It’s Time!

Time to get your Christmas on!

Mt Gambier held it’s annual Christmas pageant yesterday, and there was such joy and excitement on the young ones’ faces as they chalked on the roadway waiting for the event to begin.  As the floats and displays went past, everyone was just smiling and enjoying themselves.  The weather was glorious, there was colour, music, dancing ….. oh, it was wonderful!

However, we should remember that there are those among us who are doing it tough at the moment.  So, if you are able, please consider placing a gift underneath one of the various wishing trees.  Give what you can, because even if you think it’s a small gift, to others it can mean the world.  Christmas is about love, peace, understanding and most importantly, giving.

I close with these wonderful photographs which captured the essence of the pageant 🙂

Merry Christmas everyone!

Photo collage courtesy of Ockert le Roux Photography https://www.facebook.com/ockertlerouxphotography/

 

 

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Photo courtesy of Limestone Coast Community News https://www.facebook.com/LimestoneCoastNews/

 

 

 

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A glimpse into the mind of a female

I decided that the front pillars of our new shop needed painting.  I enjoy painting. Should be easy.  Having the pillars in the same bright blue as our new signage will tie it all together, and it will frame the front door nicely.  So, I bought the brushes and the paint I needed and set to preparing for the job.

Did I say I enjoy painting?  Well, I used to.  This job became more of a difficult task than I originally thought.  I thought I’d planned it all out carefully and painting would be the enjoyable pastime it usually is.  Wrong.  I hadn’t taken into account the fact that I would have to climb 3 rungs up a high ladder balanced on an uneven footpath, with a downpipe in the way.  I hadn’t taken into account the uneven stucco base I had to cover in paint.  I hadn’t taken into account the west facing window and the full sun blaring down on me, drying off the paint before I was finished! Still, I persevered with it and now, the job is done.  I think it looks quite good, but I’m glad I don’t have to do another coat! 

Whilst working on this job, I found my mind wandering.  As it tends to do, frequently!  I likened the whole procedure to raising children.  How, you may ask?  Well, like this –

You decide that you need something in your life.  So, you make the preparations you think you need to make and get set up.  You don’t count on the job having rough, patchy bits that require a lot more TLC.  You don’t count on the job having areas that need to be repeated over and over, just to get the final outcome you desire.  You don’t count on the job taking a lot more time and energy than you plan for, and that you may not have time to sit and drink that coffee just when you want to.

Of course, you also don’t count on the passers by who all seem to have an opinion to offer.  “Big job”  “you should have got someone else to do that for you”  “you aren’t using the correct tools”.  You don’t count on the passers by who simply laugh as they walk by.  You also don’t count on those passers by who have their own tales to tell.  It’s nice when you get the ones who reassure you that you are doing a great job and it will be worth it in the end.

Yes, painting is a labour of love.  Just like raising children.  It requires planning, dedication, patience, resilience and above all, the knowledge that now you’ve started, you need to continue until it’s done!  Once it’s done however, you can take a step back and marvel at the fantastic job you’ve achieved.  People will admire your handywork and you will feel a sense of pride.

Just like raising children.

 

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The finished product

 

It’s a moving story …

In October 2017, we moved our store to a brand new location.  Around the corner.  You’d think a short move would be easy, wouldn’t you?  Wrong!  We closed our doors for 2 weeks, and it took 4 days of truck loading and unloading (2 loads per day) to get the stock across to the new shop.  Another week of trying to build shelving and display the stock in the nicest possible way.  It was very difficult, very emotional and very tiring, but we did it.  In spite of not having electricity connected on time, and pushing it to the edge with our telephone and internet connection!

Here’s a few photos of the old store slowly being packed up and dismantled and the new shop in all it’s finery!

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old shop – foam cutting area
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last of the internal walls
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looks weirdly empty
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we found a fireplace!
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this is going to be huge!
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final nail in foam shelving!
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… and it’s finished!
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new shop – first load of stock
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insertion strips and adhesive foam
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hosing, tubing, rubber strips
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fancy dress and rubber boots
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loads of fancy dress
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and hats
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looking from the front window
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rubber boots
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tubs, buckets, drums
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from the front door
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taking in the wet weather gear
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ready made mats
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too many to choose from
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vinyl and plastic off the roll
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chair tips etc in the yellow tubs
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foam cutting area
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with more foam to be delivered
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with mattresses and overlays

 

We are proud of our new shop, and invite you to come in and check it out.

We also created a brand new website to complement the new premises.  Have a look around!

 

Yeah, the Handyman can ….

I’d like to give a shoutout to a local business.  Ben Provis Handyman.

No job too big or too small, and you’ll find Ben to be a lovely, helpful man who knows his stuff.  He does an exceptional job, is quite reasonably priced and if there is any criticism, it’s that you have to book well in advance, because he is getting busier and busier!

