Tuesday, May 27, 2008

40 years of Marriage

Ruby …

The colour of the heart; a crimson jewel with a timeless beauty that is both precious and enduring. Forty years of gathering memories; many, many precious and some not so. But they all meld together to create a treasury that is us.

Now, perhaps the similarly coloured, rose tinted spectacles need to be put into use, so that we can see in each other something of the couple we were, (what doesn’t seem anywhere near 40 years ago) but with a liberal addition of, once again similarly coloured, good quality matured shiraz?


To laugh is to risk appearing a fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk vulnerability.

To expose your feelings is to risk rejection.
To place your dreams before the crowd is to risk ridicule.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To go forward in the face of overwhelming odds is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.

She may avoid suffering and sorrow, but she cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love.

Chained by her certitudes, she is a slave.
She has forfeited her freedom.

Only the person who takes risks is free.

- Author Unknown

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ruby, don't take your love to town

A couple had been married for 40 years and were celebrating the event.

During the celebration, a fairy appeared and said that because they had been such a loving couple all these years, she would give them one wish each.

Being the faithful, loving spouse for all these years, naturally the wife wanted for herself and her husband to have a romantic vacation together, so she wished for them to travel around the world.

The fairy waved her wand and boom! ... the wife had the tickets in her hand.

Next, it was the husband's turn and the fairy assured him he could have any wish he wanted, all he needed to do was ask for his heart's desire.

He paused for a moment, then said, "Well, honestly, I'd like to have a woman 30 years younger than me."

The fairy picked up her wand and boom! ... he was 90 years old.

Moral: Don't mess with a woman; even if she appears to be a fairy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Petticoat Juncture

My friend called to tell me that she had decided to leave work a little early so that she could go to the haberdashery store to buy fabric to make petticoats. Yes, I use the plural intentionally; and it was her use of it which got me thinking about petticoats. I must admit that it was a while since I had done that; think of petticoats, I wish to emphasise, to those of you that may have been considering something else!

So I set about to investigate further. Perhaps I really should have delved a little deeper regarding her manufacture of petticoats but there wasn’t time, as she would have missed the bus if she had stayed to discuss such important issues. I gather that there was an issue of dance involved. My mind began to wander …

The practice of wearing petticoats as undergarments was well established by
1585. Petticoats were worn throughout history by women who wanted to have the currently fashionable shape created by their clothing. The petticoat(s), if sufficiently full or stiff, would hold the overskirt out in a pleasingly domed shape and give the impression of a smaller waist than the wearer actually had. It would also complement the desired large bust. Was this the new bust enhancement for the noughties? There was a fleeting (thank goodness) thought of dancing nymphs with large petticoats and generous bosoms.

The voluminous, layered
Victorian petticoats were not worn to hide the legs, as twentieth century commentators later claimed; they actually enhanced the stylish figure in the centuries before female attractiveness was defined in large part by how much naked leg was revealed, as has been the case since 1960.

pet·ti·coat – noun
· Also called
pettiskirt. an underskirt, especially one that is full and often trimmed and ruffled and of a decorative fabric;
· any skirtlike part or covering;
· a flounce or valance fitting around the sides of a bed, couch, or chair, as to conceal the legs;
· Informal. a woman or girl;

- adjective
· of, pertaining to, or controlled by women; female; feminine: petticoat government, whether in politics or domestic affairs.

There goes that wandering mind again … Many years ago, another friend had a yachting buddy who owned a yacht which was named Petticoat Government. Such a name for a boat was quite progressive then, especially for a man with a wife and five daughters to be secure enough of himself to own and race a boat so named, even if it carried a full female crew!

Oh well, I am going to have to get to the bottom of this petticoat story tomorrow I guess.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Keep Swimming

Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl.

One was an optimistic soul. But the other took the gloomy view. "We'll drown," he lamented, and without much ado, and with a last despairing cry, he flung up his legs, said "Goodbye" and sunk below the surface.

Said the other frog with a steadfast grin,"I can't get out but I won't give in, I'll just swim around till my strength is spent, then I'll die the more content."

Bravely he swam to work his scheme,and his struggles began to churn the cream. The more he swam, his legs a flutter, the more the cream turned into butter.

On top of the butter at last he stopped,and out of the bowl he gaily hopped.

What is the moral? It's easily found ... If at first you can't get out, just keep swimming around!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Acknowledging our flaws

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hanging on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it and only delivered a half a pot of water, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the water bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his master. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, being perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed and continually miserable over its imperfection which caused it to accomplish only half of what it had been designed to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, the cracked water pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself,” he told him, “and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “For these past two years I have been able to deliver only half my load because of the crack in my side which causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, but you don't get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.

