Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Winter has definitely arrived - we had our first frost last night - brrrrrrrrrr it was cold.  Actually I don't mind a frosty start if it means we get a sunny day like we had today, not that is was warm in the sun, in fact it was bitterly cold outside.  It was 5 degrees on the Post Office clock this morning when I went to work and had risen a whole 2 degrees to 7 when I popped out to do the banking.  I'm not sure what it eventually got too but I suspect it'll have been in the low double figures.  I'm looking forward to seeing snow on the Tararua's - I always feel like I live in a tourist town when there is a good dumping of snow on the hills.  It makes for a cheap holiday.

The upside of winter is soup - it was lovely to come home this afternoon to a house that smelt great thanks to the pea soup gently cooking in the slow cooker. Roll on dinner time.  Pea soup and fresh buns - yum.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks which started with me feeling very 'flat'.  I think some of that feeling was because of  the weather (I don't do endless sunless days very well) and some of it was from having been so busy the weeks before.  I just didn't know what to do with myself even though I had plenty of things I could have done - nothing really appealed.  By the Friday the weather had improved and the sun was out so with a bit of help from my very young helper (Noah had come for a visit) we set about raking up the leaves on the front lawn.  The pile was HUGE and Noah had a ball climbing into it and throwing the leaves about. I managed to stuff the whole pile into the wheelie bin as there were too many to go in the already full compost bin.  On Sat the sun was shining again and it was nice and warm so I decided to have an in the garden day.  The agapanthus needed to have their heads removed so that was the first job, from there I moved on to pruning the wild rose bush on the bank.  It was a prickly job and due to a lack of gloves a scratchy job too.  I conquered the bush but not without it biting back, my hands and arms were covered with scratches and blood.  The next day I had to get Mum to remove some rather nasty thorn splinters from my hands -ouch!  Thanks to Dad I now have gloves - for next time, assuming the rose bush survives the pruning I gave it.  I also pruned (severely) one of the feijoa trees which had only produced tiny fruit for the last 2 years. That's Biblical right!!??   I tell you I am bad news when I have a pruning saw in my hand - no tree is safe ;0)

The lawns also got a haircut - in fact since they were sooooooooo long I thought I'd cut them without the catcher as I'd be forever having to empty it - the plan worked ok except for all the grassy humps that were left all over the lawn.  Being a bit of a perfectionist by nature this new look was just not sitting right so I decided to rake up all the grass, put it into the wheelbarrow - by hand, and then deposited it  from the wheelbarrow into the compost bin - by hand!!!!!!  Phew she was a big job as I have a big back lawn.  The lawn ended up looking not great but better and I got a good workout.  All in all it was a good days work.

This past week I had to go to another workshop at Winz to do with writing a CV.  I was a bit unsure why I had to attend this workshop as last time I'd attended it I was told I was all done and some one would be in touch to see how things were going - I never heard a thing.  So I attended the workshop and was again told at the end that I was now all done and someone will be in touch to see how I'm getting along - I wont be holding my breathe - lol!!!!  I'm not sure what is going on there but it's not very organised.

The job front is still quiet although I have managed to get 4 hours of Teacher Aide work at one of the local Kindy's.  It is just a short term position but it's a start.  As with anything new I'm a bit apprehensive although I'm working at a Kindy I've worked at before about 6 years ago so I do know a few of the teachers which is nice.  I start tomorrow so I'll tell you all about it next time.

I am still  going Aqua-jogging in the mornings at 6am - 3-4 times a week.  This morning it was really, really, really hard to get out of bed.  I hit the snooze button and contemplated staying in bed but since I was wide awake I decided to bite the bullet and go.  To be honest I am amazed myself - I hate getting up on cold mornings, esp out of a snugly warm bed.  Speaking of snugly beds - there is nothing nicer than lying in a warm bed listening to the wind howling and the rain falling on the roof - I find that so relaxing.  Almost as good as lying in bed listening to the sea.

It struck me yesterday that a year ago Roy left home and never came back.  A year ago yesterday Roy went to the hospice to have his meds fine tuned and to be evaluated after his fall on the stairs and he never came home again.  In 2 weeks time a year will have passed without him - only a year - 365 days and yet it feels like a lifetime.   It's such a strange feeling, maybe it feels like Roy has been gone so much longer because the year has been so full of 'stuff' and I've been busy recreating my life - my new normal.  The reality is that life is fleeting and we soon become but a memory in the lives of those who loved us. Life moves on and that's a good thing.  I give thanks to the Lord for His constant care over this last year and I trust that He will be with me in the years to come too.  If I mourn a little that's ok - it's not Roy that I mourn for, he is in the presence of our Saviour.  I shed tears for the life/love I had and for the empty place that has been left behind and the loneliness that brings. For the uncertainty of the future and the scariness of that future, yet there is joy and peace too as I know who holds my future in the palm of His hand and He will watch over me.  I don't know what the future holds - good or bad, but I know who holds the future and in Him I put all my trust.

