Sunday, 26 June 2011

She is so sweet...

We all like to have breakfast together and we encourage Brid to be dressed and ready for 8am. Late last week Brid was ready quite early, I commended her and hugged her Good Morning.
She had our local Christian radio station on and she was listening to every word the radio announcer said.
"Mum Dad Listen". Of course we did.
we heard " This song is for Leanne. Its her favourite song and how do I know that, because Brid, her daughter  requested it for her this morning."
I do love it and myimagination wonders to my daughters and our relationships with them, every time I hear it.
Thank you Brid, you are so sweet.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

camping in our family room

Last  weekend, we celebrated Pentecost  and the Queens birthday.. This means a long weekend....
I declared on Friday. Oh great, a long weekend for Pentecost. It was raining and miserable, so I thought lets camp in our family room.
Actually, I mentioned this to Brid on the Thursday evening and it was met with great delight. So Friday evening I pulled out the lounge and made it into a sofa bed. Put lots of blankets and pillows on it and we were set.
Dermot looked at me surprised, this was unlike me.
We stoked up the fire and it heated us all weekend. Our cat, Bailey, was quite happy on his mat by the fire.
We had made our Pentecost craft, earlier that week. Our tables and our family alter were draped in the Liturgical colour of red. Actually we keep these colours draped for June.
I woke unwell with a headache, on Saturday morning, meaning Dermot’s plans to spoilt us with bacon n eggs for breakfast was somewhat dampened.  I felt terrible as I had spoilt his plan. We made the most of it and as soon as my headache cleared  I was able to rejoin the  camping trip.
That evening our parish was having a Pentecost party and welcoming our new parish Priest.  The parish hall had been decorated. Red balloons, doves and flames of fire were decorating the walls. Red was the theme; serviettes, table sprinkles, candles. It was gorgeous.  It was a real fun night. Had I mentioned we were asked to bring a meal  to share. Brid made our contribution, as I was still not up to it. Brid had chopped, cut and diced veges and chicken for the slow cooker. Dermot poured in red wine. It was delicious.
It was also 8 years to the day from when we had attended a retreat called Cursillo. So there was a mini celebration in that as well, because quite a few people who had attended that weekend were present at this parish event.
The following day, we woke to a mini flood. It had rained so much that the storm water drains could not handle the amount of water.  My mum and Dad were coming for a baked late lunch. Apple pie for dessert. I had second thoughts as this water was building up. With a little bit of thought we had it cleared and we started to get organised for our visitors. It  was in the end a very relaxing afternoon, After lunch, the men watched the football us women and children chatted.
Sunday saw us go fishing between rain showers. Brid really enjoyed that, and so did we.
Our weekend, although it was wet was lots of fun, just being together camped in our family room.

Friday, 10 June 2011

My Dad

When I was a teenager and studying, my Dad was also studying. I don’t actually remember a time when he wasn’t studying.
Dad had a fairly tough upbringing and needed to start work to help support his mum and sister. This was around the time most of our kids are still gaining high school education.
Dad began to gain a trade as a toolmaker at the BHP- Newcastle.  It was the largest employer in our area at time. He progressed to completing his fitting and machining certificate and around this time he met my Mum, his love. I think he also drove trucks while I was a baby as well, up and down the NSW coast.
They married very young. Dad wanted to get ahead financially. He didn’t have a Dad around when he was younger or have any financial security, so to him these where his reasons to begin working in the coalmines, about 40 minutes from our home.
It was dangerous work, and although he was able to provide for his family very well, he still wanted to achieve academically. The mine company was willing to pay for Dad to gain higher education. This would mean he would be able work above ground and not below with the coal and the danger of mine collapses. This began with firstly gaining his school certificate- it was at the time called a leaving certificate. He left before gaining this originally, as his Mum needed him to earn an income for the family.
So when I was in at school, he was studying toward his School Certificate, then his High School Certificate, this then helped him achieve his Mechanical Engineering Certificate. As he was a mature age student, he was able to gain credit points.
He loved Shakespeare and was fortunate that a TV station was running the plays he was studying it. He has fond memories of him and Mum reciting parts along with the play, before he left for work. 
Dad’s aim was always to ‘get out of the mines’. His words were it was ‘too dangerous’.
With all this study, he fast tracked himself to teachers college. He was offered a position to teach his trade at one of our TAFE colleges- Tertiary & further education, in our area. So while I was in my high school years he was teaching at TAFE.
It was great, for the first time in years Dad was home in the evenings. He was always working swing shift – 2pm til 9pm.  I used to help him mark some of the student’s tests. I knew it was a responsibility but I was sitting alongside my Dad, we were working together. I felt very important.
When I was in my final years at secondary school and in my student nursing years, I would study at the TAFE in Dads’ office, if he had any evening classes, because it was quite. I was also aware. that at home, there were distractions. Like a telephone or chats with Mum.
So Dad had quite a journey to get to his teaching position. He taught for a many years, but as Dad has always been a hard worker, 11 -12 weeks off a year holidays, were far too many. He needed to keep his mind and hands active. He got a job as a machinist in his holidays.
This started him on his next journey- His Own business. He was using his skills he learnt and taught. He runs it to this day, and as he is 70 now, he is winding it down.
Dad’s position at the Colliery- coalmine,  meant that there home was paid off very quickly, leaving them quite secure financially. As I have said, this is very important for Dad. I remember the year there home was completely paid off. We were sat down and explained that our usual twice yearly, family get aways holidays, were being cancelled for that year. I was so proud of them. I was totally OK with that. It is a memory I will have always.
Dad really tried his best to be the best he could be. He was tough, but fair. He and of course my Mum are our biggest supporters of homeschooling, because they see things outside of the box.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

After having our slow Combustion fire in and working now for a while now, I have come to the conclusion that I will never look at a stick or twinge again in the same way.
These pieces of tree will always now be looked at as kindling. We have a few trees on our property and at various times throughout the year, they drop their branches.
In the past, we have picked them up and placed them on the gardens. Not anymore. !!!!