But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because, as usual, it had leaked out half of its water, and so again it apologized to the water bearer for its consistent failure. The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That is because I have always known about your flaw, and took advantage of it by planting flower seeds on your side of the path. And every day for these past two years when we would walk back from the stream, you watered them. As a result of your flaw, you have been able to supply these beautiful flowers for me to pick and decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are, most of us, cracked pots. We all have some sort of imperfection whether they are obvious or not.

Don’t be afraid of them.
Acknowledge them, go out boldly and you too, can be the cause of beauty.

Know that in our weakness we find our strength.


I have been thinking about those questions that sit at the back of our minds, popping up when the subject is mentioned and then dropping back into the background, unanswered but lurking.

Do you know the ones I mean?

Surely everyone has at least one nagging question they would like answered, in the big picture view, the one we think we have forgotten about. Perhaps, who killed JFK or Pope John Paul I or what really happened to Harold Holt that day he went for a swim and didn’t return.

Then of course there are the personal ones …hmmm … think we would all have a couple of those. Not so easy to get truth serum these days, to get the real answers, so I guess we will have to wait.

I have an idea.

When we arrive at the Pearly Gates, there could be quite a line. The world clock indicates that around 150 000 die every day, so it could be quite busy, even in these days of electronic checking – guess that would be quicker than bringing out those stone tablets of earlier ages. However, it could still be tedious, so the answer is a nice little, umm perhaps a great big, internet café just outside those gates. Extremely fast wireless connection, ergonomic, comfy chairs; He doesn’t want to have to handle any legal claims as there are sure to be some lawyers in the queue, waiting to get the bad news about the down escalator.

Top class coffee – strong short blacks before the downward journey, or a sweet cappuccino before you walk through the gates to glory. Are you getting the picture yet? Starbucks? And don’t forget the biscotti … ahhh. I am sure God Himself or the Pearly Gates Administrator (St Pete) will be up with the latest on café munchies. Then, armed with our refreshments, we can sit for hours (that’s what we do now after all isn’t it?), checking current email addresses for those who went before, and asking all those questions mentioned earlier.

Time will fly.

Of course, there would need to be computer and internet lessons for those who arrive without the necessary skills (Bill could organise that department), so that those sitting beside the computer illiterate would not be held up answering questions on how to proceed.

God’s search engine could be called GoGod@cloudsonhigh. I am sure there would be a consultant or two standing around to give advice. Don’t they always, for a price? There is also sure to be a teenage guru there somewhere who could do at least as good a job; with the side benefit of that being it would keep them busy and away from spraying graffiti around the place.

Give it a bit of thought.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Midnight Mayhem

The Monsoon Frog [ http://monsoon-frog.blogspot.com ] has been seriously compromised! The first cane toad has been officially identified on the premises. Individual ones have been seen in the area, and dealt with in the appropriate way. * How did the MF react? Pretty much according to programming, attack is the best defence; grabbed a heavy blunt object and furiously attacked the hapless beast, beat it to a pulp and then deposited it in the mulch bin. You would think that it would probably contaminate the whole mix, but no, according to the experts, it makes quite good fertilizer.

Seeing that it was the middle of the night (back to that in a minute) the neighbours were scared out of their wits; heavy spade on concrete driveway makes a fairly loud noise on a still tropical night. Was there a mass murderer in our quiet leafy suburb? Had Trevor, the night rubbish warrior broken ranks and moved from the minor arterial roads into the suburbs to make his little rubbish piles?

What was happening?

Back to the hour of the adventure.

A fairly loud crashing noise had been heard, appearing to come from our downstairs area and the MF had been despatched to identify and hopefully, solve the problem. Found that the mighty ridgeback, the home protector, had jumped up with front paws high up on the gate to the backyard, and in an attempt to see what was entering the premises had knocked over a set of shelves. The MF followed the dog’s direction of interest; and the ugly beast was seen trying to exit the premises via the front driveway.

Most other MFs were considering a type of tropical hibernation at this time of the year; Thursday was the first day of the dry season, but this one has admirably carried out his civic duty and could slip into a blissful sleep with a clear conscience, for now.

* current official advice for humanely dealing with a cane toad is to capture it, place it in a plastic bag, or two and place it in the freezer with the other wildlife – fish, chicken, beef etc – and when the garbage collection day arrives, place it in the bin. Quite sensible advice really, as long as one can have the idea of combining wildlife together like that. However, at 1am with a feral frog disappearing at speed (the critters can actually move along quite swiftly when pursued) more urgent actions need to be adopted.