Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Merry Christmas to me ;0)

Today the trellis man and his right hand man came to install the new trellis railing around the deck and it looks amazing.  I am so please with the way it looks and it is definitely an improvement.  Jack however is not so pleased as now he can't look over the fence when someone comes down the drive. The only thing still missing is the gate as the one they had made is too big for the gap so they have to remake it, hopefully that will be installed tomorrow or Friday.

I think Roy would be very pleased too with the way it looks. I had a wee sad tearful moment after the guys had gone - a) because Roy wasn't here to see it and b) because I think he would have been proud that I organised this all by myself - heck I'm proud of myself.

Tuesday (my wedding anniversary) was an easier day than I'd thought it might be - a HUGE thanks to those who came to spend some time with me and to those who sent me words of encouragement via txts and emails.  Your love and support was very much appreciated.

Last weekend we had a family 'Christmas' although not everyone was able to make it.  It was nice to be able to spend sometime together and it was so nice watching Inge and Noah interacting together.  Inge is a clever wee girl who is talking heaps.  She is amazing at puzzles and it was funny watching Noah trying to 'help' her.

This week Tuesday was my last day of work for the year.  At this stage it is still up in the air whether there will be a job next year as it is dependent on whether they can get funding.  I am trusting that the Lord has this all sorted and either way there will be something for me in the New Year.

I just want to say a big thanks to all those who have followed my journey this past year by taking the time to read my blog.  Thanks too to those who continue to hold me before the Throne of Grace in their prayers, to those who regularly send me words of encouragement, to those who act as my sounding board when I'm feeling sad or frustrated and to those who send me gifts in mail - what lovely surprises they are.  Often I don't know who you are but I feel very blessed by your thoughtfulness, friendship and love.

I want to wish you all God's blessing this Christmas and may heaven's light shine on all that you do throughout 2014. May health and happiness come your way, may love fill your heart, may the Lord be your source of comfort and joy and may He grant you His peace. 

Till next year.

Love and blessings

Monday, 9 December 2013

Another 2 weeks has passed - where does the time go?  I think I need more hours in my day and maybe some more days in the week so I can get everything done.  I am starting to make a list of all jobs that need doing - so many 'little' and not so little things that Roy used to do and now I have to find time to do them along with all the other 'stuff' that fills my days. Thanks Hil for fixing my gate, hammering the nails back into the deck that had popped out and mowing my lawns.  Thanks to my Dad for spraying my weeds and trimming the 'triffid' bush.  I also have spouting that needs replacing; windows that really need painting - inside and out; a fence that needs it's nails hammered back in thanks to the neighbour boys kicking the ball against it; windows that need washing - I plan to do this when the wind stops blowing!! Oh and the lawn needs mowing again! Sometimes it is all just a little bit much and overwhelming.  Thank goodness the holidays are coming so I'll have time to do some of the jobs, but I'll def be needing volunteers to help with some of the others.

The last 2 weeks have gone very well, however yesterday (Sunday) was not a good day - it was 6 months (half a year!!) since Roy went home to be with the Lord. Boy did I cry a lot on Sunday. It didn't help that I was feeling very tired as I had been looking after my very cute but very energetic 9 month old grandson Noah since Thursday evening while his Mama and Papa were in Melbourne for the Bon Jovi concert. He was great and it all went really well, but I'm not used to having to have eyes everywhere and  I found myself missing Roy a lot over the past few days.  I take my hat off to grandparents who take on the care of their grandchildren for whatever reason, not that I wouldn't do the same if so called upon, but it is a HUGE commitment.  There is a reason God gives us children when we're young!!

As if the 6 month anniversary wasn't enough to contend with tomorrow I have to face another anniversary or should I say non-anniversary.  On the 10th December 1983 Roy and I were married and tomorrow would have been our 30th wedding anniversary.  So sad that we never made it but I do thank God that He blessed us with 29 1/2 years of life together.  Roy was first diagnosed with bladder cancer 25 years ago so every day and year God gave us truly was a blessing. He has also blessed us with 4 wonderful and loving children, 3 wonderful and loving children in law and 2 beautiful grandchildren.

I read the following from  "Meet Me in the Meadow" by Roy Lessin:

"Difficult things can cause us to ask, "Why did this happen?"
God may never reveal all His reasons to us, but He has revealed His character to us. His character assures us that He never makes mistakes, is never uncaring, and that He never separates Himself from our need."

What a comfort.

I don't know if the Lord will bless me with another 30 years on this earth, I hope so. If He does I don't know whether they will be years living alone or with a new love, but I trust that He has it all planned and will reveal things when His timing is right.  He will meet all my needs for He know me far better than I even know myself.  There is comfort in that too.

I can now reveal the good news I wrote about a month or so ago.  I am going to be an Oma again.  Tim and Yvette have been blessed with a baby, he/she is due in June.  This too is God's wonderful timing.  What a wonderful event to look forward esp as we face the 1 year anniversary of Roy's death.

On the quote front - no progress there I'm afraid as I am still waiting for 2 quotes.  I am planning to give them another few days and then decide.  In my book if you can't get a quote in when promised you really don't want the job.

Well I think that's pretty much it for now.  I'm actually to tired to think about what to write so I'm off for a soak in the bath with a lemon meringue bath bomb that smells heavenly and my book.

Till next time.

Love and blessings

Sunday, 24 November 2013

It's been 2 weeks since I last posted here and it's been a great 2 weeks.  Thanks so much to everyone who read my last blog and sent me words of encouragement and support.  I find it very therapeutic to write my thoughts and feelings down and I felt 100% better after I was done.  The Lord is good and His timing is always spot on.  I received the following devotion via email last week and it is sort of a another take on the 'just pedal' idea.

Under God's Umbrella
God's umbrella has kept me from getting soaked. It has given me peace, hope, and even joy in the midst of the hardest times I've ever faced. Several years ago God allowed a storm to brew in my life that I never expected. It began as a drop, became a drizzle, and finally the heavens opened, and I found myself in an outright downpour.
After my storm began, I spent a lot of time trying to make sense of things. How could a loving God let this happen? Why wasn't He taking care of me? I still don't have the answers to all of those questions, but I no longer wonder if God loves me. I can see His hand even in times of difficult . I can sense Him grieving with me when I'm sad. Most of all, I have His umbrella over me, and His presence with me. There's a verse that says "His banner over me is love." I have my own version of that verse now: His umbrella over me is love!
I've also come to believe we don't have to wait for blue skies in order for God to use the rain that's fallen in our lives. That can start right here, right now. So wherever you are and whatever your storm may be, know that you are not alone. God is with you, and He is whispering messages about the rain to your heart that will change your world forever if you only dare to believe them.
-Excerpt by Holley Gerth, from her devotional book Under God's Umbrella:

What a comfort and what a joy.  What an awesome God we have.

