Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The house is more or less empty, and I sit and wait. There are still a few things to be done to finish with what's behind, but mostly, it's just waiting for the new to start.
The inhouse garage sale was a huge success last Saturday.. I sold just about everything except a few nick nacks, which will go to Goodwill. The car needs cleaning, in fact, I'll get a detail job done on it, and then I can leave it with Jack in great condition to be sold. There are still a few boxes to be sent to Australia and then on the 10th February... I sail off into the wide blue yonder in one of those big white birds on a course set for my homeland. Then the new life begins!
The house feels strange.. hardly a stick of furniture, a bed, a seat, a telly, and some things to cook and eat with... and no Meefs. There was never a time he wasn't here, except for the very early days when he'd go out to buy a few things on his own.. then he lost his sight, and he was always here.. except for when I took him to doctors or eye specialists. So I walk into each room and see him there, and I see him in his room, in the last days, and I thank God he's not suffering anymore, and I thank God he's with his Saviour and the flesh that caused him so much misery is gone, the veil has been ripped away, and he sees Him face to face.. lucky bugga!... he beat me to it!!!
So, bring on the new!
(And should its cheering ray depart,
How dark my soul would be!)
That as in Adam all have died,
In Christ shall all men live;
And ever round His throne abide,
Eternal praise to give.
That even the wicked shall at last
Be fitted for the skies;
And when their dreadful doom is past,
To life and light arise.
I ask not how remote the day,
Nor what the sinners' woe,
Before their dross is purged away;
Enough for me, to know
That when the cup of wrath is drained,
The metal purified,
They'll cling to what they once disdained,
And live by Him that died.
--Anne Bronte (1843)
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
These pics were taken when we had subzero temps here in the Midwest on the 15/16th January, 2009. The sliding glass door and handle which open onto the back patio iced up and I also took a pic of the ice crystals on my bedroom window. Temps got down to -9F (-23C).
Saturday, January 17, 2009
FEMALE HEART ATTACKS
I was aware that female heart attacks are different, but this is the best description I've ever read.
Women and heart attacks (Myocardial infarction). Did you know that women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing heart attack .. you know, the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we see in the movies. Here is the story of one woman's experience with a heart attack.
'I had a heart attack at about 10 :3 0 PM with NO prior exertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might have brought it on. I was sitting all snugly & warm on a cold evening, with my purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, and actually thinking, 'A-A-h, this is the life, all cozy and warm in my soft, cushy Lazy Boy with my feet propped up.
A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion, when you've been in a hurry and grabbed a bite of sandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems to feel like you've swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus in slow motion and it is most
uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn't have gulped it down so fast and needed to chew it more thoroughly and this time drink a glass of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was my initial sensation---the only trouble was that I hadn't taken a bite of anything since about 5:00 p.m.
After it seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE (hind-sight, it was pro bably my aorta spasms), gaining speed as they continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, where one presses rhythmically when administering CPR).
This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched out into both jaws. 'AHA!! NOW I stopped puzzling about what was happening -- we all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven't we? I said aloud to myself and the cat, Dear God, I think I'm having a heart attack!
I lowered the foot rest dumping the cat from my lap, started to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself, If this is a heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room where the phone is or anywhere else ... but, on the other hand, if I don't, nobody will know that I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to get up in a moment.
I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the next room and dialed the Paramedics ... I told her I thought I was having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum and radiating into my jaws. I didn't feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the facts. She said she was sending the Paramedics over immediately, asked if the front door was near to me, and if so, to un-bolt the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.
I unlocked the door and then laid down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I don't remember the medics coming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me into their ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St. Jude ER on the way, but I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the radiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the medics pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions (probably something like 'Have you taken any medications?') but I couldn't make my mind interpret what he was saying, or form an answer, and nodded off again, not waking up until the Cardiologist and partner had already threaded the teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into my heart where they installed 2 side by side stints to hold open my right coronary artery.
'I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have taken at least 20-30 minutes before calling the paramedics, but actually it took perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and both the fire station and St. Jude are only minutes away from my home, and my Cardiologist was already to go to the OR in his scrubs and get going on restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere between my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stints
'Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail? Because I want all of you who are so important in my life to know what I learned first hand.'
1. Be aware that something very different is happening in your body not the usual men's symptoms but inexplicable things happening (until my sternum and jaws got into the act). It is said that many more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn't know they were having one and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Maalox or other anti-heartburn preparation and go to bed, hoping they'll feel better in the morning when they
wake up ... which doesn't happen. My female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the Paramedics if ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you've not felt before. It is better to have a 'false alarm' visitation than to risk your life guessing what it might be!
