Sunday, 18 December 2016

It's hard to believe that this will already be the 4th Christmas that I am alone, well actually I'm not going to be alone really as I will be spending Christmas with the family, but alone in that Roy is no longer here.  Time sure does march on doesn't it!

I have been finding it harder and harder to sit down and write, not because I have nothing to say, but the need to say it, to get it out there so I can process has become less of a need.  My blogging did what it needed to do when I needed it to do it - if that makes sense??  Oh I still have my moments where something will trigger the tears, but that's ok.  It comes and it goes and I'm ok with it.

I am comfortable with the life I have now created for myself.  I love my 2 jobs, I enjoy the challenges they bring, the new things I am learning, the new ideas and procedures I am able to implement to make things run more efficiently, but mostly that in both my jobs I am able to help other people and hopefully in doing so being a witness for the Lord.  Life is not always easy, and I still find it hard not having anyone to come home to and to share things with, but I am content being on my own.  I have a wonderful family and a wonderful group of friends.  How blessed am I!

The last time I wrote I was still in plaster after my ankle surgery.  I have decided the only upside from having to hop around on crutches for 6 weeks is that it helps you loose some weight ;0)  That is the only benefit I can find, for the rest it was really hard, tiring and at times very frustration work, esp having to hop up stairs.  The day I got my cast off and my moon boot on was the best day ever.  Six week in a moon boot and being able to walk again on 2 legs was wonderful after 6 weeks of hopping on crutches.  in fact from day one in the moon boot the crutches became redundant.  What I enjoyed the most besides finally being able to have a proper shower,  was to be able to have a proper full cup of coffee or tea, rather than loosing half of it because it sloshed over the sides of the cup because I had to hop behind the trolley I was using from the kitchen to the lounge, it's amazing the waves you can make with a cup of tea or coffee.  I soon learnt the paper towels where a necessity on every trip from the kitchen.  I tried drinking coffee/tea out of a very large soup cup, but it just didn't taste right and often although only half full would still slosh over the sides.

The six weeks in the moon boot literally flew by compared to the six weeks in a cast and although I was told to ease out of using the boot, it was suggested that if I had to do a lot of walking I should still wear  the boot for a few weeks, I didn't, the moon boot came off and it stayed off.  Walking to start with was a bit stiff and felt strange, I was very conscious of my foot and how I stepped on it, if that makes sense.  I also had a very pronounced limp. In fact I felt all out of alignment from having walked uneven in the moon boot for six weeks.  I have been going to physio and with the help of exercising have got a lot more movement and strength in my ankle and my limp has also improved a lot.  I have splashed out on an expensive pair of sneakers and have had an orthotic insole made for my left foot and I must say the combination of these two things has made a HUGE difference.  I walk with ease now and have found that my ankle doesn't swell up to a ridiculously huge size like it was doing when I have other less supportive shoes on.  Now I just need to find a good pair of dressy shoes, cause I can't or rather don't want to have to wear my sneakers all the time.

I have found since my ankle op that a number of my shoes don't fit properly anymore or just don't feel right, so yesterday I had a big cull of my shoes.  Out went everything that is no longer required including anything with heels, while I was at it the rest of my wardrobe also got a going through.  Nothing like a good clean out every now and then.  I am in the clean out mood at the moment and a few weeks back I decided to start on the garage.  Actually I was looking for something specific and thought Roy might have stored it in his tramping cupboard.  The item I was looking for wasn't there but I did find some interesting 'stuff' that Roy had squirreled away.  It was a bit of an emotional morning going through all the items and brought back lots and lots of memories.  I did find the item I was looking for eventually in the back shed, I also discovered that the shed has become the home of a rat or 2 going by the poop I found.  I'm now thinking the shed should have a really good clean-out.  It might be a good holiday job ;0)

In October our family again lost a much loved family member.  Tragically my 18 year old niece took her own life, suicide (let's name it ugly as it is).  She was a beautiful, bright, clever, vibrant young lady, loved by all who knew her.  She was caring, outgoing, and quirky.  She loved to dye her hair purple or blue, just to make a statement.  She would help others at the drop of a hat and was doing well in her studies, she had a strong faith in the Lord and attended Church and Bible study weekly.  She had everything going for her and yet she struggled with depression and one evening in her deepest darkest moment she took steps from which she would never return.  My sister and brother in law have lost their only daughter, her brothers have lost their only sister, my parents have lost one of their 2 grand-daughters, my children have lost their only girl cousin on my side of the family and I and my brother and his wife have lost our only niece on my side of the family.  It is sad and tragic and so terrible hard to understand.  When someone dies as a result of an illness or an accident we know why the death has occurred, there is  understanding if you like.  When someone  commits suicide there is shock, unbelief and unending questions.  Questions that will probably never ever be answered in this lifetime.  The worst is the feeling of guilt, I know we shouldn't take upon ourselves, but somehow you do, maybe it is part of the grieving process - why didn't we notice, why didn't we do more, why wasn't I more involved.

Even though we question why God allowed this to happen, we take comfort in the knowledge that my niece is now at peace in the arms of her Lord.  Her journey on earth is over for the Lord has seen her struggles called her home with Him.  Our children are given us on loan from the Lord,  as much as the proper order of things is that they should outlive us, that is not always the case. For those of us left behind there is now a second empty place at our family gatherings.  It's a place that shouldn't be empty.  Roy's death I could cope with as hard as it was, because he had a disease that we knew would one day take his life.  My niece's death is so much harder to understand and process.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of youth suicide in the world, don't you think that's terrible.  Why do our young people think it is better to end their life than live it??  Why do so many 'normal' young people with their whole lives ahead of them struggle??  Are we as a society putting to much pressure on the young to achieve great things?  How much does social media, the internet, cyber bullying come into the equation.  This needs to be addressed and we need to stop being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff picking up the pieces. Suicide is not ok.  This is becoming an epidemic in our country.  How do we start to do something about this?  We have young people almost on a weekly basis tragically taking their own lives and now the powers that sit in the Beehive want to pass a law to make it legal for those wanting to end their own lives with assisted suicide to have that right.  What sort of screwed up world are we living in?  Do I feel passionate about this - yes I do.  I never for a moment thought our family would be so directly effected by suicide.  Sadly I don't think there are many people who haven't been in some way.

A friend of mine wrote a wonderful article entitled "When Christians Commit Suicide", if you want to read it click here.

The one thing my niece's death has taught me is how important it is to stay in contact with those you love and to be in tune with what is going on in each others lives.  It's about reaching out, strengthening bonds and being there for each other.  As a result I have started writing weekly emails to my children, often with no real news, just what I've been up to that week and also forwarding a revised version to my sister and brother.  I know it sounds terrible old fashioned, but sometimes old is good.

Well I think I'll leave it there for now.  I don't know when I will write again.  As I mentioned above the need has gone, but who know maybe something really important or exciting will happen that I just need to share with you all so watch this space.  Thank you for taking an interest is my journey the last three and a half year. 

