Sunday, 25 August 2013

Those muscles I started building on Monday were put to good use again on Wednesday when I decided to empty to compost bin into the veggie garden.  Mum and Dad had been the day before and had together emptied the big bin - which I was very grateful for. They were planning to come and empty the smaller one too but I decided it was time I 'put on my big girls panties' and I got stuck in myself.

Do you remember the TV series The Good Life??  Well it was a scene from there in my backyard that morning - compost, gumboots, wheelbarrow, a spade and a lot of elbow grease - oh and sweat to if I'm honest!!  What a back breaking job. The only things missing were the chickens, pigs and a goat.  The dog was of little use, preferring the lazy in the sun.  The cat did contribute in a supervisory roll,  when I was all done she hopped into the bin to inspect that I'd emptied the compost out of all the corners properly. Apparently she was satisfied as she too went off to lie in the sun leaving me to clean up alone.   Now that the work is done Jack has decided he'd really like to help spread the compost out a bit more and keeps jumping into the garden - I am now in the planning stages of constructing a rather nifty fence to keep him out, while allowing me access to get to the vegetables.  I'll post s pic when I'm done.

The only thing in the garden at the moment is asparagus - we bought the plants a number of years ago and as yet haven't had enough for a meal.  Mind you it probably doesn't help when I keep digging them up to transplant them.  I did see one spear making it's way above ground and then I went and covered it with compost!!  Hopefully it'll continue to grow and I'll get at least one meal this year.

It is great having 2 empty compost bins as it means when I get my 'new' lawn mower I'll have somewhere to dump the clippings, I've also fenced it off well enough that Jack can't get in to see what offerings there are every time I empty the scraps container from the kitchen.

The weather this week has just been glorious, like Spring and so I've been making the most of it by doing outside jobs.  All my pot gardens have been weeded and they look great.  I just need to get a BIG pot for my lemonade tree as I don't yet know where to plant it in the back yard.  I re- attached the weed matting around the side of the deck to hide all the unsightly wood and stuff that is stored underneath.  The car got another wash - 3rd one in as many months - and it looks white again rather than pale yellow from all the pollen it had been coated in while in the carport.

I also did some more inside sorting, this time in my sewing room.  I decided to sort through ALL my fabric and actually de-stash some.  Yip 'all' in capitals cause I've got a lot of fabric.  I can't help it I'm addicted :0)  It was great to sell some off and get the rest put away neatly. It helps me get inspired when I can see exactly what I have.

Haha just had to share this.

On Friday I finished enrolling for my first paper towards a diploma in Information and Library studies at the Open Polytech.  The course starts on the 11th Nov. It's a mix of scary and exciting.  I also had a lovely visit with a friend and it was great to share both words and tears.  Yip they still sit pretty close to the surface some days.

This past week I have had a few moments of feeling both cheated and regretful - all part of the grieving process or so I've been told.  If only we'd had more time, if only I'd said or done....,  if only I'd spent more time....., if only...., if only...., but you can't go back and rewrite history.  All the wishing in the world isn't going to change what has happened nor is it going to bring Roy back.  I found the following while clearing out some computer files and it is very good food for thought.

"Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. 
It carries over no balance from day to day and allows you to keep no cash in your account.
Every evening the bank cancels whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. 
What would you do? 
Draw out every cent, of course?

Each of us has such a bank. It's name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose.
It carries over no balance; it allows no over draft.
Each day it opens a new account for you.
Each night it burns the records of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back, there is no drawing against "tomorrow."

You must live in the present on today's deposits.
Invest it wisely, so as to gain the utmost in the service of your Lord."  Anon

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why its called the present.

We all need to spend our time wisely, making right choices, because when that time has gone we can't go back and redo it.  We can have all the regrets in the world and all the 'if only's', but there is no going back.  We should also live for today, not looking back at what has been and can't be changed and not worrying about tomorrow and what might be to come.  God has given us 1 day - 86,400 whole seconds,  to use in His service and to His glory, so we need to make sure we invest wisely in that day so that we can look back without regret.  I know it's easier said than done, but at least it is something to strive for, esp when we have the Lord on our side.

Well I think that's it for another week.  I've got some exciting things happening next week and also a very, very hard first to face with Roy's birthday coming up next week Sunday.  Please pray for me and for the children too as they have to face not only their dad's birthday, but also a fatherless Father's Day.

Wishing you God's blessing this week.

Much love

Monday, 19 August 2013

It's official - I need a new lawn mower!!