The last few weeks have been very busy - trips to Palmy each week to look after Noah - I'm still enjoying that sooooo much, he really is a delight even when he decides he's not going to sleep in the afternoon.  I have also worked 4 mornings over the last 2 weeks which has been great - still loving my job.

The weather too has been wonderful so I've spent a lot of time outside in the garden.  I have had to replant some more bean plants as the slugs/birds devoured the first lot.  I have also planted some new seeds and hope they will come up this time, there is a reason they put expiry dates on seed packets. I am going to put some 'decorations' in the garden in the hope that it'll keep the birds out.  I have also put down slug pellets for the slugs to munch on. The lawns are looking great and I am managing to keep them under control. I have an overabundance of lemons which I am slowly finding homes for and using myself.  Nothing is more refreshing than a glass of freshly squeezed lemons with some lemonade - delicious.  I really need to get stuck into the flower garden soon as all the bulb plants are starting to look a bit untidy and dead.

Over the last 2 weeks I have been busy getting some quotes done so that I can get a rail and gate put around my very unsafe and illegal deck.  So far 2 quotes are in and they are poles apart in price.  I'm waiting on another one and have another builder coming to quote on Tuesday afternoon - then it'll be decision time. I have decided against making the deck bigger and will just get this deck up to standard - it'll be good to have it done should I decide to again put the house on the market - no plans at this stage to do that though.  Happy to stay where I am for the time being.

Yesterday Aimee and I did our first market.  It wasn't great sales wise for either of us - wrong clientele, but it has got us motivated to do some other markets, something that I didn't think I'd be up to doing with Roy not being here, but I'm keen to give some of them a go - local ones only though not the big ones like Martinborough Fair or Petone Fair.

I am starting to think there is something wrong with me!!!!!!!!  I've always been a night owl (Roy was the morning person, not me) and now I find myself yawning at 8.30pm and seriously thinking about going to bed at 9.30pm - not like me at all.  And now instead I wake up - yip I'm wide awake - at 6am.  Mind you it doesn't help when there are some very enthusiastic and way too chirpy birds singing at the top of their lungs at 5.30am.  I don't even seem to be able to sleep in anymore :0(  I must say though it is very nice to have the time in the morning to sit outside on the deck in the sunshine to eat my breakfast, drink my coffee and read a chapter or two of my book.  What a treat.

I love this time of the year - t-shirt, shorts and jandel weather and it isn't even officially summer yet.  The warm nights aren't so great, I'm finding I start off sleeping just under a sheet when I go to bed cause it's just too warm and it's only November!!  I have been thinking about taking Jack to the beach now that the evenings are  longer light but can't seem to get myself motivated to do it.  I really miss having someone to do that sort of thing with and other things too like going out for a meal, or going to a movie, or even believe it or not going to the stock cars on a Saturday night up in Palmy.  And along those lines kissing, romance and sex should be banned from TV - just saying!! ;0)

Well it's almost 9.30 again so nearly bedtime.  Hopefully Jack behaves tonight.  Last night he was in and out like a yoyo - that's not so bad but he was constantly barking when he was outside which is very unlike him and will not have impressed the neighbours, esp at 2am. There must be a hedgehog somewhere in the garden and he's not happy about it.  I wasn't so happy about it either as it meant I had to get up to check there wasn't someone skulking in my backyard and to 'sort' him out.  After a very stern telling off he stayed inside for the rest of the night - I think.

Well I wish you all God's blessing this week.

Love and hugs

Monday, 11 November 2013

I'm not really sure what to write this week.  I can honestly say it had been a very good week until Sunday afternoon when I got some news.  News which I can't actually share yet and it's news that although I sort of expected it might be coming it has still rocked my world - a lot.  And it's not so much the news even though it is painfully sad, it's the sudden reality of how very much I still miss Roy, esp at a time like this.  I thought I was doing ok but so wish he was here to hold me in his arms and tell me that everything is going to be ok and we'll get through this together. But he isn't, so I have to process this all on my own.  My emotions are raw and very, very close to the surface and I feel so incredibly heart broken, sad and even though I'm surrounded with people who love me I still feel alone - unconnected. I have shed so many tears in the last 24 hours that my headaches, my eyes are puffy and sore, my stomach hurts and my heart is heavy.

Last week I wrote that I was progressing, moving ahead, rebuilding my life but now it feels like the wounds that I thought were healed have all been ripped open again and to be honest I'm a bit angry about that because I don't want/like to feel this way.  Some of you very wise souls out there will be shaking your heads and thinking, but it's still early days, it's only just gone 5 months and Jolanda you are doing well - and you're right it is early days, and it is only just gone 5 months - but oh it seems so much longer.  I thought I had overcome that hollow empty feeling, but I really haven't.  I've just buried it and pretended that it isn't there anymore by smiling and nodding in all the right places.  I actually feel like yelling 'Stop the world cause I want to get off!!!' because I've had enough, I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want this life it's too hard, I want my old life back.  I want to be happy, carefree and self assured.  I want to be whole again, not broken and sad. I want!! I want!! I want!!

I have so many why questions that there are no earthly answers too - but the biggest is why can't I leave this burden at the Throne of Grace????  Why do I keep picking it back up again?? Why does this plague me so much and why do I feel no peace??  Maybe it's because I'm trying to do things my way rather than letting the Lord lead and guide me.  Maybe I need to start putting my trust completely in Him.  Here's the kicker - I thought I was!!

This earthly life is not meant to be easy - circumstances are going happen and people will do things (both intentionally and unintentionally) that are going to cause us pain and sorrow. We can let it all get us down or we can give ourselves a proverbial kick in the bum and get over it.  I need to get over myself. I need to give myself a kick in the bum, stop wallowing in self pity and look at the blessings in my life.  As I've written before it would seem that I again have a choice to make - I can look inward or I can look upward.  I think I'd better start working a bit harder on my upward looking.  I really covet your prayers this week to help me through because I know that I can't do it in my own strength.

I received a wonderful article from my sister which is entitled "Just Pedal" - the author unknown but Charles Swindoll used it in one of his sermons.


At first, I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong,
so as to know whether I merited heaven, or hell when I die.
He was out there, sort of like a president. 
I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn't know Him. 

But later on when I met Christ,
it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride,
but it was a tandem bike
and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal. 

I don't know just when it was that He suggested we 
changed places,
but life has not been the same since.
When I had control  I knew the way.
It was rather boring, but predictable...
It was the shortest distance between two points. 

But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long 
up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds,
it was all I could do to hang on! 
Even though it looked like madness, He said,

I worried and was anxious and asked, "Where are 
you taking me?"
He laughed and didn't answer,
and I started to learn to trust.
I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure.
And when I'd say, "I'm scared,"
He'd lean back and touch my hand. 

He took me to people with gifts that I needed,
gifts of healing, acceptance and joy.
They gave me their gifts to take on my journey,
my Lord's and mine.
And we were off again.

He said, "Give the gifts away; they're extra baggage, 
too much weight."
So I did, to the people we met,
and I found that in giving I received,
and still our burden was light. 

