30 04 2009

I have always had a terrible memory.  I often forget appointments or things I need to do.  I leave a trail of possessions in my wake wherever I go.  I forget names of people, places and things.  And it seems it’s only getting worse as I get older.

I’m good at logic and reasoning but terrible at memorizing things.  That’s why at school I found maths and science a breeze but struggled with languages and social sciences.  I could never have studied anything medical at uni because I would never have passed first year anatomy – too many names to remember!  And often I find myself giving up on the task of scripture memorization because as soon as I’ve mastered a verse, the one I learned previously slips out of my brain.

It’s actually more of a problem with the speed of recall.  I can see someone I know and not be able to recall their name until five minutes later.  I find myself talking about my garden and the new plants I’ve just put in, you know the ones with the big spiky leaves and the beautiful pink flowers, the um… the um…. and I can’t recall the name while I am having the conversation but if I sit down and concentrate on it for a few minutes I will of course remember eventually because I know exactly what they are.

I just read an article about a Mum who wrote a long letter to her children for each of their birthdays summarising the year – special achievements, funny things they did and said, favourite toys and games, etc. as a way of recording her memories.  I don’t think I would be able to do that very well because I would have a hard time remembering all those things for a whole year.  I need to write things down straight away.  This blog is as much for myself and my children as it is for my friends.  And I don’t want to get 10 years behind like I am with documenting my photos.  I need to be more diligent at writing down the seemingly mundane things that will make me smile when I read them again in 10 years time.

Lest I fotget…


The Sometimes Useful Internet

20 04 2009

I took down my really dusty bedroom curtains, put them through the wash and then hung them out to dry.  If I had brought them in and hung them straight back up I probably wouldn’t have had to iron them.  But of course I grabbed them off the line before a shower of rain and then they spent several days scrunched up in the laundry basket, so I created another hour of work for myself by not being organised and bringing them in earlier.

Ironed curtains in hand, I went to hang them back up and realised I had no idea what to do with the long piece of material that hangs across the top and ties up in the corners.  I had tried to take a mental note of what it looked like when I took them down but no matter what I did I couldn’t make it look right.  I went back and looked at photos I had taken when we first moved into the house which had these windows in them but I still couldn’t figure out how to make it look right.

So I looked it up on the internet.

The internet can be frustrating at the best of times, even when you know exactly what you are looking for.  When I started my search with terms like “hang across the top of curtains” and “rings at the sides of curtains”, I didn’t really expect to find much.

It took a while and quite a bit of reading but I have now learnt all about “scarf valances” (the bit of material that hangs across the top of curtain tracks), “swags” (the hanging bit), “tails” (the bit that hangs down the side) and “rosettes” (the knots in the corner).  I also now know that the rings I have screwed into my wall are actually called “valance creators”.  Internet searching becomes so much easier when you have some decent search terms.  I suddenly found dozens of pages giving me step by step instructions on how to hang a scarf valance and how to use the valance creators to give different rosettes.


I suppose this is knowledge that would have once been passed down from mothers to daughters.  But so often this chain of learning is broken, particularly in our modern society where people are quicker to pay others for their skills and services then learn them for themselves.  I am thankful I have a mother and mother-in-law who are quite skilled at lots of things around the home and are always happy to pass on their knowledge.  (My mum recently helped me sew my first set of curtains).  I’m taking this chance in my life to learn as many of these basic household skills as I can so that I will be able to pass them on to my kids one day (if they want to learn).  I’m soaking up knowledge from other people I know, from books and magazines, and even from the (gasp!) internet.

Occassionaly I find the internet can be truly useful.  Every so often it stops being an addictive, brain numbing, time-sucker and actually proves its worth.

Thanks to the internet, my scarf valances are satisfactorily rehung and ready to start collecting dust all over again. 🙂


Really Old Dirt

15 04 2009

When we moved into this house 5 years ago it was really very dirty.  Unlike renters, home owners have no responsibility to leave a property clean when they sell it.  So when we moved out of our rental into this house we were faced with cleaning two houses within a week.  Needless to say I only did what was necessary (like wiping out shelves and cupboards) when we moved in.  Having never cleaned an oven in my life, I cleaned two really filthy ones in the same week.  Then I gave up cleaning and got on with unpacking.

