A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Appointment with Life

This past week has turned out to be Appointment Week. And that has been both tiring and overwhelming.
Generally speaking I don't agree that ignorance is bliss but after a couple of sessions on pain relief, pre-op prep,and post-op recovery process, I'm beginning to wonder if there aren't some areas in life that the saying might just be applicable to.

Frankly, it's not that I want to be kept in the dark but there's so much to remember. Hence, I'm suffering from information overload stress. If you're thinking that I've got the nerves... you betcha I do...

Then there were the dental visits, which were needed obviously but I came away from them, a tad weary. Jaw stretching is strangely tiring and that somehow turned into a headache.

I daresay my body is in urgent need of repair and I'm glad that it's going to happen soon but having to bum around for 4-6 weeks is a tough call. Obviously I won't just be watching videos or reading... but will be doing plenty of post-op exercises and walking.

I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm nervous but the Psalms have been a great comfort to me these past weeks. I didn't choose to read the Psalms... I follow a reading plan fairly loosely and this was the time allocated for the Psalms. Not everything that I read applied directly to my situation BUT everything I read spoke about a great sovereign Lord well-acquainted with the affairs of men.

I can't count the number of times that truth has sustained my soul.

Sounds from a Suburban Shopping Centre

What do you do when you eat out and the result is not entirely to your satisfaction? Do you:

1) Spit the dummy and pontificate about your rights as a consumer within hearing of all the customers
2) Approach the staff and/or management and ask politely for a refund or another serving
3) Go quietly and swear never to come back again. And tell all your friends and rellies never to step foot in that place if they can help it.
4) Provide constructive criticism
5) Other

Depending on how dreadful the service or product was, I'm usually a 3 person. I may do 4 if asked. Occasionally 2.
Personally eating anywhere for the first time has some degree of risk... like watching movies you don't know anything about. Unless you get food poisoning or are paying $30 a head, I don't see the point of kicking up too much of a stink about it.

There's this insanely popular ramen place near our place and the queuing starts pretty early. Yesterday was my first visit there and we planned to do take away due to time constraints. So we sat around and waited for our order.
It's really odd when you think about it... quite likely because my standard of quality control is pretty low... that someone would create such a big fuss about the soup not being hot enough to threaten to call the cops. In all my years of eating out with frugal relatives, that was new even for me.
Talk about persistent... plenty of back and forth and microwave heating was a big "no, no..." apparently.
The waiter who was dealing with the loud, belligerent patron had this perpetually confused look on his face, unsure of what rock this customer had just emerged out of.

I was frankly quite embarrassed for everyone... I mean, really, a $14 bowl of noodle soup? Is it really necessary invoke the Australian constitution over it?

Expectations are a funny thing.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


My dirt and untidy tolerance levels have been sorely tested the last couple of weeks.
Not that I'm a cleaning Nazi by any stretch of the imagination. Far from it.
Still, looked pretty bad there for about a week.
Having to restrain oneself from doing housework during the period of recovery has been hard especially when the husband was in agony over a bad foot for about a week. Gout was probably the first thing on most people's minds but fortunately it hasn't come to that... yet. Two courses of anti-biotics later, the inflammation seems to have eased considerably.

The 10 year old has been sporadically helpful with the vacuuming when she's not demanding payment or quietly hinting at accumulated wages owed to her. She says she's saving up for those here-today-and-gone-tomorrow Smiggle stationery packs. Sigh.

Well, at least she's motivated by something.

Little by little, the place is looking a lot more civilized.
Guess what... I cleaned the sinktops on Thursday!

Our job would be made A LOT easier if the the 4 year old would stop dumping unwanted food on the floor in that sneaky Gollum-like manner. The chooks are pretty handy in that regarding, now acting as her new rubbish disposal unit. Anything organic that doesn't meet with her approval goes to the birds.

I have been mighty thankful at the kindness of people at my church and from my MOPS group. Our family's been very blessed by the home cooked meals that we've been receiving from that quarter. It's been so immensely helpful... incalculable, really. I am so grateful to God and his people for this outpouring of grace and kindness during our time of need.

And thanks also to those who have been praying. I feels so much fortified knowing that you're standing shoulder to shoulder with me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cucina of Italy

The husband took me out to a really lovely Italian place for lunch yesterday and I'm still salivating at the thought of how good the bruschetta was. The restaurant, named Cucina of Italy, boasts an authentic Italian menu. Whether it is authentic, is beyond my level of expertise but the dishes were delicious and substantial.

The interior, I also found warm and endearing... reminded me of those cafe scenes from Roman Holiday.