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas, love those who are nearest and dearest to you for life is short and you just don't know what tomorrow will bring.

May the Lord bless you all richly in 2017.

Till we meet again.

Love and blessings

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Goodness the last time I wrote was way back in Feb, where has the time gone??  So much has happened since then, where do I start??

I guess a good place is with an update on my ankle, which, as it turns out is the reason I have time to sit and write.  I got to see the orthopedic surgeon at the end of May who told me I had a collapsed ankle and that I needed surgery.  So right at this moment I am sitting with my leg in a red cast after having had an op on my ankle 2 weeks ago.  The op took two and a half hours and involved cleaning up and reattaching the very damaged tendon and re-positioning and screwing in place my heel, hence the cast which I am not allowed to weigh bare on for 6 weeks.  Once the cast comes off I will be in a moon-boot for another 6 weeks, all up a long recovery.  I went from being told that it was only going to be one night in hospital to staying almost a week. This was mainly because I have a number of stairs at my house and they would not let me go until I could get up and down them.  I am very thankful to Dad and my brother Ron who came and put in handrails for my internal stairs or there would have been no way I'd have been able to get up them except to bum shuffle - while that's all very well in theory it's not so great in practice, believe me I tried when I still had 2 good legs. The tricky part is that somehow you eventually have to stand up again.  I am now able to hop up the stairs which it a pretty good work out and coming back down hopping is a breeze.  The outside stairs already have a good solid rail which was put in when Roy was first sick.

Recovering physically from the op is going well.  Although getting around on crutches is way harder work than I thought it would be I am managing - slowly and carefully. Thankfully I have no pain at all, but more a discomfort of being in a cast. I am sleeping well at night which is good.

Mentally however I'm not doing so great.  I'm very fragile emotionally at the moment.  I know some of that is post op related, but it is also missing Roy related.  When you are 'healthy' and independent you get on with life, and to be honest pre surgery I was happy with my life and very content. But post surgery I am struggling with no longer being independent and it makes me miss Roy so much.  As much as I really, really, really appreciate all the help I have been getting from my Mum and Dad who come every day to help with this or that and my friend Diana who came to stay a few nights when I first got home, it doesn't really replace the support Roy would have given me. I really dread the weeks to come.  All those feelings that I thought I had worked through - loneliness, sadness and grief have bubbled back to the surface and it's just like I'm back to where I was when Roy died 3 years ago.  My heart aches and the last few days tears seem to be a constant companion. On the one hand I am cross at myself for feeling like this and on the other I can't seem to shake myself out of it.  I know I am not alone, that the Lord is my rock, my strength and my comforter, but sometime I just want to be held in loving arms and told 'Babe you're going to be ok, we'll get through this together.'  So that is really why I decided to blog again after such a long absence.  I have too much time, esp this weekend to be in my own head so I'm hoping by writing it all down it'll help.  Please pray for me.

Tomorrow I have to go back to the hospital to have my cast removed and get the stitches out of which there are quite a few on both sides of my foot.  I am looking forward to being cast-less if only for a half hour.

A lot of other things have happened since I last wrote.  All 4 grandchildren have had birthdays.  Inge is now 5, Noah 3, Asher 2 and Tilly 1.  They grow up so fast.  Grandbaby # 5 (a boy) is due in a few weeks.  Exciting.

The other BIG news is that I have a job.  Yip you read that right I have a job.  I am the new office administrator for Hinemoa House.  Hinemoa House is a Christian not for profit Trust based in the lower socio economic part of town.  The roll is challenging with lots to learn, esp in the area of financials.  I was so overwhelmed when I first started and wondered what I had stepped into esp as there was only a week for the change over.  It was pretty much sink or swim.  Now I am enjoying it and am slowly making the roll my own.  I work for Hinemoa House 5 mornings a week and am still able to work at English Language Partners 2 afternoons a week, all up that gives me 25 hours a week of work and as a result I have finally been able to say goodbye to Winz - freedom!!

When I was interviewed for the job I did know that my surgery was coming up so the Board were aware of it, however it has meant using my sick days already and going back to work maybe a bit quicker than I should have - home Monday afternoon back at work on Tuesday morning ;0)  I am thankful to Diana who has agreed to be my taxi service for as long as I can't drive.  At least being at work gives me something to do and helps make the time go by a bit faster.  There would be nothing worse than being stuck at home everyday for the next 6 weeks.

Another highlight that has recently happened is that our new church building has been finished and we are now worshiping in it. What a blessing to finally have a place that our congregation can call home.  Yesterday we  celebrated the official opening of the new building. It was wonderful to celebrate with so many people from far and near.  The singing was amazing.  We give thanks to the Lord and pray that He will make us a blessing in the Foxton community.  To Him be the glory.

Well I guess that about brings you up to date with some of the goings on in my life for the last few months.  Thanks for 'listening' to my rantings and ravings. I do feel a bit better now I have it off my chest.  This blogging thing continues to be very therapeutic for me and I pray that those of you who take the time to read what I write may also be blessed in some small way.

Through all the turmoil and the ups and downs I continue to fix my eyes upon Jesus in whom my hope is found.  He will never leave me or forsake me and I trust that He will continue to supply all my needs.

Until next time, may the Lord watch over you and bless you.

Much love and blessings

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Summer is well and truly here and it's been super hot.  This evening we finally had a bit of rain, but it was nothing to write home about and didn't really even wet the path.  It did make the air smell nice and fresh though.  The down side of hot days is also hot nights.  I now have a fan in my bedroom and use it most nights.  The duvet is hardly being used and sometimes even the sheet is too hot. I'm kind of glad I don't have to share the bed with anyone ;0)   The down side of not sleeping under a sheet however is that you become a smorgasbord for the mozzies.  I obviously have tasty blood cause they sure seem to enjoy feasting on me.  I have sprayed my room and searched  high and low but I can't find the little blood suckers.  I'm thinking of putting on a new cologne before bedtime called insect repellent.

Last time I wrote I promised an update on my ankle - well there isn't really much to report.  The Doc thinks it might be a sprain and that the lump might be a cyst.  He is going to refer me to an orthopedic person, however it could take some time as the wheels at the hospital don't always move very quickly.  So for the time being I just have to live with it and take the painkillers the Doc gave me which are also anti inflam tabs.  If I am on my feet a lot the ankle is very swollen and sore by the end of the day but usually come morning it has gone down again.  Please pray that an appointment comes sooner rather than later.

Last weekend I had Noah and Tilly come to stay for 2 days and 2 nights.  I was a wee bit apprehensive, but it actually went better than I thought it would.  The hardest part was not having anyone here to help 'share' the load and that made me miss Roy very much.  Maybe for these occasions I need to 'hire an Opa'!!   Noah was not keen to stay to begin with and we had a lot of tears.  It was actually not about staying at Oma's, it's about Mama leaving him behind. He does it when he goes to Daycare as well.  The fact that Tilly was being left behind too made no difference.  He soon settled down and to show how fickle he is come Sunday morning when I said that Mama and Papa would soon be here to pick him and Tilly up he said he didn't want to go home.  Silly boy.