I did not trust Him, at first, to be in control of my life.
I thought He'd wreck it;
but He knows bike secrets,
knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
jumps to clear high rocks,
fly to shorten scary passages.

 I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places,
and I'm beginning to enjoy the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Christ. 

And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore,
He smiles and says...

" Just Pedal."
Author Unknown

So I guess that's what I need to do - just pedal and leave everything else up to the Lord, because He knows what He's doing. 

Thanks for listening.

Love and blessings

Sunday, 3 November 2013

I'm progressing!!  Yip I really am and it feels good.

This morning it struck me that I have often said that I am taking things day by day, but I can now say that I'm taking things week by week.  This past week has been a great week - not totally without tears I'll admit, but a great week anyway.

That doesn't however mean that I don't still live one day at a time, because I do.  I was talking about this week with my sister in law and she mentioned about a card she received from someone saying that that's the way the Lord wants us to live.  God is a God of the present and we see that in His name 'I AM'.  God is not named 'I was' (past tense) nor is He named 'I will be' (future tense) - no He is named I AM - that's present tense, the here and now.  God wants us to live for today cause that's where He is.  Not worry about what has been cause we can't change that, nor should we worry about the future cause He has that in His hand.  What a comfort and what a joy to know that He is with us everyday.  Thank you Lord.

As I mentioned last week I had BIG plans for Monday and I got it done even after a sleep in.  The weather was wonderful so I decided to get stuck into the water blasting.  Firstly I had to de-spider my black gumboots which I probably haven't worn since the last time I did water blasting.  An old plastic bag sure comes in handy for that job because there was no way I was going to put my naked hand into those gumboots.  I'm really not a great fan of spiders.  Give me a mouse or even a weta any day.  My gummies were given the all clear so I donned them and my waterproof gear, fired up the water blaster and got to work.  At first the going was slow, but I soon got into the swing and all the water pre-soaked the paths and then it was a breeze.  The problem I find with water blasting is that it is very hard to stop.  After I'd done all the paths I was very, very tempted to do the concrete deck and the tiled patio as well but when I saw it was already 4pm I thought I'd better stop.  There is a saying that something is so clean you can eat off it, well that was definitely true for my paths.  They look fantastic you could eat off them ;0)  While the paths looked great I  however didn't look so fantastic as I ended up wearing a layer of grit and I was pretty wet too just proving that my wet weather gear was not so waterproof anymore.  Funnily I had a number of Rawleigh customers that day and I must have looked a fright but I just told them I was water blasting.

Here is a before and after photo - the concrete in the after is still a bit wet, but you can definitely see the difference.

While I was busy doing the water blasting a friend came and put up a trellis fence for me and Joel came and mowed the bank.  The new fence looks great and adds a rustic look.  It covers the horrible stuff that the neighbour has up on her side of the fence and will look even better once the passionfruit starts growing up it.  Here is another pic.

I expected to wake up feeling very stiff on Tuesday morning but I felt fine so hi ho, hi ho off to work I did go.  I love, love, love my wee job it is really awesome.  I applied for another part time job via the Work and Income Find a Job website and am still waiting to hear.  I haven't heard anything from the job I applied for last week.  I have also decided to pull out of my course.  I just feel I really wouldn't be able to do it justice what with my head still being so full already, I am enjoying the admin job and may look at doing some 'study' in that direction in the future.  Also the prospect of having to study over Christmas/New Year while everyone is holidaying is a bit of a depressing thought, so I wrote to them and the accepted my withdrawal.  The refund will come in handy too.

On Wednesday I still felt fine with not an achy muscle in sight or rather to be felt.  I spent a wonderful day looking after my very handsome wee grandson - I'm only a little bit biased of course.  On Thursday my sister in law came for a visit and we had an awesome time together, however as the day progressed I started to feel more and more achy esp in my left shoulder blade.  That night it was so bad I could hardly move my left arm because of the pain - boy what I wouldn't have given for a massage, but a wheatsack and panadol had to suffice.  It has taken a few days but now it is pretty much back to normal, although in certain positions the left shoulder blade still aches a bit, but it's more uncomfortable and painful.

This week I have also done a heap of sewing - I have a new product line that I plan to release this week on Moppie - great Christmas presents so do pop over to my Moppie page on Facebook later this week and take a look.

While in my sewing room on Sat I could hear children's voices that sounded very close by.  When I looked out the window I saw 4 young children running full speed down my driveway laughing.  Jack must of heard them too and started barking - I've never seen such little legs move so fast uphill.  It was very funny.  They live 2 doors up, but I'm pretty sure they won't be back in a hurry.

Well that was the week that was.  All in all a great week.  I am sitting here now watching the neighbour's fireworks.  Jack however isn't so impressed, he hates fireworks so it's going to be a rough few evenings for him I think.

Wishing you God's blessing for this week.

Much love

PS: Dad found this Far Side cartoon that I just had to share.  Enjoy :0)

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Do you ever find that your head gets so full of 'stuff' that it feels like there isn't any room left.  That's a bit how I feel this week - so much 'stuff' to think about and process that I am feeling a bit mentally exhausted.  Not having someone here to bounce ideas off, discuss and share things with is really hard and quite tiring.  I think we can often take for granted having someone in our lives to share with - be it ideas, our day, our concerns, the housework/gardening, what to have for dinner, where to go on holiday, whether or not to buy this or that or even the simple thing of who is going to shower first.  I miss that very much.  Now the buck stops with me!!  Amazingly I am still sleeping really well at night and not working through stuff in my sleep.  What a blessing or I'd be also saying I was physically tired.

On Tuesday I dropped in my signed contract and arranged to start my new job on Wednesday, although normally I will be working on a Tuesday.  It was very exciting and scary at the same time.  I also went to the doc that day to get for a general check up and had my blood pressure taken - amazingly it was fine so I have a clean bill of health.  Praise the Lord.

On Wednesday I started my new job and it was great.  I really enjoyed it.  Plenty to learn and plenty to organise but that's ok.  I also applied for another part time Office Admin job this week with negotiable hours, but I haven't heard anything back from that one yet.  I am finding that the week flies by and I need to still find my rhythm so that I get everything that I need to do done.

After work (haha it feels good to write that) I went to have lunch with Mum and Dad and then I had to go to my Winz seminar on writing a cover letter and CV.  The seminar took all of 20 mins - they handed out some info sheets on how to write your CV and cover letter, talked through them and said if anyone needed a hand to let them know.  There were 5 of us at the seminar, well 6 actually but the other female had her day wrong and was supposed to be there the day before so she didn't stay.  I was pleased to get it done and the good news is that I don't have to go to anymore as I have a job, even if it is only part time job at this stage - yippppeeeeeeee!!!!!  The lady who took the seminar was very, very nice and I had a lovely chat with her afterwards - it just goes to show that there are humans working at Winz after all.

