Moving House – a brief inventory

Since we are moving shortly, I’ve been giving some thought to what we need to take with us, what we pack up, etc.

And it has occurred to me, our next house is going to be very, very empty.

My husband and I don’t have a lot of big items that you normally find in a house. We’ve put so much time, effort and money into the business, that we haven’t been able to justify buying certain things, like couches.

When we moved from the Brisbane house, a few of the things we did own, we got rid of or left behind, such as our TV and dinning table. This was easy to do as the house we moved to already had a wall mounted TV and a media room with a projector.
It had a full couch suite left here as well as a futon/lounge thing. They also left their massive 8 seater dinning table and chairs. So this house hasn’t been empty because it came with some furniture!

So briefly, the following are the large items we own that will go to the next house:

  • queen size bed
  • single bed
  • large IKEA shelves
  • 2 x office/study desks
  • 1 kitchen caddy (recently acquired for free from business partners)
  • garage shelving (also recently acquired from business partners)
  • and the snakes cage with stand

That’s it. That is all the furniture we own. And to be honest, it is all we have needed since this house had the extra furniture. I have to admit, in our previous house I was ashamed to have people visit because it was a terrible house and we had so little. Can you image, please come over for a cup of tea.. but here you have to stand here in the kitchen or sit at the office desk.. oh and we only have 2 tea cups, so anymore than2 people and you’ll have to wait your turn.. And forget dinner parties. 🙂

When we move we will have zero spare dollars to buy furniture, so we will make do with what we have and I guess I’ll have to keep an eye out on gum tree for anything I can get for free until times improve.

This is what I find the hardest in our life right now. People see that we own a company and the company is growing and doing exciting things. But that doesn’t mean that we are getting money from it. We take enough to get by and that is all.

Don’t get me wrong, we are not poor. The business is able to pay most of our rent, we have a work vehicle that is only 4 years old, the company covers our fuel, our phone and internet is also covered. The only true expenses we have are our food, our health, our pets and clothes. But in those personal areas we go without so the business can move forward.

Anyway, slightly off track.

We have plenty of non-furniture stuff. We have so much stock, tools and equipment in this house that I can’t find my own belongings from within them!

img_3922aFor example, you can see in the picture:
1 ~ Stargate (love it!)
2 ~ Business records from a previous venture
3 ~ Wedding box
4 ~ Pet things (leashes, record of registration, etc)
5 ~ Sewing things (I actually can’t sew, but want to)
6 ~ Books
7 ~ dumping ground for things
8 ~ Coke (has to live somewhere)
9 ~ shoes

Every other space is work related. Tools, spare pieces, etc.

Thankfully the new property we are (hopefully) moving to has a proper storage room and shed space for a good amount of this stuff.

So, when we move house, I’ll show you all the empty space!

 

‘I’m waiting for her to ask a question’

Image result for free image questionThis post might seem a little out of place in the timeline of my Learning Islam posts, but I want to put it in here regardless.

I recently attended my 2nd Friday prayer time after which those who were able (didn’t have to rush of to work or other commitments), gathered at the nearby shopping centre for some lunch and a time to be together. It was great and the people were lovely, but I’ll skip ahead for now as that’s not the focus of this post.

As the numbers dwindled, myself, the Imam and 1 other couple remained. It was fascinating to listen to them speak with him as they had questions about organ donation (permissible or not), and then the topics rolled to prayers, and then fasting for Ramadan and everyone’s experiences of this so far.

I cannot remember what they were discussing, but Mrs Muslim (because obviously I don’t want to use her name, I’ve not sought permission and she may not want to be identified), suggested that Imam explain for me something that he’d just said. He responded with, ‘I’m waiting for her to ask a question’.

Now, some people might find that harsh, or dismissive but I don’t think that was the case at all. I suspect he was being respectful. From our brief email correspondence, he knew I was interested in learning about Islam. Likely he’d noticed  I was eagerly listening to their conversation and surmised that I would ask a question if I wanted clarification. I felt the conversations they were having were providing me with a much broader understanding and context than direct question answer ever could. I said I was picking up a lot from just listening. And hopefully I sounded more confident than I felt.

