Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Monday, 31 August 2009

SHE Is A Champion, My Friend

The 2009, U15 Division 5, Winter Netball Grand Final; weather, wet.

This Saturday the Baby Angel's Dad (that's him with Himself)

and Nanny (giving us the Royal wave)

flew in to Adelaide to watch her play her fifth Grand Final in her 7 year netball career. Until Saturday she had always been a runner-up.

Not THIS time baby!!!

Here they are receiving their patches and pennant from the umpire after the game. I think they were a little chilly.

In a convincing win (I forget the exact score but it was about 38/23) the girls finally reaped the rewards of their hard work and good sportsmanship. There are 10 on the team which meant they had to take turns having a quarter off as there are no 'on court' player changes like there are in basketball. "I'm off this quarter"

After the game it was off to the Presentation Dinner, a grand affaire with coloured lights, balloons disco dancing and trophies! Check out the BA's face in this one as she examines her very dubious 'bobble head' trophy! I mean. Whatever happened to a shield mounted on a block of wood????

Congratulations sweetheart. You played a great game and you all supported each other well as a team. You really deserved this win and I hope it will inspire you to keep working at your skills and enjoying your netball for years to come.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Now THAT's What I'm Talkin' About

I have just GOT to do a shout out to my friend 'Just Jessie' who is high in the running for my all time 'Flaming Sword' Brilliant Mom prize :-D

This lady home schools and has recently instated a 'no computer or wii on weeknights' rule. This in itself endears me to her but when I saw her recent post on her method for engaging her boys in study, I was blown away.

I really ought to get back to primary teaching.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Theme Thursday: Passage

Passage: to Australia.
SS Arcadia, January 1962For more versions of 'Passage' join us on Theme Thursday over at Cheese Party.
Can't post more now. Got waistcoats and aprons to cut out.........

Saturday, 22 August 2009


If anyone ever wonders why I married my husband I offer them this as reason and evidence.

He calls it my sweatshop and when I nod off or take time out to blog he says
"The slaves in the sweatshop are slacking, you need to get in there and whip them up..."
Not many men would put up with the family room looking like this for 6 weeks would they?

I know the BA's dad would have had a very hard time of it :-) But Himself just shrugs and supports me and tells me what a good person I am for doing all this work for the school....
I feel slightly guilty because I actually love doing it. It's no huge sacrifice, except for the obvious devastation which would be so much more orderly if I had a designated sewing room.

I know it sounds like I'm making excuses but this is worse than it usually is because I cut out some serving maid outfits early yesterday morning and then literally dropped everything to rush into school and teach maths for lessons 3/4. I particularly wanted to get them done so I could give them to three kids whose wonderful mums are part of my sweatshop team; this would give them the weekend to complete them. Of course, because I was busy fitting costumes throughout the after school rehearsal, when I went to find the kids with prepared bags of cut out costumes and photocopied instructions...they'd GONE HOME!!!!!!!!! AUUUUUGH! I missed them by minutes :-(

Nevertheless, I am not going to get sucked into sewing those; I'm going to continue cutting and packing up bags of projects so at least I can get the floor clean. I have a few repairs to do this weekend and I'm off to trawl the op-shops now for small mens' suits, black mens' suit vests and ankle boots for orphans. I am not going to allow myself to get bogged down in the actual sewing of things. Everyone who is helping is doing an absolutely brilliant job of that anyway!

I have another post to do about my super daughter...but that will have to wait.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Theme Thursday: Two

Had life been running very differently I would have had time to go out and be arty with 'Two'. Many ideas and images came to mind but in the end I dashed in tonight after the Y12 Dance moderation performance and the only thing I could quickly bring to mind (and hand) was this photo of the Baby Angel's second birthday cake.

I cannot take credit for the design here, it came out of a cake book, but I was pretty happy with the way it came out
Here she is blowing her candles out one at a time. Such an effort!!

Have you got something creative to share for this theme? Click over to Cheese Party and leave a link so we can visit you.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Crafty Tuesday: Slow Progress

Remember the Boylan Sisters? Remember how I was cutting out their dresses the other night? Well, here is the material for said dresses and yes, it is still uncut! I was pleased to find this crepe backed satin in the dance costume section of the fabric store at $6.99 a metre. The only thing I am a little disappointed about is the colour of the gold fabric. It was meant to be pale yellow. Still, this was the nearest I could get and they all still work reasonably well together (according to Himself!!) so I must count my blessings.

I'm not sewing these ones ( when I DO eventually get them cut out) but I'll look forward to showing you when they are done.

