Thursday, 18 September 2014

It's official - I am finally human!!!!!!!! Well as far as Winz (oops make that the Ministry of Social Development) is concerned. I have always felt like a number with them, but no longer. Last week I had another meeting with them. I tried to get out of it but that was a no goer so off I went armed with a few issues I wanted to get sorted and all the jobs I have applied for this year - quite a bundle I must say.  I saw a very nice lady who was not only on time but who will also be my case manager  from now on. I'm not sure why it has taken this long to be allocated a case manager, but then there is lots about MSD that I don't understand.  We had a nice chat and ironed out a number of concerns I had. She was very impressed at how I have been managing and how active I have been in seeking work. She has assured me that if anything come up that she thinks will suit me that she'll be in touch (we'll see) and if there was anything I need, or any courses I wanted to do to let her know and she'd see what she could do for me. She seemed willing to bend over backwards to help me as she said I'm not the sort of person who comes in every week looking for a handout. Haha!!!  I told her the less dependent I was on them the better.  From now on I have to see her ever 4-6 weeks just for a quick catch up which shouldn't take more than 5 mins she reckons.  All in all a good outcome and I was able to get to work only an hour later than my usual start time.

Actually although the meeting with MSD went well it has left me feeling a bit meh!! (for the loss of a better word), no maybe contemplative is a better word. My case manager said that if there were any courses I wanted to do to let her know, which got me wondering - was there???  Is there a course I'd like to do and if so what?? Here I am applying for jobs because I need work and that's ok but what do I really, really want to do?????  I honestly have no idea!!!!  I guess I'll just keep applying for jobs (2 more this past week) until inspiration strikes - if it ever does or until I get a job.

Tuesday a week ago the GIGGLES group from Church had another get together.  We had a lovely evening of fellowship and did a personality test, which was a lot of fun and caused much laughter.  Most of us had a fair idea what we thought we were before doing the test.  My personality is that of a Beaver very closely followed by Golden Retriever with a bit of Lion mixed in as well.  My lowest score was as an Otter (you'll have to Goggle them if you want to know more.  Here is the link Personality Test).  It was actually interesting to do this test as I think my results would have been a bit different if Roy had still been alive.  Due to his death the Lion part of my personality has become stronger than it would have otherwise been.

Last week Friday I had an evening out. A proper dress up evening out.  I haven't had one of those sorts of evenings out in a very long time.  Aimee and I had a mother daughter date night.  First we went out for a very yummy and rather fancy, but not too expensive dinner during which I had my first ever cocktail, what a sheltered life I've lead!!   I am happy to report it was very, very delicious and I'm sure I'll be trying them again in the future ;0)  After dinner we strolled down to the beautiful Regent Theater in Palmerston North were we went to see The Phantom of the Opera stage show.  It was!!!  Loved it, loved it, loved it. The Phantom is my all time favourite musical.  When it came out as a film I saw it a number of times and even bought the dvd.  In fact I have 2 versions on dvd.  The opening music gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes.  The singing and acting was wonderful - it was the best night out ever.

I stayed the night at Aimee and Richard's and the next morning I got to go and watch Noah do his swimming lesson which was fun.  He is very confident in the water.  We had lunch in town and then Noah came home with me for the weekend as Richard was away Sat/Sun and Aimee had to work. It (Noah's stay) started out well but once again he became unwell - I am honestly starting to get a complex as he seems to often be unwell when he come to stay at my place. In the mornings he was fine,  ate a hearty breakfast and was his normal happy self, but by days end he was running a temp, glassy eyed, coughing, runny nose and looking very miserable. Thanks to paracetamol he slept well at night. I took him home on Monday and on Tuesday Aimee took him to the Doctor - his chest and throat were fine but he did have an ear infection in both ears, which explained why he was unsteady on his feet. The poor wee guy is now on antibiotics and hopefully on the mend.