On Wednesday evening I went along to Bible Study.  We are doing a study series on Parables and the one we did was the wise and foolish virgins and being ready for the Lord's return.  It was very interesting and we had some good discussion.  Whether the Lord returns in my life time is actually not something I've thought about much or I'm definitely not worried about.  Should I die before His return that's a win and should He return before I die that's also a win - win win either way - my 'job' in the meantime is to live my life in a way that brings glory and honor to Him.  I need to let my light shine ...... so that my Father in heaven will be glorified - Matthew 5:16.

The weather this past week hasn't been great - lots of rain and wind.  Definitely over the wind.  Yesterday was beautiful however, even if it was still windy, so I spent the day outside.  I am really getting the hang of this lawn mowing thing.  I also did all the lawn edges and around the pavers that are in the lawn so they look square again.  All in all the grounds are looking great.  The seeds I planted a few weeks ago aren't doing so well however with only lettuce and radishes having come up.  I think I better buy some new seed or go to the garden centre and get some plants of the things I want.  Dad came and put a new board in front of the compost bin to keep Jack out.  This week he managed to climb into the compost bin after I had emptied the scrap container. When he was done he came back inside and I had mucky paw print stains all over the carpet  - grrrrrrrrrrrr I was not impressed.   I can definitely recommend the Freedom brand of carpet cleaner. :0)

Tomorrow, after a sleep in and if the weather is fine I plan to do some water blasting.  My paths around the back are pretty slippery when it's wet so it's time to give them a clean.  I LOVE waterblasting and I have plenty of concrete so I'll be busy for a while.  I would really love to do the drive way too but that is a HUGE job so we'll see how we get on.  I have to keep in mind not to over do it as I have to work the next day and need to be able to move - lol!!

I think my cat is starting to get a bit neurotic - the poor thing is being hassled by birds.  Yip that's right birds.  My neighbour has a huge Rhododendron tree in her back garden and living in that tree is a pair of thrushes who must return every year and have a nest in the tree.  When the cat is outside the birds sit on the fence squawking and flapping their wings at her.  This morning she was sitting inside enjoying the sun and the birds came right up onto the deck squawking and carrying on.  It was actually very funny to watch, although the cat didn't seem to impressed - she kept making these funny noises and flicking her tail.  Those birds better watch out.  Last year they got so noisy the neighbour set the hose on them to try and scare them away - it didn't work.

Funnily I now find I self correct myself when I am writing or talking - where once I talked/wrote about we, us and our; I find I have now started to change to I, me, my and mine.  I guess it's another step in the moving forward process.

While looking for a quote to put in a sympathy card this week I came across the following quote by Kahlil Gibran which I thought was quite nice.

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

Till next time.

Love and blessings

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Where has the week gone??  It doesn't seem so long ago that I was sitting here writing my blog and now I'm doing it again.

All in all it's been a good week in which a lot has happened - some of which I can write about and some of which I can't ;-)

I had an absolutely wonderful day looking after Noah on Monday.  He is such a gem and so much fun.   In the morning I had some messages to do including visiting a Rawleigh customer so we went out.  The customer thought Noah was just sooooooooooooo cute and he of course was full of smiles for her.  I love watching Noah as he goes about exploring his world - he loves to chase the cat, has a thing for computers and cell phones and loves having cuddles.  He is chatting a lot more now and it is funny watching him play with his toys while chatting away.  I feel really blessed to be able to spend the day with him.

Tuesday it was pouring with rain when I woke up, but off to my appointment with Winz I went.  All in all it was a good appointment - they were on time and they realised that they were in the wrong and so put things right - however I need to attend 5 'workshops' to meet my obligations to them so that I keep receiving my benefit.  Oh I have also been 're-classified' I am  apparently no longer classified as a widow but as a job seeker.  Although the meeting went well I still came away feeling down, unsettled and emotional.  I think at times it rained as hard inside the house as it did outside.  I hate the fact that I am now in a position where I am 'beholden' to them and that they have so much 'say' into my life because they pretty much hold the purse strings at the moment.  I hate feeling like a second rate person when you have to go to see them and their total lack of empathy and understanding is frustrating.  I get that they don't make the rules, but that doesn't excuse their manner to people.  I think I'd be hopeless in that job because I'd become too involved and probably take all the baggage home and then not be able to sleep at night.  They are probably all  really lovely people outside of work, but the job and situations they have to deal with has made them 'hard'.  Shame that those of us who need a bit of empathy and understanding also bear the brunt of that hardness.

Thanks to Diana for coming with me to my Winz meeting and thanks to my Mum and Dad for putting me back together later in the day after I'd fallen apart.  Love you guys lots.

God's timing is always perfect because I did get some good news on Tuesday which made my day but I can't tell you what it is yet.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I had a friend come and stay which was awesome.  We did lots of chatting, laughing and crying, coffee/tea drinking, dinner in and dinner out, sharing and encouraging.  It was really great and I appreciate that she took the time to come and spend a few days with me.  There is however a downside (still) to having someone come and stay because when they leave again it makes me so much more aware of my loneliness.  Maybe over time as I became 'used' to my singleness this will become easier, but at the moment it leaves me feeling sad. The loss of having someone to share my life with is still HUGE and I sometimes wonder if I'll ever get over it.  I do know that God will only answer my prayers for 'companionship' when I can truly accept and be content in my 'new' life of singleness - it's a catch 22 really.

Grieving really is hard work,  somedays I'm doing really, really well, life is sweet, I'm happy in myself and by myself. I think surely I must be almost on the other side when WHAM something happens that re-ignites the feeling of loneliness and loss that death brings into your life. Actually I don't think re-ignites is the right word really cause the loneliness is always there - I guess it refuels the smouldering embers of loneliness.  It happened this morning - I had to iron some pants to wear to Church (yes I know I should have ironed them yesterday but I didn't - lesson learnt) - the radio came on when I switched on the iron and the song playing had the lyrics "I don't want to wake up alone anymore".  I burst into tears, because I really, really don't want to wake up alone anymore, but I have no choice because this is the path that the Lord has set before me whether I like it or not.  So for today I am again struggling, but tomorrow WILL be better.  I know that it is still early days and maybe I am actually trying to run before I can actually walk.  In the book I'm reading "Getting to the other side of grief" the author says that growing together as husband and wife takes time so don't expect to unweave your life tapestry overnight.  Grieving takes time and I need to allow myself the time and energy I need to get through it.  I pray that with each day, week and month that passes that life will become easier to bear, although I'm sure there will still be plenty of setbacks along the way and that eventually with the Lord's help I will come to the other side of my grief.