It's weird really because as tiring and busy as it was having Noah and Tilly it was also wonderful - maybe because for a short time I felt I had a purpose and was needed.  I did miss them when they had gone and the house was very quiet.  Noah is a real chatterbox and always has lots of questions.  He is fascinated with the Monarch butterflies that he sees flying in my garden.  I have a Milkweed tree (Swan plant) in my garden which is finally doing really well and the butterflies have been laying eggs on it - and the plant is surviving the onslaught.  We have done a lot of exploring and talking about eggs, caterpillars, chrysalis' (Noah calls them coons), hatching and butterflies.  This got me thinking and inspired so I sat down and wrote a simple story which pretty much covers the life cycle of a butterfly.  I have used photos I have taken myself and some that I found on the net and a book for children has come together nicely - I am so excited about it.  The story is easy to understand and the photos are amazing.  I have just done it using the same online book making program I used when I made the book about Roy.  I'm not really sure how else to go about it.  I'll post some pics when a copy arrives.

Job wise there is nothing positive to report - 5 applications done already this year and so far 1 negative response.  Experience is telling me that the other 4 are also no goers.  I am left feeling frustrated and annoyed. How do I go about making myself stand out in a crowd?????  How do I 'sell' myself more than I am already doing??????


People talk about having a bucket list - usually it's the things they want to do before they die.  I have a bucket list of sorts too, on it are the things I want to do once I have a job because then I'll be able to afford to do them.  They're not extravagant things like a world trip, a new car or anything like that. They are everyday practical things that haven't been super urgent but do require a bit more finance than I currently have.   Unfortunately some of those thing have now become a bit more urgent - one of them was to go and get my eyes tested.  It's been about 4 years since I last went and I have noticed that they have slowly been getting a bit worse.  Recently at work I was hand writing out some envelops and everything was just a tad blurry and I even with my glasses on, so I have bitten the bullet and made an appointment at the optometrist for an check-up.

Well  you know how it goes, if it's not one thing it's another so you can imagine how I felt on Sunday evening to suddenly find that a filling had fallen out - yip I was not impressed, in fact I can honestly say I was more than pretty annoyed.  Why now???????????????  Thankfully it doesn't hurt, it just feels funny and there is this rather large hole that my tongue keeps going into.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!! I am so over it all.  I've had enough, I can't do this anymore, it's too hard, I want someone else to be responsible for a while - stop the world I want to get off!!  I want to kick and scream and throw a two year old style wobbly - but I can't.  I'm a grown up and as a grown up I need to 'suck it up', 'get over myself' and 'get on with it'.  So I guess that's what I'd better do.  First I'll sort out the eyes and then eventually I'll sort out the tooth.

'They' say bad things always come in three's so I've hit the jackpot because I thought my dog Jack was unwell as he had stopped eating.  I suddenly saw a very, very expensive trip to the vet in my very near future - just what I didn't need on top of everything else.  Jack is a mix of chocolate lab and  border collie and he has always had the lab appetite, until Sunday morning that is when he suddenly didn't want his dog biscuits.  No amount of coaxing or cajoling worked.  Noah tried really hard.  He sniffed at the food and walked away.  Sunday night dinner the same thing happened and again on Monday morning - by now I was a wee bit worried, although he did seem his normal self otherwise.  Monday night I made up some beef stock and poured that over the biscuits - still no go.  Thankfully he was still drinking. And yes he seemed to be pooping ok, I went out and checked.  I decided maybe the biscuits in the container were off,  I threw them away and got fresh ones from the bag for him - he wasn't interested.  I did some research via Dr Google and discovered that sometimes older dogs have a change in their food tastes (Jack is 12 so he's getting on), after work this morning I bought a  tin of dog food and as  they also had bones so I grabbed one of those as well.  I am pleased to report that Jack is fine - the tinned food got wolfed down and he was very, very happy with his bone. Tonight for his dinner I did biscuits again and he didn't want them until I  mixed some of the canned food through them and he ate the lot.  Looks like he might be on canned food for a while and I will slowly re introduce the biscuits.  I am just soooooo relieved that there is nothing seriously wrong with him. It would seem he has just become a bit fussy in his old age.

Well I think that is about it.  I'm sorry this blog has been a bit more grumbly than normal - I blame it on birthday melancholy.  Yip on Sunday I'll be turning the ripe old age of 52.  Yahoo - not.  I am actually not in the celebrating mood but maybe that'll still come.  Maybe I should bake a cake - carrot I think with cream cheese icing.  Well I'm not going to do it tonight.  I am going to sign off and go to bed.

Thanks for 'listening' to my rantings and ravings. I do feel a bit better now I have it off my chest.  This blogging thing continues to be very therapeutic for me and I pray that those of you who take the time to read what I write may also be blessed in some small way.

Through all the turmoil and the ups and downs I continue to fix my eyes upon Jesus in whom my hope is found.  He will never leave me or forsake me and I trust that He will continue to supply all my needs.

Until next time, may the Lord watch over you and bless you.

Much love and blessings

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Goodness me, the gaps between posts are getting bigger and bigger.  Thanks to those who have let me know that they really enjoy reading what I write and also for encouraging me to continue,  I will try my best.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful and blessed Christmas and that the New Year is going well.  My Christmas was pretty good.  The children all went to the 'in-laws' this year so I spent Christmas day with my Mum and Dad and my sister and her family in Whitby.  We had a lovely afternoon and the weather was beautiful.  New Year was a non event really.   It happened, but I didn't stay up to see it in. Not much use staying up when you're by yourself.  I did make oliebollen which were very yum. Dad esp enjoyed them and he took 2 bags home. On the Sunday there were still heaps left so I took them to Church for coffee morning - thankfully they went like hot cakes.  I like oliebollen, but after spending a morning making them I've kinda had enough, probably more from the smell than from eating lots.  The first day of the New Year was a scorcher - the temp outside on my deck in the shade got to 31.9 degrees.  All the family (well those who were around) came for a New Years day family dinner, which was a really nice way to begin the New Year, although it was almost too hot to eat.  That evening was one of those rare evenings where you can sit outside in the dark because it was so still and and mild, so that's what I did after I'd tidied up after everyone had left I grabbed a bottle of cold cider and sat outside enjoying the beautiful moon and the stars.  It was wonderful - peaceful and relaxing, a good time to ponder the past and wonder about the future.

Since I last wrote there have been some highs and some lows.  Soon after my last blog I got a phone call from my case manager at Winz to let me know that she wouldn't be available for our next appointment as she was moving on to a new position in Wellington.  Since then I have heard nothing so I am expecting to receive a letter sometime  advising me of who my new case manager will be and an appointment to meet him/her - this will be the 4th one.  In this case no news suits me fine.