But that was Friday. It is now Sunday. And I’ve been pondering that concept ‘waiting for her to ask a question’. Why haven’t I asked any questions? When I’m at home I have plenty of questions. And as they arise, I google them and look through as many varied sources as I can find, especially ones who reference the Quran in some way.
So why haven’t I asked any questions?

It isn’t that I don’t have questions. I currently have 2 questions, in fact one of them is quite an important question! The lesser question is ‘How can there be Devine Destiny and still humans have free will?’. This seems contradictory to me. I re-watched Episode 20 of Islam Unveiled (highly recommend watching), on Devine Destiny and I’m still not clear on how both can exist. The second question, the one which is ever more important, is if I converted to Islam in the future, what would Allah expect me to do with my marriage? This I have googled, and found mildly conflicting information, but my instincts tell me I know where the truth lies, and I probably don’t want to hear it.
Don’t misunderstand, I do want to know what the Quran says regarding the matter, but part of me feels that once I know, it will be much harder to continue learning. I don’t want to experience the ‘what’s the point then’ feeling and stop learning.

Now, returning to why I don’t ask questions. Growing up, asking questions was strongly discouraged. Not by adults or not intentionally. No one ever sat me down and said ‘ok you shouldn’t ask questions. It’s not ok to ask questions so don’t.’ In fact, it was quite the opposite. I felt encouraged by adults, the education system, TV etc, to ask questions. The discouragement came in the form of responses.

I try not to think back on this, because the feelings are as raw and stabbing as they were when they happened, but I can recall numerous occasions were I would ask a question and be laughed at, ridiculed, told to shut up, called names and generally dismissed from ‘peers’. That stuff hurts and it has long lasting impacts on people.

People’s nature is to avoid hurt. To create various coping mechanism to avoid being hurt. In my case, I stopped asking questions to other people unless I was certain I either knew the answer or knew the type of response I would receive (that it would be positive), or knew that I could hold my own in the following conversation (particularly if our opinions differed).

I have questions, but I’m not used to the traditional means of acquiring answers (asking someone) being a safe option. I know that the Imam will provide a safe and positively worded answer, so time and conversation permitting, I will seek an answer on Friday next.

Learning About Islam ~ Seeking Answers 2

As I mention in my previous post ‘Learning about Islam ~ Seeking Answers 1’, my initial exploration into what Islam is all about left me with quite a few questions. Obviously I didn’t get these answered all at once! In fact, I didn’t even think of all these questions at the same time. Rather, they developed over several months, just spinning around in the back of my mind.

Seeking answers to these questions also didn’t occur all at once. Instead, I’d see something and want to know more. Below is a summation of some of the information I found that lead to ‘answers’ for my questions.

(NOTE: these answers may not be true or accurate. They are simply what I found and observed on my own during my time of information seeking)

2 ~ Are there Muslim people where I live and how can I engage or get to know them?

I live on the Sunshine Coast. Recently moved (within the past 12 months), so I don’t know the area all that well. But I came to learn that there is a Muslim community here and they had recently purchased a property to convert into a space they could use as their mosque. Aaand apparently the local community was not all that thrilled. Well, perhaps a vocal few were not happy about it. I’m not sure at this point roughly how many Muslim people are living on the Sunshine Coast. It’s a pretty large area to cover, so I imagine Muslims are travelling for 30 to 60 minutes to attend any gatherings. I think that’s a big hike, but that might be just me.

I gave quite a bit of thought to how could I get to know Muslim people. The first and obvious option, was to google Sunshine Coast Muslims. Hardly surprising, I found the website. 🙂 http://www.mosc.org.au/

Oh and look there, on the MAIN PAGE there is even a press release condemning extremist acts of terror.

Anyway, I can tell you that I didn’t learn much from their website. But it wasn’t a waste because a few months later I emailed someone and began the journey to learning how to do Islam, but that is a whole other series!

I also started reading bits and pieces of blogs that I came across. I find blogs are more personal than YouTube videos or Sheiks talking about Islam. People are a lot more honest about their personal values and beliefs in a blog, and I found the same held true for Muslim bloggers as well. I definitely appreciated the bloggers who spoke about not being perfect Muslims, or the little things they sometimes struggled with.


