Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Work - entry 6

What I find interesting about work is that it is an activity that’s un-natural to a degree, we as human choose to par-take in it! Whereas labour is all about survival, if it wasn’t done someone may die..? Worst case scenario! But cleaning the house and cooking is labour, gardening is work because if I didn’t garden there would be no loss of human life.

Looking at ‘Me and my tapestry’ by Katherine Hale (1996) "I have gone from mild interest, to hating it, to loving it to the exclusion of all else, to absolutely-can't-be-bothered, back to loving it", she talks about the preparation time in which someone takes to undertake a task. That the beginning can reach back many years and also go into the future. Oh, how I fully understand this sentiment. I always go from ‘love the idea’, to ‘why did I ever start this project?’  

Looking at the practical considerations of work, I have never let them stop me form par-taking in gardening, I see gardening as being both an open and closed activity, meaning that it can be done alone or with company. There is also a certainty about what I do, as I "know" how the aesthetics are to look but the ambience changes each day, much like the weather, after rain it feels cool and clean, after the dogs have bounded through looking, a stick or the tennis ball it feels rumbled and ready for fun.

One of the risks of gardening is that I’ll put a plant in the wrong place not giving it the space that it needs to grow – it pays to read labels! But without risking the practical considerations I would have never started on this gardening journey, for without the aesthetic richness of nature the delicacy of the plants and my participation I surely would have never developed the workmanship skills I have today.

Blogs I've commented on;
HeatherL said...
    I love that fact you have kept it real - by using your Mum's good dressmaking scissors :)
    I also like how you admit that sometimes doing a craft can be a burden, doing it because you need to.
    Do we get to see pictures of your work?
    18 October 2011 19:24

HeatherL said;
    Awesome poem Lynn, I was able to connect with it and it brought back many happy memories, thank you for that.
    Are there anymore pictures to come? I feel this will brighten your blog.
    19 October 2011 16:13

HeatherL said;
    Hi Godhelp,
    I so cannot believe my comment was lost from your blog :( so I try again from memory.
    I really enjoyed watching you playing at home and am you get so much from participating in it, spiritual, connection, and it must be so great to create ambiance with your skills
    25 October 2011 15:40

HeatherL said;
    Hi Erin,
    I really like the way you explained mindfulness, it take me to times when I have been gardening and totally lost control of time. It so joyful!
    Do we get to see any pictures?
    October 25, 2011 3:48 PM

References used in blogs
Ergonomics – entry 2
Christiansen, C.H., and Townsend, E.A. (2004). Introduction to occupation: The art and science of living. (2nd ed)  New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
Lowen, H.D. (2010) Humanities Essay, Otago polytechnic, BT132001
New English Dictionary (2001), Harper-Collins, Glasglow.

Affordance – entry 3
Christiansen, C. & Baum, C. (eds)(1997). Occupational Therapy enabling function and wellbeing. 2nd ed. Slack: New Jersey.
Hagedorn, R. (2000). Tools of practise in Occupational Therapy. A structured approach to core skills and processes. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. 
Steiner Rice, H. (1986) Prayerfully, poems of devotion. London: Hutchinson & Co Ltd.

Affordance part3 – entry 5
New English Dictionary (2001), Harper-Collins, Glasglow.

Added for interest
MythBusters - Talking to plants - part1   http://youtu.be/CMiVNPXR5qw
How to Create Your Own Landscape Garden       http://youtu.be/4GQLF7uJCcM
NZ Landscape design New Zealand. Chinese Lantern Festival 2010.           http://youtu.be/1Bup0HkOhXw

Mythbusters - Talking to plants - part2   http://youtu.be/FhsbM9LxPAk

Work – entry 6
Hale, K. (1996). Me and my tapestry. Occupation, 6(2), 27-30.

Mythbusters - Talking to plants - part2

the sound is a bit off but interesting to see the results

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Talking to Plants...

So I'm not nuts!!!

some good ideas from overseas

something different from New Zealand

 That's far enough for one day
 I found a pretty blue flower
 the Calla Lilly bulbs came from a friend/neighbour 
This pretty dahlia was found the first summer after having pulled out a massive shrub

(Lowen, H. personal communication,  October 19th 2011).