Until next time.

Love and blessings

Monday, 12 May 2014

I feel like I've been living in a bubble this past week and today have suddenly come crashing back to reality.  My bubble goes by another name and that it's called 'being on holiday' - that time when you de-stress and all the worries,care, decisions and bills that make up your normal daily life are put on hold temporarily.  I have just spent a wonderful week (almost) in Christchurch visiting Tim and Yvette, other family and friends.  I had an awesome if busy time away and sadly it flew by as holidays always seem to do. For those I didn't get to see I'm sorry I just ran out of time - maybe next time!!  I want to say a BIG thank you to my wonderful niece Karen for shouting me the trip.  Love you big time hun.

While I was in Christchurch I was able to help Tim and Yvette out with their shift into their first home.  Wednesday afternoon was spent cleaning the new house - it really needed it and smelt and looked way better by the time we were done.   On Thursday I spent most of the day with my dear friend Janice.  We had a wonderful time shopping did lots of chatting, laughing and catching up and no one had a headache (last time I was in Christchurch our day out together was cut short due to Janice having a sever migraine).  I also joined Arie and Janice at a Rotary dinner which was very nice.  I want to say a HUGE thank you to Arie and Janice for their kindness and generosity towards the cost of getting my car fixed.  I am truly blessed. Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Love you both heaps.

On Friday I spent the morning doing the Church bulletin (what a blessing to have a laptop and the internet) and then I spent the afternoon/evening with my cousin Femmy and her family.  We had  lunch at the mall, a lovely walk in Riccarton bush and then dinner at her place - it was another wonderful time of sharing, laughing, some tears and lots of encouraging each other.  Saturday was moving day.  Tim and Yvette didn't own much furniture as their rented property was furnished, but it meant we needed to pack up the kitchen, clean it and then unpack the items that belonged in the house.  We managed to get everything done and out of the house by 12.30 which was great.  Over this past week I have cleaned 2 kitchens and 2 fridges - I had been thinking mine could do with a clean but I'll leave it for a few weeks I think.  Yvette and I left Tim to clean the carpet and headed off to Yvette's baby shower which was an wonderful afternoon.  Baby Nugteren will be a well dressed wee lad when he arrives in June ;0)

Sunday was my last day in Christchurch.  I went to Church in Bishopdale with niece Melinda and nephew-in-law Julian.  The service was great and it was nice to afterwards catch up with friends I might otherwise not have seen.  The rest of the day I 'hung out' with Tim and Yvette and helped unpack the kitchen a bit.  When you shift organising your kitchen is always the worst job I reckon cause nothing seems to fit like in the old one.  It always takes time to get it just right.

Having helped Tim and Yvette shift got me thinking to how many times Roy and I had shifted since we got married and it come to 8 times - wow and before I got married I had already shifted 8 times so in total I have shifted 16 times - amazing!!!!!!!  No plans to shift again anytime soon but you never know.  The problem is each time you buy a bigger house which means more space for more stuff - it's amazing how quickly you accumulate things.

The flight home was very smooth and I arrived back in Palmerston North to find Aimee waiting to pick me up.  While we were waiting to pay for the car park a lady came up to me and asked if I was Jolanda, when I said yes she said her name and it was a friend from High School who I hadn't seen since I'd left school.  I wouldn't have recognised her, but she did me which means I haven't changed much in the last 30 odd years - is that a good thing????  We had a quick catch-up in the cold car park and hopefully will touch base through Facebook and maybe get together sometime as she lives in Palmy.  It was a really lovely surprise.

I stayed the night at Aimee's so I could look after Noah today - silly to drive home only to drive back the next morning.  Noah is walking really well now and chatters a lot too - not that we can understand him but that will come eventually - I think he'll be a real talker once he finds the words.  This afternoon I drove home again in the rain!!!  This time it wasn't dark though as Richard had had an early start this morning so finished early.  Jack was very happy to see me and Joel came around for dinner which was nice.  My suitcase is all unpacked and the washing is on.

Tomorrow morning I have to work and then I'll spend the afternoon catching up on business 'stuff' that has piled up while I was away.  My boss is away this week so hopefully he has left some things for me to do.  Last week he was away too and I had a bit of a blonde moment - when I got to work I realised that I'd left the key to unlock the office at home so I had to go home and get it - thank goodness Levin isn't too big.  I will be better prepared this week.

The job I wrote about last week has not come to anything due to them not being able to accommodate the hours I had available.  I am actually ok about it.  Tomorrow I will have a chat with the lady from Group Special Ed to let her know what hours I have available and see what she has on her books for teacher aide work.  It will all work out I'm sure - God has a plan and I take comfort in that.