 

That’s all for this post. Short and sweet. There really isn’t much to say about how to get involved and meet people of another faith group or culture. You just have to go meet people.

Keep an eye out for the 3rd section!

Where the Rainbow Hair Began

I think it all started back in 2015? Yes, let’s go with the end of 2015.

I don’t recall why or how the idea occurred to me, however I found myself looking at rainbow hair. Then I found myself looking for a hairdresser who knew color… aaaand I found Mikey… WELL! Mikey is a HOOT! The day I turned up to have my hair colored, he was wearing a rainbow onesie! Mikey was flamboyant and fabulous! I don’t think I could have found anyone better to do that first crazy color. He was skilled, knowledgeable and I felt like he was completely capable of turning brown into brightly colored gorgeousness!
Last I heard he was in Melbourne. So if you are privileged enough to have Mikey working on your hair, count your blessings.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smilingAnyway, when Mikey was done, my hair looked AMAZING!

I only have one regret. That I didn’t really know how to look after it.

I washed it using regular supermarket shampoos and conditioners. I used hot water. I didn’t use any post/bleaching treatments. I didn’t know how to care for the different colors and minimize the color bleed.

Image may contain: 1 personSo, to be honest, 8-12 weeks later, it wasn’t as gorgeous. It was flat, the colours had muddied. I couldn’t afford to go back for another round of hair coloring, so I went to a cheap-ish salon and had it died back to brown.

Roughly a year later, I found a beautiful picture of galaxy hair and posted it to Facebook.

Long story short, my (at the time future-sister-in-law), said I should totally get it done. Out of politeness, I reminded her her wedding was coming up and if I had crazy colored hair, it would be at her wedding. Well, I think she was even MORE for the hair color at that point.

But Mikey had moved to Melbourne, I’d moved to the Sunshine Coast… and I had to begin the process of finding someone who knew color (which is hard to do). I checked out facebook pages to see photo’s of hair that other people had done. Then I came across Strut Hair and Beauty. It looked like they had some experience with color, so I got in touch and Nicole asked me to come in for a consultation.

I went in for the visit, showed her what I’d previously had done and chatted a little about my hair, how it sits, how I wear it, etc. Nicole was super professional, clearly knew what she was talking about and I thought she could probably do a good job. At the very least she wouldn’t damage my hair.

Check out the little video of my first hair appointment! (go on, it’s about 1.5 minutes)

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F141792695892638%2Fvideos%2F1151903048214926%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Then there was a refresh prior to my brothers actual wedding. Which I MC’d in all my hair glory.

Image may contain: one or more peopleThen there was the same kind of hair, but with JUST pink and blue, no purple. Image may contain: one or more people, indoor and closeup

THEN there was this AMAZING pink princess hair…

 

 

And now my current hair, which you can see… here.

 

 

 

 

Learning About Islam ~ Seeking Answers ~ 1

As I mention in my previous post ‘Learning About Islam ~ My Questions’, my initial exploration into what Islam is all about left me with quite a few questions. Obviously I didn’t get these answered all at once! In fact, I didn’t even think of all these questions at the same time. Rather, they developed over several months, just spinning around in the back of my mind.

Seeking answers to these questions also didn’t occur all at once. Instead, I’d see something and want to know more. Below is a summation of some of the information I found that lead to ‘answers’ for my questions.

(NOTE: these answers may not be true or accurate. They are simply what I found and observed on my own during my time of information seeking)

1 ~

It’s no secret that media and news is biased. They are biased towards ratings and profits. I’m not judging, that’s just the world we live in today.

It seems to me, that when the media is referring to ‘Muslims coming to this country in large numbers’ they tend to be talking about refugees, usually the ‘illegal’ or ‘boat’ people. (I personally ache for the ‘boat’ people. Seriously, you don’t risk your life doing that unless you don’t see any other way).
A useful article, filled with actual statistics and numbers, was found here http://www.businessinsider.com.au/heres-how-many-muslims-there-actually-are-in-australia-2016-9.
Of note, the 2011 Census noted that 2.2% of Australian’s were Muslim. the 2006 census had it at 1.6%. In 2011 Australia had 22.34 Million people, which means only 491,480 people identified as Muslim.