If you are looking for a handyman, look no further than Ben Provis.  Support local business.  Find him on Facebook …. https://www.facebook.com/benprovishandyman

 

St. Patrick’s Day

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St Patrick’s Day is a global celebration of Irish culture on or around March 17. It particularly remembers St Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the fifth century.
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Popular Irish Blessing

What Do People Do?

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many parts of the world, especially by Irish communities and organizations. Many people wear an item of green clothing on the day. Parties featuring Irish food and drinks that are dyed in green food colour are part of this celebration. It is a time when children can indulge in sweets and adults can enjoy a “pint” of beer at a local pub. Many restaurants and pubs offer Irish food or drink, which include:

  • Irish brown bread.
  • Corned beef and cabbage.
  • Beef and Guinness pie.
  • Irish cream chocolate mousse cake.
  • Irish coffee.
  • Irish potato champ, also known as poundies, cally or pandy.
  • Irish stew.
  • Irish potato soup

 

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Background

St Patrick is one of the patron saints of Ireland. He is said to have died on March 17 in or around the year 493. He grew up in Roman Britain, but was captured by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave when he was a young adult. After some years he returned to his family and entered the church, like his father and grandfather before him. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary and worked in the north and west of the country.

According to popular legend, St Patrick rid Ireland of snakes. However, it is thought that there have been no snakes in Ireland since the last ice age. The “snakes” that St Patrick banished from Ireland, may refer to the druids or pagan worshipers of snake or serpent gods. He is said to be buried under Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, Ireland. Ireland’s other patron saints are St Brigid and St Columba.

Symbols

The most common St Patrick’s Day symbol is the shamrock. The shamrock is the leaf of the clover plant and a symbol of the Holy Trinity. Many people choose to wear the colour green and the flag of the Republic of Ireland is often seen in St Patrick’s Day parades around the world. Irish brands of drinks are popular at St Patrick’s Day events.

Religious symbols include snakes and serpents, as well as the Celtic cross. Some say that Saint Patrick added the Sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross. Other Irish-related symbols seen on St Patrick’s Day include the harp, which was used in Ireland for centuries, as well as a mythological creature known as the leprechaun and a pot of gold that the leprechaun keeps hidden.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A man named Valentinus was martyred on February 14 late in the third century A.D.—this much we know. But when it comes to details about the life of St. Valentine, legend often supersedes fact. As you celebrate this Valentine’s Day, find out the truth about the man for whom the day is named, as well as some other intriguing facts about history’s most romantic holiday.

1. The St. Valentine who inspired the holiday may have been two different men.
Officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, St. Valentine is known to be a real person who died around A.D. 270. However, his true identity was questioned as early as A.D. 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who referred to the martyr and his acts as “being known only to God.” One account from the 1400s describes Valentine as a temple priest who was beheaded near Rome by the emperor Claudius II for helping Christian couples wed. A different account claims Valentine was the Bishop of Terni, also martyred by Claudius II on the outskirts of Rome. Because of the similarities of these accounts, it’s thought they may refer to the same person. Enough confusion surrounds the true identity of St. Valentine that the Catholic Church discontinued liturgical veneration of him in 1969, though his name remains on its list of officially recognized saints.

2. In all, there are about a dozen St. Valentines, plus a pope.
The saint we celebrate on Valentine’s Day is known officially as St. Valentine of Rome in order to differentiate him from the dozen or so other Valentines on the list. Because “Valentinus”—from the Latin word for worthy, strong or powerful—was a popular moniker between the second and eighth centuries A.D., several martyrs over the centuries have carried this name. The official Roman Catholic roster of saints shows about a dozen who were named Valentine or some variation thereof. The most recently beatified Valentine is St. Valentine Berrio-Ochoa, a Spaniard of the Dominican order who travelled to Vietnam, where he served as bishop until his beheading in 1861. Pope John Paul II canonized Berrio-Ochoa in 1988. There was even a Pope Valentine, though little is known about him except that he served a mere 40 days around A.D. 827.

3. Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy, among many other things.
Saints are certainly expected to keep busy in the afterlife. Their holy duties include interceding in earthly affairs and entertaining petitions from living souls. In this respect, St. Valentine has wide-ranging spiritual responsibilities. People call on him to watch over the lives of lovers, of course, but also for interventions regarding beekeeping and epilepsy, as well as the plague, fainting and traveling. As you might expect, he’s also the patron saint of engaged couples and happy marriages.

4. You can find Valentine’s skull in Rome.
The flower-adorned skull of St. Valentine is on display in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. In the early 1800s, the excavation of a catacomb near Rome yielded skeletal remains and other relics now associated with St. Valentine. As is customary, these bits and pieces of the late saint’s body have subsequently been distributed to reliquaries around the world. You’ll find other bits of St. Valentine’s skeleton on display in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France.

