Saturday, 17 October 2015

I finally back!! Goodness the last time I wrote something was way back at the end of July. Where has that time gone??

So I guess I need to do a bit of a catch up.

August arrived with me still out of work due to the funding not having come through yet for my English Language Partners job.  The timing was actually good really as I had the opportunity to make another trip down to Christchurch that month and it meant being able to do so without having to take time off work.  More about that later.

It was also good timing to not be working because I got sick - there has been a really nasty flu going around this winter and I got it.  I went from feeling totally fine to suddenly having a cough and lets just say it was down hill from there.  Achy bones, hot and sweating one minute, cold and shivering the next and endless coughing - oh and tired, so very, very, very tired.  So tired in fact that I almost passed out two mornings in a row after having my shower.  Both mornings I woke up feeling pretty good, had breakfast  (this bug did not really seem to affect my appetite) and then went to have my shower.  Well much more than water must of gone down my drain judging by the dark spots dancing before my eyes when I got out of the shower. I think my energy got washed away too.  Sheer will power and the determination to not be found in a naked heap on my bathroom floor kept me upright and finally dressed, but I was wiped out for the rest of the morning.  Thankfully the weather wasn't so great so I just had a couple of do nothing but read and sleep days.  Now I never (well hardly ever) sleep during the day, because if I do I can forget about sleeping at night, so I really was sick cause I slept both day and night no problem.  This getting sick was not good timing at all, it has suddenly started on a Wed afternoon and on the Saturday morning I was meant to be flying to Christchurch.  By Friday I was in two minds - to go or not to go.  On Friday night I was feeling ok so I was still going, by then it was almost to late to pull out anyway.  On Sat morning I felt great, the shower went fine and I raced around getting ready and sorting out last minute things - I probably should have done things a bit slower cause when my friend Diana arrived to pick me up I wasn't feeling so crash hot and the first thing she said to me wasn't 'hi, ready to go?' but 'are you ok cause you don't look so good.'  I really didn't feel so good either - my head was swimming, I was really, really thirsty and I just felt yuck.  It suddenly dawned on my that maybe I was a bit dehydrated as I hadn't really been drinking a lot the last few days and with the high temps had been sweating a lot, as soon as we got to the airport I downed 2 bottle of Powerade.  I don't often drink the stuff but it actually helped a lot and by the time our flight was called (it had been delayed) I was feeling a lot better than I had been.

The trip to Christchurch came about because my friend Diana needed to go to the Burwood Spinal Unit for some tests.  Diana has transverse myelitis and the team from Burwood thought it would be good for her to come down there for a visit.  Now Diana doesn't like to fly and although she can walk short distances with a stick, needs a wheelchair which she needed to bring down with her anyway.  Diana told ACC that she needed a travel companion and I was happy to be that person and ACC were happy to pay - hence a trip down to Christchurch.  The trip down went well - first on and last off was great.  Diana held my hand (without breaking any fingers) going up and coming down and otherwise did really well.  We parted ways once we got to Christchurch - She went to stay the weekend with family and I went to Tim and Yvettes.  It was a lovely relaxing time in Christchurch.  I was feeling way better just very tired still.  It was fun spending time with Asher - we read lots of books together.  I had a wonderful day out with my friend Janice and we had some pampering by going for a haircut and having our nails done.  Diana spend 3 days/3 nights in the hosp and everything was fine and she was discharged in time to catch our afternoon flight on the Thursday home.  That flight went really well and Diana was so confident that she didn't even need to hold my hand at all.

We had flown out and into Palmerston North which worked out really well.  When we got back on the Thursday we went and picked up Noah - Aimee and Tilly had been in and out of hosp that past week as Tilly had become unwell and stopped feeding.  She was diagnosed with a viral upper respiratory infection for which there was nothing they could do and time would heal it.  It had been a rough few days for them with not much sleep so not having the little man around for a few days was a nice break for them.  All went well once we got home - Noah loves being at Oma's.  The weather was lovely so we pottered outside a bit.  Everything however went down hill on the Sunday.  Noah had had a bit of a runny nose and on the Sunday morning I had noticed a wee bit of blood in it, nothing to bad though.  After Church we had lunch and Noah went for is sleep.  He actually went straight to sleep but soon woke up crying.  I went up to see him and I can honestly say it looked like something had been slaughtered in his bed.  There was blood everywhere.  Noah had the worst bleeding nose I've ever seen and it just wouldn't stop.  He was beside himself and very upset about all the blood he was covered in.  Things finally settled down - the bleeding stopped and we cleaned everything up - Noah and the bed and had some  quiet reading books time.  Noah's nose was still oozing a wee bit but nothing too bad.  Suddenly he started to cough and the next thing I knew he had thrown up - into my hand, all the blood that he had swallowed.  He definitely felt way better after that. That night I didn't sleep very well at all, I was half expecting to be woken by Noah crying and finding his nose had started to bleed again, but he made it through the night just fine.

