July 11, 2012

A quiet day in front of the fire

Today I am spending the day in front of the fire. 
I rarely do this, but I am sick.

I have the flu, it is not bad, but just enough for me to feel OK about spending the day indulging in some quiet time. 

I have had a busy few weeks, with a trip to Melbourne then Cass and Nathan visited and I hosted "the band" when they came to Adelaide to play with Nathan. 
It was a fun time, head across to Cassies blog to see them.

But today they are all gone, and I am enjoying being able to sit in my lounge, with the fire while the washing machine churns on. 

Toast, an orange and yogurt are on the menu, and Carol Kings' Tapestry is keeping me company. 

I fell behind in my Bible reading over the past little while so I have caught up today. I use Bible Gateway, and today I listened to the audio, it makes large passages easier to follow, especially now when I am feeling a bit sick. 

I love having people in my home, it seems to help make sense of owning such a large property. It is made to have lots of activity, from midnight snacks in the lounge, to football watching in the TV room, breakfast eaten around the kitchen bench, and nerf wars in the rec room. 

I am so blessed...............now I need a little sleep.......................

June 19, 2012

Grannies got nerf guns!!!!!!!

Last week I decided to rectify the bias toward female toys in my house. I am an avid frequent flyer points collector, so I visited Big W to invest in some nerf guns and earn some points. My only experience with nerf guns was at Christmas time when C received one, and I was busy with other things and didn't take too much notice of his new toy.

Not knowing much about them I just bought the ones that were on special.
I think I purchased the intergalactic superduper machine gun variety!

I only bought two on my first foray, but then I decided that Miss P might like one too, so the little one was added to my arsenal.

They live in my rec room, a rather large space that is only used occasionally and has minimal furniture in it, just enough to provide cover in warfare.

These little babies have considerable fire power, much to the little boys delight.

We have the rule that you can't shoot at anyones head. This is quite difficult for Grannie as I usually shoot from the hip, and my opponents are a 4 and 6 year old. Their heads are usually in my target zone.
I work hard to avoid hitting their precious little noggins while they are firing at me at will!

One of the Dads fired the suction caps at the ceiling [it has a high vaulted middle] where they all stuck fast.
The next game was to try and dislodge them with other bullets. I think the soft toys were used in the end to knock them down.

Oh the fun of being a Grannie who owns nerf guns!

June 8, 2012

Barbie 25 years later

Today I decided it was time to clean the toys my grandchildren play with. 
I have a new home for them, in an old cupboard that we have brought into the rec room where they can be easily seen and accessed.

Most of them needed a wash.

You see, many of the toys in my home belonged to my daughters and they are now delighting their children. 

I do confess I have bought nerf guns for the little boys, barbies only hold their attention for so long.

Barbie dolls were very popular in our home 25 years ago. 

There was a bookcase that was converted into a dolls house for barbie and her friends, and the girls would play for hours decorating the rooms and changing barbies outfits.

She [in all her different forms] looked a bit worse for wear today, so I stripped her, and put all the clothes in the washing machine, wondering how many would be in one piece at the end of the cycle.

I then preceeded to wash her, and the one Ken doll we owned.

I covered Ken, even tho he isn't anatomically correct, it just seemed right.

I was amazed at how well the clothes survived!

There is a number of very classy evening outfits

and some more sporty ones

I have no recollection of acquiring these. 
The girls followed a number of different AFL teams...... I remember the Carlton faze, but not Sydney.

At last it was time to dress her in the beautiful clean clothes

It is exhausting putting the trousers on! In the end I went for the outfits that offered the least resistance.

Ken is still waiting to be dressed...........

he only has one outfit, and it is still wet. 

Next job is to put the pound puppies and cabbage patch kids through the machine.

You may well ask why I have chosen to blog on this after a long break. 
I have no idea, it really is a bit silly isn't it!

May 16, 2012

one year on

Today is the anniversary of Waymans death.

Time is a funny thing.
Some days it seems as if it was just yesterday, and others I feel as if he has been gone for half a life time.

I miss him dreadfully.

Yet God has chosen this path for me and I trust Him with the future. 
Some days I am better at that than others.

I am privileged that Wayman provided for me in such a way that I am materially comfortable, and my girls are wonderfully caring.
My sons-in-law are good men who love the Lord and lead their families well.

My grandchildren are a constant delight to me. 
I now have four on earth with me, Charlie, Penny, Jonty and Oscar, who was born to Stephanie and Shane in March.

It is still strange to attend church on my own some weeks. 
I think this is exacerbated by the fact that many people did not know Wayman. 
The numbers have grown so much that the majority of people have joined us since Wayman became ill.
So I am learning to introduce myself to them as a widow.

How strange that still sounds.

I love my garden, and feel a responsibility to maintain it well. 
I am not good at looking after the lawns........Wayman would be disappointed in that.
But I had a great display of annuals this year, and the war with the birds has abated!
The veggie patch is planted with winter things, brussel sprouts, broccoli, winter greens, beetroot, carrots, garlic and herbs.
And pumpkins, I only put in two this year, and they haven't taken over the patch.
I am learning to make compost, and how to safely burn rubbish, I mow the lawns and try to keep the autumn leaves under control.
I have put fish in the dam, silver perch, and I am hoping that my grandsons will learn to fish there.

The house is my refuge. I love it.
It is very big, but I don't feel uncomfortable in it.
Each room has a purpose and I seem to use them all.
The families love visiting to watch Collingwood play on my oversized TV in winter and the tennis court is a wonderful play ground for us all in the warmer months.
So I will stay here for a while longer.