5. Chaucer may have invented Valentine’s Day.
The medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer often took liberties with history, placing his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work “Parliament of Foules,” he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention. The poem refers to February 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate. When Chaucer wrote, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate,” he may have invented the holiday we know today.

6. You can celebrate Valentine’s Day several times a year.
Because of the abundance of St. Valentines on the Roman Catholic roster, you can choose to celebrate the saint multiple times each year. Besides February 14, you might decide to celebrate St. Valentine of Viterbo on November 3. Or maybe you want to get a jump on the traditional Valentine celebration by feting St. Valentine of Raetia on January 7. Women might choose to honour the only female St. Valentine (Valentina), a virgin martyred in Palestine on July 25, A.D. 308. The Eastern Orthodox Church officially celebrates St. Valentine twice, once as an elder of the church on July 6 and once as a martyr on July 30.

Happy New Year!

Well, the silly season has been and gone, and I, like many others, have probably over indulged just a little.  But I didn’t just over indulge in the food and drink department.

Our home was open to my elderly father, my four beautiful daughters, their husbands and their children.  What a lovely, noisy home it was for the best part of a week!  It’s not often we all get together, as one of my daughters lives in a different state.

So, I over indulged in love, fun, laughter, the whole “will Santa know where to find us?” and “I hope the reindeer like the carrots we’ve left for them!” and “can you hear the sleigh bells? You’d best go to sleep now!” and of course, touring around town looking at all the pretty light displays.

What a shame the sense of magic and wonderment and goodwill only lasts for a few days a year.  As Elvis asks “Why can’t every day be like Christmas?”

I sincerely hope you all had a lovely festive season x

Thankyou, George de Mestral

Velcro, the “zipperless zipper,” exists on a variety of products from children’s shoes to laptop bags to blood pressure gauges to airplane flotation devices. While the term is used synonymously to describe the hook-and-loop style of binding, it’s actually the name of the company that produced the technology from which now many thousands of imitators trace their products’ origins.

Inspired by nature

In 1948, Swiss engineer and amateur mountaineer George de Mestral went hiking in the woods with his dog. Upon arriving back at his home, he took note of the burrs that clung to his clothes and he wondered if such an idea could be useful in commercial application. He studied a burr under a microscope only to discover that they were covered in tiny hooks, which allowed them to grab onto clothes and fur that brushed in passing. After velcromore than eight years of research and work, he created what is known now today as Velcro, a combination of the words “velvet” and “crochet.” Made up of two strips of fabric, one covered in thousands of tiny hooks and the other with thousands of tiny loops, the materials gripped together firmly while still allowing easy release.

While de Mestral’s invention became the source of much ridicule early in its inception, his perseverance allowed him to perfect the hook-and-loop technology for commercial use. By patenting Velcro in 1955, he helped give his company a competitive edge over other would-be imitators, as evidenced by his company reaching the point selling more than 60 million yards of Velcro per year during de Mestral’s lifetime.

NASA and Velcro

Many sources attribute the creation of Velcro to NASA, thought this claim proves quite false. While NASA wasn’t responsible for the material’s inception, the space agency’s use of the product did lead to Velcro’s popularity in all circles of life. In the 1960s, Apollo astronauts used Velcro to secure all manner of devices in space for easy retrieval.

Velcro’s popularity

Despite the image boost created through NASA’s use of Velcro, the material came in few colours and often looked quite ugly. Due to the simple lack of aesthetic appeal, Velcro was used only with athletic equipment. Starting in 1968 and on into the 1980s, shoe companies like Puma, Adidas and Reebok integrated Velcro straps onto children’s shoes.

By this point, the patent on the hook-and-loop technology had expired and many imitators began to crop up throughout the world. Many of these were cheap and low-quality versions, which forced Velcro to begin a lifelong battle of maintaining the integrity of its product’s name to prevent it from becoming a generic term, much like aspirin, which was originally a brand name.

Velcro gained popularity in many new styles of use when, a 1984 interview between David Letterman and Velcro’s USA director of industrial sales  ended in Letterman jumping off a trampoline onto a wall while in a Velcro suit. This prompted many companies to find innovative and versatile methods of using Velcro, from attaching electronic devices to car seats to toys with Velcro materials for catching balls.

Velcro in the Army

In 2004, Velcro made significant headway in the industry by gaining the U.S. Army as a client. The hook-and-loop material became used on the Army Combat Uniform, a lighter version of their original battle attire. However, soldiers disliked the material and caused much uproar through complaints over the noise it created and how the fabrics collected dust. After an internal inspection of these claims, the Army moved away from the use of Velcro to instead rely on buttons.

Velcro today is a registered trademark of Velcro Industry. So while many products come equipped with Velcro, they don’t advertise as being a Velcro product, just like imitator manufacturers don’t advertise their hook-and-loop materials as Velcro.

Article courtesy http://www.livescience.com/