I had a lovely letter with photos from Ryan and Ineke today.  Their trip went very well and they seem to be settling in quite well in England.

I think tonight will be an early night - I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again and I am planning to be up early tomorrow so I can go swimming again.  It's been a whole week since I last went and although I am looking forward to going again it was nice to sleep in while I was on holiday.

Well that's it for another edition.  Until next time have a wonderful week and God bless.


Monday, 5 May 2014

What is it with Monday's and rain????  This is the 3rd Monday in a row that I've had to travel home from Palmy in atrocious weather.  Not only is it getting dark earlier, but it has also been teeming with rain each time.  Maybe next week will be better.  I don't mind rain but the combination of darkness and rain makes driving a bit harder going.

The last two weeks  have been very busy - mainly with visitors.  The week after Easter my sis came to stay for a couple of nights.  It was only going to be one night at first but her children and I convinced her that she really, really needed to stay another night, which she did. We had an awesome time catching up, chatting, laughing and some tears too.  We went out for dinner and a movie, did some shopping (read looking not spending) and lunch, then home to watch some dvd's - the weather was pretty miserable so it was wonderful to do nothing.  I tried to be a good influence on her and asked her to come aqua jogging with me but she had conveniently left her togs at home!  She on the other hand is not such a good influence on me (just kidding) as together we polished off a lovely bottle of Moscato wine.  I'm not a big drinker and let me just say that after 2 glasses of wine I had that night I felt like someone had poured concrete into my legs and all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch and go to sleep - I really am hopeless!!!!  I slept really well that night, not that I have any trouble sleeping - usually.

Speaking of being drunk (not that I was) Noah is walking, he is doing pretty well although does tend to still lurch a bit like a wee drunkard - so cute to watch.  He is fine if he is going in one direction and hasn't quite got the turning part worked out yet, he tends to fall over and then continues on his knees rather than crawling.  Before we know it he'll be running all over the place.

On the Friday my sis went home and I spent the weekend alone, doing housework and getting ready for the next lot of visitors who arrived on Monday evening - they were my brother and sister in law from Australia and for one night my sister in law from Lower Hutt.  The Aussie's had been down in Christchurch visiting their daughter and then came up here for a week to visit Dad N and help get Dad and Mum N's house sorted out and ready to sell.  Unfortunately they only had limited visits with Dad N as the rest home was in lock down due to the tummy bug. The sorting went pretty well, although it's still not finished because it's a big job.

Last week I  had another job interview - actually I got asked to come in for a chat.  It was for a part time receptionist position, which would eventually become full time - however during the 'chat' I found out that they are actually after a full timer asap.  The chat went very well however afterwards I felt very emotional - mainly because of the feelings that were re-awakened - my head was telling me to take the job if it is offered but my heart was reacting completely differently.  The thought of loosing the freedom I currently have is very daunting and yet I would be gaining financial freedom which would be a very good thing.  I realize that working full time is a necessity because there is no one else to bring in the money and there in lies the emotional part - it is the reality of being in this position because Roy is no longer here, I hate it and it's scary but it's a fact that can't be changed but it did re-open those darn wounds again.  I haven't had a full time job outside the home since before I got married (that's 30 years ago).  Once the children began to arrive on the scene I became a stay at home Mum and eventually did work full time caring for 4 other children who pretty much became part of the family - amazingly during school holiday's I'd have 8 children in the house!!  When the children were older and had started to leave home I worked part time as a teacher's aide but gave that up when Roy got really sick.  I know that eventually I will need to have full time work and maybe sooner rather than later is a good thing - got to bite the bullet some time.  But is it too early, after all it hasn't even been a year yet since Roy died and yet it seems like a life time ago that he was here??  I still feel conflicted, it definitely hasn't been a wahoo I've got a job (maybe) moment.  In fact not any excitement at all!!  After much thought and prayer I have let the people know which days I am currently available should they be interested in offering me the position, at this point I am not yet willing to give up my day of looking after Noah, nor the 1 possibly 2 mornings I work at my other job (which I really really love and definitely feel wahoo about), so now the ball is in their court so to speak and I am waiting to hear whether it is going to work for them.  I'll keep you posted.

On Saturday we had a family dinner in celebration of my Dad and youngest son Joel's birthdays.  They were both born on the same day just 55 years apart.  We had a gourmetten evening - everyone has their own small fry pan and you cook your own meat and veges.  It's so much fun and very yummy.  Here's a photo of what a gourmetten set looks like.

So that was a quick highlight of my very busy two weeks.  I'm looking forward to this coming week and I'll tell you all about it next time.

Keep safe and stay warm for those of us heading into cooler days.

Till next time.

Love and blessings