2. Note that I said 'Call the Paramedics.' And if you can take an aspirin. Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER - you are a hazard to others on the road.
Do NOT have your panicked husband who will be speeding and looking anxiously at what's happening with you instead of the road.
Do NOT call your doctor -- he doesn't know where you live and if it's at night you won't reach him anyway, and if it's daytime, his assistants (or answering service) will tell you to call the Paramedics. He doesn't carry the equipment in his car that you need to be saved! The Paramedics do, principally OXYGEN that you need ASAP. Yo ur Dr. will be notified later.
3. Don't assume it couldn't be a heart attack because you have a normal cholesterol count. Research has discovered that a cholesterol elevated reading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it's unbelievably high and/or accompanied by high blood pressure). MIs are usually caused by long-term stress and inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadly hormones into your system to sludge things up in there. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep.
Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive.
“Institutional Christianity is addicted to the idea that for things to work out right between us and God, ‘we have to do our part,’ and if we do, then ‘God will do His part.’ That makes God dependent upon us ‘getting it right’ before He can get on with His purpose and will. At the heart of our flesh’s alienation from God, at the heart of our blindness and ignorance, is the desire to get credited for ‘holding up our part of the deal.’ We like the idea of grace, as long as the successful operation of grace is attributable to us ‘letting God’ do what He wants to do."John Gavazzoni
If you are traveling down the 900 kilometer Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne, at about halfway (near Gundagai) you will come across one of Australia's icons - The Dog on the Tuckerbox.
"What's a tuckerbox?" do I hear you ask? Tucker is an Australian word for food.
"He's off his tucker" for example means that he is not eating and may be sick. "Get into your tucker" is an invitation to start eating (almost a cheeky form of saying grace). The tucker box was a box in which the travelling pioneers used to hold the important items of food like salt and flour.
The statue of the dog guarding the box for his master was erected as a pioneer memorial. It was unveiled in 1932 by the then Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons.
The statue itself had been made by Gundagai's stone mason, Frank Rusconi.
The dog gained its icon status through poems and songs that were repeated around the camp fires of the early travellers.
Trevor Lucas sang one of them....
I'm used to punchin' bullock teams across the hills and plains.
I've teamed outback for forty years through bleedin' hail and rain.
I've lived a lot of troubles down, without a bloomin' lie,
But I can't forget what happened just five miles from Gundagai.
'Twas getting dark, the team got bored, the axle snapped in two.
I lost me matches and me pipe, so what was I to do?
The rain it was coming on, and hungry too was I,
And me dog shat in me tucker-box five miles from Gundagai.
Some blokes I know have stacks of luck, no matter where they fall,
But there was I, Lord love a duck, no bloody luck at all.
I couldn't heat a pot of tea or keep me trousers dry,
And me dog shat in me tucker-box five miles from Gundagai.
Now, I can forgive the bleedin' team, I can forgive the rain.
I can forgive the damp and cold and go through it again.
I can forgive the rotten luck, but 'ang me till I die,
I can't forgive that bloody dog, five miles from Gundagai.
This dray is near where the dog on the tuckerbox sits and I had my photo taken on it when I was nine years old. Three years ago I had my pic taken with it again... but I haven't got that particular pic in my puter...
A Great Joke I heard once..
A wealthy Australian man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his faithful pet Dingo along for company.
One day, the Dingo starts chasing butterflies and before long he discovers that he is lost.
Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having lunch. The dingo thinks, "Geez, I'm in deep poop now!" Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by, and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat.
Just as the leopard is about to leap, the dingo exclaims loudly, "Bugger me dead, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here?"
Hearing this, the leopard halts his attack in mid stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees. "Whew," says the leopard. "That was close. That dingo nearly had me."
Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So, off he goes. But the dingo sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up.
The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving Aussie canine."
Now the dingo sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back, and thinks, " Struth, what am I going to do now?" But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet.. and just when they get close enough to hear, the dingo says, "Where the bloody hell's that monkey? I sent him off half an hour ago to bring me another leopard."
