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The Second Last Day of 2013

Today is another part of the mini-weeks we have in the lead up to the New Year 2014.  Tuesday will be New Year’s Eve.  Wednesday is a public holiday.  It will feel like a Sunday, just like Christmas Day.

We received two Christmas cards from Germany today, but did not send many this year in favour of telephoning everyone.  I think it is better to prepare Christmas cards much earlier than November or December, as there always seems to be a lot happening at the end of the year.

My teacher registration update came in the mail toady, which included my Graduate Certificate in Education.  It has been a good year in teaching for me, mostly because my studies in Education have been very relevant and extremely helpful.  Thank God that I have a profession such as teaching to which I can relate.  Thank God also for all teachers, as the world would be chaotic without us, even if everyone had a laptop.

Mum fell over in the garden yesterday and hurt her arm again.  Thankfully, she seems to have no other aches and pains from the fall.  I heard her calling me and ran out to see what she wanted.  It was a bit of a shock to see her on the ground with a broken glass jar where her feet had slipped.  I called Dad so that we could lift her back to her feet.  She is able to walk and was just a bit shaken up by the whole thing.

Today she was hanging out washing in an effort to make her arm work harder.  She has trouble lifting one arm past her shoulder.  It was brave of her to try, though, and she seems to be fairly fine with it all.

If only we could find a way to give her exercises that will help, like physical therapy.  I think it is possible, but might have to check with her doctor or physiotherapist first.

My papers are looking a bit more tidy now that they were last week.  I still have a lot of sorting to do, but I think it is one of those jobs that can be left to the times when I want to think while keeping busy on something other than what I am sorting out in my mind. 

In a couple of weeks, I start my Masters in Education as there is a Block teaching session before Semester starts.  Some of my colleagues from last year have graduated, but I might see some old friends from before if they are doing their studies part-time, like me. 

By the end of the year, I should have completed some really important studies and developed a good teaching strategy for whatever classes I need to teach.  I think I will have much better electronic and paper document management, including the Cloud.  My fitness training will be more of an interesting routine and I will be walking and jogging very regularly.  I will have lots of new friends and colleagues and will be better with catching up with lots of them.

I can see myself being well organised, tidy, busy with my friends and fit.  Ideally, I will have also been to the dentist to have my filling changed to the white ones.  My hair will be longer and I will be able to keep it very  neat and wear it out when I need to.  God willing, and if I work hard in the next few weeks, I will be at my graduation ceremony for my Masters in IT (Research) degree.

My theme for some of my work will be, “Whatever it takes”, especially when I make excuses and feel like procrastinating.

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Praises from on High

Boxing Day was big at our place. We had Peter and family over for last minute lunch. Lynda went to work in the morning very early and came along unexpectedly, as did Tania. Thanks to the ham which Mum had been glazing and cooking for ages, it all went well.

My morning was very busy shopping and cleaning, so when they arrived, I was still in the shower. Matthew called while he was on the way, to let us know to expect them. Apparently he was more than half way to our place at the time of his call.

There was as a flurry of wrapping paper and Allanah and Jake were busy delivering present that Tania found under the tree. The older children were with their respective Dads. Steve and DJ were there with Tegan and Tania. Mikayla was with her boyfriend.

There was even a present from Santa to me! It is a lovely deep red handbag which closely resembles a Prada bag. Dad felt a bit left out as he had a couple of presents. It hasn’t stopped him from madly working outside in the lead up to afternoon thunderstorms, though.

I managed to set the table with salad and bread while Mum and Peter sorted out the famous ham. Everyone sat where they wanted, which was generally just at a table. There was pavlova for desert, which I managed to serve on the run. Then the best part for Mum was when it all disappeared into the dishwasher and sink in double quick time. She was super impressed. Even the next day, she was full of good things to say about the lunch with family.

That is worth bottling.

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Not so Silent Night

Choir was a big event for the Carols Festival and the actual Mass.

We sang our hearts out. Even Mum came to both the Carols Festival and Mass.
Today I am taking it easy, fortified by milk and Pfefferkuchen.

Dad is watching scoccer.

Merry Christmas to all and best wishes for 2014!

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Christmas Eve

We made some telephone calls this morning instead of sending lots of Christmas cards. Mum tried to send e-cards.
I remain dazzled by the prospect of ever sorting out my Christmas card list.

The Early Childhood tutors sent an e-mail to check on the progress of remaining students. Yesterday I was fairly ready to start when I was swept off by the need to clean some major windows at our place. We have masses of windows and doors that need cleaning. I used a toothbrush with abrasive cleanser for the runners that were clogged with dust and fluff.