The extra hours at work were great - both from a financial point of view but also to be working - I loved it.  Unfortunately I am too efficient and by early December I had managed to get everything (the back log) that needed to be done, done so that was the end of the extra hours.  October also saw me making the early Monday morning trip up to Palmy again to look after Noah and Tilly as Aimee was returning to work.  This has continued with me also going up on Thursdays for a while in November due to the busyness of preparing for Christmas and I think this month there will be some Thursday's required too as Aimee is busy with wedding cakes.  It is a wonderful blessing to be able to spend time with both Noah and Tilly, watching them grow and develop,  although all Noah's 'Why' question can get a bit tiring ;0)

In November I had another first - boy you'd think after two and a half years that you'd have covered all those, but no surprise, surprise a new first popped up.  I was blessed to be invited to attend a 35th wedding anniversary dinner of some very dear friends.  A first outside of family events.  To be honest I was reluctant to go, but decided that it was something I needed to eventually do, so I went and I had a lovely time.   It was held in Wellington so my friend Diana came down with me and I dropped her off  in Whitby for some Oma time with her new grandson., on the way home I picked her up again and we were back in Levin just after 11pm.

Another thing that happened late November was the installation of Roy's headstone.  It is so nice to see that Roy's earthly resting place has now been marked.  Many thanks to those who helped make this happen. xxxxx

November/December saw the arrival of another great nephew and another great niece to the Nugteren clan.  Nothing like being a great aunt to make you feel just a wee bit old - I am currently the great aunt of I think 19 great nephews and nieces and that will increase in the coming year with I believe 2 more on their way.

November also had a down side.  Without going into specifics (as it is now water under the bridge) a situation arose that caused feelings to be hurt and things to be said when emotions were running high which were taken the wrong way and in hind sight  probably shouldn't have been said.  It was an all round horrible situation as these things usually are.  But it did get me thinking about how we portray ourselves to the world around us and because of that we judge people by what we see.  The chorus from song Masquerade from the Phantom of the Opera comes to mind - "Masquerade! Painted faces on parade ........ Hide your face so the world will never find you."  If we are honest we all wear a mask of one kind or another, keeping our true feelings/situation mostly hidden, except from maybe an exclusive few,  because we want the world to see us as doing ok, that we're happy, content, coping etc.  If anyone asks 'How are you doing?' most people will answer 'I'm doing ok' - but what does that really mean??  Do we say that because that is the answer the asker is expecting, or do we say that because we actually want to be seen as doing ok.  I guess it's a pride thing.  We don't want people to feel sorry for us, so we get up every morning and the 'mask' goes on and we get on with our daily life, because that's expected, it's what helps us feel 'normal' and it helps to keep one sane,  we want to be seen as being 'ok',  everyone else seems to get on with life and cope so why should we be any different.  But at the end of the day secure behind our closed door the mask falls away and the sadness, tears and frustrations come crashing in because nothing has changed - the troubled marriage is still there, the illness we might be battling, the wayward child, the chair and bed are still empty, the loneliness is still there,  the financial pressure is still there, the frustration of another job rejection.  Come morning the mask is back in place and the whole dance begins again and that becomes your life, and that is actually ok because choosing to smile and be positive even when things aren't going well doesn't make you a fake.  It actually means that you want the world to see that you're doing great, coping, surviving, getting on with life and enjoying the blessings life has to offer rather than dwell on the hardship and stresses.  I guess what I'm trying to say with all this is - that we shouldn't judge people by what we see because we may not being seeing the whole true picture and don't assume that because they seem to be doing ok that they must be.  If we really care for someone and we know they are going through a rough time we shouldn't just accept their 'ok' answer, but dig a wee bit deeper.

For me personally I will always say that I'm doing great or ok is someone asks and that is because truthfully I am doing great.  I am very proud of everything I have achieved in the last 2.5 years.  I take pride that I have managed to sort out and keep the Rawleigh business running.  I am proud of the job I was able to get so soon after Roy's death and for the things I have been able to achieve and learn through that job.  I am proud of the financial decisions I have made - renewing the mortgage, organising insurance, getting a small loan for the new wood-burner, the deck railing and many other things including all the stuff that needed to be sorted out as a result of Roy's death.   I am proud of the fact that to date I have always been able to pay a bill and that the only people I owe money to is the bank for the mortgage and on my credit card (still paying off 4 new tires and the car service).  I am proud of all the jobs I have applied for and that even though it has at times been soul destroying I have never given up.  But I am most proud that this whole journey has drawn me closer to the Lord in whom I place my complete trust.  I know He has a plan for my life and in His perfect time it will happen.  I am proud of what I have achieved and that through the Lord's grace I have become a strong women with an even stronger faith. 

But I'll admit I am also tired and just a wee bit frustrated - I'm tired of the endless financial struggle and juggling that is constantly on my mind,  I'm tired of  applying for jobs and the stress that comes with that and the knocks to my confidence every time I get a no.  I keep thinking I should take some time off from applying for jobs, but as yet I haven't.  I even applied for one between Christmas and New Year - lol!  I currently 2 applications pending and 2 to apply for this coming week.  I want to get out of this rut that I feel I'm in.  I want to move forward, I want to be financially free (read - out from under Winz and my 'obligations' to them) and I want to get on with my life. I want! I want! I want!  But I know I need to be patient for a bit longer -  everything will work out in the Lord's timing - it just seems to me seems to be taking a long time to happen, but I guess one day I'll look back and see how everything worked out just right.

So besides applying for jobs the first few weeks of 2016 have been busy.  I had a lovely weekend away in Wellington last weekend staying with sister in law Joc.  My plan had been to go down on Friday late afternoon but a rather violent storm swept through that day so I delayed until Saturday morning.  After a good natter and some lunch we went into Wellington to Te Papa to see the Gallipoli exhibition which was really good.  We went back to the Hutt for a quick bite of dinner and then headed to the movies - thankfully we had our tickets already cause we arrived a bit late - yip we were those people - not the last ones to arrive though, there was another couple after us.  However we soon discovered that we had been given tickets for the wrong movie (this was a French film with sub-titles, we wanted to see the Suffragettes movie) so at an appropriate time we got up and walked out - thankfully it was dark, but I'm pretty sure the people we had to pass - twice - were not so impressed.  We were able to get the tickets changed for the movie we actually wanted to see for a bit later that night.  It added a bit of fun to our evening.  It was also wonderful to be able to go to Wellington Church and catch up with friends,  both locals and out of towners.

This past week I also restarted at work even though the office doesn't officially open until coming Monday - I did a whole lot of catch up non urgent stuff.  You know that your day is not going to go well when you turn off your alarm and go back to sleep only to wake 45 mins later in a panic cause you're going to be late for work.  Thankfully my hours are flexible so I was able to make up for being late by working a bit longer.  It was good to be back.