With the anniversary of Waymans death comes the end of all the "firsts"
The first Christmas without him, the birthdays, anniversaries, football grandfinals, each one evoking memories with emotions just below the surface.

Twelve months ago, the last things Wayman said to me in this life were

"You are a strong woman Ruth, and I love you"

I am so very glad that he did, and I will try to be strong going forward.

With God as my strength and with His love to envelope me I am complete.

February 3, 2012

40 years ago

Today is my 40th wedding anniversary.

Of course it seems like a life time ago that Wayman and I were married on a Friday night in a Uniting church in Broadview, Adelaide.

I was one month past my 20th birthday, and he had turned 21 the week before our wedding.

We were so young, and deliriously happy!

Our relatives and friends were pleased we chose a Friday night, as they could play their sport the next day, and not miss tennis or cricket to attend a wedding. Back then many people still played organised sport on a Saturday afternoon.
Actually we were forced to have a Friday night wedding as I had been accepted into a post graduate course in theatre nursing and we left it too late in changing the church booking to have a Saturday, so we changed to Friday night. Daylight saving was quite new and being married at 6pm meant we still had some daylight for photos.

My older sister was maid of honour [she had a 6 week old baby, not bad don't you think?] and the other bridesmaid was a nursing friend. The flower girl was a cousin of Waymans.

Waymans attendants were both work colleagues.

I spent months planning my wedding, [apart from the last minute change in day!] and I thought we were adding touches that were so different in many small ways. When I look back, it was a wedding of its time.

Mum made the dresses except for the flower girls, which was made by her mother
We invited ALL our extended families
The reception was in a community hall
I made the paper flowers that decorated the tables
My Mum wore a hat
Mum and Kate [Waymans Mum] worried about the fact that their outfits were both blue, but in the end they liked their dresses and went with it!
I had a "going away outfit"
The photographers camera malfunctioned, he didn't have a spare, so there are no photos of me arriving at the church. He had to drive across town to get another camera!
We were given a reel to reel audio copy of the service.
We had a little family drama.
My little sister was overseas and not due home until later. I refused to wait for her to arrive back.....I really wanted to be a scrub nurse in an operating theatre!

Waymans Father had died of a heart attack just 10 months before we were married.
Kate was brave and gracious, allowing us to enjoy our day without any thought of the heartache she must have felt at loosing her only child so soon after Dougs' death.

She was one classy lady.

We had speeches, an old farmer, a neighbour, who I had called Uncle Max all my life gave the toast to the bride and groom, and the best man stole the night with a very witty speech that he delivered in grand style.

I loved my day, not because it was perfect and flawless, in fact it was a bit of an amateur production.
I loved it because I was marrying Wayman. And I think he felt the same about marrying me.

Isn't that the way it is supposed to be?

It began a wonderful marriage of thirty nine and a quarter years.

Not bad for a couple of kids.

January 12, 2012

High tea for my 60th

I turned 60 last week.

It is easy to type that in, but I have felt the weight of that number as I consider my life choices.

I decided to celebrate with a few women at home, inviting them to join me for high tea.

The girls and I had great fun finding Waymans Mothers fine china that has been stored in boxes and cupboards in our homes.

We pulled out her silver teaspoons and cake forks, found jam and sugar spoons and started to polish them all.

Kate had some beautiful things, most of them rarely used, stored for special occasions.

We decided she would agree that my 60th birthday was special.

The day started with champagne under the Elm trees.

Jill, Jacquie and Alison came from Sydney to join me and meet my Adelaide friends and family.

The lounge room was converted into a tea room, and we were seated comfortably at little tables, all very British!

What on earth am I doing with the cake fork?
The ladies at my table seem to be ignoring me, a senior moment perhaps?

The food was beautiful and delicious, provided by the wonderful Nicole from the Olive Branch in Balhannah..........

and the tea selections were perfect, with everyone agreeing that there was something for everyone.
My Mother came for the celebration. If I live as long as her, there will be plenty of time for senior moments!

note to self: try not to poke out friends eye with cake fork next time you have one in your hand!

My deeper thoughts on turning 60 are wrapped up in the Bible verse I have posted in the side bar.

December 21, 2011

A festive street

Steph and Shane live in a pretty street. Steph is very community conscious and three years ago she decided to decorate her block of their street with red ribbons on the street trees at Christmas. She door knocked as many neighbours as possible and then proceeded to put the ribbons up at night, with Shanes help. It took her a few evenings to complete the task.

Apparently one lady who she hadn't spoken to, rang the council during the process complaining that she didn't have a ribbon, and demanding to know when were they coming to do her tree!

Last year Steph left the ribbon in peoples letter boxes with a request for them to put them up, but I think they didn't all meet her high standards in ribbon artistry so she abandoned that idea.
She buys red plastic tablecloths by the roll and cuts it into strips, so each year they start with fresh ribbon.

This year a neighbour helped her, and the street is beautifully adorned again.

Most of the houses have Agapanthus and lawn on the verge, so the red ribbons look very festive........but some don't take as much interest in the streetscape

but they still have a ribbon to brighten their footpath.

Even the vacant block has two!

everyone is treated the same

They have found it a wonderful way to get to know their neighbours, and now Jont rides his bike along the footpath, and talks to Ben and Gerry, and Dot, and Di, he thinks it is quite normal to know many of the people on his block.

And in a small way one family is helping their community to celebrate Christmas.