The howling of the ‘black dog’.

It wasn’t till this week that I caught a glimpse into my own life of where I am at. After a Monday morning into mid afternoon of pain filled rejection did I decide to change the way I went about thinking. And with that came an intimation of how much my present state is dependant on my childhood experiences and growth. How do I describe this, it was knowledge that what I was experiencing with depression, anxiety and self-doubt that it went back to my formative years. That my time now post George is a necessary part of my growth as a spirit child having a human experience. Then it was gone. Now I am wanting it to reappear so I can interrogate it and find out more so that in the future this malaise will not have the ability to bring me down as low as I have been.

It is very difficult to live life post death of my husband and know what I want to do. After all from 17 to nearly 61 years I have been with him and nurtured, supported, encouraged, admonished, and leant on, not to my disadvantage but to my benefit and now that is gone. I cannot go back but to move forward is challenging. How do I do it, where do I do it and flourish!

Step one is to be here in WA at a small flat in Dawesville, looking across to the Indian Ocean, second is to be still working at South Metropolitan TAFE (ex Challenger) on a casual basis, third is to be attending church and teaching the youth class, fourthly engaged in study for my Masters in TESOL, and fifth engaged with family here in WA.

I am going to add in serving in the Temple, but that will come post study, for now finding family members and organising their work, then going to the Temple. I feel that is my pathway for now.

Its amazing how much I despise fat old wealthy men who think they ‘rule the roost’.

Its funny but a lot of women my age are expressing the same sentiments when I talk and listen to them. I’ve thought about it and in each case I think this may be because we have been the beneficiaries of education and training, work opportunities our mothers didn’t have, or if they were ‘liberated’ by WW 2 then after they came back into the middle class mould of stay at home and raise children while the father worked away.

Now when we see men in either blond or black died haircuts and their rhetoric seems so removed for what we marched for, protested over and attempted to live. But more intriguing I see women who look like they have come from the Mattel Barbie Doll mould.

Oh 2 lots of mould words, so maybe that what we are concerned about, no authentic people who are carrying out an agenda we thought had moved away, to the past, the lessening of the ‘straight jacket’ of compliance of……capitalism?

I remember back in the 1990’s when I was at Monash University studying Comparative Sociology and Comparative Literature, with a Minor in Asian History, that our Sociology professor stated in a tutorial that he had stopped marching as all the major ‘fights’ had been subsumed by Capitalism. Which by his definition was a many headed monster that had the ability to pop up another head just as you thought that you had slayed one.

And yet I see capitalism run riot again as the world experiences a pandemic not seen for over 100 years, media and politicking and business are awash with the ‘dooms-day mental head set of a latter ’14 century Black Plague’ scenario. There seems to be plenty of ” we are all in this together” however listening to the above mentioned I think the advertising is, a cover blanket. A self deluding cover blanket that’s trying to get us to be happy as far, far to many people yell about their rights, their sovereignty, their needs and to hell with the rest. Its all about making money. That’s what capitalism is, money and the ability to believe that if you have enough you will be everything the world desires.

I’m sure there is a movie in there somewhere. With a really horrible ending as the heroes realise that they are the problem too, that the outsiders in human or no human form really don’t care, Its all about money and power.

As the world tips towards , what, I don’t know , more selfishness!!!! I see parallels in the past histories of our lives. But I also see the good people stand up for others rights with compassion. I see the good people help others regardless of the cost to selves. And that allows me to have hope, to be engaged in authentic relationships, to reach out and comfort and be comforted in return.

So instead of being defeated I’m encouraged, instead of loneliness I’m surrounded by people who care, and I can still vote and raise my voice in support or condemnation to a system and the people in it who only see themselves through the lens of capitalism.

My voice, my thoughts from an old white woman who cares.

what can I say?

I start off well then slide down the slippery slope of “I’ll do it later” and of course later never comes. However as I want to continue this for some weird reason of my own I will add into my current session.

A cancer scare this past few weeks with a great diagnosis – benign, made me realise that my busy life just has to fit in time to keep my writing going. A .4 teaching load has just about brought me to my knees and that does not include full time Seminary teaching. Add in a dachshund of uncertain temper who is determined that his needs are to be met and my life flows over with demands.

However there are some great ‘gems of life’ in among all this, friends who help care for the hound and me, grandchildren who make my life a joy, learning the Gospel of Jesus Christ and living where I do at the beach is the ‘balm of Gilead’ I need.


My son Nicholas Shaw (Houston, Texas) asked me to comment on how members ministering to me has helped my life. My first experience of ministering was the efforts by Chris Barnard and his wife Merran, Chris was the Sandy Bay Branch missionary leader and his wife was serving in the Primary (children’s) organisation. This was for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Tasmania.

I was a married non member with a little 3 year old daughter, Samantha, and a husband serving in the Australian military forces. He was away on exercises and further training on the Australian mainland at the time. Samantha and I were new move ins to Tasmania as George had been posted to Hobart following the collapse of the Derwent Bridge.His role was to operate the landing barges taking motorised civilian vehicles and emergency vehicles across the Derwent river to save a 2 hour trip to Bridgewater and back down to Hobart from Rosny. Hobart and Rosny faced each other on opposite sides of the deep and fast flowing Derwent river; the trip by barges took approximately 20 minutes plus loading and unloading.

Chris came into our lives the first time I attended church at Sandy Bay Branch, he taught the Gospel Essentials class and made sure I knew enough about the Sacrament service to understand it. Merran took Sam under her care, introduced her to her children and inserted her into the Primary program. Sam enjoyed that experience having only me on weekends and early years child care of a morning to experience play with other children.