Nothing builds real frustration or brings you to tears quicker than trying to start and mow a rather long lawn with an old (30years) and very temperamental lawn mower.  Firstly I couldn't get the thing started,  I'd had a number of attempts yanking the starter cord when it suddenly dawned on me that maybe the thing needed petrol -hmmmmm- which it did and sadly we had some.  I say sadly because if we hadn't had any petrol this whole experience would have been over before it had begun and I wouldn't now be feeling tired and annoyed esp when after all my hard work I find that although the lawn is shorter it looks terrible - no bowling green in my back-yard.  So I've decided that I need a new lawn mower - it was a unilateral decision seeing as there was no-one here to discuss it with and after all why shouldn't a girl spoil herself once in a while with a nice new shiny ............. lawn mower?!!  If the next one latest as long as the last I'll be all set :0)

So what sort of lawn mower do I need?  Well something that starts first pop and has different cutting levels would already be a HUGE improvement on what I have now.  Nothing to heavy cause I am a member of the fairer sex after all and don't have heaps of arm muscle - yet!!  Mind you if I keep using the old mower I'll be building those muscles pretty quickly I'm thinking.  I can see a lawn mower buying trip with my dad happening soon and maybe while I'm 'shopping' I'll replace the wheel barrow too cause ...... well don't get me started on that thing - something along the line of rust and holes and a very flat tire.

I have a dear friend whose hubby has been coming to mow my lawns and I have really appreciated that, but sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do and today this girl decided since the weather was good she'd mow the back lawn - esp as come Saturday it'll probably be raining - again!

It was great to be outside in the sunshine, and now that the lawn is done - albeit not looking the greatest I did notice that the pot gardens could also do with a weed and tidy up.  Hopefully the weather will stay good and I can get some more things done outside tomorrow.

This past week I have been continuing with the inside sorting - all the 'stuff' I'd sorted has gone to the Op shop so the car is once again safe and sound in the garage.  I cleaned the bathroom from top to bottom and also washed all the windows that I could reach.  I have rehung the short nets that I'd taken down when we put the house on the market and I listed a whole lot of things on TradeMe. I have also sorted through my HUGE fabric stash and am planning on selling some of that too.  I also went to Bible Study for the 2nd time since Roy died.

I have been asked by a couple of people if I am still wearing my wedding ring and the answer is no I'm not.  I haven't worn my official engagement ring or wedding band for years as they are gold and I'm not a gold girl - I love silver.  The set I was wearing instead I took off soon after Roy's funeral and now I wear a dress ring on that finger instead.  For me it was just too hard to still wear my 'replacement' wedding rings, maybe part of it has to do with acceptance and maybe a little bit with moving forward as a single person.  I am happy with the choice I have made and maybe one day I'll put the set back on but it'll be because I want to wear them and not because they hold any significance.

The other thing I've been recently asked is what am I going to do for Roy's birthday which is on the 1st September - this is a really hard question to answer and I'm not sure.  I think it's something I need to talk about with the children and see what they suggest or think.

All in all it's been another good week and yet there where moments when I'd hit a wall so to speak and I'd suddenly just dissolve into tears for no apparent reason.  This week for the first time I had a moment where something had happened and I consciously remember thinking - I must tell Roy about that.  That was a hard lonely moment.  At times I still feel very sad and very lonely, but for the most part I'm doing pretty good really and I continue to face each day in the Lord's strength.

In my devotion this morning I read the following which I found really comforting and encouraging.

"God declares to His children, "I have loved you with an everlasting love."  Jeremiah 31:3.   God draws us to Himself for the sheer pleasure of it.  He loves us not for who we are, or what we do, or who we can or will be.  He loves us because He created us, because, when we accept Christ as Lord of our life, we belong to Him.  We are His beautiful and precious creation.  Like one-of-a-kind  pottery, above all else He treasures our innate worth.  We are immensely significant, and our value does not depend on anything we do, think, say, feel,earn, inherit or look like.  We are significant because we are God's creation.  Nothing more.  This is a profoundly simple reality." Judith Couchman

"Thou hast made us for Thyself, and the heart of man is restless until it finds its rest in Thee" Saint Augustine

Till next time.

Love and blessings

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

I have accomplished such a lot this week and I feel really great, even if there were some sluggish moments. Wednesday I had no power all day and it was a bit frustrating.  It really makes you realise how much we take having power for granted.  So no sewing at all that day,  no heating - at least it wasn't cold, no washing got done, no vacuuming, no eftpos.  I did have a moment were I wondered how was I going to get the car out of the garage, till I remembered there was a cord I could pull to manually open the garage door.  Thank goodness for my iphone so I still had internet.  So what did I do all day??  Well I cut out two new dresses, I packed the orders I had finished and made a trip to the Post Office to send them and I went to the bank to deposit some money. I read my book and I pottered around tidying up the book shelves. Thanks to the little gas cooker I found  in the garage and I was able to boil water so at least I could have something hot to drink - I felt like I was camping in my house.

Thursday I was in catch up mode and spent the day sewing to get the dresses I'd cut out the day before finished. I must say they both look great.  One is for a giveaway being held on Facebook by Night Owl Creations.

Thursday was also a 2nd - in that it was 2 months since Roy passed away.  Boy it seems so much longer.  It might sound a bit harsh but I am glad that Roy is no longer here - don't get me wrong I miss him very much and think about him daily, but I am glad for his sake that he no longer has to struggle with an illness that was slowly but surely robbing him of his vitality and zest for life.  He is now in a better place and I too am in a good place emotionally. I still have tears but I am comfortable within myself and I am moving forward with confidence.

