

No matter how I try to talk myself out of it, my mind is constantly writing entries.

Of course, time is still at a premium - the aforementioned updates are few and far between, and even my beloved photo challenges are being done in fortnightly blocks.

I am not going to restart either of my online diaries, because then I would feel obligated to read and comment on the entries of friends and favourites, and my time would once more fritter away. I am much happier being able to lurk randomly around when I have a spare minute, and I am glad to have a few online friends (and numerous strangers) who don't mind me doing so.

I can't use my website because it is almost out of space, I can't just post entries the way blogger does, and it is supposed to be a public showcase of my work. I am not even sure my babyblog is appropriate there.

This place keeps calling to me... the plaintive howl of a wasted space. It has been a monumental failure as a meme-o-rama (not that I blame anyone - it was a silly idea in the first place). The thing is, I have nostalgic longings for it. It makes me sad to see it so quiet. I am also pretty sure I am the only one who ever thinks about bumbling around in the bordello these days.

As a result, I am hereby hijacking this blog for my own selfish concerns ;P

Other erstwhile contributors have a week to protest (preferably with a meme response). If this post is still at the top next Friday, I shall start redecorating... (*rubs hands gleefully... nothing I like better than a bit of web weaving* **insert screwdriver in slot on top of head and turn briskly**)

Anyway, enough prevarication from me. Blog now or forever hold your peace! (Though of course you will always be welcome to lurk and/or comment as the mood takes you.)


I keep reading lovely, loving, inspirational letters which mothers write to their babies. Nine months in the womb and nine months in the world, and I haven't written to David yet. I haven't even attempted to record my feelings about him, the joy and wonder and sheer cuddliness of him, in the medium which is supposedly my specialty - words.

Years before his birth, I purchased a book in which to record his first five years. So far, I have written his name inside the cover... for Christmas I was given another one. He has an empty scrapbook and a bag full of birth and baptism cards to be pasted into it. He has two empty photo albums. I have taken thousands of photos of him. I need to print out the best ones and arrange them - one month to a page - so we have a record of his growth which can't be erased by computer failure. I have a new stack of 50 cds to back-up his archives.

My sister sent me a poem recently with a lot of very beautiful questions. I would like to try to answer some of them sometime.

I need to get off the computer and spend more time just chatting with my husband.

I need to be working towards the things I want to achieve this year - studying for my licence test on Monday, looking at property, investigating university lecture-ships, expanding my thesis into a book... I have a stack of books on Gwen Harwood, twelve of them, beside me, five still unread... of the others, I have scribbled page numbers for note-taking but never gotten back to them. They must be posted back to the university tomorrow, and since I have now finished my degree, I no longer have borrowing privileges. So much for preparing that e-book. It was starting to look like a glorified crib guide, but I was hoping to lift it back to the level of literary criticism.

I have an accumulated sleep debt of several thousand hours. I need to get to bed earlier.

I desperately need more exercise.


One or two of these things might be achieved by blogging. The vast majority will not... but at least making a list reminds me of them, so perhaps it is not such a dangerous idea... the challenge will be indulging... in moderation.