18 May 2015

Tab top curtains - and how I made them slide more easily

After two years of battling with the tabs not moving easily on the curtain rails, I thought I would try to line them with bamboo strips. But I could not find any...

One morning I saw a box from some Jolly Jammer biscuits, and it occurred to me that each side of the box was about the same width as the tabs, that the cardboard has a varnish finish, and they might just help the tabs to slide. There was only enough for four tabs in that biscuit box, so my mind started to think laterally.

I looked at an empty cereal box. Yep, I thought that could do.

Then, after exhausting that material, I looked at an empty milk carton and I thought that might do.

Then I looked a a plastic milk bottle and thought that might do.

After trying all of these, I am inclined to think that the plastic milk bottle is probably the best option. One nice thing about it is that it is ribbed, and so the contact between it and the curtain rail is reduced more than the cardboard.

All options work, but my vote is on the plastic milk bottle.

I first simply stapled the material inside the tabs, but when I am resolved about what is the best option I'll replace the staples that are a bit reflective, but otherwise not really visible, with thread. But I am happy with the experiment! I thought I;d share it with others as they might also have the same problem that I had with the tabs not moving easily on the curtain rails.

Milk carton, inner surface inwards and outer surface inwards.

Cereal box

My vote is on the last picture - the plastic milk bottle or milk jug.

The king and queen and their baby girl

The king and queen and their baby girl 1

Once upon a time there was a king, who was a very just, loving, fair and good king who loved his people and he wanted what was best for them.

He and his wife were excited with the arrival of a baby girl. Their greatest desire was for this baby girl to become ready to take over the throne one day, ready to be just, loving, fair and good to the people of the kingdom. So what they decided to do was to send the baby girl to live with a couple in the city and there to have the couple teach her that she was a princess, but that her role was to learn to love the people, to feel for them in their challenges and difficulties, and to experience life as they experience it. At any time she was welcome to go into the palace and speak to her parents and they would love her to do that. They would confirm to her that she was a princess, and what was their vision for her – to become ready to inherit the throne. She loved her surrogate parents and she loved her real parents, the king and queen. She did her best to learn to love the people, and to serve them. Her parents were delighted to welcome her back into their presence when she reached an age where she could take care of herself and not just expect to be served by a servant in the palace. She was mature and prepared to work for herself and do all that her parents wanted her to do. She had become like her parents.

The king and queen and their baby girl 2

Once upon a time there were a king and queen who loved their people and wanted the little girl who was born to them to inherit the throne. They loved all the people and they wanted each and every one of them to be equal and to be worthy to inherit the throne, to sit on the throne at any time, to be that kind of person, and to do things for the sake of the kingdom, and each person to be the kingdom, striving to do things for the benefit of the kingdom and not for themselves. Those who didn’t like that way of life were free to leave the kingdom, but as long as they were in the kingdom the king and queen wanted them to be selfless, caring and kind. In fact the royal couple very often invited people to come and help in making important decisions and be part of the court of the king. They had a wonderful kingdom. Everyone was working for the good of each other. Those that weren’t comfortable with that way of life left the kingdom, and they were happy enough ouside the realm, but there were also rules there and they would work and strive for excellence, have their businesses and compete with each other, building their own little empires. They weren’t at all bad people. They were good people in their own way, and anyone living in their community and their society was very happy. They did not tolerate people who murdered or lied or cheated. If someone murdered they would be punished by death. If someone lied or cheated, they would be dismissed from the society to live amongst people who chose to live that way. But as long as they lived by the rules of their society, they were welcome to live with them. But it was a society in which individuals strove against individuals, and competed and were sometimes less than generous to each other than they should be, but it was a generally happy society.

The king and queen and their baby girl 3

Once upon a time there was a king and queen who were just and fair and good people, and they were excited about the arrival of their baby daughter. They wanted her to learn to love the people and serve them. They felt that the best way to do this would be to have go out and live with a couple in the town, who would love her and rear her, reminding her of her royal heritage. At any time she was welcome to go into the palace to speak to her royal parents, and her parents wanted her to do that, and she did occasionally do so. But she had a jealous sister who wanted the throne. She did not want to be like her parents, and did not want her sister to compete with her for the right to the throne. She was a good princess but she wanted to have her own way and she wanted the kingdom run the way she wanted it run. So she whispered in her sister’s ear that she wasn’t actually wanted back by her parents, that they wanted her to be good and kind and everything but that she would never actually inherit the throne. She said that that was not their desire for her. Unfortunately she was persuaded by her sister that perhaps the price she was paying in having to be different to those around her and make choices differently from her friends, wasn’t quite worth it. And so she didn’t achieve the greatness that her parents desired of her.

Now, of course we can relate these three stories to our Heavenly Parents and their desire for us to grow and develop and become like them. What they desire more than anything is for us to learn to serve each other, to think and be and make choices like they do. They want us to become like them because we are their children and that is the natural heritage that a child has, to become like its parents. It will never become its parents, never replace its parents, never take the place of the parents, but they can achieve the greatness that their parents achieved. And for every bit of good that they do they add to the greatness of their parents, and for every decision that they make that does not contribute to the kingdom, it’s just that much less glory and success to the parents and to the kingdom. And so we can relate this kingdom to the Celestial kingdom, and the society – that wonderful society where they were good people to the Terrestrial kingdom, and that where people chose to lie and cheat and so forth, to the Telestial kingdom.