I got another orphan outfit back today, beautifully done, but I didn't get a shot because I didn't have my camera at school. This one is slightly different and has knickerbockers....And here are the pinnies completed by Year 10. I had to rescue them and recut the armholes but I have a super duper volunteer who is an ex seamstress and she's going to overlock the armholes to avoid having to face them. Pictures to follow.

So that's it this week. Not much to show for myself I'm afraid. I have also discovered that I have to make 11 serving maid outfits!! No one warned me about THIS one!!!!!!!

Have a look over at Carrie's place cos I KNOW she has something to show for Crafty Tuesday!!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

More Theist Bumper Stickers

On the back of the Atheist Association's recent bus adverts:

"Atheism: Celebrate Reason"

I have been working on comeback slogans for a variety of faiths.
My first one was this:

Jesus: Give yourself a reason.

Hinduism: For an infinite number of lifetimes of Reasons.

Buddhism: For all the right reasons.

Judaism: Because we're Jewish. Who needs a Reason?

Catholicism: WE know how to celebrate, whatever the reason.

I'm still trying to think of one for Mormons.

My family think I am slightly weird although the BA looks at me fondly and says,
"You crack yourself up, don't you mum?"

A Pet Theory

OK so everyone who knows me knows I am obsessive about Asperger's Syndrome.

There seem to be more and more cases being diagnosed yearly with current research suggesting between 1 in 300 and 1 in 100 people are affected worldwide. The reasons for this increase have been put down to better diagnositic tools and more public awareness of the condition but I have another theory.

I blame Bill Gates and George Lucas.

Ah haaah! I hear you say. Of course! Bill and George. What the h*** is she talking about????

Well it goes like this:

Previously there were lots of people out there with Aspergers (mostly men) who went about their quirky lives working in industries such as engineering and law or closeted away in academic facilities doing intense, painstaking research. Their lack of interest or ability to socialise meant many went unmarried and did not reproduce. Are you hearing where I'm going now?

Bill Gates, a man frequently described as having many of the characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome made computers cool. He brought them into the mainstream and created an industry for a whole raft of similarly obsessive and socially dysfunctional people who were now looked at with respect and admiration (unlike lawyers and engineers ;-) by huge swathes of the population including women.

George Lucas when he developed Industrial Light and Magic, gave a whole generation of geeks the opportunity to make big money and work in a celebrity industry which brought them into contact with more women than they could ever have done in industries such as accounting or at their local model engineers association swap meet.

Thus, these former social outcasts became cool, met women, married and reproduced and now we have an epidemic of Asperger's diagnoses in our schools.


Thursday, 13 August 2009

"It's Awfully Hard Work Doing Nothing": Oscar Wilde

We were discussing Gen Y in care group this morning. The kids wanted to know whether they are Gen Y or Gen Z and what the generation during the World Wars was called. Amidst this convivial chat they also wondered what the next generation would be. One of my year 9 girls looked at me in confusion and asked, "Is z the last letter of the alphabet?"

Sometimes the severity of lack of brain engagement floors me.

Tonight the BA and I saw the school's Year 12 production of 'The Importance of Being Earnest', an important part of their overall mark for the year . It was fantastic. I love the play anyway; Oscar Wilde's scathingly funny dialogue, the tale of the young man found as an infant in 'a haaaaaaaaaaaandbaaaaaaaaaag'???????????? Tonight's production was the result of months of intense rehearsal and some stunning set design. I am happy to report it was a resounding success. The characterisations, for pupils of this age, were stunning and very consistent. They didn't relax into teenage mode physically or vocally at any time. Their accents were superb. Their energy levels and delivery were punchy and well paced for the most part. We were all jolly proud of them.

On a more serious note, the recent crash of an aircraft flying into the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea has left us all stunned. On Monday our much loved Deputy Principal had been sharing with us about his recent Kokoda Trek, undertaken in the last school holidays, less than a month ago. He flew in and out on that very plane. *shiver*

Another week is nearly over and time ticks inexorably onwards towards the opening date for the musical. Will we be ready? Hard to say. It's a biiiiig show. It is hard to rehearse everything in the limited after school and lunchtime sessions. We keep finding things we haven't thought of....

I'm off to cut out the lovely Boylan sisters! Fell asleep before I could do it last night.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Crafty Tuesday: Coming Together

A belated crafty Tuesday today as it's actually Wednesday but last night I was so bushed I fell asleep early. Here's one of the orphan outfits! I am not too excited about this particular pattern but I've received another one back from another sewing mum, using the 'colonial' pattern and I'm very happy with that one. Here it is with an (unfinished) pinny.The pinny needs a bit of work :-(. The year 10s did their best but they haven't cut down the seam allowance behind the neck facing so it looks a bit bulky and the armholes need deepening (and hemming but we'll get to that). I haven't got a fastening on the back yet either so it all looks a bit 'full' at the front.