On a more positive and happier note on Thursday I had my interview for the Admin Assistant job that I had applied for. The interview went really well and later that day I was offered the job which I accepted.  WAHOO!!!! I am soooooooooooooooo wrapped.  All excited and scared at the same time.  At this stage it is a short term contract until 17 Dec and only 3 hours a week, but the hope is that they will get funding to continue the position next year and increase the hours and responsibility to including learning some of the work that the manager does.  This is such a great confidence boost for me and I can really see the Lord's hand at work in it all.  He truly does provide exactly what we need when we need it.  I have read through the rather wordy contract (and got Dad to read through it too) - it's all good to go so I'll sign it and drop it into the office on Tuesday and I'll be employed :-)

On the garden front - some of the seeds I planted last week have started to come up.  So far I have lettuce and radishes peeking through the soil.  I'm not sure if the others will do anything as some of the seed was a bit old. The bean plants are also doing well and can soon have their covers removed and I have rogue pumpkin plants popping up all over the place.  I keep pulling them out, however I am now thinking of transplanting one into a pot and letting it grow there.  I also plan to plant a cucumber in a pot too, that way I don't have the vines growing all over the lawn and making it impossible to mow it properly - goodness we can't have that!!  My red currant trees have a heap of berries on them, but I don't think my passionfruit vine was too happy with the 'chop' I gave it and doesn't look like it'll survive.  Thankfully Dad had another one for me which I'll eventually plant when it's a bit bigger.  The lemons are looking nice and healthy and there is a good crop on the tree.  I am also enjoying a daily glass of freshly squeezed orange juice from the oranges growing on my orange tree.  Yum.

Well I think I've rambled on enough for this week.  Thanks for taking the time to read what I've written. Excuse the mistakes - I'm not so good at proofreading my own work.

 I hope that in some small way I can help lighten the load for those of you out there who are going through a similar thing. "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Have a blessed week.


Sunday, 13 October 2013

I am so pleased this week is over.  It started ok and ended ok but the middle wasn't so great.  If I was a superstitious person I'd think I'd jinxed myself by writing about that 'other shoe' last week - but I'm not superstitious, I've just struggled with grief this week.  I'm not really sure why??  Maybe because it was 4 months since Roy's death, maybe it was the letter I received from WINZ,  maybe it was because I was ultra tired from not sleeping well.  I'm not really sure.  I think grief just comes when it comes, it stays for a while and then slowly goes away until the next time.  I think that's just the way it works.  Sometimes it will stay away for a long time and sometimes it just lurks around the corner, but eventually over time with the Lord's help it will become less or maybe just more manageable.

So what did I get up to this week?  I spent Monday with my sister, 2 of her children, Mum and Dad and my sister-in-law.  It was really nice to spend some family time together.

Tuesday I spent the day outside in the garden.  Yes I again did that 'thing' that last week I said I wasn't going to write about ;-)  I also pruned the feijoa tree, planted bean plants and veggie seeds in the garden and fixed the hole in the back of the shed before the rain came.  Maybe I overdid it though because even though I was really tired I slept really really badly that night and I woke up feeling tired and emotional.  Needless to say that set the mood for the next couple of the days, so although I did get a lot of sewing done on Wednesday and Thursday I also cried much more than I have in a long time.  The ache of emptiness and loneliness went very, very deep this week.  Oh how Satan likes to get hold of us at our weakest moments and make us doubt, question why and fret about the future.  He is the master of cunning and worms his way into our thoughts wreaking havoc as he does so.  I WILL NOT ALLOW HIM TO LED ME ASTRAY.  The Lord is my Shepherd and He WILL guard me well - in Him I will not want nor will I have anything to fear.  Thanks Pastor Charles Price for an awesome sermon tonight on Shine TV.  Just what I needed to hear.

Last time I mentioned that there was a possible matter pending with WINZ - well that proved to be true this week when a letter arrived from them informing me that they were halving my benefit because I had not attended a Work and Income seminar on Monday.  I was not impressed - actually that's putting it mildly I was spitting mad - when I had received the initial letter about the seminar I had emailed them straight away to the email address provided in the letter to let them know that I was unable to attend due to a prior commitment which had been made many weeks earlier.  I also pointed out in the email the steps I had already been taking in finding some work, the course I have enrolled for  and that I needed time to get the business back on it's feet after months of neglect due to Roy's illness and death.  Well apparently they never got it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yes I definitely sent it to the correct email address - I double checked that straight away.  Why provide an email address with the name of a contact person if you're not going to check it?????????????????  Grrrrrrrrrrrr they are so frustrating.  It's like bashing your head against a brick wall - you only end up hurting yourself and the wall feels nothing.  I now have an appointment with them at 8.30am on Tuesday to sort this whole thing out.  I am bringing along all my proof of job applications and my Open Polytec registration and a copy of my email for their file.  And they better be on time for a change.  Not sure how you can possibly be running behind already at 8.30 in the morning so we'll see what happens.  There could be much more to this story.  Please pray that everything works out.

Speaking of job applications - I have an interview this week for the job I applied for - yippee!!  The job is a short term contract - at this stage - as Admin Assistant for English Language Partners here in Levin.  It is only for 3 hours a week, but it a good starting place.  Please pray that my interview on Wednesday goes well.

As I mentioned I did get some sewing done and I finished the dresses I was making for Inge.  Here are some photos of the 3 new outfits she is getting. Inge herself picked the fabric for the 'Spot' outfit.

My week ended with Noah coming to spend the night on Saturday night so his Papa and Mama could go away and celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary.  It was so nice to look after this handsome wee man.  He was very good, although he did wake at 2am.  He chatted to himself for a while and then I gave him a bottle and he happily went back to sleep.  He was very good in Church too this morning and had a smile for all the ladies who came to see him.  How could you not love this face.

Well I guess that's it about this week.  This week I am going to put my positive hat back on, give myself a kick in the pants and look upwards and forwards.  God will guard me well and I can rest easy in that promise.

Well it's time for a cup of lavender and peppermint tea, to close the curtains and turn the heater on as it's cooling down so I wish you all God's blessing for this week.

Till next time.

Much love

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Last week I tried to write my blog but things just weren't flowing so I gave up.  So here I am again giving it another go.

Herewith are the highlights of the past 2 weeks:

The car went in for her service and came out with a clean bill of health and me a number of $$ poorer.  NZ didn't manage to win the America's cup and although it was sad moment after all their dedication and hardwork life does go on and I'm sure they'll live to sail another day.

The never ending saga with lawn mowing continues to be the bane of my life.  Yes I've had lawn mower troubles again - after doing a bit of lawn I once again couldn't restart the mower - I was starting to think I was getting weaker rather than stronger.  I checked the petrol and there was def some in the tank so I had no idea why the machine would start.  Out of sheer frustration and anger I burst into tears - I was so angry at Roy for dying and leaving me with lawns to mow!!  How crazy is that!!!  Anyway after I'd calmed down from my wee melt down I rang my Dad and he came round and low and behold he couldn't start the mower either. That did make me feel a whole lot better I must admit.  He fiddled with the air filter, and checked the oil and petrol but she was a no goer.  We decided to leave it for the time being and Dad was going to talk to my brother.  To cut a long story short Dad came back the next day and discovered that although there was petrol in the tank there was not enough petrol - apparently, so he topped it up and she went like a charm.  Feeling a little sheeppish but the lesson I have here-by learnt is if she doesn't go feed her some fuel ;-)

Needless to say this week I again have to mow some lawns - grass grows very fast at this time of the year so it feels like an never ending job.