The husband ordered a veal ravioli, while I had a beef lasagne. But the pierce de resistance was the garlic bruschetta pizza. Oh golly... bread and tomatoes never tasted so good together.

By the end of the meal we were stuffed porkers. Really stuffed. The waiter, who recommended the bruschetta offered us some lemon tart imported directly from Italy. I looked at him and thought... you gotta be kidding...
But the tart did look good.
Maybe next time... when I haven't hoed through 4 slices of bruschetta as appetizer and struggle to finish a large helping of lasagne.

Cucina of Italy is located at Sunny Park Shopping Centre, McCullough Rd, Sunnybank.

And no... nobody paid me to write this review... *sob*

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I woke up this morning unable to find my glasses in the usual places. I don't remember if it's because I fell asleep with them on or whether I took them off and put them on top of my princess-and-the-pea type arrangement of blankets and doonas.
Groping around is a good interim measure but not for more detailed activities. I can read (more or less) without them but I couldn't do much else without them. In a few years I expect I will be graduating to graduated lenses, going the way of my parents.

Not wanting to turn this into a mid-life lament, I will say that aging is not normally something that occupies my headspace despite health issues. When lethargy grips, I blame it on stress, a lack of exercise or lack of sleep, though not necessarily in that order. Who thinks about aging when the kiddies are still so young?

But when one hits 40, it seems that the moving parts start to break down. Espeically those bits and pieces that's tucked away under the skin and we're happy to have them that way.
The husband, who was diagnosed with an infected food, was half joking the other day that we've both hit the magic number. Such a sorry pair we were.

In a few weeks, all being well, I will be having surgery.  It'll be my first.
How do I feel? I'm not sure. A part of me wishes it was all over, a part of me knows I have to do this and a tiny part of me is a tad jittery when I look at all the pre-admission paperwork.

We are such frail creatures.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ten Minute Tales: Perfect Day

A friend put me on to the Ten Minute Tales series and I stumbled onto this one first.
I found it humorous and deeply moving. Pass it on to your friends. It's not quite ten minutes...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Waiting... waiting...

A lot of  people have asked me how I feel... how I'm coping... Hence, the update.
I slept. A LOT.  During the first two days back home, that is.
My head feels a lot better and after a good night's sleep, it feels quite normal. But from time to time, when reality hits, I feel that I'm living on knife's edge with only the medication acting as a dam and keeping the nasty stuff at bay. When I feel a twinge here and a smiddgen of a cramp there, the heart beats just a little faster. Not in romantic fashion unfortunataely.

All that happened to me last weekend feels like a series of bad scenes from ER. No where nearly as frenetic obviously. But messy. Very messy.
Now that that part of it is over, I feel like the outsider looking in, glad that hospitals are there when you need them but not somewhere one hangs out for the fun of it.  I was tired the entire I was there that I mostly see flashes of images and people I met at the hospital, remembering snippets of conversation here and there.

I've been spending a lot of time in bed, not sure what to do with myself. DVDs, books fill up my days.
Occasionally, I feel like I'm living through an intermezzo just waiting for the month to go by and so I can get to the surgery so life can be normal again.

Now when I think about things, I wonder why I wasn't more afraid at the time. True, there was a single moment I was afraid... when the headaches and dizziness got really bad and I finally decided I HAD to go to the hospital. But since then I've been generally at peace with the universe.
That quote from C.S. Lewis, has been unexpectedly helpful. And yet I know that there is nothing unexpected in the omniscience of divine providence. There are no interruptions to life because what happens is the reality of life.

I've been reading Randy Alcorn's collaborative effort with the late, great Charles Spurgeon on heaven, We Shall See God and it's given me new thoughts on the future. In one particular chapter, Spurgeon observes that:

Those in Heaven are blessed, but they have not had their public entrance. They are waiting till their Lord shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the trump of the archangel and the voice of God. Then their bodies shall rise; then the world shall be judged; [...]

For this fulfillment the believing heart is panting, groaning, and sighing.

A Christian's experience is like a rainbow made up of drops of the griefs of Earth and beams of the happiness of Heaven. It is a checkered scene, a garment of many colours. He is sometimes in the light and sometimes in the dark.

The text says, "We groan." [Romans 8:22-23] It is not the hypocrite's groan, when he goes mourning everywhere, wanting to make people believe he is a saint because he is wretched. We groan within ourselves. Our sighs are sacred things these griefs and sighs are too hallowed for us to tell abroad in the streets. We keep our longings to our Lord, and to our Lord alone.

IT appears from the text that this groaning is universal among the saints: there are no exceptions. To a greater or lesser extent we all feel it. [...] (Alcorn and Spurgeon, 2011, We Shall See God, Illinois: Tyndale House, Day 3)