MORAL: SOMETIMES IF YOU CANT DAZZLE THEM WITH BRILLIANCE THEN BAFFLE THEM WITH BULLSHIT!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
When God said, "in the beginning," (Gen. 1:1) "let us make man in our image and in our likeness" (Gen. 1:26), he did not mean merely the first man, but he meant the race. That work began in Eden and has been going on uninterruptedly ever since; it has been completed thus far only in the case of one man, "the Perfect Man," the Lord Jesus Christ, and hence he has become the pattern and the model after whom all the redeemed shall be fashioned, so that when the question is asked, "What is man?" (Ps. 8:4; Heb. 2:6) the answer is-Jesus; see Heb. 2:5-10. Jesus is the only man thus far finished, completed and perfected; he is the only one as yet in whom the creative proposition has been consummated-"Let us make man in our image and in our likeness" (Gen. 1:26), for he is the brightness of the Father's glory and "the express image of his person." (Heb. 1:3) The first man could not have been in the image and likeness of God in the same sense that Jesus was, because the nature of the two are broadly contrasted in 1 Cor. 15:45-49:
"The first man, Adam, was made a living soul [a soulical or animal man], the last Adam was made a quickening (life-giving) spirit; howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural (soulical), and afterward that which is spiritual; the first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly such are they also that are heavenly; and as we have borne the image of the earthy, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly."
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Your creed plainly implies, that men, both good and bad, may, and often do, determine the endless destiny of their fellow beings, by determining the length of their probation, virtually putting them into heaven, by cutting off all liability to lose it, or into hell by cutting off all opportunity to escape it. And this, also, seems to me an absurdity.
We have already presented one illustration of the above proposition, in the supposed case of the mother who made the "calling and election" of her infant sure, by taking its life. Another is found in a sad accident, which occurred at one of our New England seminaries a few years since. Two young gentlemen were in their room, amusing themselves with a musket, quite unconscious of its being loaded, when the one innocently shot the other, thereby determining his soul at once to heaven or to hell forever.
And still another illustration is found in the death of the drunken rowdy, who fell, at the head of the rum-sellers' mob, at Portland, a few years ago. The balls which, at the order of the resolute city marshal, laid him low, cutting off all opportunity for repentance, carried his soul directly to endless torment. Illustrations to our purpose are also presented in war. Two armies meet. Fearful are the imprecations! Dreadful is the carnage! Balls and bayonets are the swift instruments of everlasting death!
The soldier perishes forever, who might reform and be saved if permitted to return to his home of piety. At the hand of his fellow man, he falls lower than the grave. Nor may any tell how many of our revolutionary colonists are now, in endless despairs sent there by the hired Hessians of George the Third. Nor how many of those whose bones have been brought from the plains of Waterloo, as a fertilizer of British soil, are now in the endless despair to which they were consigned by British swords.
And this, especially, when it is considered, that, of all conditions, that of a soldier, in active service, seems least adapted to promote fitness for heaven. Of course, it is a mystery to us how orthodox Christians can advocate war, or their chaplains kneel mid guns, and swords, loaded and barbed with everlasting death! For these, in their view, are the terrible arbiters of souls' destiny, cutting off their probation, and thereby saying, as with the authority of the Infinite, You shall have no more chance to escape.
These are they that rise up in the place of God, and "shut to the door" against their victims forever. Alas! for the orthodox advocate of war! Let me do him the justice to say, that I think he believes in his creed less than in humanity and common sense.
But, further, our point finds illustration under the operation of the code duello, — that miserable product of dark ages, — that most foolish, meanest mode of settling difficulties — that wretched footman of chattel slavery, accompanying its desolating car, as it dashes into the fair fields of Christian civilization.
The duel settles more than questions of chivalric honor. Instance a case. A and B meet at a public house, drink, altercate, challenge, and accept, choose their seconds, retire and fight. The question of honor is settled by the death of B. And not only that, but the question of B's endless damnation also. The fatal ball settles both. For, while A blows the smoke from his pistol, and retires a victor, leaving the body of the slain to his surgeon and friends, its spirit, prematurely driven out, and thereby excluded all chance of salvation, is met by evil angels in the threshold of eternity, and dragged down into the pit forever.
Thus, according to your penal view, is a question greater than honor settled by the duel. And what does the highwayman do? He meets the moneyed worldling in the way, robs him of his treasure and his life, and throws his body into the thicket, or leaves it in the ditch. But is that all? O no! He also robs his soul of all chances to repent, and tosses it into the thick darkness of despair — buries it alive in hell forever!
So your creed. But the absurdity we are exposing finds a fuller illustration, in cases in which the murderer repents in prison, and finally dies, regretting that he sent the murderer into perdition. Such cases used to be, by no means, very infrequent.