Besides lawn mowing (I promise not to write about it next week - haha yeah right!!) I've been on holiday again.  Yip this time I took a road trip all by myself and went to visit family in Hawkes Bay. The driving went really well, but the down side of travelling by yourself is that you have way too much time to think even with music playing, so there were a few tears on the way up due to memories and on the way home too but I blame them on 2 songs on the cd by Bread that I was listening too.  It's funny the unexpected things that just hit a nerve when you least expect it.

I had an awesome time in Hastings, spending time with family and friends, interacting with Inge and reading heaps and heaps of books together, going to the aquarium, going for walks, playing heaps of games, good food, good conversations and relaxing.  I must admit that I thought the Sunday morning service was going to be hard as part of the text that Pastor David was preaching on was my wedding text (Philippians 1:24a)  but it was all good and Pastor David had an awesome sermon.

It was a good first to face and I look forward to doing it again.  Coming home was easier this time and Jack sure was pleased to see me.  Apparently he'd been a bit off his food while I was away so he must have been missing me - how nice to be missed by someone even if it is the dog!!

These past 2 weeks I have had a few issues with ACC, Work and Income and the credit card!  ACC and the credit card have been sorted and I sent a letter to Work and Income but to date have had no response so that is now a pending matter.

I am applying for another job and this time I'd really love to get it. It's only for 3 hours on a Tuesday but it's a good start.  I'll let you know how it goes and tell you more about it then.  Thanks again to my sister-chick Jackie for looking over and tweaking my CV.  I am also going to be looking after grandson Noah one day a week while his Mama and Papa work.  I am really looking forward to that.  Next weekend he is coming to spend Sat night with Oma while his parents go away to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary.  Not sure how much sleep I'll be getting Sat night.  It also suddenly struck me what to do with him when I have a shower in the morning  - I tried to think back to when my own children were that little and I honestly can't remember what I did.  He'll just have to hang-out in the port-a-cot with some toys till I'm done.

This past week I have also done a bit of work on promoting my business - I have contacted two outlets to see whether they might be interested in stocking some of my items - to date I haven't heard anything back but nothing ventured nothing gained.  I have prayed about it and it is now in the Lord's hands.

I am also trying to decide whether or not to carry on with the Rawleigh side of the business.  It is really, really frustrating.  On Friday I lost 3 potential customers as I was not able to supply them with the items they were after.  At the moment I am unable to stock a number of medicinal items because they come from Australia - something to do with Pharmac I think???  I don't really understand it all!!   All I am allowed to do is mail order for my customers and Rawleigh sends the product directly to them at Rawleigh's cost, however even that is becoming frustrating because one of the items is once again out of stock and I have a number of customers who have paid and are waiting for their product.  I was told that the product would be in NZ by the end of Sept, but apparently it is still waiting to pass a quality control check and only then can it be booked onto a boat and shipped over.  At this rate it won't be here till the end of the month.  Things better start improving or I don't think it'll be worth my while carry on next year when my membership come up for renewal.

This past week I finally finished the custom orders that I had and they will be sent away on Monday.  I sure hope the lady likes them - I think they look great.  I am now sewing some new outfits for Inge and I will post some photos next week when they are done.

So all in all it's been a good couple of weeks full of both highs and lows - and that's ok.  I have had a number of people mention to me that I am doing very, very well and I think I am coping well but it does make me wonder if "the other shoe is yet to drop".  I guess if it happens it happens and I'll face it then and I'm sure there will be plenty of people to help pick up the piece.  I trust that the Lord knows what He has in store for my life and He will reveal it to me in His good time.  This week it'll be 4 months since Roy's death - so short and yet I feel I have come so far.

I am wanting/needing to do some renovations on the outside of the house.  I have a rather high concrete deck which needs a rail to stop grand-children from falling off, not that they purposely plan to fall off but the combination of little children and a big dog could have a bad outcome.  I'd also like to lower and extend the wooden part of the deck to make it more versatile.  Son Tim maybe be able to come up and do the work, but if there is anyone out there who is good with a pencil and paper and would like to draw a picture for me of what I want then please let me know.

On a far lighter note this weekend I did my housework.  Yes I do do it regularly I am a Dutch housewife afterall.  What struck me this time was that I actually enjoyed doing my housework because I knew that everything was going to stay clean until 'I' decided to use it.  No-one was going to come and wash dirty hands in my nice clean sink until I did, or use my shiny clean shower or toilet until I did - it was very satisfying in a weird sort of way. Haha!!!!

Well I think that is definitely enough rambles for another week.

Wishing you all a blessed week and may the weather continue to get better.  Loving the longer daylight in the evenings very much.

Till next time much love

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Wow blogging twice in one day :-)

I got the following from my sis and I just wanted to share it.

I want to say a BIG thank you to the mystery person who sent me a lovely letter and gift in the mail earlier this week.  Your kindness and thoughtfulness was very much appreciated even if I don't know who you are.  I love getting unexpected surprises in the post - it sure beats bills anyday.

In your letter you asked if I was at peace and until this week I thought I was.  However this past week has been a tough week.  Probably a mix of post holiday blues and missing Roy - a lot.  Tears and emotions have been my close companions this week, which I guess is all part of the grieving process.  Some weeks it seems will be easier than others.

I have really felt this week is that the Lord has been trying to get my attention.  I guess it started already with last Sunday's sermon where the Pastor talked about ensuring that whether you are married or single that the Lord is your focus and that in either state you need to be content.  This is what I have been finding the hardest - being content in my singleness.

God's 'prodding' continued with the arrival of the mystery letter as the text at the bottom of the letter was from Philippians 4:4-7 which says:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

And then todays sermon was on that exact same text.

Prod, prod!!

So what have I finally come to understand??

That true peace is not found in positive thinking, good feelings or an absence of conflict.  True peace comes from knowing that God is in control of everything.  I can rejoice because I know that God is there beside me every step of the way.  I need to take the focus off myself and place it on Him, because He will supply all my needs.  When we submit to the will of God we have true peace.

Likewise true contentment can also only be found when I focus on the Lord - will this always be easy???  No not always.  Maybe this discontentment that I have with being single and alone is for the time being my 'thorn in the flesh'!  My daily reminder to focus upwards, because I really have two options, I can let discontentment overwhelm me, let it eat me up inside and in the process become bitter and maybe a bit twisted - inward focusing.
I can give it to the Lord and rejoice in the knowledge that all things are in His loving hands, that everyday He showers me with earthly blessings and He has a good plan for my life.

So I rejoice that because of Christ's great gift to me, salvation through His death on the cross, I can freely go to the Throne of Grace knowing that my petitions will be heard.  I rejoice because death has no dominion over me nor will the grave ever hold me captive.  How can I not rejoice and be upwards focusing.