Some things got cleaned over time.  When I looked at the big dirty marks on the walls every day for long enough it started to bug me, so I cleaned them off.  Some jobs were just perpetually postponed.  And the dust continued to slowly build up every day in places unseen, like behind furniture, on top of fans, and in the window frames.

As I was attacking my bedroom windows the other day, and scraping all the dust and dirt from the tracks, I wondered if anybody else had ever done this job, or if the dirt had just been building up since the house was built 40 years ago.

And then I began pondering how much other old dirt there is in my life.

Sometimes I face sins that I need to deal with straight away before I can get on with my walk with God.  Other sins sit and stare at me until my convictions nudge me into making changes in my life.  But how much really old dirt is in my soul?  Slowly building up over time in places I can’t see (or don’t look).

So just as I’m breaking down my cleaning tasks and tackling one room at a time, one window at a time; I’m also breaking down my life and seeing what else there is that needs a good clean.

The comparison between cleaning and sanctification is quite intriguing and I’m sure I’ll reflect on it more in the future.

Washing Venetian Blinds

14 04 2009

Following Shannon Lush’s instructions from Spotless I used a broom and detergent in warm water to clean the venetian blinds.  It did a good job at removing all the dirt and mould.


After watching me do this for a few moments Ben ran off to get the dustpan and brush so that he could ‘help’.


He then helped me hang the blinds on the washing line.


It’s been ages since I’ve used the hose (because of water restrictions) but now that we’ve got a tank we can use it again!


Kids miss out on so much fun when they can’t play with hoses and sprinklers.


Starting at One End…

13 04 2009

Now that I’m not working and Ben is becoming easier to care for, I’m having a concentrated effort this year on getting stuff done around the house.  I see this as part of my job as home manager (see later post) but I also want to reduce the stress that is caused by clutter and disorganisation.

In my usual way I have been attacking this project from about 50 different angles and the result is a very messy and disorganised house.  I now have photos strewn all over the house; lots of little piles of paperwork to be filed, shredded or read; bags of stuff to go to vinnies; and ideas aplenty spinning around in my head for ways to rearrange the furniture and store things better.

A number of the blogs I’ve been reading lately about spring cleaning have given the advice “start at one end of the house and move through to the other”.  They make it sound so easy, like something you can do in a week, but I know the state of my house and the time I have available and this is going to be a very long term project.  Perhaps by the time it is spring here I’ll have something to show for my efforts.  But I’m going to give this a go and focus my efforts for now on one room at a time, starting with my bedroom.

Ben’s First Fifty

8 04 2009

Over the last few months Ben (17 mths) has been saying a few new words every week.  At 17 months he is currently going through  a language explosion.  His ability to communicate excites him and he is keen to learn.

I wanted to share this list, firstly because I think it shows a bit about Ben’s personality and passions; and also as a record, because as fascinating as it is to me now, these things will probably be quickly forgotten as he grows up.

He says Real word
‘ere is Here it is / There it is
byey bye
dog dog
ball ball
inish finished
mummy mummy
daddy daddy
shoe shoes
rai rain
more more
boon balloon
brooom car/boat
cheese cheese said when pointing at the fridge
cheese trees said when pointing at the sky
teddy teddy
allo hello
ba bath
bash brush
nee knee
buvy buffy
duck duck
dig dig as a verb or as a noun for excavators, spades, scoops, spoons or any other make-shift tool like a recorder
star star
meow cat
baa sheep
fog frog
shhhh fish
too too train
bir bird
babby baby
raarh lion
bee bee
moo cow
chair chair
door door
boo book
ba’a banana
adamana watermelon
mower mower
ha hat
ba bag
duck stuck
apoo apple
bu’ bus
ha bowl he thinks you wear a bowl on your head
ba bath
weeee wee
poo poo yes, we are potty training
ah yes
no no I’m just glad it took him a while to learn this one

Of these his favourite words are Buffy, teddy, shoes, dig-dig, mower and hat.

And having now learnt to say the “no” word, we are definitely entering the uncooperative toddler phase.

Do you remember what your children’s first and/or favourite words were when they were little?