The other exciting thing (well I think it's exciting) is that I've made a BIG decision. I received a letter earlier in the month from my gas provider letting me know that from the 1st Oct my daily charge would be going up from 90 cents to $1.25 a day. The gas fire is the only thing in my house on gas which means for 6-7 months of the year I'd be paying nearly $40 for something I wouldn't be using. Back in 2011 we had to replace our old gas heater as it died and we looked at different options but decide to stick with the gas because at that stage we had a special deal where we didn't pay a daily charge but our usage charge was a bit higher. That was brilliant as it meant no bills over the warmer months.  However the original company was taken over by another company and they discovered they weren't making any money off me over the summer months so they reinstated the daily charge, but kindly lowered the usage charge. But now they want to up the daily charge up again which I'm not thrilled about at all, so after some thought I have decided to get rid of the gas heater and I had some quotes for a wood burner instead. I didn't want to get a heat pump as I don't like them - they're too drafty and my area is too big to heat. The quotes are in and I have decided which one I'll take (the cheapest of course). I rang the gas company and they sent me a form to fill out giving consent to having the meter removed which apparently could take 5-10 working days depending how busy the service man was. Well apparently they're not too busy here in Levin because I emailed the form back yesterday afternoon and this morning at 9am a man was standing at the front door to come and remove the meter. In less than 5mins he was all done and gone.  I  can now expect a bill to arrive for $150 + gst  which really seems a bit steep for 5mins work and considering they take the meter with them as well, not that I have any use for it.  Tomorrow I'll go and drop off the signed copy of the quote and get that ball rolling - in the meantime should this cool-ish yucky, rainy weather continue I'll just have to rug up and if it gets really cold, I'll either go to bed or succumb and use the column heater .

Finally! Finally!! I have my sew-jo back. Or should I say my sewing mojo?!! I spent a bit of time in my sewing room cleaning up and sorting out recently.  I especially had a sort out of my fabric/s, which isn't easy going when you're a fabricaholic like I am and have a lot of fabric (oops found a vise after all - lol!!).  Every piece of fabric was a struggle because I would suddenly get an idea of what I could use it for, but I was tough on myself and now I have a container full of fabric waiting to be photographed and listed on TradeMe.  I suspect that I'm going to have the same struggle when I take their photos.  It felt good to be in my sewing room and I am so inspired that I have almost finish the first in a series of dresses for Inge - she is fortunate to be the only grand-daughter at this stage because I  love designing and sewing little girls dresses.  Ryan and Ineke I suggest you make sure Inge's suitcase is almost empty when you come in December because I'll be able to fill it for her ;0)
This past week I have stopped watching the news because I am so over all the rubbish they have on there every night.   It is much more relaxing to watch another episode from my collection of Remington Steel dvd's instead.

Tomorrow I'm off to Otaki to lend a hand 'dismantling' the Conservative Party shop so it is all gone before election day. Then in the afternoon it'll be time to get the Church bulletin done again for another week and  hopefully Joel and Tia will be coming for dinner and a catch-up on how their house hunting has been going. They are planning to move to Palmerston North where Tia now has a job at Melody's Bakery where Richard and Aimee work.  Joel has been made redundant from his job so is also busy looking for work in Palmy.  It will be strange not having any of the children here in Levin anymore, but so is life.

All in all it's been an eventful couple of weeks in which a lot has happened and I have achieved much too.  I thank the Lord for continued good health (although I still have a lingering cough which is a bit annoying) and I continue to trust in Him for all things.

Until next time.

Love and blessings

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Who'd have thought that I'd be going into politics!?  Definitely not me but I kind of have.  I received an email last 2 weeks ago from the Conservative Party - of which I'm a member - letting me know who the candidate for my area was. The email included contact details if I wanted to help in any way like distributing pamphlets or host a sign.  So without a seconds thought I flicked off an email offering my services to distribute pamphlets and my front berm for a hoarding.  On the Sunday the lady popped in to drop off the pamphlets, I invited her in (not something I usually do with strangers) and we had a lovely chat. Things have kind of snowballed and I am now her secretary of sorts. I manage her database, write and send out letters as required and will help out in her campaign office in Otaki when I can.  Sadly it is unpaid but it'll look good to be able to add this to my CV.  Exciting times ahead and I'm learning a lot, but otherwise things on the job front are very quiet - 3 more applied for and 2 more rejections.  The latest one that I applied for really, really appeals but we'll have to wait and see - it closes next week.