Affordance Part 3

Aesthetics ‘V’s Ambience
My trusted New English Dictionary (2001), states that aesthetics is ‘a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of the concepts of beauty and taste’. It has the potential for a person to express a sense of beauty, for me it was the way I changed the setup of my garden, over the years I have ripped out an old clothes lines, moved the firewood storing shed, put a fence and gate in to create a laundry/veggie garden area, cut down a massive tree, created lavender garden, and pulled out every plant in one corner of the garden to start again. I can change the aesthetics to suit my mood, by gathering the equipment for working in the garden, the result of the work, or just leisurely walking around with pruning shears in hand on the looking for rouge branches. 

My New English Dictionary (2001), states that ambience is ‘the atmosphere of a place’. So how does this affect gardening?  hmm… quite a lot really, it seems to me, the very being of the experience of gardening, for without the ambience of the garden when I moved in, I felt it was ‘a lost garden’, over grown and un-kept, it lack life, bright flowers and a happy disposition, I would have never started reshaping it. Through my efforts I have brought sun, wind and rain to many plants that have long been over shadowed by the massive tree. Even though the garden is still a work in progress I feel that it now has that happy disposition, even with all the weeds!

New English Dictionary (2001), Harper-Collins, Glasglow.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Affordances Part 2

In this entry I will look at two more of the affordance’s that are prominent in my activity; they are ethics and communications.
Hagedorn (2000) states that ‘touch is one of the first means of communications which humans experience, and it remains deeply significant throughout life’. This is so true, as I stated in my first entry I started garden when at the age of 12 and this form of communication with the land has stayed with me all this time and I should image until my last days on this earth. Gardening is a very tactile way to communicate, one that gets over looked I think, on reflection I realise that I do this type of communication when I do my occupation with mindfulness. Communication is with the friends that I scrounge plants from to the people at the garden centres where I get the fertiliser and dear I say the garden itself as I work in and around it. Communication can be limited when working alone – hence way I talk to the plants!
The ethics in this setting is looking very sampling at the good and the bad, the burden and joys. The burden of gardening has to be working outside in the cold keeping the section tidy, the cost of equipment, plants and the on-going cost of mulch, fertiliser etc, and the outlay of physical effort.
The joy is seeing healthy plants and lovely flowers, not too much scent in my garden due to hay fever, the sense on completion, having created something wonderful for me to look at with a sense of pride and having people comment on how the garden is coming on.

Interesting how gardening is both a burden and joy, for if I don’t work on it in regular bouts it then becomes a massive job, either way I enjoy working in the garden.


Affordances have many components communications, aesthetics, spiritually, connections, morality and health. Christiansen & Baum (1997) stated that affordance is ‘anything which the environment can offer the individual which is relevant to the role challenge and can facilitate role competence’. It is the person’s perception of the environment, along with their effectiveness to produce competence’. As cited in Hagedorn (2000). I will look at spiritually and connections;

Working in the garden gives me a sense of spirit and gives me mind organising time and the fact that my garden gets tidied gives me feedback and reinforces my feelings of well-being. So in a way I conditioned myself by the way I engage in my garden and it affects my human condition, my health and well-being. 

While I’m working in my garden with mindfulness, I gain a sense of connective-ness; connective-ness with mother earth and through this I connection I end up connecting with Grandmother of whom I have never met, she had died many years before I was born. Some year’s back I was planting a lavender garden in the house I then lived owned, my mother was visiting and I was showing her what I was up to with the garden (connecting with her) and that brought back memories for my mother who then informed me that my Grandmother had loved lavenders as well.  So now where ever I live I aim to have lavender in my garden, either as a single bush or a whole garden, to connect spiritually, with the history of the maternal side of my family, my mother, grandmother.

I feel that spiritually is 'in' connective-ness and mindfull-ness; below in a poem that reminds me to be mindfull when in the garden

My garden of Prayer
My garden beautifies my yard
And adds fragrance to the air...
But it is also my cathedral
And my quiet place of prayer...
So little do we realise
That the glory and the power
Of He who made the Universe
Lies hidden in a flower

Helen Steiner Rice

Christiansen, C. & Baum, C. (eds)(1997). Occupational Therapy enabling function and wellbeing. 2nd ed. Slack: New Jersey.
Hagedorn, R. (2000). Tools of practise in Occupational Therapy. A structured approach to core skills and processes. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.  
Steiner Rice, H. (1986) Prayerfully, poems of devotion. London: Hutchinson & Co Ltd.

