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