After 2 weeks I have finally stopped coughing, almost and am slowly getting my voice back.  It still gets a bit croaky towards the end of the day and esp when I'm tired but it's way better than it was.  I have had to cancel having Bible Study at my place twice already due to being unwell, so Lord willing this week it will go ahead.

Yesterday was the first day of spring and also another birthday that Roy is not here to celebrate.  I spent the day up in Palmy looking after Noah which was nice.  He is a good distraction.  But it was bittersweet too.  It makes me sad that my grandchildren have no Opa and have little or no memory of him.  On Sat while doing my much needed housework (haha makes it sound like the place was a tip, but anyone who know me will know that my house is never a tip, I just hadn't dusted in a while)  I stopped to look through the photo album I made for Roy about his life -  probably not the best plan as it ended in tears - literally, but it did get me thinking about the book I want to make for my grandchildren so that they can know who their Opa was.  It's a wee project that will eventually happen just not yet as I'm not sure I'm quite ready yet.  At the moment it's still formulating in my head.

I recently did one of those quiz things that are so popular on Facebook at the moment - it was how rebellious were you as a teenager.  Mine came in at 16%.  I can even name the 2 major rebellious events in my teenage years, although Mum and Dad may be able to name a few more - they were piercing my own ears and sneaking outside to smoke without Mum and Dad knowing - yeah right like they were born yesterday!! Horrors!!!!!  What a rebel!!!!  Actually I wasn't I never did the night-club scene or the excessive drinking thing.  We had parties but that was always with the Church youth-club.  I have probably been tipsy once in my life.  See I really was a 'good' girl. Recently I read an article (prob while waiting for the Doc at the beginning of August) about the actress Helen Mirren.  In it she said - "I'm a would-be rebel. The good girl who'd like to be a bad one.  But I’ll never make it as a bad girl…I’m too fearful. Too much of a wimp,"  Haha that's me.  My wild child is well and truly buried I think, however I have discovered that I am way stronger than I ever knew, and every now and then the rebel in me makes an appearance. I like the heady 'freedom' of not being 'answerable' to anyone - except God of course.  Sure I'm going to make mistakes, but they're mine to make and hopefully learn from.  I'll listen to advise but weigh it up with what I want, need and what I think is going to work best for me. Some people will think I'm plain crazy and that's ok, they can think what they like. 

What's she gone and done now I hear you asking??  I guess after that spiel there must be something coming!!  

Don't worry it's nothing really drastic like dying my hair purple, getting a nose ring - hmm now there's a thought, or selling up and joining a commune - lol!!!

If you've kept up to date with my blogs you'll remember that back in July (the 29th actually) I wrote about feeling like I had lost sight of the Lord's work in my life and the comfort I found in the words of the song by Stewart Townsend - "In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song; my Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand."  Well I can now see those words everyday - yip I've gone and had them tattooed on my inner arm.  I imagine right now there is a bit of head shaking and tut-tutting going on.  It's ok, keep calm and carry on!!  I don't have many vises - I don't drink (excessively) I don't smoke, gamble, do drugs but I do like to express myself with body art.  It gives me great comfort to see those words - "In Christ alone my hope is found" - and for me a beautiful testimony of where I am in my journey not only as a widow but also in my spiritual life.

So there you go, now you know.  Time to pick your jaw back up off the floor.  As for me I'm off to make dinner - home made veggie soup.  I am definitely  loving these evenings now that it's longer light - a sure sign that summer is once again on it's way.

Till next time.

Love and blessings