I managed to do a very good job on most of them, but did not quite get around to a couple of the smaller ones. It makes a huge difference when the windows are sparkling. The best part is that my shoulder is just fine after being a bit out of alignment from falling during a training drill with football. It actually clicked back into place while I was sitting at my Graduation for the Diploma in fitness as I adjusted my academic gown.

My brother called yesterday to say that he is coming for Boxing Day. Mum had mentioned that it was a bit too expensive for three cars to come up here with petrol costs being what they are now. He assumed that she did not want him and the family to visit. However, he just could not resist, especially as he has to pick up his box of Pfefferkuchen and those for the other grown- up children.
So now we are having a big Christmas lunch, hopefully outdoors in the shade of some trees. That is something to which we really look forward.

Meanwhile, under the tree the presents are gathered around, the crib is set off to the side and there is a calming glow from the Christmas tree lights. The choristers are preparing for an evening meal which will sustain us until 9:30pm or so. We have been watching “Polar Express” and news about Christmas around the world.

I love the Christmas holiday period when everything slows down, the weather is hot, the skies are blue and we spend time with people who care about us. Then we continue on refreshed for the year ahead where we extend our caring to so many new and deserving people and learn so much in return.

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Are we Opera Singers

Choir practice yesterday was quite an event.  The Mary Queen of Peace church has been cleaned for Christmas and is quite beautiful.  Although it is small, a lot of local people go there and it is very popular.  There is a school attached to it and a nice Parish Hall used by both the school and Parish.

Arriving early, I stood under a shady Poinciana tree and was thankful for the brisk cool breeze that sprang up.  A couple of ladies soon arrived and we were discussing the fact that we are not opera singers, but choristers.  That is not entirely accurate, as some of the ladies could easily participate in the local musical society’s productions and would easily perform an opera or two.

Lidia, our organist, is a classically trained musician and Alex plays several other instruments as well.  We are very blessed in the music department of our Parish.  Now that our Conductor, Fiona, has announced her upcoming confinement we will be seeing more of Alex and less of Fi.  The Choir members are already planning the knitting of booties and bunny rugs.

Anyway, there was some demand for soaring soprano voices, ably met by Mary and Noeline.  I can see that the Festival of Carols is set to be quite a memorable day for the Choir and hopefully for the Parishioners as well.

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Teacher registration – tick

Yesterday my graduation photographs from QUT arrived in the mail with my teacher registration renewal.  I have to send academic transcripts so that my newest studies can be added to the teacher register.

Mum was curious to see the pictures, even though I look quite odd, probably due to dehydration and being tired.  I had my hair in a high bun and wore the size 60 mortar board, which I think was the largest. 

Dad even feigned an interest in the pictures and probably has never seen anything like that before as graduations don’t happen often in our family. 

We were wrapping more Christmas presents for Tania and Tegan’s children when Mum realised there was nothing for the boys.  She also wanted a small doll for a carry cot.  Little did we know that we would spend an hour or more searching high and low in the toy sections of various places just for a small doll.  Eventually we found a perfect sized teddy bear, that was the nearest thing to fit the cot.

Hopefully we now have everyone covered.  It was, however, fish and chips for dinner after that shopping trip.  We are fortunate to live four blocks away from the best fish mongers for kilometres.  People come from far and near to buy fish and chips at Morgans near the boat harbour.

Today we have our last Choir practice, and then it will be three days until the Carols before Christmas Mass.  I now have a white shirt to wear with a skirt for the uniform and my song sheets require only a little bit of organisation.  It’s all happening for Christmas, although what is happening on the day is still unplanned.

 

 

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The God Machine

I read about the God Machine yesterday while researching responsibility.  The question in this area is whether humans can be free and still make choices which involve making the responsible decision to harm others.  There were two papers, and one was about therapeutic relationships, which seem to be about being like a supportive parent for someone who has been conditioned by bad experiences. 

It is so important for me to keep researching, even though I need to form and write the thesis more.  In the process my life sort of unfolds a bit more out of the confines of my study and into newly created cool places for study and writing.  I crave background noise while I am reading, like chickens, canaries, the dog, the television, the family busy being assertive, the postman and people passing in the street.  Every now and then, I want to look at the television, check something on the internet or take notes.  It’s a different way of organising my writing, but it is more interesting as far as being myself goes.

It’s cloudy today although there is a heat wave of up to 41 Celsius in South Australia and other southern areas.   Clouds mean a cooler brain and more ability to focus on my writing without languishing under a flannel soaked in cold water.

I read two really good books for mental variety: “the Return” by Victoria Hislop and Jeffrey Archer’s “A Matter of Honour”.  They were in a bundle of books for $3 that Mum found at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago.  Jenny Evan seems to thinks my creative writing needs an outlet.  In the meantime, I am providing it with some food for thought.

Then there’s the small matter of an online course in event management which might fit in next February.  It only goes until May, I think and might be interesting.