Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ockerism exposed

Educational content
(well, sort of)

Okay. . . so it is not the most flattering pic of Mr Sunshine.  I can't help it if he stood in front of the camera while I was taking a picture of something even more rounded.  Sorry Mr Sunshine, that was uncalled for.  Actually Mr Sunshine does not look exactly like the gentleman in the photo (circa 2008).  He is now several kilograms lighter and if I continue to be such a slack cook, he may yet lose even more weight and his doctor will be pleased. 
The photo was taken at the Beaconsfield Mining Museum in Beaconsfield, Tasmania.  The whole world heard about Beaconsfield a few years ago when a couple of miners were rescued alive, after being trapped nearly a kilometer underground for two long weeks in a tiny (1.5 X 1.2 meters) metal cage.
But this is about the Furphy.  The photo is of a genuine Furphy and that's no Furphy.  Let me explain. . . . in Australia a Furphy is any misinformation, whether intentional lies or accidental.  The original Furphy was a water tank pulled by a horse and cart as in the photo.  During WW1 they were used to cart drinking water for our soldiers.  I thought it was pretty exciting seeing a real Furfy, the stuff of legend so to speak, but I'm easily pleased.
How did a water cart become a euphemism for misinformation?  I don't think anyone really knows for sure.  Wikipedia gives some theories about this so I won't repeat what they say.  Since it stems from WW1, I can't help thinking that it also could have something to do with wartime secrecy and propaganda.  After all, propaganda is all about the dissemination of Furfies (misinformation, not water tanks) in order to confuse the enemy.
Oh, and if you don't know what an ockerism is then you obviously are not Australian.  An ocker is an all-Australian bloke - a bit of a rough diamond.  Ockerisms are Australian slang terms used by ockers and others -  like 'ocker' for instance and 'furphy' and 'bottler' and 'dag' and 'yobbo' and 'galah' and 'budgie smugglers'.  What do they all mean?  If we told you we'd have to kill you. 
Then you would be cactus, mate, and that's no bull dust.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dragon McTavish - the Charmer

There wasn't much happening so I went back to some old photographs for inspiration.

Enjoy some light relief.

Click on the icon in the bottom LH corner to see the video.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Draft Header

I've been working on a new header picture.  It still needs a bit of touching up, but you get the general idea.
The problem is that the template I'm using doesn't allow for editing the header.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Posted by PicasaI'll get over it or else I'll get around it some how.   Wait and see.

Monday, May 24, 2010

New skills

The last few days have been a little frustrating to say the least. . .  frustrating in a bloggy way.

You may have noticed.

I thought it was time to update the ankle-biters' photos in my header.  Monkey has grown so quickly that he would hardly be recognisable from his previous little baby photo.  So I created a new header and it didn't fit the header frame.  I changed the background and it narrowed my writing space down and left huge margins on the sides.  It also cut off some of my photo collage of my mum, which forced me to shrink it to fit.  All in all, my blog ended up looking embarrassingly amateurish.

Of course I am an amateur, but that is no excuse. I don't mind being an amateur.  I just don't want to look like an amateur.

The good news is that I found out how to widen the bits I needed to widen and changed my background to one broad page instead of columns and I'm much happier.

[Try to imagine me doing a happy dance around my computer]

Now the grandkids fit neatly in the header frame -  I will change it though.  It was another failed experiment, but I will reuse the photos of them because they are sooo cute.  There will be more changes.  Gradually and carefully.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy (belated) Mothers' Day

This is my Mum. I created the collage weeks ago, intending to post it for Mothers' Day. Unfortunately life got busier and busier and although I phoned Mum on Mothers' Day, I didn't do a Mothers' Day post. It was going to be a nice one - full of positives that I have to be thankful for and letting Mum know what her strengths are. I was going to put a lot of thought into it.


I don't seem to get a lot of time for thoughtful stuff like that.

Still, Mum needs to know that she is thought about and appreciated and loved, so I post the collage now and hopefully the thoughtful stuff will find a window of opportunity later.
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Baptism

Baby fingers and toes are so cute and photograph-able. I love the way her little fingers are just as pink as her gorgeous little dress.
Sunday May 2 was a big day in the lives of two little babies.  Mr Sunshine's twin great niece and great nephew were baptised.  The little man was a good baby who slept a lot - like good babies do.  His little sister (a minute younger) bawled into the minister's clip-on microphone as he held her and at the celebratory morning tea, spent quite a lot of time awake.  So we have more girlie pics than little boy pics, sadly.