The Barnard’s continued to fellowship with us  inviting us to their home on Mount Wellington, in winter conditions which included snow; and unheard of activity for someone from northern NSW/Queensland border regions. Chris made sure to challenge me to read the Book of Mormon – in total; in exasperation one Sunday afternoon he told me to read it as a history book and I remember replying that I couldn’t as it wasn’t just history but God’s word to us. Even then I knew this was no light weight book.

On another occasion in a Sunday School class Chris told the other investigators that I knew this was the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that I was already a member just not yet baptised. I remember looking at him and recognising that I had made a decision without formally identifying it to myself.

Events passed and I decided I wanted to be baptised, the missionary Elders asked who I wanted to do this and after awhile I stated that it was to be Chris Barnard, Brother Barnard, and so on the 16th June 1977 I was. Chris continued to work with my husband and that was a trying affair for all of us, but he ever gave up. On the Saturday before Stake conference at a Leadership meeting, Chris grabbed me in a big ‘bear hug’, and said “congratulations I hear George is to be baptised after Stake conference”. I must have looked a little shocked because he hugged me again and said, “it’s alright kid, it will happen you know”, and it did.

From then on we became, and remain close friends. Both Chris and Merran have lead us in our desire to attend the New Zealand Temple; Chris was my driver to hospital when I went into child labor for 3 of my children starting from Nicholas. In fact sometimes the hospital got George and Chris mixed up as which one was my husband. We preceded them in moving to the mainland, and we met up twice on our travels from the Northern Territory via Queensland to New South Wales.  About a 4000 km trip of meting up and going on as if we lived down the street. On one trip we met them in a Brisbane hospital where Merran was recovering from a venomous spider bite. Chris and George administer to her again and promised her that she would recover, as the Lord saw fit.

They preceded us in serving a senior couple mission, the Barnard’s to Indonesia, the Shaw’s to Malaysia. We considered them our first mission trainers as we corresponded by email from the time they went and when they visited us in Kuala Lumpur on ours. They went on to serve another mission in Indonesia.

Both ministered to my late husband George while he was in the Darwin hospice for 2 weeks, and to me as I went through the mourning process of loosing my best friend from this earthly life. We continue to meet up when ever our travels bring us near, that means across the continent of Australia!!!! and they will be with is when we scatter some of George’s ashes on Freycinet Peninsula,Tasmania in January 2019. We catch up via social media and phone calls/texts, on a regular basis and they arrive here in October for a holiday and ‘old people having fun activities’.

Ministering – its what you do without thinking about it, to love, care for and nurture others at all their times of their and your life.

PS. I still want some of Chris’ batik hand painted shirts once he joins George in the spirit ministering world ,to create a quilt with. It will hang along side George’s T shirt quilt.

My second laptop in 2 months!

Well the latest HP died of hard disc failure so the next best in store was this Lenovo idea pad 510. All my data will now belong to the Chinese secret ‘squirrels’ so that by the time I finally arrive to visit or teach there I will be well known. Only joking everyone. I must admit it is a larger screen and lap top so it makes for easier reading/working, that is if I finally load everything and find my way around it.

Uni starts next Monday so on with the new and upgrading my brain in 2017.

‘the unfolding of me’

On Saturday the 10th December I flew over from Adelaide to Perth for an extended holiday with Thea,Stew and ‘their patch work’ family. It has been wonderful with some stormy patches of “my way is the best way of doing something”, yet through all the ‘argy-bargy’ of Christmas, New Year , job loss, new house build finalising, summer school holidays etc we have gotten along very well. OK so I found myself drinking far too much diet coke vanilla and eating M and Ms.

Despite this I found myself once again wrestling with the Lord about what he can see for me and what I can see and want for me. He’s correct 100% of the time, I get that. However on a warm pre -Christmas day I found myself sitting on a beach at Bouvard, watching Thea and Stew setting crab pots out in the estuary while granddaughters and their friends tried to catch crabs in plant baskets nailed to poles by screaming and leaping in the air. I thought it was a fascinating and new way of crab catching, deafen them before scooping then up into the buckets they were towing.

It was then that as I looked across the water that I realised that I wanted to live here and that it was alright to do so, that the ‘footprint of George Shaw’ now lay lightly upon my soul and the land.I then set out to look at places for rent and talk to old colleagues about employment opportunities here in Education. I have wrestled with myself overt his and come to the conclusion that I need to make a decision and then take it to the Lord and wait on his answer as I move ahead with creating a new stage of my life.20161223_105619

I don’t fear living alone, in fact I think that this stage is part of my unfolding, a necessary ‘Aunty Peg’ phase of independence and making my way in life. Little did I know that when I was flying over what was to befall me. How was I to know that the combination of sea, water ways, WA plants and people was to find their way into my soul.

Scaffolding Clipboard

ESL Deverell

“Solving a problem simply means representing it so as to make the solution transparent.” – H.A. Simon

My professor made the following statement that gave me pause for thought. “Scaffolding is teaching. Teaching is scaffolding”.

I found it remarkable that she would find it conceptually useful enough to make such a de-facto statement, and it was my cue to researching scaffolding further.

Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article:

Instructional scaffolding is a learning process designed to promote a deeper level of learning. Scaffolding is the support given during the learning process which is tailored to the needs of the student with the intention of helping the student achieve his/her learning goals (Sawyer, 2006)…The best and most effective use of instructional scaffolding helps the learner figure out the task at hand on their own. It is best to think of the use of instructional scaffolding in an effective…

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