So back to the question in the letter - am I at peace?  I'm daily working on it.

Am I content??  Not yet, I hate it and it sucks!!!!  Just had to have a wee vent :-) But I am daily working on this too.

No matter how much I may dislike it this is a rocky road that I and many other like me have to travel.  It's a road which although it has some smooth patches, has lots more lumps, bumps and potholes.  Sometimes the going is good and easy, but sometimes the going is hard and discouraging.  It's the path that God has set before me, with His help and guidance the lumps, bumps and potholes WILL become less and the path WILL eventually become smooth again.

Before you start to worry about me my week has had some good patches too - nothing like keeping busy to keep the mind occupied.

Tuesday was a 'P' day as in I processed payments, packed parcels and then posted them.  In the afternoon I also mowed the lawns - again :-)  At the moment with the warmer weather and now rain I'm going to try and do them weekly so I keep on top of them.  I managed to get the back done and the bit outside the gate and then I ran out of oomph - in that I couldn't start the lawn mower anymore as I had no more pulling power!! Fancy that!!! ;-)  I've decided that next time I'm going to start with the front!

On Wednesday I had regained my pulling power and I managed to finish the front lawns including having to lift the lawn mower up onto the bank so I could mow that piece as well.  I'm not so keen on having to mow the bank as the lawn mower is very heavy to lift - son Joel has kindly said he will come and do the bank for me from now on.  By the by if anyone out there ever feels an urgent need to run behind a lawn mower for an hour or so please do let me know, refreshments will be supplied  ;-)

I also managed to get a bit of sewing done this week, I have almost finished the custom orders that I received last week.

This week I also booked the car into the car hospital to get her cam belt replaced. I wanted to get it done before my next trip away.   Hmmm it's going to be a bit more of a costly job than I first thought, but at least they're throwing in a free service.

Yip if you caught that I'm off again soon - this time on a road trip all by myself to visit Ryan, Ineke and Inge in Hastings.  I'll tell you all about it later.

Well that's pretty much my week - I have definitely enjoyed  the glorious weather at the beginning of the week but not so much the last few days which have been wet, although not cold.  I'm a sunshine person - it goes with my usually sunny disposition ;-)

Oh that's the other thing I've done this week I've sat glued to the TV every morning at 8am - like a lot of New Zealanders I suspect - to watch the Americas Cup. Exciting stuff - loving it even if it is a bit nerve wracking!!  Only 1 point to go!!

So that's it from me for another week. This has turned into a super long epistle yet again and if you've managed to read this far congratulations and well done you've made it to the end.  Pat yourself on the back!!

Wishing you God's blessing this week and may we all find true peace in Him.

Love and blessings till next time.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Holidays are great till you come home to a mountain of work to catch up on.

That's where I've been this last week - I've been on holiday in Christchurch.

The week didn't start so great.  I slept really badly on Sunday night - I know what you're thinking nerves about the trip, but no that wasn't the case at all.  Instead I was stamp collecting - well actually stamp sorting!!!!!  I have no idea why, except that the week before I had spent some time sorting all Roy's mint stamps to work out what to sell and what to keep.  Why it took so long to come out into my dreams I have no idea - it was weird and annoying.

Monday finally dawned bright and sunny.  After some last minute packing and organising I was off.  Firstly I stopped to get petrol where low and behold when I went to pay my eftpos card was declined - twice!!  I couldn't understand it as I knew for sure that there was money in my account.  Thank goodness for Mastercard :-)  I then proceeded to the Post Office to post some letters and while there decided to try my card at my banks ATM machine.  Well you wouldn't believe it my jolly card got gobbled up by the machine -  now what???  I was about to fly to Christchurch on holiday with no money!!  So into the bank I went to see what the heck was going on.  While I patiently waited for a teller to come free it suddenly dawned on me what had happened.  The week before I had been into the bank to remove Roy's name from the bank accounts.  They had obviously done that and then the bank had cancelled his eftpos card which was the card that I had been using (he had had mine) - we got them mixed up when they sent out the new ones.  The teller was very helpful and in no time at all I was all sorted and the owner of a new eftpos card and on my way.  Boy I was pleased I had left a little bit earlier than planned.

I had an uneventful drive up to Palmy.  After a quick catch up with Aimee, Richard and Noah Richard took me to the airport.  It quickly became apparent that I do not fly very often because I was sure the baggage allowance was 25kg, I had even weighed my suitcase before leaving home and was chuffed to see it was just under that amount - but I discovered it's 23kg and the lady told me to take some items out and put them in my hand luggage or I'd have to pay the $50 overweight fee.  So there I was on my knees removing my Bible and some other books and stopping them into my hand luggage all the time thinking how silly it really was as the weight was still going to be on the plane.  When I reweighed my suitcase it was 22.5kg and good to go - phew.  I have also decided that I pack way too much stuff, so next time I plan to take less - yeah right!!!!!

It was a good flight down and Tim was there to meet me - he dropped me off at his place and went back to work and I spent what was left of the afternoon making myself at home, making some arrangements for the week and getting acquainted with Tim and Yvette's very cute wee puppy George.

I had an awesome and busy week in Christchurch.

On Tuesday I spent part of the day with a friend who even though she had a bad mirgain was determined to take me out for coffee - thanks Janice I'm glad you're now feeling much better. We'll have to do it again properly next time.  That night I was invited out to dinner with some other dear friends and I had a really lovely time.

On Wednesday I spent the day with my darling sister in law (widow of Roy's oldest brother Jim), it was pouring with rain when she came to pick me up, but it soon cleared and we were able together to face a first for her, which was a trip to the cemetery.  Due to the huge storm the night before there were a number of trees down in the cemetery so we had to walk in rather than drive which was very pleasant.  It was much easier than we had both thought it would be and although we did shed a few tears we also shared moments of happiness and laughter.  It was wonderful to spend the day with Helen and we did a lot of talking, encouraging and bonding.  I spent Wed night with Tim and Yvette and after dinner we played a game of Carcassonne - a board game that I haven't played since Roy passed away, it was a game we regularly played together on a Sunday afternoons after Church while we had lunch - I really miss those days.

On Thursday I meet up with a new friend who I have meet via a fabric page on Facebook.  We had never meet face to face before but we clicked straight away and we both felt like we'd known each other for years.  We had an awesome morning together chatting, drinking coffee and yes fabric shopping.  Thank you so much Anne for spending that time with me I had an wonderful time.  That night I again went out for dinner this time to my cousin and her hubby.  It was a lovely evening, again with lots of sharing, talking and a few tears.

Friday was a beautiful day and as I had no real plans I thought I'd take a walk and see if I could find the Op Shop that was near where Tim and Yvette lived.  Well I didn't - I'm not too good without a map and I kind of got a bit lost - well not really lost as I knew how to go back to where I started but not to where the Op Shop was.  With some help from Helen via cellphone I got back to the shopping centre I'd passed and there I asked for some directions and finally I got to where I wanted to be.  When I was done Helen came and picked me up and I spent the rest of the day with her.