Ok, that’s how many were already here. What about migrants coming to Australia?
Well, same article provides the following. Now, I believe this shows migrants who sought permanent residency. Basically they became, or wish to become, Australians.

Out of the top 10, only 2 countries are predominantly Muslim countries. Pakistan and Malaysia.

Ok, finally lets look at the humanitarian program where refugees are settled in Australia.
In 2014-15, of the total of 13,756 humanitarian migrants:

  • 2,335 were from Iraq
  • 2,232 were from Syria
  • 1,813 were from Afghanistan and
  • 331 were from Iran.

These four majority Muslim countries made up 48.8% of the humanitarian intake. 100% of the humanitarian intake was only 6.7% of the total immigration number for that year.

Ok, next questions a bit tougher. Are Muslims coming to this country doing ‘bad things’.
I’m going to break this down into 3 categories:

1 ~ Living their life according to the Quran, which is not harming others but at odds with Australians cultural perspective of ‘normal’
2 ~ Committing acts, or engaging in activities, which the Australian laws deem criminal
3 ~ Engaging in acts of Terror based on Extremist Islamic beliefs.

So, 1… I am of the opinion that if you are living your life and you are not impacting upon my life and my lifestyle choices, I really don’t care. Whether you want to go to the beach in a G-string Bikini and tiny triangles for a swimsuit, or if you want to wear a Burkini, or anything in between. I DON’T CARE. Are you insisting I wear what you are wearing? No? Good. Then you do you and I’ll do me.
Look, I’ll admit, the full burqa or niqab makes me uncomfortable. It’s not because I think that person will do me harm, it is just so vastly different than my cultural norm. And that is on me, not the other person. They are not responsible for my feelings. I am.
Maybe I’d feel differently if someone in a burqa exploded a bomb somewhere. But that just isn’t happening and I’m not going to be afraid until there is something to fear and I am certainly not going to dehumanise an entire group of people because of it.

So, 2… Honestly? From what I have seen, no more or less than the average Australian. Is there thieving from Muslim people? Probably. But that’s common in non-Muslim people. Is domestic violence an issue? Yes, but it’s not confined to Muslim people. The following is an excerpt from DomesticViolence.com

KEY FACTS
The following basic statistics help demonstrate the prevalence and severity of violence against women:
– On average at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.1
– One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15.2
– One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence.2
– One in four Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.2
– One in four Australian women has experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.3

Remembering that Muslims only make up 2.2% and only half are likely female. If roughly 33% of Australian women have experienced physical violence, I’d say Australia has much bigger problems.

The other ‘criminal act’ hitting the news is Polygamy, or multiple wives.
Well, newsflash, if they can’t legally get married in Australia then technically they are simply 1 man with 1 wife and multiple girlfriends or women that he is with. This may surprise you, but plenty of people have extra marital affairs, have girls on the side, or a different man every weekend. (You’ve heard of Tinder right? It’s pretty much designed for that).
By their religious values, they may consider themselves married. So? Gay and Lesbian couples have started referring to themselves as husband and husband, wife and wife. It’s not legally binding, but they do it. Problem? I don’t see it.

I hear from people that the wives are often abused or don’t have a say. I can’t really comment, I’ve not known any women who are in a plural relationship. But I’d love to. What an amazing way of life! It’s so different and I’d very much like to hear and learn more on their perspective. But back to the abuse, I refer you to the above regarding domestic violence. It is not a Muslim issue. It is an issue across the board for all people.

Along with multiple wives issue comes the public outcry of Centrelink supports or welfare payments. I heard Muslims were ‘rorting the system’. No, from what I can see they are using it correctly. If those who have multiple partners are not married, then the women are legally single. If they are single, they are entitled to single benefits.

Australia, you cannot have it both ways!? They are either single or married. Or are they?

Centrelink is genius. (sometimes, rarely.. ok this probably wasn’t a Centrelink idea)… but they have a relationship test. If you are not married, then you have to fit within a relationship test. It takes into account how involved is the child’s parent. Do you live together? Are you behaving in a ‘married like way’, do you share a bed, etc. If so, you are considered ‘partnered’. I love that word ‘partners’. You are obviously not single, but you are not married and are not entitled to the benefits and security of marriage.
But a ‘partnered’ payments is less than a single or married payment.