Last week I went to the doc as I have been having a bit of trouble with my left ankle.  A number of years ago (actually it was soon after we moved into this house so well on 8 years ago) I took a tumble down the stairs and sprained my ankle (no x-ray was ever taken).  It has never been right since and when I do a lot of walking it often feels like it is going to give way.  Before Christmas it got very sore and is now very swollen by the end of the day.  After a very busy day mowing the lawns just after new year it was very sore and I suddenly noticed a rather strange bobble on the top of my foot - so I made a doctors appointment.  His initial diagnosis was either gout or rheumatoid arthritis, both of which I was a bit shocked about - he ordered blood tests and an x-ray and gave me a script for painkillers which I haven't actually used.  The blood test came back as all fine, no gout, no rheumatoid markers, inflammation markers show there is an inflammation  - somewhere (ummm I think the puffy ankle confirms that). One test has had to be sent away and will be back next week - I'm not actually sure what that is for but I guess I'll find out if something shows up.   X-ray showed nothing much but was waiting to be read by the doc. So I have an appointment to go back to the doc on Tuesday afternoon to see where to now. The ankle still swollen,  when I stand it tends to bend inwards, the lump is a bit bigger and it has become more sore and stiff to move and walk on. And so the mystery continues.  I'll keep you posted.

Well I think that might do for this edition.  It has become way longer than I thought it would.  Hopefully it hasn't been to boring a read.

I have a few prayer requests - please pray that the Lord will soon open a door of full time work for me and also for extra patience to wait.  Also that we get to the bottom of what is going on with my ankle.

Wishing you a blessed Sunday and I'll try and be in touch a bit sooner next time.

Love and blessings

Saturday, 17 October 2015

I finally back!! Goodness the last time I wrote something was way back at the end of July. Where has that time gone??

So I guess I need to do a bit of a catch up.

August arrived with me still out of work due to the funding not having come through yet for my English Language Partners job.  The timing was actually good really as I had the opportunity to make another trip down to Christchurch that month and it meant being able to do so without having to take time off work.  More about that later.

It was also good timing to not be working because I got sick - there has been a really nasty flu going around this winter and I got it.  I went from feeling totally fine to suddenly having a cough and lets just say it was down hill from there.  Achy bones, hot and sweating one minute, cold and shivering the next and endless coughing - oh and tired, so very, very, very tired.  So tired in fact that I almost passed out two mornings in a row after having my shower.  Both mornings I woke up feeling pretty good, had breakfast  (this bug did not really seem to affect my appetite) and then went to have my shower.  Well much more than water must of gone down my drain judging by the dark spots dancing before my eyes when I got out of the shower. I think my energy got washed away too.  Sheer will power and the determination to not be found in a naked heap on my bathroom floor kept me upright and finally dressed, but I was wiped out for the rest of the morning.  Thankfully the weather wasn't so great so I just had a couple of do nothing but read and sleep days.  Now I never (well hardly ever) sleep during the day, because if I do I can forget about sleeping at night, so I really was sick cause I slept both day and night no problem.  This getting sick was not good timing at all, it has suddenly started on a Wed afternoon and on the Saturday morning I was meant to be flying to Christchurch.  By Friday I was in two minds - to go or not to go.  On Friday night I was feeling ok so I was still going, by then it was almost to late to pull out anyway.  On Sat morning I felt great, the shower went fine and I raced around getting ready and sorting out last minute things - I probably should have done things a bit slower cause when my friend Diana arrived to pick me up I wasn't feeling so crash hot and the first thing she said to me wasn't 'hi, ready to go?' but 'are you ok cause you don't look so good.'  I really didn't feel so good either - my head was swimming, I was really, really thirsty and I just felt yuck.  It suddenly dawned on my that maybe I was a bit dehydrated as I hadn't really been drinking a lot the last few days and with the high temps had been sweating a lot, as soon as we got to the airport I downed 2 bottle of Powerade.  I don't often drink the stuff but it actually helped a lot and by the time our flight was called (it had been delayed) I was feeling a lot better than I had been.

The trip to Christchurch came about because my friend Diana needed to go to the Burwood Spinal Unit for some tests.  Diana has transverse myelitis and the team from Burwood thought it would be good for her to come down there for a visit.  Now Diana doesn't like to fly and although she can walk short distances with a stick, needs a wheelchair which she needed to bring down with her anyway.  Diana told ACC that she needed a travel companion and I was happy to be that person and ACC were happy to pay - hence a trip down to Christchurch.  The trip down went well - first on and last off was great.  Diana held my hand (without breaking any fingers) going up and coming down and otherwise did really well.  We parted ways once we got to Christchurch - She went to stay the weekend with family and I went to Tim and Yvettes.  It was a lovely relaxing time in Christchurch.  I was feeling way better just very tired still.  It was fun spending time with Asher - we read lots of books together.  I had a wonderful day out with my friend Janice and we had some pampering by going for a haircut and having our nails done.  Diana spend 3 days/3 nights in the hosp and everything was fine and she was discharged in time to catch our afternoon flight on the Thursday home.  That flight went really well and Diana was so confident that she didn't even need to hold my hand at all.

We had flown out and into Palmerston North which worked out really well.  When we got back on the Thursday we went and picked up Noah - Aimee and Tilly had been in and out of hosp that past week as Tilly had become unwell and stopped feeding.  She was diagnosed with a viral upper respiratory infection for which there was nothing they could do and time would heal it.  It had been a rough few days for them with not much sleep so not having the little man around for a few days was a nice break for them.  All went well once we got home - Noah loves being at Oma's.  The weather was lovely so we pottered outside a bit.  Everything however went down hill on the Sunday.  Noah had had a bit of a runny nose and on the Sunday morning I had noticed a wee bit of blood in it, nothing to bad though.  After Church we had lunch and Noah went for is sleep.  He actually went straight to sleep but soon woke up crying.  I went up to see him and I can honestly say it looked like something had been slaughtered in his bed.  There was blood everywhere.  Noah had the worst bleeding nose I've ever seen and it just wouldn't stop.  He was beside himself and very upset about all the blood he was covered in.  Things finally settled down - the bleeding stopped and we cleaned everything up - Noah and the bed and had some  quiet reading books time.  Noah's nose was still oozing a wee bit but nothing too bad.  Suddenly he started to cough and the next thing I knew he had thrown up - into my hand, all the blood that he had swallowed.  He definitely felt way better after that. That night I didn't sleep very well at all, I was half expecting to be woken by Noah crying and finding his nose had started to bleed again, but he made it through the night just fine.

Monday morning he wasn't a very happy chappy - crying, miserable and very, very clingy.  Home to Palmy and Mama we went, which Noah was not happy about at all.  He slept in the car on the way up and once we got to his place he slept again while sitting on my lap.  Aimee gave him some medicine and made a doctor's appointment for him.  Turns out he had a slight ear infection - no antibiotics just pain relief and it would heal with time.  Once the pain relief kicked in he was as right as rain.

Honestly if it's not one thing it's another.