On Friday Aimee and Noah came to stay for the weekend.  Together we did something that I felt I was now ready to face and that was to pack up Roy's clothes.  It was actually much easier than I had thought it would be as I found that there was no sentimental value attached to them.  We sorted as we went and all the good stuff will be donated to the Hospice Op shop - in fact there is a huge pile now of stuff to go to them in the garage so the car is once again housed in the carport.

The clear-out on Sat got me going and over the last 2 days I have attacked the office and now  it looks neat and tidy. My kinda space.  The pile for the Op shop have trebled in size and I might still find more to add to it.  I have gone through all the books that Roy had purchased with the plan to sell them on TradeMe - I have weeded out those that probably won't sell for much and they have been added to the Op shop pile.  I still have plenty left to sell and made a start at listing some last night.

I guess all this cleaning out is a bit about me claiming the house as mine - not that I am trying to remove all traces of Roy, but I don't need to keep all his stuff in order to remember him.  I have put aside special things that were his but most of it is just stuff and like the clothes has no sentimental value to me.  I guess it's all part of moving forward.

I did have another first this week - the car needed a warrant and having never done this before I sorted it all out and am happy to report that she passed with flying colours.  Having said that I was told that the car needs a service and a new cam belt as she has almost reached 100,000 km.  Better start saving as it's going to cost about $500+.  The guys down at the car yard were I get the servicing done were lovely and even gave me a loan car while they worked on mine.

The other thing I have organised this week is the course I am planning to do through the Open Polytech - a diploma in Information and Library Studies level 5. There are 6 papers but at the moment I am only going to do 1.  I want to see if it's what I really want to do and also see how it goes.  I haven't studied anything since High School which was many moons ago and the idea of having to write essays and referencing is a bit scary.  The course starts in November.

Not only have I been cleaning up 'physical' stuff I have also been cleaning up the computer and the laptop - again removing un-needed stuff that belonged to Roy.  It got me thinking how easy it is to send 'stuff' to the recycling bin, then delete it and it's gone forever, shame we can't do the same with some of the 'stuff' we end up storing in our minds.  I guess that 'stuff' is what makes us the people that we are.  The things we have experienced throughout our lives both good and bad make us stronger, but we do need to make sure that we don't pollute our minds with the wrong kind of 'stuff', because once it's there it can't be deleted, the memory of it may fade over time but it's still there - forever!!

Well I think that's it for this week.  Time for a cup of my lovely new proper peppermint tea and sit with my feet up and sew on some buttons.  I've lost count how many times I've been up and down the stairs today - needless to say I've had a good work out, Jack however hasn't as we haven't been to the dog park since Saturday.  Maybe tomorrow, but looking at the weather forecast it's not looking to promising.  Might just need to do some housework instead.

Until next time.

Love and blessings

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

I'm home again after a lovely time away up in Auckland with my daughter, son in law and grand-son.  We drove up on Thursday and did heaps over the 3 days we were there.  We went to the Food Show, visited the Zoo and Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium and we did shopping at the Sylvia Park shopping centre.

The Food Show was very interesting with lots to see, lots of samples to taste if you wanted them, cooking demonstrations to watch, but also a huge crowd - lots and lots and lots of people.  I'm not much of a crowd person so I was pleased when we decided we'd seen enough and it was time to go.

The Zoo was great, esp as it was a beautiful mild sunny day.  Nothing at all like what the weather forecast had said it was supposed to be.  In fact the weather was lovely the whole weekend. Lots of the blossom trees are already in flower up in Auckland and the looked stunning.

All in all we had a good time but I was pleased to be going home again on Monday - Auckland is just too big and busy for me - I'm a small town girl ;0)

Aimee, Noah and I left for home on Monday - we left Richard in Auckland as he has a 2 week bakery course up there which started on Monday. We had planned to stop half way for the night but decided in the end to drive all the way back to Aimee and Richard's place.  Noah traveled really well sleeping most of the trip.

The trip home this morning was a bit harder than I'd expected - it was the thought of coming home to an empty house and I missed Roy.  I am please however to have had this time away and even though coming home was hard it is another first that has now been done.  I am really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight and just having my own space.

This has me wondering whether I will become a more selfish person now that I live alone??  I am not saying that people who live alone are thereby selfish, but the reality is that I can do what I want, when I want and how I want.  I am no longer accountable to someone (well that's actually not quite true as I am accountable to the Lord) but I no longer need to 'share' with anyone on a daily basis. I'll have to remember to look outside the 'box' of me.

My plan for this week is to look into getting my study sorted out - hopefully it all falls into place.

I know this weeks blog isn't so exciting or inspiring - but I'm not feeling very inspired at the moment, I must be tired and in need of a good nights sleep.

Have a blessed week till next time.