There’s life in the old Blog yet!

Recently I received an email telling me that I needed to either close the Gifted Resources blog or update it to the newer format. I realised what a long time it had been since I posted on it. All my blogging energy has been poured into Sprite’s Site for the last few years.

My tech guru, Jamie Tarling, put in a lot of work to update this blog and transfer old posts into it. It was exciting to see the possible formats and themes on offer for the updated version. The picture in the blog header changes randomly from a selection of Gifted Resources pictures at each page refresh. Thank you very much, Jamie!

So how will I use this blog? I enjoyed  the walk down memory lane as I read the old posts.
They are a mixture of Gifted Resources information and personal stories.
And I can see the seeds of some of my current interests expressed in some of the posts.
I think I will use this blog for posts which relate to Gifted Resources, to issues relating to giftedness and possibly include some personal stories. But if the posts relate to Sprite or any of the characters from that blog I will post them on Sprite’s Site.

I may import some of the posts from Sprite’s Site into this blog and there will be quite a bit of cross referencing between the two blogs.  I am going to add Tags to the previous posts and have fun sprucing up the blog. Maybe the Dabrowski Dogs will visit this blog occasionally too?

Fairy Nuff Returns

You may remember my ditzy Fairy Godmother from such escapades as Conference Cinderella and Fairy Nuff (Blog entry September 29, 2006).

Well she appeared again recently in response to a time of need.

This time she looked quite like a mayfly as she sat trapped in the string mesh covering a leg of ham.

“I am quite hamstrung by all these regulations”, she wailed.

“What is the problem?” I asked.

“Whatever I want to do I need a permit or a certificate or a qualification. It is just not fair! Why don’t they just let me get on with granting wishes?”

I fought the desire to say “Because you are not very good at it. Your heart is in the right place but you are just not very efficient”

“Anyway, enough about me dear! What are you wishing?”

“It’s Conference time again and I can’t afford to go”

“Well, I could turn this lettuce into a pile of money (green stuff, you know) or I could turn this bread into dough; but last time I did that I was taken into custardy (sic!) for counterfeiting. That was a sticky situation, I can tell you!”

“And now there are all the Food Handling Regulations and the Use by Dates. If you miscalculate, things can change back before the proper time. And I can’t always get the dates. It is getting harder as I get older!”

“In fact I can’t really do too much until I qualify for the Super Sparkle Wand. If you have a Super Sparkle people really take notice of you; and you can be much more effective, even if what you do is just the same as before“

“Why don’t you complete your Super Sparkle then?” I asked.

“Because while I’m doing that I would have to take time off from being your Fairy Godmother” she said with a big sigh

A Gift from Jan Tarling


Ode to Jo 

There’s been many a week

Many a trek

To many an ‘open for inspec’ 

And with every peek

Every rubberneck

She’s becoming more and more a wreck! 

How many bedrooms?

Is it ‘all elec’?

Are there plenty of plugs for computer tech? 

Is it sparkling clean

With nary a speck?

What’s this one with the fabulous view from the deck? 

Oh, she wants it now

Right at this ‘sec’

She’s willing to rush out and write the cheque 

We wish her well

And – what the heck!

If she gets it we’ll come round and ‘discotheque’!!!

My dear friend, Jan Tarling, often gives poems to mark occasions such as birthdays and moving to a new home. She has been sharing all the drama of our search for a new home and was moved to write this for me after seeing photos of one of the houses we inspected recently. Thanks, Jan!






Rental lament

Sometimes I really hate renting!

We have been in this home for a whole two months and now the landlord is selling this house. We have a one year contract. When we were signing for this place we made it very clear that we would only sign if we would be able to stay for at least 3-5 years until the children had finished uni studies and were financially ready to move out; at which time we would be looking for a small place for just the two of us.

We needed this assurance as the last two places we rented were sold out from under us. We were assured that this place was a long term proposition. We would not have even considered signing if there had been any doubt.

