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Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Nose and a Chin

Nagging guilt has actually made me 
avoid the Cow for a while…
But, I found something that made me think 
and made me smile thismorning.

Here’s a re-hash of the story 
I found this morning:

A lady in China never went to school… 
she was never taught to reador write.
She has cerebral palsy, 
so expectations were lowered for her. 
She can’tstand. She can’t use her hands.
And yet, she has published her own book… 
A book she wrote herself.

It’s titled: Greet You with aSmile
It took her three years to write this book. 
And, she wrote it usingher nose and her chin! 
She typed the story on her ipad 
and her mobile phone.
She taught herself to read 
while watching television programs 
and bylooking at a dictionary.
She has also written two short stories.

I love this quote from the author, Huang Yang: “Everyone encountersdifficulties 
and setbacks in their lives. 
Some feel down about it 
and somesolve it optimistically. 
Lying dead, or standing alive, 
it all depends on you.”

Huang Yang                             Photo credit: Women of China

While the news article calls Huang a girl, she is 28.

This is another story that proves that we should never set limits onwhat people can or can’t do.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Kindness of Strangers

I read an article today… 
about breast-feeding.
I’m not a mum. 
I’ve never breastfed a baby.
I’m a big supporter of it…
But I know how difficult it can be 
for some mumsto feed their children.

I find it strange that women 
are judged and criticised
 for feeding their children in public. 
I imagine that, if their baby was leftun-fed
 and was starting to really scream in hunger,
the people around themother 
would throw angry glares her way – 
and some people would most likely 
abuse her for her noisy baby 
and the fact it is obviously hungry.

So, why judge when she does feed her child?
Most women are very discreet when feeding. 
Often,a child may be fed 
and no one around the mother 
would even notice. 
Let’s faceit, she doesn’t want 
anyone staring at her breasts! 
And, there’s always theoption 
for bystanders to simply look away!
I’d like to think that times 
are changing andwomen no longer
 sit in public toilets to feed their children.
I think we are alittle more understanding
 and accepting, as a whole.

So, the article I read…
A mother was in a pizza restaurant
and she wasfeeding
 her child at the table. 
Worried she was breaking social taboos,
 shefelt quite self-conscious 
and soon noticed 
the waitress staring at her. 
She continued feeding, feeling guilty
 and halfexpecting to be asked to stop.
When her child still didn’t settle, 
she left thetable early 
and waited in the car 
while her husband paid their bill.

And here’s the good bit:
The waitress… the staring waitress…
She was so impressed 
by the lady feeding herchild 
that she paid for part of their bill.
The mother’s name is Jackie. 
The waitress is BodiKinney. 
Bodi’s message on the bill was simple: 
I bought one of your pizzas. 
Please thank your wife for breastfeeding!!

Such a simple act… 
and yet, a huge reminder 
that hungrychildren should be fed 
and we should never 
stop a mother from breast-feeding.

Our actions are very powerful… 
this waitress hasempowered 
a breast-feeding mother… 
and women everywhere. 

What a beautifulgesture.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Shuffling

Driving... 
It's all 'smooth sailing' until 
something walks on to the road and stops traffic.
And that, brings me to the echidna...
Echidna – what kind of word isthat, anyway?

The echidna is covered in
hollow spines.



They have tiny eyes and pooreyesight.
They’re easy enough to catch though–
if you ever stumble across one inthe wild.
They shuffle along...
...oblivious to the dangers
around them.
They’re not totally defenseless!
Once startled, their long claws 
might dig into the ground.
They hold on with such incrediblestrength
that it is almost impossible
to pull them out of the ground...
Not to mention working around theirspines.
If the echidna cannot dig into theground
they will roll into a ball.
Their softer belly will beprotected
by a ball of spines.


Dingoes, goannas and otherpredators
have to suffer a mouthful of spines
before reaching the echidna’sflesh.
A dingo with a mouth full of sores
caused by echidna spines
soon learns to leave the echidnaalone!

And their tongue....
100 times a minute
that tongue sticks out.
It’s sticky so ants, termites 
and small bugsstick to it.
Back inside the mouth it goes,
covered in delicious echidna food!
There are no teeth in the echidna’smouth
but hard palettes crush theinsects.

I love that they have hairs
 among their many spines.
I love that they can live in thesnow
and in the hottest parts ofAustralia.
I love that you can stumble
on them out in the bush.
I love their shuffle.

I love their colours.

I love that cars will slow
to almost a stop
when an echidna
is crossing a suburban road.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Knuckles

The Cow’s been pretty quiet lately…
I’ve been learning a little about cerebral palsy 
hands on learning… 
I know a bit more about it now, 
not necessarily the medical terminology 
but the impact it has on a little body.

So, when I heard about ‘Knuckles’, 
I was immediately curious.  
Why? Knuckles is a chimpanzee… 
a chimpanzeewith cerebral palsy!

Knuckles lives at the 
Centre for Great Apes (in Florida)
after anentertainment group he had been with,
no longer wanted him. 
He was two when hearrived. 