Monday, 17 October 2011


To unpack my activity so as to find the simple-ness of task I’m going to look at it through the heading of Ergonomics, Ambience, Affordances and the Practical Consideration.
So what is ergonomics? Good question, my New English Dictionary (2001) states that it is ‘the study of the relationship between workers and their environment’. Now I’m thinking that that has to be this whole degree, that’s a new way to look at it. What really surprised me was that ergonomics is more than just setting up a work station to be comfortable. Let’s look at what ergonomics is through Occupational Therapy eyes.
Christiansen & Townsend stated that the goal of ergonomics is to improve the fit between people and their working conditions while improving safety, productivity, comfort and efficiency. How does it relate to gardening?  I think it’s all about perception and the meaning of the place or places that we as humans inhabit. In my humanities essay I stated that “Humans have the right and privilege to change their place of being”. Lowen, H.D. (2010). I was without thinking referring ergonomics, changing the fit of my environment and improving my place of being, my home, along with the ambience and aesthetics.
I studied the relationship or fit between myself and my garden, safety, productivity was not a problem, I wasn’t going to do much with it other than look, or so I thought until this paper. Let’s use the framework of POE and look closer;
Person – my garden very much lives on a time factor, if I don’t have the time to spend with it mindfully I don’t go there. ‘Mindfullness’ is about being in the ‘moment’ which can affect the desired outcome.
Occupation – I can pull a few weeds, mow the lawns or get stuck in with digging, pruning, trimming, planting, and feeding the plants.
Environment – I use my own back yard, that way no-one can see what mess it really is.

Christiansen, C.H., and Townsend, E.A. (2004). Introduction to occupation: The art and science of living. (2nd ed)  New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. 

Lowen, H.D. (2010) Humanities Essay, Otago polytechnic, BT132001

New English Dictionary (2001), Harper-Collins, Glasglow.

Thursday, 8 September 2011


I finally made it back into the blog site, so much in the head passwords were failing me.

Second semester is here and I'm not sure I'm ready for it.

Activity Analysis Blog is what the title is of the paper - analysing activity in depth.  We were to choose a personal activity and reflect on it. The activity I chose was gardening.

I enjoy this activity; the personal enjoyment I get from gardening is about as long as a piece of string.
Gardening for me started when I was 12 and it is something that has grown with me, and is an activity I have been able to take to different the houses that I have lived in over years.
Gardening has helped me deal with stress - starting many years ago with crying babies to now place to 'nut out' assignments, a fear is I will get carried away and forget all about going back inside to finish the assignment.
Sometimes the garden looks back at me holding a huge stress sign itself. 
The weeds are strangling the bushes on their way to reaching up my big helicopter tree and how long the grass has got over the winter months when due to the weather, being away on fieldwork and having to work, I don't have the time to mow them.
Now in spring I keep an eye out for the bulbs that should be making an appearance, are they running late or have the nasty weeds bullied them into hiding for longer?
Even in autumn when the trees are dropping their summer shading, how long does it take for me to rake the leaves up? Or should I leave them to the mercy of the winds and allow them to visit the neighbours?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Tute 8

With this tutorial we are to look assistive technology. We need to provide a definition, a description and provide and example.
Lets look at breaking it down; according to the Collins New English Dictionary assistive means - to give help or support, and technology means the application of practical or mechanical sciences to industry or commerce, and the scientific methods or devices used in a particular field.
I take from this that scientific devises, possibly IT as well, are to give help and support those that need it.
Cook and Hussy (1995) mentioned that assistive technology is "any piece of equipment or product system whether acquired commerically off the shelf, modified or customised that is used to increase or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities". and that its functional outcome can really only be measured by it's success.

The device I would like to look at is the Wii for stroke rehabilitation.
On line through the Noel Leeming web site a wii console can be purchased from $129.99with a basic pack 'friend and fun pack' through to $379.99 with a 'sports and sports resort pack'.
the basic console looks this below;
wii image (n.d.).                                                                               

The sports model can be used is many ways to encourage the rehabilitation for stroke sufferers.

wii images (n.d.).
As you can see by these images above, the wii is fun to use and would help in hand-eye co-ordination and the rebuilding of neruo pathways within the brain and body.