It is actually quite clever. Without it, legally the women are single and would actually cost the taxpayers MORE money.

And no, you can’t just not pay them because they are Muslim and you don’t like their personal values. That’s discriminatory and really petty.


Coming up soon, my discoveries on the 2nd section of my questions!!!

 

 

New Hair!

Ok, I can officially proclaim that I am ADDICTED to funky, gorgeous colored hair!!

Today I am having my hair colored again. It’s probably only been about 5, maybe 6, weeks since I last colored my hair, but I went for pastel colors this time and the color washed out/faded faster than my bold and brights.

To be fair on pastel colors, I didn’t look after it as much this time, I put more effort into repairing bleach damage AND it was summer holidays so I went swimming quite a bit. The poor color never stood a chance. See…

Anyway, I’ll write up an article about my other colors another time, this article is specifically about the color I am getting today!

I’m going with another round of light color, however I have a proper hair appointment in 5 weeks time (just before going home for my birthday), so I’m not having it bleached or anything this time, which means I am leaving the roots as they are.
I am looking for a relatively light purple color that blends in with the roots. I have to stick with light colors, as I’m not finished experimenting with pastel colors and I’m not willing to bleach more than I absolutely have to (which is usually quite a lot!)

Anyway, it’s nearly 10am, so I’ll hold off on posting this post until it’s all finished. By the time you read this, it’ll probably be tomorrow lunch time! Oh well.


Oh so exciting!!!!

Ok, so it took 4 hours. #worth.it

It took 2 hours just to get the hair washed and ready for the color and to actually apply all the color.

And it’s a LOT of color. Your head gets HEAVY! And then you have to sit still for another hour.

Then another hour to wash it all out, dry and style.

TADA!

 

Ok, they took some photo’s with a better camera, so eventually I will add a couple more photos. But there you have it. My locks for the next 5 weeks.

Our Home Away from Home

img_3839

About 9 months ago, my husband and I moved to the Sunshine Coast from Brisbane. It really wasn’t exactly planned either, everything just fell into place at the right time.

You see, at the time, my husband’s company was expanding to the Sunshine Coast and he was working there everyday. I hated it. It’d take1.5 to 2 hours in the morning for him to get to the coast, and another 1.5 to 2 hours to get home. He’d leave at 6:30am, and return at 7:30/8 pm. An hour together and then ZZZzzzZZZzzz.

So one day, we realised that our friends were looking for a new pet friendly place to rent. We realised this was a golden opportunity. We could leave our home in the safe hands of people we knew well and go rent on the Sunshine Coast. Within 30 minutes of searching RealEstate.com, we knew there were houses and places we could rent!

ANWAY, long story short, within 7 days we had moved to the Coast. From realising we could actually move and getting the keys, it took 7 days. Don’t get me wrong, it was busy, crazy, insane, stressful, WHAT ARE WE DOING! but it was genuinely the best decision we could make.

Now, 9 months on, we are looking at the next place we will rent. In a perfect world, we’d love to stay where we are, but the animals are not happy and it really shows. The neighbourhood is not a dog friendly one and every little tiny sound the dogs make, we have to be on top of them to be silent. Not quiet, not ‘just bark a little bit at appropriate things’, but silent. It’s like taking a toddler to church and trying to make him sit still, be silent, only 24/7!

Other than that, this house has been beautiful.
We’ve even had the good fortune of opening the home up to someone who, while we didn’t know too well in the start, has become like a family member and great friend.
We had a thanksgiving dinner here! The guests were so kind, complimenting the decorations and politely saying the evening was ‘like a fancy barbecue’. (probably because we have a fancy house, a fancy table, fancy chairs… and then paper plates and plastic cups!).

Oh I will miss this house a little.
We have a house we are hoping to move into, we’ve put the application in and just have to wait and see. I won’t tell you where it is yet, don’t want to jinx it!

Wish us luck!


I

I will NOT miss the spiders!!