We- Brid & I  take our wheelbarrow and collect our branches and twinges. Brid and I sort them into smallest to largest. We break them into approx. 12 inch long pieces, if we can. A selection of each size can be taken to the fire and use to build our fire.  
So yes, I am Miss Organisation. Comes with the nursing back. The organisation that was in ground in me by my senior nurses, educators, Nuns and the busyness of intensive areas I loved to work in.
That means each size has its own bucket and it makes it easier to pick the days selection of firewood.

As soon as the fire was installed, Dermot organised  a delivery of wood that he and Brid stacked in the shed. She being the apprectice to Miss organisation, picked up all the small pieces and we now have a lovely selection of very small pieces of wood. Thank you Brid.
I suppose you are wondering why I have called this post Channel F? HMmm. Well it’s because looking at the fire burning is the best TV channel. No violence or disturbing viewing on this channel. No sadness or bad news. Only warmth and a crackle. Great to read a book by.....

So we invite you to come and warm yourself by our fire.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Channel F cont....

Dermot cut the whole in the ceiling, had everything positioned for the minimum of tiles to be cut, minimum wood beams to be disturbed. He really thought about it. So with a little bit of effort, and a helpful little Brid, and some grunting they got the flue in. I was out weeding a much needed garden, and I saw Brid was half out of the roof, she was thoroughly enjoying her unschooling day, up in the roof with Daddy.

Next was the flashing. Nearly done...he was excited. He thought he was doing well, until he looked down....and there was a huge hole where the flashing should have been. It had come out of the ring seal that was made to fit the chimney flue. Oh dear!!! I heard no further noise and as I had been praying prayers of protection for him while up on the roof, I thought I had better look. The look said it all. He was despondent. 

I encouraged him to cover it all, and come down from the roof.. He looked exhausted and had nothing more to give physically or mentally. He cleaned up his tools, I drew him a bath and gave him a cold drink.  He sat there going over what had gone wrong. He called my Dad and they worked out a day to fix it. BUT hour later it rained and we had a hole in our roof. Oh well, it wasn’t a good hour. But Dermot managed to cover the hole. Next morning we put our heads together and tried to reassemble the flashing- it just wasn’t working. I saw sense pretty quickly, and rang the company. “No Sir,” I heard  a voice say to Dermot, “It is faulty, we will send you a new one”.

Dermot got the part from the supplier, bringing Dad with him, and they happily finished off the job. We lit our fire as it needs to cure slowly. So we were to light 3 cool fires for 20 / 20 and 40 mins. Then we were set. So a Fireplace we have, and we have been waiting and dreaming since 1993.

It has been a delight, and after all the effort Dermot can see how much he learnt about his own strengths and weaknesses.  Thank you, Dermot for spoiling me. I love you.

Now onto wood collecting. ........only joking, until next time.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Channel F

I have to confess I am married to the most amazing man. He spoils me beyond belief, and at times I don’t appreciate it.
When we were first married, we bought a little house close to my parents, about 3 kms away. It wasn’t flash, it was on a steep large block and it needed lots of renovation work, which I thought we may do.  The part we loved the most was its fireplace. It was our only form of heating all those years ago. We would have the fire burning all day in winter. It was the best TV I could have had. We would be mesmerised by it.
We outgrew that home and we purchased land and build our family home. We always dreamed of putting in a fireplace, but we knew it would be costly, as we had grand plans of mantle pieces. So 17 years later when we sold that home, we made sure we had the maths right for a fireplace in this our new home.
I really wasn’t sure if we could afford it, so I left it up to God. If he allowed it,  well and good.
 I did however, have a spot ready for it and I even had our cat lying in the spot where it would be so he would be comfortable in that spot.
Anyway without me knowing Dermot looked into various slow combustion fires and ordered one. Really !!! Was I surprised? He looked into installation and he decided I can do it myself. Go Dermot!! The man who when we moved from UK to Australia couldn’t mow a lawn or put oil in a car, let alone install a fireplace.
The fireplace was available to pick up last week, so my Dad and Dermot loaded it in Dads little van and drove home. It was HEAVY. How were we to get it inside our home? It is made of cast iron. Well using our heads and a bit of practical physics we – Dermot, Dad, Brid & myself- dragged and pulled it with cardboard underneath and a large towel once we got it up the step using the pallet it came on. It was positioned. Yeah!!
Now Dermot over the next day or two would make his schedule clear to install it.........

New Blog

I have created a new Blog for all my school entries.
 Including my older childrens stories from there schooldays.
Life as a Catholic Homeschooling family.
Come in and have a look.
I am still deciding what to add as gadgets.
I have already added some older posts.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Today while reading the reflection on the readings of today, I was reminded of a passage of Scripture.
I loved this passage.
One day it struck me, its was bigger than I was living.
This was a profound passage which when taken deeply can be a little scary, so I put it away and thought its too big for me.
I said to myself, there is so much more in the scriptures than this passage. God had other plans, he again reminded me of this today.
Do I really want to enlarge my territory? I did and then I withdrew. Yes he has Blessed me abundantly and he keeps Blessing me. Yes, He is with me in all the mess of life. Yes, he keeps me from evil, but the last bit it a problem. Can I at all times not cause pain.

Shall I ask again,
You may have guessed already, its;-
The prayer of Jabez, " Oh, That you would Bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that your hand would be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted himwhat he requested. 1 Chr 4:10.

There has been some controversary over the book that was written by Dr Bruce Wilkinson. I am not here to talk about that, just how this prayer has touched me.