I hope you realise how brave I am showing you this 'half finished' effort! :-D Please bear in mind it is only one in a set of six.

Today I bought some fabrics to make dresses for the 'lovely Boylan Sisters' (O-X-Y-D-E-N-T!!!)
My vision is three identical dresses in different colours; pink, blue and yellow. Of course I couldn't get a silk backed crepe in pale, sunny yellow for love nor money could I? I have pink, blue and a pale gold...I may keep looking.

I still have to get hold of some men's black dress waistcoats for the menservants, a marine guard's outfit, a few more floral chiffon numbers for Miss Hannigan and Annie's ubiquitous red dress ; but this week I have had another three people offer to sew for me! Praise the (unreasonable) Lord!

And now for a 'finished article'!

Yes! It's my little friend Rosalie (how I wish I could give her big cuddle) in her new cardigan! It did fit after all. But for how long :-D?????

In school news:
Many years ago a colleague and I wrote a 'poem' to help kids learn the three times tables. It goes like this

One three is three: pigs for his tea
Two threes are six: pigs are in a fix
Three threes are nine: pork tastes fine
etc etc etc (if you would like the complete version let me know. It boasts the sensational line
"nine threes are twenty seven: send the wolf right up to heaven")

Last week as we played tables bingo and as I called "one three is ....?", one of my cheerful little year 8 lads sang happily " one three is three, the wolf will get his dinner".

I don't know. Somehow it just doesn't have quite the same ring :-D

There have been other 'classic comments' recently but my head is so full I can't remember them.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Something For the Heathen Masses

The Tasmanian courts have upheld an appeal by the Atheists' Association to advertise on buses. Their slogan is "Atheism-Celebrate Reason". It was going to be 'Celebrate Reason and Sleep In On Sundays' but they decided that didn't address all those other unreasonable faith brands :-D

Now I know that some of you out there will be outraged by this and others (Bestie and headbang I'm looking at you...) will be smugly delighted but I just think it's hilarious!

Firstly it's in Tasmania the home of small populations and inbreeding so a dubious seat of 'reason' at the best of times; but also because I see opportunities for a whole lot of come back slogans.

Come on you Theists out there. What can you come back with? I imagine the Pentecostals will quickly have bumper stickers saying:

"Jesus: Give yourself a Reason."

But what about our more sedate Anglican bothers and sisters? the archaic Hebrews? the faithful Muslims? the multiple Hindus and the gentle Buddhists?

Perhaps the ancestor worshiping religions might hit the billboard trail with:

"Because I'm Your Father! I Don't NEED A Reason"

Any of the 'faith full' out there got something neat to say?

I Still Love A Bargain

So today was really interesting; I attended a workshop on Non Violent Response to angry, controlling children; then I left a folder in a coffee shop and so I had to park again in peak hour traffic (after having paid $26.00 to park in a city car park for the day!!!!!!!!!!!) and walk through a shop to get back to the coffee shop and the shop had a sale on and we needed new plates.

What do you mean you 'needed new plates' I hear you ask. I mean, plates are hardly shoes...they don't 'wear out'?! Well, hellooooo. Yes they do! Especially if children stack the dishwasher and your plates come out chipped and cracked beyond redemption.

But plates are expensive I also hear you say (especially you mum); you shouldn't be wasting money on plates when you already have plates, regardless of their cracks and chips.
Well, ho ho ho ye of little faith!

Harris Scarfe had a sale on and I got these lovely plates (colour hasn't come out well) for the princely sum of $2.00 a plate!!!!!! And they were marked at $14.00 each!The names of the colours give you more of an indication. The plain ones are called Marscapone Gloss, the dark ones Chocolat Gloss and the interdeterminate front colour is Green Tea Gloss!!!
Twelve plates for $24.00 and they are dishwasher safe!
And because we needed something to tie things together;
$5.00!!!!!!!!!! (colour also forced and unnatural) I must try to photograph in daylight more often :-)

Hope you're enjoying the weather wherever you are.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Theme Thursday: Gigantic

So many things to choose from: my pile of unfolded washing; the list of props I have to find for the musical; the pile of Year 10 tests waiting to be marked; the resentment I bear towards the men in our house who NEVER change the toilet roll (I am declaring a moratorium on this you know...I will not change another roll I did not finish myself >:-(......); the list of costumes still to be sewn; the responsibility for getting 'the bag' with the netball equipment to the game on Saturday (our coach is sick); my big fat a***................

Mindful of the pettiness of the here and now, the enormity of time and the steadfastness of God and nature, I will refrain from posting pictures of any of these and give you instead; Stonehenge. Although you can't quite see how gigantic it is cos they won't let you near it any more. Not even if you're a Druid. Or maybe especially if you're a Druid?