This is really good youtube clip
retrieved April 20, 2011 from http://youtu.be/V8L_FB9oWws

While searching the net I came upon another blog that highlighted nicely what can be done with high-tech devises;  http://topnews.net.nz/reports/213652-high-tech-video-game-gadgets-may-help-stroke-victims-recovery

Collins New English Dictionary. (1997). Harper Collins Publishers, Glasgow.
wii [images] (n.d.). retrieved April 20, 2011 from nz.bing.co images
Cook, A.M., and Hussey, S.M. (1995). Assistive technologies: principles and practice. St Louis. Mosby - Year Book Inc
wii [image] (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2011 from http://www.noelleeming.co.nz/games-gaming/nintendo-wii/nintendo-wii-consoles/wii-console-white-with-wii-sports-and-wii-sports-resort/prod108750.html

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Tute 7

This tute is about linking at least five blogs that relate to OT practice; this was as simple as linking into my OT class mates and making comments on what work they have done, and I also listed some web sites that I have found helpful. Hopefully they are still on the side of my page :)

Tute 6

Within this Tute we are to draw on our fieldwork, and OT practice or personal occupation, search 3 or more online communities that relate and answer questions and complete tasks...
This took a lot of thinking - online communities are so vast that I boggled my little mind!
With a class mates help I was able to narrow the field and I think I have a starting point;

- closed groups on face-book http://www.facebook.com/
- you-tube http://www.youtube.com/
- Stroke Foundation NZ Inc http://www.stroke.org.nz/

In a way all sites are intended to inform - either the masses of a selected few, for example the Stroke Foundation of NZ Inc is for the masses, primarily to educate, to inform those looking for help and or knowledge and it can offer local contact for support. One of the closed face-book groups I am a part of is also for education and support - go OT class mates! But the other face-book group is mainly for the support of a friend coping/struggling with some of her life goals and is not so much for education. You-tube on the other hand is all about entertainment, some education (depends on where you look) and possibly support for those who feels alone and that the internet is the only friend they have.

The face-book and you-tube communities are interactive to some point, anyone can enter ideas and make comments on the ideas of others, entries are make online with what ever thoughts have come into their heads at that moment or with a video that a person has been working on for a long time, just think about what Justin Bieber did and how it changed his life. (Not a fan so am not going to add a link!) The Stroke Foundation is mainly about departing knowledge to the masses. This site happens to be a one way site meaning that the public are not able to make entries where as with the other communities any person that is included in the group can make a comment, but then again the "public" are not able to view or make entries but it still remains a two way information forum.

I feel that attention seekers make entries onto you-tube, people who want to be noticed in some way. Where as the the face-book group is about support a friend and the stroke foundation is about departing knowledge.
Below is a snipped bit form the Stroke Foundation web site;

Stroke Foundation NZ Inc. (2001). Retrieved 11/04/2011 from http://www.stroke.org.nz/

I don't think that snipping from the face-book groups would be a good idea as the groups are private and  that would go against the privacy act, which is a ethical issues that can and does arise with online communities and there seems to be no accountability for what people are able to place on sites so it comes down to a singular persons values. Having said that it is great that these communities are able to be around as they help people/friends who are in different countries or at the ends of our country stay in touch.

I have since learnt that I could have used my blog and the correspondence that some of my class mates and I have been doing, below is a sample;
Lyn Participation in Occupation said...
Hey thanks for the comment on Dystonia. Just as they say in New Zealand you cannot go too far without someone being able to help you. Imagine what technology is going to do to this communication!
Heather Participation in Occupation 1 said...
thanks Lyn, mind blowing stuff

Tute 5

This tute is about drawing information from online video sources, which pretty much means you tube. I am to draw a topic from fieldwork. From fieldwork one I was placed in a Health and Aging hospital ward, where I able to work with a stroke victim. On YouTube I came across a lot of places, mainly in States, promoting their rehabilitation service. After some number of hours viewing and listening I found some that I think show how occupational therapy can be used in rehabilitating stroke victims.
Below are the five videos I thought were the better ones.