But the important thing to remember is that more than anything else our parents in Heaven would love us to return to them, being like they are, making the kind of decisions that they make, doing the kind of things that they do, loving and serving and being as they are. They want to say, “Well done, our good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things. We’ll make thee ruler over many.” They want to give us the promise that we read of as ‘joint-heirs with Christ’ (Romans 8:17). They want us to achieve our absolute greatest potential. But there is a jealous brother who doesn’t want us to add to the glory of our Father in Heaven, and he whispers in our ears that that’s not their desire, that it’s a deception that we can become like our Father in Heaven, that we can become as He would have us become, that it’s not achievable and that it’s not something that our Father wants us to achieve.

The candidate dancers

There was a dance instructor who had a class, and he had someone come to the class with whom he was very impressed. He seemed to just have a feel for the music, and he could pick up dance steps very nicely. He introduced himself to this young man, who said that his name was James. The instructor felt that James was material for world class championships, and he wanted James to be a part of his class.

Then, there was another young man in the class, but he didn’t seem to have the same flair. He had great desire and determination, but he just didn’t seem to feel the tempo. The instructor spoke to him, saying “James”, but the young man said, “No, John”, so he responded, “Okay, John. You seem to be battling tonight but keep going. You’re working hard. That’s great.”

Then in another class, he saw the young man again and he saw that he was dancing beautifully again and he was really impressed as he watched him displaying the moves and the tempo. Then he saw James with James -- or John with John -- and he realised that they were brothers –James and John – who looked very much the same. James had the feel for dance and music which came naturally to him, while John was a hard worker who unfortunately didn’t have quite the same flair for dance as his brother. He noticed that James had a scar and John had something on his ear so learned to distinguish between the two. But he found that James frequently skipped classes, or when there was a competition he would simply not come. John would always be there and he worked hard. He didn’t do as well as his brother but he worked hard.

The day arrived for the national championships in which members of the dance school were going compete. He entered both James and John into the competition. As first time competitors, they were entered in the Beginner category. When their turns came and they went onto the floor to dance, the instructor realised that James had been absent when he had explained the rules, that dancing at the beginners’ level, the participants should not use moves or steps from an intermediate or advanced level, and definitely not from bronze, silver or gold levels. But James had seen some stunning moves when he watched dancers on TV, so he slipped in a move from the intermediate level, and he slipped in a move from the advanced level, and he even slipped in a move with great flair and success from the gold level. He was thoroughly startled when the judges marked him down. John, on the other hand, who had worked really hard and put forth his best effort and did the very best he could, received scores of 9’s and 10’s from the judges.

Now which of those two people would you most like to have on your team when you’re aiming for the world championships?

10 May 2015

Recovery from a ripped off finger nail

Les Powrie, 15 January 2013 to 10 May 2015

On 15 January 2013 I was walking on a rocky slope when I took a misstep and fell forwards. I was carrying a book in my left hand and my closed hand struck a rock and I felt the full impact of the fall. As I arose I saw that my finger nail had been ripped out to the base and was attached only at the quick. I bound it up and went to ask Sally to assist me. It was very fortunate that she was with me for my field trip. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had been on my own far from any assistance. In the absence of anaesthetic Sally used a little pair of scissors that she keeps in her wallet to cut the nail from the quick – a really painful experience. But once done, and the finger bound up, I went on with preparing to attend the Temple for Richard’s endowment about two hours after the accident.

While in the Temple I noticed heavy bleeding coming through the dressing, and that needed urgent attention. A sanitary towel was used to apply to the wound, then the wound was dressed again, and this time I kept the hand elevated to shoulder height or higher. There was no further uncontrolled bleeding. Fucidin was applied regularly for the first three days or so, following which mercurochrome was applied and the wound was kept open.Sticking plaster was applied from about day three.

I have tried to recreate what the ripped off nail looked like, and have kept a regular photographic record from then onwards.
Approximation of what the nail looked like ripped out at the base.

I was told that the nail would be normal after 18 months. I could not find a record on the internet showing what was in store for me, so I decided to keep a record. Unfortunately, I did not think to start the record from the start, but this starts at day 6.

More than 18 months have passed and it is not absolutely normal, but it is not a problem.

It is now 10 May, Day 847, Week 121, Month 16, or two years, 4 months. The nail feels somewhat normal, looks somewhat normal, but the profile is still far more rounded than the other nails, and the quick is still somewhat set-back. I cannot cut the nail like the other nails because of the profile and quick. Most of the time I do not think of it, but when cutting my nails I am strongly reminded of the incident.

I have written this record for the benefit of anyone else who does a Google search to see what might lie ahead. This is one case study, for what it is worth. But rest assured, the prospect is fair that you will survive and get to function normally again.

Update 25 Oct 2019, after 6 1/2 years -  

The nail bed is still a bit further from the tip of the finger than on the other fingers. The picture shows that it is about twice as far as the same finger nail on the other hand. This makes it a little more difficult to cut the nail, but otherwise I am not conscious of there being anything wrong with the finger or the nail.

  After ten years, 2 January 2023. The nail is still slightly shorter and so there is more flesh visible beyond the nail, but I am generally not aware of it. It can be seen how it is difficult to cut the nail as short as the other nails because of the amount of finger beyond it.