We were told that the fence which encloses the back courtyard would be replaced before we moved in. It was not and still has not been. We have had to tie the fence and gate up with tie wire to prevent it falling over. This means the gate is sealed shut and we have no access to the back yard from the outside.

There is no garage or garden shed so we have the contents of the large garage we had at the previous house stored in the rumpus room. We have not been able to unpack properly and can only use a corner of the rumpus room. A friend was going to sell us a shed; but do we need it now?

Very shortly after we moved in the real estate agent came to value the house. We were told not to worry – the landlord just wanted to know how much the place was worth. Then agents from another real estate firm came to value the house. When I queried it with the rental department they claimed to not even know that the sales department of their own company had come.

Two days later on a Sunday afternoon the lady from sales phoned  and said that our landlord wanted to sell and the whole sales team would be coming to inspect the place on Tuesday. She said that as the landlord was the one breaking the contract he would pay for our relocation.

A phone call to the rental department on the Monday morning dispelled that reassurance. The head of rentals told me very sternly that we could not be put out until next July and in the meantime we just had to sit put and cope with all the Open for Inspections etc., that if we moved earlier we would be the ones breaking the contract and liable for extra expenses. When I told her we had signed on the understanding that we would be there more than one year, she said “Tenants only have the right to expect exactly what the contract says – no more!”

Since then we have been on a roller coaster of tears, glimpses of hope, frustration and insecurity. We were 2/3 of the way to being unpacked. Should we keep unpacking or start repacking?  Where will we be for Christmas?

There are two possible scenarios which would be OK for us
1. Another investor buys the property who is prepared to make the required repairs, appreciates having excellent long term tenants and we stay on happily for several years
2. The house is sold very quickly and we are given notice to leave and therefore relocated to a property of similar size and rental rate at the owner’s expense.

The worst case scenario is that it takes a long time to sell, taking us right up to the end of our one year contract and we are forced to move at our own expense, having put up with countless instances of Open for Inspections and private showings. We really cannot afford to move at our own expense at this time (or even in a year for that matter)

The advertisement has gone up on the Internet with no mention of the house being suitable for an investor and having long term tenants installed.
So far in our two months here there have been evaluation inspections, a full sales team inspection, a photo session, a private showing and one Saturday afternoon Open for Inspection. On each occasion I have done extra cleaning and moving of furniture and fittings.
And we have ensured that someone was home as we are not prepared to have our home entered while we are not here. Does this constitute quiet enjoyment of our home? I think not!

So please pray that this can be speedily and amicably settled.





Moving STUFF…

Our family has just moved from Croydon North to North Ringwood. It was not a big move in terms of distance but it was huge in terms of the amount of stuff to move.

At the previous house we had a large shed where we kept tools, garden tools, son’s camping equipment, daughter’s furniture and mum’s STUFF (usually a less polite word was used to describe my STUFF)

My STUFF included some boxes of books for the Gifted Resources Library, boxes of family books, plastic crates of homeschooling books and materials, plastic crates of Sunday School programs (many of which I had written myself), teaching materials and visual aids and a couple of boxes of precious pictures, stories etc which the children had done when they were young.

I had been working on sorting and discarding much of my STUFF for several weeks prior to the move. I had a discard pile on one side of the shed, boxes of books to go to an Op Shop in one pile and the keepers in another.

With only a few days to go till the move the others got into the act and decided that Mum’s STUFF was the main problem, that Mum was a horder and all the STUFF should be turfed out.

The item that was chosen to battle over was a pair of felt boards which act as a folio carrier for Sunday School visual aids which I had created. “You are not using these. When did you last use them? Have you used them in the last six months?”

“Well, no… but this is a memory verse puzzle about creation – it took me ages to make and I use it every time we do Genesis and these are all visual aids for Christmas and we have one of those every year. And these flannel boards would be expensive to replace It would take lots of time and money to replace this and it does not take up much space!”

It is very much a case of one man’s treasure is another’s trash. I heard recently of a family who burnt all the papers which had been kept by their elderly aunt only to find out afterwards that amongst the ashes were the childhood drawings of a world famous artist!