It seemed that Knuckles had cerebral palsy. 
At the time of his birth, 
he suffered from a lack of oxygen. 
He had poor muscle control 
and was especiallyweak on the left side.
 He also had a lazy eye 
and didn’t appear able to focuson objects.
 At two, Knuckles should have been
 swinging from the trees, 
but hecould not climb 
and had difficulty with walking.
He also had trouble feeding 
and needed help to eat. 
Hardly surprising, early testing 
pointed to a grimfuture,
with almost no expectations 
for improvements in Knuckles’ ability.


 Andyet, steady progress was made. 
Volunteers gave Knuckles 
some extra time and 
occupationaland physical therapists 
also worked with Knuckles. 

Now, Knuckles feedshimself… 
he climbs up and down steps… 
and uses swings to hang upside down.
 Sometimes,he joins 
the other chimpanzees in running games.

 Knuckles is very aware 
of hissurroundings 
and loves being tickled. 
He is also very affectionate. 

Had Knucklesbeen born into the wild, 
I guess he would have 
slowly starved or been 
an easytarget to another animal. 
But, he was taken in and loved. 
He was recognised ashaving cerebral palsy
 and his therapy and efforts have paid off.

Being that we are so closely related to apes,
 I guess its nosurprise that they too, 
may have cerebral palsy.
to find out more.

There are more pictures at the site, too.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fairy Orchid

It’s been so long since I posted something… 
so, lets start back withsomething 
light and easy, something cute.
A flower… an orchid…
It’s a tiny people orchid! 
It only grows to 30cm. 
Unfortunately... it’s aEuropean plant, 
which flowers in October and November. 
It’s a hardly littleplant and tolerates frost. 
This little plant likes the sunshine, 
and why wouldn’tit… 
it’s flowers look as though they would 
like to dance in the sunshine. 
Theseplants grow in woodlands and meadows –
 which is perfect for the dancingflowers. 
This cool little plant is known as the Orchis italic… 
it’s the fairyorchid! 



I want one of these.





Saturday, February 23, 2013

Second Place Winner

 
This is the name of a winner:  
IvanFernandez Anaya.

OK, he didn’t win…
He came second in the race,
and his coach may have been
unhappywith that…
but, really, he won.
During a cross-country race,
his goodness and
sense of fair play really shone.
The race was close to finished…
Ivan wascoming second. 
Abel Mutai was winning…
but, Abel got confused
about where the finish line was…
He stopped running tooearly.  
He was still meters away
from thefinish line.
As Ivan ran up to him,
 he saw the error,
and could easily haveraced past
 and claimed first place.
He didn’t.
He ran right up to Abel Mutai
and pointed to the finish line.

 

He stayed behind Abel
until therace had been won.
Ivan claimed second and was
 immensely proud of his efforts.

Ivan later said:
“I didn’t deserveto win it”.
He explained:
“He was the rightful winner.
He created a gap that Icouldn’t
 have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake.”

Because the two men had
littlecommon language between them,
Abel’s thanks were quite simple
in words,
butheartfelt in meaning.

Ivan hopes that his decision
to letfairness
overcome the need for winning
might help children everywhere
to seewhat is really important.

Although Ivan came second…
it’sprobably the best second place
 he could ever take.
Champion.

Ivan’s facebook page
?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Cut Above

Guy Henry
Several months ago,
myyoung nephew met a man.
He met Dr Guy Henry.
Lucky!
Dr Guy Henry saved hislife.
He cut my nephew open
– twice!
 
 
The second time,
he removed a chunk of cancer cells
from my nephew’stiny body
 and then, carefully and neatly,
sewed him back together.
What anamazing job he has!
What an incredible thing he does!
Dr Guy Henry is a
specialist Paediatric Surgeon.
He’s been doing this
forover ten years.
I’ve never met Dr GuyHenry,
but I will always be grateful
for what he did…
and how well he did it.
My nephew’s scar is almost healed.
It’s almost perfectly straight.
 
Maybe, in a few years,
we might have trouble
even seeing the scar.
But,each time the sun shines
 the right way
and a glint of scar shines at me,
 I willsend a quiet
“thank you”
to Dr Guy Henry.
Apparently, he loves
rugby andfishing –
but rarely has any luck
catching a fish.
I hope he catches
thebiggest fish next time
 he drops a line in!   
Read more about him here.
 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Beginnings

2012 brought some great things...
but, it was a long, tiring
and often... awful year.
But, it's gone!
 
Welcome 2013!
Here's to smiles, love, laughter
and great health!
Happy New Year!
 
And... in Thai:
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Photo Source

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Into the Spirit of Things


Festivus

This has to have something
to do with Christmas,
right?
I just wrapped
acouple of presents
and now feel
much more christmasy!
I even wrapped a couple
of“gag” presents – such fun!
I’ve just sat down
with a glass of bubbly –
a present…
and the Carols in the Domain sing-fest
is about to begin.
I’m going to watch
and hum along to the carols…
I’m going to get
a little more festive.
I’m sotired… so tired!
But, today…
my Christmas present
to myself turned up.
I nowhave to new lounge chairs!
Woohoo!
They go beautifully
with my brand newfloors.
My house smells different –
and a little funny
(new flooring will dothat, I guess!)
and my house looks very different.
 I love it!
It’s time to get festive!!