Things did improve - thankfully the funding came through and I was able to restart my 5 hour a week job.  I qualified for a rates rebate which was a huge financial relief.  I was also finally feeling physically better (it took 3 weeks to really get over the bug) and I got stuck in and emptied the compost bins.  That was a huge and heavy going job and I managed to do almost the whole lot by myself.  I ended up having more compost than I needed for my garden so Diana's husband Hillary came to get the extra and did the last wee bit for me as I had had it by then.  We discovered that the compost had been hold up the sides (old pallets) and once it was gone the bins fell apart.  I wasn't too sad really and once Hil had removed the rubbish I installed a smaller plastic bin that is doing the trick quite nicely.  After Labour weekend I plan to start planting some veggies in the garden.  Today I noticed that the first asparagus spears have made an appearance - yum!

The whole job thing really got me down in Aug/Sept - so many applied for and nothing.  It gets very disheartening and tiring too.  I had a meeting with my Work and Income case manager and told her I was over it all.  I didn't want to apply for anymore jobs for the rest of the year as I had enough.  We had a talk and then she took me to have a chat with the work broker and they both encouraged me to keep applying for anything that appealed and blow me down I got 2 job interviews within 2 weeks of each other.  One was for a 15 hours a week job and the other was for a 40 plus hours a week job.  One was a very casual interview and the other was a very proper interview with some really hard questions.  I got neither of them and having processed that it's actually ok.  The fact that I got 2 interviews has been a HUGE boost to my confidence.  The Lord knew exactly what I needed and He provided.

The 15 hour a week job would not have seen me financially better off due to being taxed at a higher rate as it would be classed as a secondary job (the benefit being my primary income, even if it is still only a few dollars) and there was also the daily cost of traveling to Foxton, it was also a sole charge position which made me realize that because I live alone I actually need to be around other people in my job, also the owner guy looked very much like someone I know and that would just have been a bit weird.  I was 2nd choice for that job which was nice to hear.  The one who got it had more experience dealing with freighting companies.

The 40 plus hours a week job would have been full on - 7.45am - 5.30pm 5 days a week.  I would of coped but it would have been a shock to the system for the first few weeks.  It would have been home, feed the dog, eat something, probably anything that was simple and easy and then bed, forget the washing, vacuuming, ironing etc - lol!

I have since been back to see my case manager and she was very please for me that I had had 2 interviews.  She was please too that from them I have been able to really work out what I think will work for me.  She encouraged me to find a good balance - to be financially free yet still have time for family, grandchildren, friends and the other things that fill my life - I guess that's it I need to find a balance between working and having a life and I know that God has the right job lined up for me that will give me that balance.

I haven't stopped applying for jobs and this week sent in an application for a job at the local Library.  Just after Roy died I thought about doing some study and library study really appealed.  I even enrolled but pulled out as the timing just didn't feel right with so much other stuff including grieving still going on.  Maybe this could be the stepping stone to revisiting that.  I covert your prayers.

The other good news is that up until Christmas I have probably 5 maybe 7 more hours a week at work.  National office wants all centers to go digital which means scanning in and linking all our records (learner and volunteer information forms etc) to the database.  It'll be a big job to start with, but I'm happy to do it.  I'm hoping to start in the  next week or so.  I am also going to be looking after both Noah and Tilly again as from Monday, it'll mean 2 trips to Palmy a week as Aimee needs me on a Thursday too.  So the next weeks leading up to Christmas are going to be full on and probably (hopefully) fly by.

In other news - the monthly card making group is still going strong.  For the last few weeks we have been making Christmas cards.  I gave the Rawleigh shop a good spring clean and rearrange. I have finally added some of the other craft items that I have been making.  It now looks great and smells amazing thanks to the scented candles I've made.  I had a wonderful day this past week down in Wellington for a chicks day with my dear friends Jackie and Stella.  We had a wonderful time as we always do chatting, shopping, laughing and unbaggaging.  It is always a blessing to be able to spend time with these two wonderful ladies and just what I needed to recharge my battery.

As Murphy's Law would have it I decided to clean out and put away my fire stuff. We had been having such lovely warm days and even the evenings were mild.  Well no sooner had I done that then the weather changed and it cooled down again.  I have as yet not succumbed and relit the fire - instead in the evening I put on a jersey, close the curtains and light all my candles - I'm dutch after all ;0)

Well there are the highlights of the last few months - well most of them anyway.   Hopefully it wasn't too boring a read.

I still believe that the Lord has great plans for my future and I wait (as patiently as possible) for His timing.  Life is good and I am blessed daily - sometimes I just forget to see and appreciate them.  Life is too short to let yourself get burdened by baggage.  We need to enjoy each and every day we have been given and be thankful for the blessings. Things that have happened in the past need to be left there.  You can't change them and if you keep dragging them along they will eventually trip you up.  Let go, stop looking behind and look forward and most importantly look up to Him who will supply all your needs because when all else fails you can trust in Him.

Thanks for spending time with me via this blog.

Till next time.

Love and blessings

Sunday, 26 July 2015

The saying goes "When it rains, it pours" and that has indeed been true lately.  Not in the weather sense, but in the funeral sense.  Four funerals in the last two months with three in three weeks.  Three of the four where members of my congregation and the fourth was a past member my father-in-law.  The Lord called Pop home suddenly and peacefully on Monday 13th July exactly 6 weeks after his 90th birthday.  Pop was enjoying his afternoon coffee and quietly passed away, he didn't even eat his biscuit!!  A beautiful way to go really.  It's a strange feeling really when you know something is eventually going to happen, but when it does you still aren't really prepared for it.  That's how it was with Pop's death.  Already before Christmas the Doc's said that Pop didn't have long, giving him weeks rather than months and he proved them wrong.  In fact they took him off almost all his medication and he rallied, improving and seem way better than he had been for a long time.  Son Ryan always reckoned Pop wanted to outlive his Dad who had passed away at 90 and 3 weeks.  Well he sure did that - by 3 weeks.

Funerals are a little bit unsettling as they bring back memories.  Pop's funeral meant a trip to the cemetery where Roy is buried.  It was the third time I'd been there since Roy's death.  I must say this time it was far easier to face than it had been when Nana passed away. I guess that is progress.  Funerals are actually great family times and it was wonderful to catch up with the extended family, to spend time together and share memories.  Pop's death made me realise that things change when parents die - suddenly you become the older generation, the tie that binds siblings is gone and your focus changes to be on your immediate family - children and grand-children.  I feel very blessed to still have both my parents alive and well.