We recently read of one, but have not the details now at hand. Let us suppose such a case, and see its bearing upon the subject in hand. A young lady, respectable, but not converted, is met and ravished, under a dark night, by a villain, who destroys her life to escape detection. Sent thus hurriedly to her God in sin, she is, by the conditions of your creed, of course, lost. No cycle of eternity but shall witness her unrelieved despair. Her soul is assassinated. Out of a dark night of time, she is hurled into a darker night of eternity. The brutal hand that cut her probation short off, thereby plunged her infinitely below the sphere of possible life, shut her up in woe, bolted the door upon her, threw away the key, and left her to pine in anguish forever.
So your creed! And now, leaving her there in her woe, let us turn to look after her murderer. As "murder will out," he is detected, arrested, executed. But, while in prison, blessed with a probation which he forbade to his victim, he comes to himself, heeds his spiritual advisers, repents, exhorts the multitudes from the scaffold, and swings from it into Paradise. And there, because he had much forgiven, he loves much, and never ceases to give thanks for the prison confinement through which the mercy of God reached him.
Thus in heaven the murderer sings. But the young lady, his victim, where is she all this time? Lost! lost! He may have time for repentance, but not she. That was forbidden her, by the red hand that plunged the dagger to her heart. Mercy may come to his prison, but not to hers. That red hand of his may live to be washed, and forever twine wreaths for the immaculate brow of Him whose wrath she must forever bear.
Now, brother, your creed, taken in connection with the history of crime, obviously involves multitudes of cases, similar to any and all which we have stated above. This, you will admit. And, admitting this, can you, as the heart of a man beats in your bosom, fail seriously to query whether that creed is not at fault? Can you be confident in that theology, which thus makes the frantic mother, the officer of justice, the warrior, the duellist, the highwayman, and the libertine, the arbiters of the eternal destiny of their victims; so that, in the case last stated, if it was the hard fate of the young lady to be abused, scared into frenzy, and murdered, it was her harder one to be, by her murderer's hand, consigned to the bottomless pit; while he, by the grace of God, which he denied to her, has space for repentance, and goes up to sing in heaven!
Be your own commentator upon what I have said. The notion that the Living Father has made the endless weal and woe of men thus dependent upon the frenzy, ambition, lucre, lust, and brutality of their fellow beings, well, "he that can receive it, let him receive it."
Rev. M.J.Steere 1861
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Clancy Of The Overflow
I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just `on spec', addressed as follows, `Clancy, of The Overflow'.
And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
'Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
`Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are.'
In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving `down the Cooper' where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.
And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars.
I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all
And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the 'buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.
And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.
And I somehow rather fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal --
But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of `The Overflow'.
A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson
A great Australian poet.
In this procedure of cleaning the house I find I need to sell some guitars and amplifiers. My husband (who passed away two weeks ago today) use to be a professional blue's guitarist, playing gigs around the Midwest many years ago. This was before and just after he contracted leukemia and had a bone marrow transplant. He finally gave it away after it became clear he was too ill then and would be in the future to continue. He owned a Les Paul which was given to his son, and two Fenders, a Stratacaster and Telecaster.
I don't have any way of being able to describe these guitars so I'll post some photos. They go on Ebay next week...
Your Snow Test Says You're Independent
You feel like something good will happen to you in the next few months.
You have an amazingly strong work ethic. You are likely to be very successful in life.
You are an independent, individualistic person. You thrive when you're doing your own thing.
Your biggest worry in life is your family. You stay up at night thinking about them.
When it comes time to relax, you have no problem letting go. You are already pretty relaxed as is!
You Are Palatino
You consider yourself to be creative and artistic.
And you'd like everyone else to know it!
You take design and aesthetics seriously.
You like everything in your life to be unique and beautiful - but never gaudy!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
After tidying up the odds and ends of this home in the US I head back for Australia in possibly six weeks to begin a new life in an old home town. My children and grandchildren live there.
I am soooo looking forward to returning to my home country, my home state, and my home town. I have been so homesick, but I put that on hold for a time for the man I loved. He was my best friend, my buddy, and now he's gone on to behold his Father, face to face.
I left all to follow my heart and do whatever it was to obey the calling on my life. It was tough to leave everything at my age and begin a new life in another country, but it was so very much worth it. I have gained so much from this experience of learning to live in another country and learning to make new friends... as well as learn how to live with my husband of only two years, and get to know him. He was always himself with me, never a fake person, and I loved his weaknesses as well as his strengths. His greatest strength was that he was faithful to his Lord and Savior until death. He suffered greatly in this life from a terrible disease, the complications and the meds killed him in the end... oh, but how much he loved his Lord.
Well, this is the new beginning. Cleaning this house and moving back to Oz.. I do have plans on what I will do, but that's for another time...