You can see that she wasn't unhappy all of the time.  That smile was for her Grandad D.  He was putty in her tiny little hands. 
I would love to know what their big brother was thinking when he pulled that funny face during the service.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Battle of wills

Today Monkey met his match.  All of our grandchildren have strong wills (from Mr Sunshine's side).
Meet Mr Sunshine's mum - one of the great grandmas to my grandchildren.  Our grandchildren have been blessed with a virtual plethora of grandparents.  Great grandma loves her grandchildren and great grandchildren, but she is not about to be pushed around by any of them.
No matter how cute they are ;)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Minding Grandchildren 101 - The Sleepover

Today's post title should be accompanied by music - dramatic music - the sort of music you might hear in the introduction of a very scary movie. The sound of the music would fill you with dread even before you knew what would follow.

Last weekend was the Chimera and DH's anniversary. It was a special one and they decided to have a second honeymoon at the place where they spent their first honeymoon. No one takes the kids on a honeymoon, do they? That is what grandparents are for.

This would be great - three whole days AND NIGHTS with Cheetah and Little Bear under the same roof.
Yes, THREE NIGHTS!  Cheetah has slept at the Dragonlady Grotto many times in the past and regarded his mother's old bedroom as his room because he spent so much time here.  It had his toys, his quilt, his spare clothes, his dresser.  Sleeping here was never a problem for Cheetah.

But Little Bear has only slept here once before.  She missed her house.  She missed her own bed. She missed her mummy and daddy. She couldn't fall asleep.  She tried the bed in Cheetah's room, but it wasn't her familiar bed.  She was up and down like a yo-yo, in and out of the bedroom, wanting a tissue to blow her nose, a drink of water, a cuddle, a book - anything to avoid sleep.

Cheetah was patient, but he was overtired too.  Mr Sunshine was being patient, but he was getting tired.  Grannysaurus was patient in a "biting-my-tongue-and-counting-to-ten" kind of way.  Little Bear is only two and she was trying to be reasonable in a two-year-old kind of way.  It is amazing how long a really tired child can stave off sleep even though bigger, older and tougher individuals are buckling at the knees, drooping at the eyelids and ready to collapse.  Little Bear's mother taught me that. . . oh, about 30 years ago. 

Eventually, I folded my quilt into quarters to improvise a mattress on the floor in my own bedroom and put Little Bear there and I stayed in the room and reassured her that I would be sleeping there all night.  It didn't work instantly, but it did work and for the next three nights, that was where Little Bear slept.  On the third night we had Little Bear and Cheetah on the floor in our bedroom - no honeymoon for us ;)

Three days with the children gave me a generous number of photo opportunities.  The collage gives a bit of insight into Little Bear's charming personality.  I deliberately left the blurriest one in the middle because that is what we mostly saw of Little Bear - a blur whizzing by.  She is the proverbial blow fly, never sitting still for longer than a few seconds.  Getting an unblurry photo of her was almost as big a challenge as getting her to sleep.

Cheetah is not a blowfly. I could have taken hundreds of crisp shots of his back dramatically silhouetted against the light of my computer screen.  He does like playing computer games (which I was constantly monitoring for suitability).  But I didn't take any photos like that, just a few when he emerged occasionally.

I forgot to mention that with Cheetah and Little Bear came Jo Jo, the cockatiel.  Jo Jo has learnt that whistling gets attention and sometimes buys him a few minutes of freedom.  He whistled a lot.  That feathery little bonnet at a rakish angle on Little Bear's head is Jo Jo - not his best angle.

Finally a Sunday afternoon picnic tea at the Strand got everyone out of the house and some valuable cousin-bonding time with the McTavish clan.  Note the bags under the eyes on Little Bear in the bottom pic.  Her mummy told me that she crashed when she finally got home to her own bed.
Can you see the gleam of idol worship in the way Lion looks at Cheetah?  I'm glad that he is a worthy role model.
They are a gorgeous bunch of grandkids and I'm not the least bit biased.

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Granny's tunes

Mr. Sunshine & Grannysaurus

Mr. Sunshine & Grannysaurus


About Me

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Townsville, Queensland, Australia
I have worked as a Biology lab assistant, Pathology lab assistant, geochem lab assistant, land tenure researcher, hospital and prison chaplain, parish care coordinator and part owner of a small business. I have studied some science (no degrees) and have a theology and a chaplaincy certificate. I still love science of all types and enjoy studying theology. Science and theology belong together. At present I am a work-at-home Grannysaurus.

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