At the beginning of July I made a trip to Christchurch to celebrate grandson Asher's first birthday.  This trip down ended up being a comedy of errors due to me not actually reading my ticket properly.  In fact I didn't read the ticket at all and just assumed!!   I was all ready and packed on the Thursday morning and Mum and Dad kindly gave me a lift down to Paraparaumu Airport,  They dropped me off deciding not to stay, which I had said was fine.  It turned out to not be so fine as when I got to the check in the lovely lady there informed me that I wasn't actually flying till the next day.  I of course disagreed with her and then felt pretty silly when she pointed out the date on the ticket.  Well that left me in a bit of a pickle esp with Mum and Dad on their way back home.  First I rang them - which they didn't hear - so I sent them a txt instead asking them to come back to the airport, quietly praying they got it before the arrived back in Levin 45 mins away.  I then rang the airline on the off chance that I could change my ticket  to fly that day, however the cost was going to be far more than the original ticket so I decided against it.  Thankfully Mum and Dad had received my txt and returned to the Airport.  They kind of expected to find me very upset and in tears and probably if this had happened 18 months ago they would of - obviously I have matured a lot.  In fact I had a good laugh about it as it really was my own silly fault.  The upside was that I was able to get the Church bulletin done once I got home rather than having to do it while I was away and I was also able to attend a funeral.  On the Friday we once again headed down to Paraparaumu for my flight to Christchurch - yes it was the right day.

Yvette and Asher picked me up from the Airport and Tim finished work early so we could headed out to my sister-in-laws place in Bealey near Arthurs Pass.  Helen runs the Arthurs Pass Eco Lodge.  If you're looking for a place to stay I highly recommend it.  It was amazing.  The trip out there is beautiful, the views are stunning and the accommodation is fantastic.  We had a really great time.  It was cosy and warm inside thanks to the wood-burner  and -1 outside still at 10.30am.  The last time I had been out to Bealey was when Jim (Helen's husband and Roy's brother) and Roy were both still alive, so it was a first to face.  It was great to be able to create new memories and I look forward to going out there again in the future.  On Saturday we headed back into Christchurch and I spent the rest of that day with my cousin Femmy and her family.  Sunday was Asher's birthday party out at Yvette's parent's place.  It was a lovely day.  Monday I had a quick catch up with a friend over coffee and then it was time to head home again so it really was a flying visit but very enjoyable.  This time we flew into Paraparaumu over the land rather than over the sea and Kapiti Island.  It was so cool to see the new express way that is being built from the air.  It is a huge project and looked amazing. It was a wee bit freaky flying low over the top of houses just before we landed.

The following weekend Noah came to stay for 3 nights.  He loves coming to Oma's to stay and Oma loves having him.  He is always really good and doesn't get homesick at all.  I took him home on the Monday (this was also the day Pop died) and spent the day there catching up with youngest son Joel when he came for dinner at Aimee's that night.  I hadn't really been looking forward to the drive home in the dark but it went fine,  if I'd known what I found out later than week I might have been more worried.

On the Thursday of that week I had booked the car in for a new warrant and service.  The mechanic rang to let me know that I needed 2 new front tires as they were in very bad condition - something I had suspected.  When I asked if I could have the car back to drive to Palmy that afternoon to collect Tim, Yvette and Asher from the Airport he said no as it would be far to dangerous driving long distance with those tires, esp in the wet - gulp glad I didn't know that on Monday when I drove home in the dark and the rain.   Unfortunately the replacement tires would not be arriving until Friday so in the meantime they found me another car to use.  It is so weird driving a different car - this one was way, way lower than mine and had a really sloppy accelerator.  Anyway it did the job even if you tended to fall into it and have to hoist yourself out of it.  I was glad to have my own car back on the Friday, it actually had to have  4 new tires as the mechanic discovered that one of the back ones was  marginal so they all ended up needing replacing.  The bill was a trifle more than planned but at least the car is up to standard now and I def wont be needing tires again for a while.

Earlier this month I finished my course and received a certificate of achievement.   My last 2 assessments were using Excel and Word.  I really enjoyed both of them and have used what I learnt in Excel to set up a Petty Cash logbook to use at work.  For the Word assessment I had to edit a document which was a lot of fun.  My tutor was super impressed and her comment was "WOW! This is one of the best submissions I have ever seen for this module. Your contents table was fantastic, layout professional, bullet points perfect, loved your tables, headers and footers."  Feeling super pleased.  Maybe I should go into editing!!

Work continues to elude me and not from lack of applying for jobs.  I don't know why God is not answering my prayers for work, but I know that He is control of this and that in His time it will happen,  it is hard with so many doors closing and none seeming to be opening.  To make things more frustrating my job at English Language Partners has also been put on hold as from last week as we are waiting for funding to come through from a grant application.  We have received money from this organisation before for my position so we are hopefully it will be successful again, but you never know.  Being reliant on funding is sadly the down side for organisations like ours.  Please pray that the funding application is successful and that the Lord will open the right door for me work wise.  I know that God has a plan.  I pray for direction to follow it. Patience to wait for it, and wisdom to know when it comes.

Well on that note I'm calling it a night.  I didn't sleep very well last night so need to catch up.

Have an awesome week.

Till next time love and blessings

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Rain, rain go away we've had enough this winter!!

I decided that since it was raining - again, that today was a good day to catch up on some blogging.

On the subject of rain - it has rained pretty much for the last 48 hours (actually I'd say it has rained off and on for the most of June) and the region is suffering because of it with flooding, slips and road closures.  The flow of traffic past my place today is very low as currently no-one can leave Wellington - State Highway one (the main road north for non NZ readers) has been closed just south of Levin due to a bridge being washed out.  At this stage it will take them 24-48 hours to fix and the continuous rain is not going to help.

Rivers are high and overflowing in places, farm land is covered with water, streets are flooded as the drains just can't cope with the volume of water falling out of the sky and sadly some people have water flowing through their homes.  Thankfully I am not affected as my house it high off the ground except for the garage and at this stage the water hasn't come in there.  My carport does however have a pool in it as the water just can't drain away.

So while the sky continues to leak I am sitting in my lounge with the fire going and no great plans for the day except to hopefully catch you up on the last few months.

Looking back I see that I lasted blogged on the 9th of April - wow that's a while ago.  I see that at the time of writing I had little to no voice - believe it or not it took me 3 weeks to finally get my voice back to where it stayed around all day ;0)

A lot has happened since I last wrote.

For a start I have made 2 trips down to Wellington all on my own - I feel so proud and grown up ;0).  The first was a weekend down to go out with a group of friends to see the musical 'Singing in the Rain' - ha seems very apt to be writing about that now considering the weather outside.  It was  Loved it, loved it, loved it.  What an awesome way to step out of the cares and worries of your everyday life for a few hours.  The songs were catchy, the cast was very professional, the story was easy to follow, we laughed a lot and we were all really glad we didn't have seats to close to the stage in what was called the splash zone as those people definitely got wet when it 'rained' on stage - they did get given rain coats!  It was a great night out with a wonder group of ladies and nicely rounded off by catching up with friends at Church the next morning.

A few things happened before I made my next trip down to Wellington.

One was that I finished my weekly trips to look after Noah as Aimee went on maternity leave.  It left much more of a hole than I thought it would, although to be honest I don't miss the very early morning starts or the driving too and from Palmy in the dark.  The second significant thing that happened was the arrival of my beautiful grand daughter Matilda (Tilly) Elsie Waite.  Tilly was born on Monday 25th May and weighed 7lb 8 oz.  She is as cute as a button (but then Oma's always say that about their grand children) and at this stage a very easy baby.  Noah is pretty proud and loves to help out at home.