Saturday and Sunday was spent with Tim and Yvette as they both work during the week.  On Sat we did some sight seeing, had lunch out and then took George for a walk on the beach.  Sunday we went to Church - I didn't enjoy the service all that much - not because it wasn't good because it was, but because the sermon was on Marriage and Singleness. Although it was very Biblical and Christ centred it was just too early for me to hear a sermon like that and I pretty much cried all the way through it.  Although I am 'coping' with my singleness it still sucks!!!!! I get on with life because I have to, but I hate being alone - significant other-less!!  It really, really sucks!!!!!

The rest of Sunday was pretty restful - I got my book finished and on Monday afternoon it was time to say goodbye and I headed back up north to Palmy where Aimee, Richard and Noah picked me up from the airport.  The drive home was fine and I made it home before dark but it was a little bit hard too as I knew there would be one waiting for me except the Jack - the dog.  He was very happy to see me :-)

I've just been a little bit more tearful since I got home and for the first time I feel a bit mad, not at God but just at life.  I guess that is the downside of a holiday it make you a bit unsettled.  I'll come right - nothing a bit of hard work won't fix.

I want to say a HUGE thank you to all those who made my trip to Christchurch so enjoyable and memorable.  Thanks for your love, support and encouragement.  Thanks too for sharing not only tears but also lots of joy and laughter.  I feel really blessed to call you family and friends.

So that was my week.  I told you it was going to be exciting and it was I had a blast.  Now I'm in catch-up mode with plenty to keep me busy this coming week not only Rawleigh/TradeMe wise but also with a number of custom orders that need sewing.

Time to go.  Catch you next week.

Oh ya - Go Team NZ!!

Love and blessings.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

I'm in love ;-)

Yip you read that right that's definitely what I wrote.

Want me to spell it out for you??


Some of you will be shocked I'm sure to read this, probably thinking - wow that's quick, but when it's right, it's right and this girl knows that it's right.

I'm in love with ......................................???????????????

My new lawn mower - had you all going there for a moment didn't I - lol!!!!

On Monday I tried out my new lawn mower and it's wonderful.  It was hard work as the lawn was pretty long so I had to empty the catcher a lot, but together we (the mower and I)  did an awesome job with the lawn looking pretty good by the time we were done.  The only bit I didn't end up doing as I didn't have any energy left was the bank.  Thanks Hil for coming and doing that piece for me.

On Monday I also finally constructed the fence to keep Jack out of the veggie garden.  I had to use some Kiwi ingenuity as I discovered that the windbreak cloth was actually too short.  Six old cricket wickets and some twine came in very handy to fill in the gaps.  So far it has not only kept Jack out but also stood up to the wind we've been having the last few days.  I'm pretty proud of myself.  Job well done :-)

My dog proof veggie garden and the nicely mown lawn

Monday was a glorious day weather wise and since the forecast for the rest of the week wasn't great I decided to get as much done outside as I could.  It actually felt really good to start the week with some physical activity.

As I was working away on Monday this really random thought popped into my head.  Now I want to let you in on a wee secret - I'm a romantic - always have been and always will be and I have always loved fairy tales, my favourite being Cinderella.  It struck me on Monday as I was mowing the lawn that Cinderella worked hard until her prince came to 'rescue' her, while the other 2 well known princess - Snow White and Sleeping Beauty slept (did nothing) until their prince came along.  Maybe that's why Cinderella has always appealed - she worked hard because she had too, she had no choice.  Likewise I have a choice - I can do nothing and mope or I can be pro-active and work hard and get on with life.  Now don't get me wrong I'm not expecting a prince to turn up anytime soon.  My prince has been and gone to live in the eternal palace of the King. But on the other hand a girl can dream can't she?!!  See told you I was a romantic ;-)

After the busy Monday the rest of the week has flown by with customers to visit to drop off Rawleigh orders, errands to run, friends to help out, organise heaps of items to list on TradeMe, walks at the dog park and finally some afternoons of sewing.  Yes finally some sewing.

Oh it felt very, very good to get back behind my sewing machine.  I have been very creative this week and made some very cute little girls dresses for my new summer collection.  I am feeling very inspired at the moment.  Hopefully it lasts.

Incase you're wondering along with being an Independant Rawleigh Distributor I also run my own business' sewing 'stuff'. My business name is JeN's Jems - under this label I sew mainly peg aprons, full aprons and plastic bag holders.  I also sew under the label Moppie which is my children's clothing line - it is this part of my business which I am really wanting to work on growing.  At the moment I can't live off my business but it's early days yet and getting established is the hardest part. Click on the business names which are linked to my Facebook pages and have a look at what I have to offer.  Hereby ends my wee promotional plug :-)

As I was saying I've been sewing up a storm this past week.  In the midst of all my 'storming' something happened that has never happened to me in all my years of sewing - I sewed into my finger.  Yes with the sewing machine!  Just missed the nail or that would have been really bad news.  It hurt like anything and I am very thankful that no blood ended up on the dress I was sewing.  I really still have no idea how I managed it - obviously a moment's distraction.  Who knew sewing could be sew (hehe couldn't resist) dangerous.  Someone reckoned that you're not a true machinist until you've sewn your finger - having now done it I can honestly say it's a qualification I could have done without. 

On the job front the answer was thanks for applying but no - and that was quite alright with me. A relief actually.

Oh that's right last week I promised you some stats relating to my blog.

12,355 people have read my blog since I started blogging back in March.

In that time the countries where my blog has been read includes:

New Zealand
United States
United Kingdom
Also China, Poland, Philippians, Romania, and some more.

I can even tell you which browser and operating system is the most popular:

Page views by Browsers

3164 (25%)
Internet Explorer
2749 (22%)
2059 (16%)
1702 (13%)
1444 (11%)
Mobile Safari
960 (7%)
169 (1%)
46 (<1%)
25 (<1%)
12 (<1%)


Page views by Operating Systems

7193 (58%)
1518 (12%)
1421 (11%)
1388 (11%)
632 (5%)
82 (<1%)
Other Unix
59 (<1%)
21 (<1%)
Windows NT 6.1
7 (<1%)
4 (<1%)

So there you go.  If you have read my blog in the past then you are part of the statistics. 

So all in all even though last week Sunday was a hard day I have had a fantastic week - I am finding my rhythm and it's a good one.  I have many more happy moments than sad ones and I am starting to remember the happy memories rather than the sad ones.  Life is good and I am blessed daily in so many ways. The Lord continues to be my source of comfort, strength and joy.

This coming week is also going to be exciting but I'll save that for later.

Wow this post has become very long.  Congratulations if you've stuck it out to the end.

Wishing you all a blessed week.  Stay safe.


PS:  Just wanted to say - Way to go Emirates Team NZ - 2 points on the board.  Bring home the America's cup boys - but no pressure :-)