Actually, it looks really small here doesn't it?

Click over to Cheese Party and see if anyone else has a Gigantic offering which actually IS Gigantic.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Crafty Tuesday: Remember What It Was Like When You Couldn't Sew?

I'm cheating a bit with Crafty Tuesday as I haven't really got anything to show as yet....
See that pile of coffee coloured fabric? Well it's two shoulder seams and two side seams towards becoming 12 orphans' pinafores!

One of our generous and incredibly patient Home Ec teachers at school decided to let her Year 9 Sewing class loose on the construction of the orphans pinnies. As they are fairly straight forward, all straight seams and zig zag finishing, she figured it was a suitable exercise for them to practise upon.

Last Friday I went down to the Home Ec room with her to lend a practical hand in the sewing lesson. Unfortunately she had forgotten her timetable and instead of a nice class of eager and moderately competant year nines we got a ferral class of rowdy and incompetant year tens.
Now these kids have used the machines annually since year 7 or 8 and theoretically should have been able to get stuck right in. There were more than adequate numbers for them to do one each and our hope was that they would have got at least the shoulders and side seams done by the end of the lesson.


There was one young lady who took over half an hour, and a quarter of a spool of thread, just to get her machine threaded! There was one of my ex Maths pupils from last year, who does Home Ec for the cooking, and who needs watching like a toddler lest he empty a container full of fabric scraps all over the floor....for no apparent reason. Some of them used 45 pins per garment and drew their seamlines on with tailors chalk. And then ignored them.

It was hilarious .

I had forgotten what it was like not to know really basic things in sewing; like ensuring the bobbin tension is above 0. There were broken needles, tangled bobbin threads, seams whose line resembled the course of the Murray River....

At the end of the lesson, many of the pupils were feeling incredibly proud of themselves having completed a set of shoulder seams. After they left I finished off the shoulder and side seams in 6 garments in about 20 minutes.

I suspect the pinafores will be a long time coming! Never mind; I have bigger fish to fry. Tonight I cut out a couple of the orphan's dresses ready to give to some parent volunteers. I am fiddling the patterns a bit and I really hope these willing ladies will be able to interpret what I have in mind.

Wish us luck on this as the performance dates march ever onwards :-(

For some more 'together' craft, I recommend you check out Barely Controlled Chaos for Crafty Tuesday! Come back next week and I may have more to show for myself

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Bush Dance? No Thanks Miss, I HAVE a Life!

Every now and then school obligations which, at the outset seem onerous, turn out to be a lot of fun but I knew this one would be OK.Without giving too much away, our school started 26 years ago in a factory, of sorts, and through grace and blessing has been expanded to almost completely take over the original building. Our whole topography harks back to its industrial heritage and our assembly hall is....well..a shed!! On Saturday night we held our first ever annual Bush Dance.

Our ever creative principal had ordered the maintenance staff make up a neon sign for the occasion. Cut out of the ubiquitous corrugated iron; which was once the practical choice of the suburban gardener or country homesteader and has now been elevated to the lofty heights of architectural chic; the back lit sign was resplendent as you entered the assembly area. Bales of hay and fairy lights (which don't really show up in these photos) completed the look and the bush band made good use of the school's AV screens and stage facilities. Contrary to the appearance of these photos; which were taken towards the end of the evening when most people were outside recovering in the fresh air; there was a great turn out of over 100 students, staff, families and old scholars. The dance floor was packed for each set as we stumbled and whooped our way through old favourites such as 'The Drongo', 'The Troika', 'The Barn Dance', 'The Swedish Masquerade' and 'The Charge'!! On Sunday, I briefly wondered why my calves were so sore.

I forced the BA and her friend to accompany me of course. When she looked accusingly at Himself and asked "How come YOU don't have to come?" he replied, with rather more than seemly cheerfulness, that he was babysitting. I have long since given up trying to get my husband to attend such events. >:-(

She had a good time though. The two of them didn't exactly mingle but they did dance most dances and both sheepishly admitted they'd enjoyed themselves. In fact, many students who had been 'forced' to attend had to admit what good fun it was! I don't know, in my day square dances and bush dances were a great way to meet people and have a laugh. No one expects you to get it right and any casual observer watching our principal, his two sons and various friends charge around the dance floor pulling circles out of shape and pushing each other out of the way to grab new partners, could see the attraction of the whole physicality of the event for young men.
These pictures don't quite capture it do they?

That's cos I was too busy dancing to take photos!

Sometimes work can be fun.

Life is ridiculously busy at the moment and I am being very remiss by taking time out to post at all. There is more to share from the weekend and of the progress of the Musical costumes but it will have to wait until tomorrow.