Photo taken by Keepsake Photography

 My second trip to Wellington was to go and celebrate Dad Nugteren's 90th birthday.  An awesome achievement considering he was at deaths door just before Christmas.  We had a lovely morning tea for him at the rest home with family and friends coming from far and near to be part of this special occasion.  Dad was very well that day and seemed to enjoy himself very much.

A week after Dad's birthday was the 2nd anniversary of Roy's death - the 8th June.  Why does it seem such a long time ago and yet it's only 2 years.  That is such an odd notion!!  There's a saying the time heals all wounds and I guess in a way it does - although maybe not heals but makes it easier to bear.  I have days where I don't think about Roy at all and other days when he is often on my mind.  Maybe it depends how busy I am with life and living.  Sometimes I have melancholy days, esp on rainy days or when I get another no response to a job application,  these are times when everything is just way to hard and I'm so tired of it all - tired of applying for jobs, tired of being rejected, tired of juggling finances, tired of being on my own ......and the list goes on!! They are days where I struggle with this new normal that is now my life.  Maybe some of that feeling of melancholy is due to frustration - the frustration of feeling ready to move forward with my life but not yet knowing in what direction I'm meant to be going.  I have learnt to allow myself these little moments as a way of processing whatever the current situation has thrown my way.  A lot of praying happens during these times of struggle, a lot of asking God why, when and how long and often with tears, but thankfully God is gracious,  He doesn't allow me to become overwhelmed with self pity and I am able to pick myself up, carry on and face the world again with a smile on my face.  God has also blessed me with good friends and family who are a listening ear when I need them.

Aimee and the children came down to spend the 8th with me which was really nice.  Nothing like Noah and baby Tilly cuddles to make it a great day.  My parents popped in for a quick visit - mainly to see their great grandchildren ;0)  and Diana and her sister Johanna came for dinner that night - actually they brought dinner and I made apple pie for dessert - yum.  All in all it was a good day - lots of memories and sharing and thankfully very few tears.  Thanks to all those who sent me messages, txts or phoned I really appreciated it.

I am pleased to say that I am definitely in a better head space this year than I was last year and although I don't want to sound conceited I am actually please and proud at how much I have achieved since Roy's death and also at how far I have come.  I have discovered I am a way stronger person than I ever thought I was, although it probably was always there, but it didn't need to come out as much because Roy had always been there to 'take care of things'.  Now I have to stand up for myself because there is no-one else to do it for me.  You get on with life and all that entails because you actually have no other choice.  If that means that I've become a stronger women than that's fine with me.

The job situation is as it was - I'm still applying for jobs without too much success.  I did have a phone interview for one job which is a bit of progress I guess but didn't get to the interview stage.  I recently did apply for a job that I was really, really keen on but that didn't pan out either, which I was quite sad about for a day.  Thankfully my good friends from Australia - John and Trudy - are here at the moment and they took me to Palmy with them for some Mall therapy as John calls and a catch up with Aimee, Noah and Tilly.  That was just what I needed and I am really grateful that they thought to include me.   There seem to be a lot more admin positions coming available locally so when I see them I apply, I then leave it in the Lord's hands asking Him to open the correct door.  Patience is a virtue so 'they' say, I must be brimming with virtue by now ;0)

My study continues to go well and I am now up to the last assignment.  I have really enjoyed studying even if at times I found it really frustrating and hard to understand.  It was actually good to go to the Church AGM this week and understand the budget, profit & loss statement etc.  In the past they were just a bunch of numbers to me but know they have way more meaning and make sense.  I did have a wee glitch which meant I had to put my study on hold for a few weeks.  The hard drive on my computer decided it had worked hard enough and was going to give up the ghost.  Thankfully it gave me fair warning and I was able to back up all my files.  Off  the computer went to visit my brother Ron to see if he could fix it, which he could cause he is so clever.  I felt quite pleased that I had backed everything up, however a week later it suddenly occurred to me that  moving an icon from your desktop to your external hard drive does not back up and save that file - I'm not sure why I even thought it might. I had thought I had saved the book I was making about Roy onto my external hard drive when all I had saved was the desk top icon.  In a bit of a panic I sent Ron a txt to see if it was still saveable and he assured me that he was still able to access the hard drive and would therefore save the book for me so I didn't loose it - phew!!  Being computer less for 3+ weeks was really hard.  The 'old' computer down stairs still goes but it was really slow and it was also really cold having to sit down there to use it, it also wasn't able to run some of the programs I needed for my course, but I was able to take the work laptop home a few times which was really cool and meant I could continue with my studies.

Work continues to go well and I still love the job, it's just a shame there isn't enough funding for some more hours.  I am being given more and more responsibilities and David (my boss) is quite happy to leave me 'in charge' if he has to be in Kapiti for the morning or if he has a meeting to go too.  He usually leaves me as much work as he can find and my goal is to empty my table and fill his.  This is generally achievable.

Last time I mentioned about continuing with the card making group and I must say it has gone very well.  So far we have met twice, always on the first Wed of the month and to date we have made 4 cards.  Usually there are between 6-7 of us and we have a great time of not only card making but fellowship too.  Next month we are going to make some Christmas cards - I better put my thinking cap on and come up with some ideas.

Oh that is some news I haven't told you yet - I finally have a case manager at Winz -  Yip third time lucky so to speak.  She is a lovely enough lady, not overly helpful but at least she is sticking around.  This coming week will be my third visit with her.  I have to go and see her every 4 weeks - unfortunately.  I'm not sure what it is exactly but it always puts a damper on my day when I have to go for a Winz appointment.  It's hard to describe but I hate having to go there and it leaves me feeling a bit 'meh' when I've been.  The sooner I no longer have to have anything to do with them the better.

I mentioned earlier about the book I have been making for my grandchildren about Roy - well it's all done and I am quite pleased it.  I have ordered 5 copies one for each of my children and 1 for me.  I am hoping that they will arrive early next week.  I can't wait to see what they look like.  The other thing I have done is go and inquire about a headstone for Roy.  The plan at first was to have a wooden (rimu) cross made up and have a brass plaque attached, but after some discussion it was decided that this would not weather so well and would eventually need replacing.  We are now looking at a black granite plaque with a smooth face but raw edges for that out doors feel that was so much part of Roy's life.  I had thought that doing this would be emotionally hard, but it hasn't been the case at all.  The man at the funeral home who I talked to is a lovely, kind gentle man and I think that helped too.

In two weeks time I'm off to Christchurch to celebrate Asher's first birthday - wow 1 already.  I am so looking forward to it.  Maybe we'll get snow - that would make a nice change from the rain.  I will def be packing winter woollies.

Well I think that's about it for another epistle.  Goodness it has taken me almost half a day to write this, although I did get visitors half way through.  Before I end I'd just like to say it is still raining and doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon.  I will definitely have to watch the news tonight.

Now it's time to make dinner.

Until next time.  Stay safe and God bless.

Love and hugs