Sunday, 30 December 2012

New Years Organising Revolution

Some of my online friends have pinned/blogged etc about this link-party, and it looked interesting so I'm going to give it a go.  It's not a blog I currently read, so will add it to the collection. 

I've started sorting through some of the non-sentimental of Mr Trifectagirl's things (training calendars, manuals for long-gone electronic equipment and the like), so this will help with that process.  As I clear, I can re-organise the space.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Seasonal Run-Around

I've made it part-way through my first holiday season without Mr Trifectagirl. 

I'd hoped to be able to keep all the things Mr Trifectagirl and I did last year with J, but some I decided against on practical grounds.  And of course best laid plans and all that...

I'd hoped to go to our Zoo's member picnic held on the first Sunday in December, like we did last year, but just wasn't up to dealing with J on my own in that environment.  It is at least a two-adult event at the moment.  Instead we went to our church's annual street party which directly clashes with the picnic.   

On December 14th, which was the 6 month anniversary of Mr Trifectagirl's passing, I had hoped to take J to see a particular light display we went to last year - I'd really like it to become a tradition of that's what we do that day. But of course the stress of the anniversary had me sick with bronchitis and sinusitis.    My sister, her 10 week old son, J and I finally got there on the 21st.

The anniversary was hard - I was sick, over-tired because J was sick, and work circumstances lead to a massive amount of pressure.  So not so unexpectedly I had a melt-down and am now on a 3 week break (it was only going to be 10 days) to recharge. 

Also on December 14th our Elf arrived.  I must say, having to only come up with 10 hiding ideas makes this a good date to choose!  After a couple of days J got the concept and started looking each morning for where the elf had moved to. It was cute to watch him check the last couple of places before he found it.   The elf is still unnamed - we'll do that next year. 

One of my uni crowds had our usual pre-Christmas catch up on the weekend before Christmas.  J loves water so was happy as a clam once he figured out the slip-n-slide that was set up to deal with the 39C temps.  The next morning he also started copying one of the older children's bowling action.

Christmas Eve was spent catching up with friends and J performing in the church children's nativity.  Unfortunately for me during the rehearsals he discovered the organ niche, so kept making a bee-line for it. We usually sit up the back, so there are plenty of people to catch him if he makes a break for it one Sunday!

Christmas Day started with pancakes and gifts for J- he was rather spoilt, but I kept it relatively in check with the 4 gift rule of something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.  His stocking had a bit more stuff in it, and I won't go as overboard next year.  The Christmas morning church service was followed by a lovely long lunch - once my MIL's access cab showed up.

Boxing Day my sister and I brought forward our usual "get each other tickets to a musical" gift and went to see Les Mis.  Both loving the musical, we enjoyed it, but also had some critiques.

Last night I caught up with a bunch of girlfriends and another friend on his biannual trip home from London over dinner.  Good food, good company and a lovely night all up.  Topped off with J staying at the grandparents place, so I got to sleep in! 

I just have New Years Eve to get through now, which will be spent with friends.  Then I start the first calendar year without Mr Trifectagirl.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Family for Christmas

About 6 years ago the Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program had Rosanne Haggerty as a Thinker in Residence.

One of the results of her program was the establishment of Common Ground properties in South Australia, and later across Australia.  Common Ground provides access to a solid period of stable accommodation to homelss, as well as low-income access, giving them a stable base to then progress to study, employment and the private accomodation market, either as renters or home-owners.

Christmas Day I drove past one of the properties between Church and lunch.   As I drove past, I saw a man probably in his 30s or 40s walk out of the gate with some older people. From the distance it really looked like this was a family get-together for Christmas.

As I headed to my combined extended, step and in-law family lunch, it was heartwarming to think that I'd seen possibly the someone's first opportunity to host the family Christmas gathering.

I happen to work at Adelaide Thinkers in Residence, and although Rosannne's residency pre-dates my employment, it was fantastic to see on Christmas Day what the program I work for can lead to.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Power of Choice - My Outsider's Response to Sandy Hook

All the discussion and debate around gun control following the Sandy Hook massacre appears to be saying that the President and the Government must do something.  The opposite side is raising the second amendment and the right it enshrines to bare arms and opposing Government dictating their lives (as Aussies would say, the Nanny State). 

I'll hazard a guess there are a large number still remaining silent, or are conflicted.

One strategy I've not seen or heard to date in Australian media, and the limited US media I see is the use of personal power, corporate power and the power of the dollar in the choices that individuals and corporations make.

Gun buyers have the power of choice.

They can exercise their power through the choices of what and where to buy.  They can choose not to purchase firearms and associated ammunition such as were used in this shooting, and decline offers when sales assistants ask ('Do you want fries with that?'  NO).  They can make the choice 'I will not buy from a store that also sells X, Y and/or Z types of firearms'.  Another is 'I am willing to fore go a purchase until I find a store that fits this criteria'.  And I will tell stores WHY I am not buying from them.

Anyone who already owns these type of weapons have the choice to freely relinquish them to authorities.

Non-gun buyers have the power of choice.

They can exercise their power through their choice of who they spend their money with.  They can choose not to support corporations that have any role in the retail of, or manufacture of particular types of weapons.  Gun buyers can also exercise this power.

This power is no different than ethical shopping decisions some may make in terms of animal cruelty, environmental concerns or human rights/labour concerns.

There's one week till Christmas, probably with lots of shopping to be done. 

Dollars talk.

Corporations have the power of choice.

CEOs, Managing Directors, Boards can say 'effective immediately, we will no longer stock X, Y and/or Z weapons' and instruct stores to remove them from the shelves by the end of the day;  They can install a purchasing policy -  'we will favour suppliers across our range (firearms and non-firearms) who do not manufacture these types of weapons'.

On-shore manufacturers can choose to remove these types of weapons from supply to retailers, deciding to supply only to Government (military, police and so forth). 

Pawn shops, second hand retailers and so forth can choose to no longer accept or stock these types of weapons.

One blog I read called for mothers to march on Washington to demand change in legislation.  Change in government purchasing policy can also be lobbied for. Corporate headquarters can also be marched on to demand change to purchasing and stock policies. 

In incredibly simplistic terms, if no store in America stocks the weapons - either through choice not to stock, lack of supply, or it's no longer profitable to stock them- no one in America can legally buy them (subject to existing legislation on the direct second-hand market).

Change without a single piece of legislation in sight.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Crafting Before the Melbourne Test

After reading various craft blogs and spending a bit of time on Pinterest this year, I've done a few crafty things this Christmas. 

First cab off the rank was the interchangeable wreath by Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous.  This pin  lead me to following her blog and start aiming to get the study/craft room decluttered enough so I can actually get to my sewing machine.

Gift wise, I used J's toddler scribble to make MIL's gift for this year.

Then I've made memento Christmas Stockings for both J and his baby cousin M.  As J is older, I've been able to add a 'cruck' as this year's addition, since they're a minor obsession (major obsession is buses):

I love that these will grow with the boys and tell their story as they get older.  It was quite sentimental to use my grandmother's pinking shears to make something for the great-grandchildren she never knew (and probably though would never come).  Pity they're not that ergonomic - my hand was killing me by the end!

I've also made the 'write on a cheap ball with a sharpie' ornament, listing major events (Mr Trifectagirl's illness and passing is front and centre, since that's the dominant event of the year), how old we each turned, my hobbies and activities for the year, what J likes at the moment and where we went on holidays.
Sorry about photo quality on this one.  One of my plans for 2013 is to learn how to use Mr Trifectagirl's DSLR properly - and fix it when J changes the settings on me!!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Kitchen Renovation: Done!

After a long-ish lead up, finally, I have plenty of storage in my kitchen!! 

We started with a blank canvas - and crowded benchtop

Then my Dad help add some paint (Dulux Shimmer)

And a couple of weeks ago I got the cabinets installed:

Since these photos were taken, I've had the electrical work finished, got things put away and done a little decorating higher up.

And already the bench is cluttered again! 

Saturday, 8 December 2012


At home, J spends a lot of time inside.  Our yard just isn't as interesting as Grandpa's.

One thing I've been wanting to get him as an enticement to go outside is a basketball hoop - one of the adjustable plastic ones.  But I since I've already got his Christmas gifts, I haven't been able to justify the expense, even with his birthday not far behind Christmas.

Driving towards Grandpa and Anjeanie's house a coulple of weeks ago, a lady was putting a bunch of stuff out for hard rubbish collection.

The pile was dominated by one of the hoops, which was in pretty good nick.  So I took it!!  Along with a little art table/seat thing.  And promptly unloaded them both at Grandpa's house, which is where we were heading at the time.

Grandpa and Anjeanie hold a 'big bash' back yard party leading up to Christmas each year, which happened to be the day after.  They were concerned about not having anything for few kids who are coming to play with. 

Perfect timing.  A bit of a clean, and the hoop was good to go.

J's taken to it and loves trying to get his soccer ball up through the hoop from below. It will probably come here in January some time