Monday morning he wasn't a very happy chappy - crying, miserable and very, very clingy.  Home to Palmy and Mama we went, which Noah was not happy about at all.  He slept in the car on the way up and once we got to his place he slept again while sitting on my lap.  Aimee gave him some medicine and made a doctor's appointment for him.  Turns out he had a slight ear infection - no antibiotics just pain relief and it would heal with time.  Once the pain relief kicked in he was as right as rain.

Honestly if it's not one thing it's another.

Things did improve - thankfully the funding came through and I was able to restart my 5 hour a week job.  I qualified for a rates rebate which was a huge financial relief.  I was also finally feeling physically better (it took 3 weeks to really get over the bug) and I got stuck in and emptied the compost bins.  That was a huge and heavy going job and I managed to do almost the whole lot by myself.  I ended up having more compost than I needed for my garden so Diana's husband Hillary came to get the extra and did the last wee bit for me as I had had it by then.  We discovered that the compost had been hold up the sides (old pallets) and once it was gone the bins fell apart.  I wasn't too sad really and once Hil had removed the rubbish I installed a smaller plastic bin that is doing the trick quite nicely.  After Labour weekend I plan to start planting some veggies in the garden.  Today I noticed that the first asparagus spears have made an appearance - yum!

The whole job thing really got me down in Aug/Sept - so many applied for and nothing.  It gets very disheartening and tiring too.  I had a meeting with my Work and Income case manager and told her I was over it all.  I didn't want to apply for anymore jobs for the rest of the year as I had enough.  We had a talk and then she took me to have a chat with the work broker and they both encouraged me to keep applying for anything that appealed and blow me down I got 2 job interviews within 2 weeks of each other.  One was for a 15 hours a week job and the other was for a 40 plus hours a week job.  One was a very casual interview and the other was a very proper interview with some really hard questions.  I got neither of them and having processed that it's actually ok.  The fact that I got 2 interviews has been a HUGE boost to my confidence.  The Lord knew exactly what I needed and He provided.

The 15 hour a week job would not have seen me financially better off due to being taxed at a higher rate as it would be classed as a secondary job (the benefit being my primary income, even if it is still only a few dollars) and there was also the daily cost of traveling to Foxton, it was also a sole charge position which made me realize that because I live alone I actually need to be around other people in my job, also the owner guy looked very much like someone I know and that would just have been a bit weird.  I was 2nd choice for that job which was nice to hear.  The one who got it had more experience dealing with freighting companies.

The 40 plus hours a week job would have been full on - 7.45am - 5.30pm 5 days a week.  I would of coped but it would have been a shock to the system for the first few weeks.  It would have been home, feed the dog, eat something, probably anything that was simple and easy and then bed, forget the washing, vacuuming, ironing etc - lol!

I have since been back to see my case manager and she was very please for me that I had had 2 interviews.  She was please too that from them I have been able to really work out what I think will work for me.  She encouraged me to find a good balance - to be financially free yet still have time for family, grandchildren, friends and the other things that fill my life - I guess that's it I need to find a balance between working and having a life and I know that God has the right job lined up for me that will give me that balance.

I haven't stopped applying for jobs and this week sent in an application for a job at the local Library.  Just after Roy died I thought about doing some study and library study really appealed.  I even enrolled but pulled out as the timing just didn't feel right with so much other stuff including grieving still going on.  Maybe this could be the stepping stone to revisiting that.  I covert your prayers.

The other good news is that up until Christmas I have probably 5 maybe 7 more hours a week at work.  National office wants all centers to go digital which means scanning in and linking all our records (learner and volunteer information forms etc) to the database.  It'll be a big job to start with, but I'm happy to do it.  I'm hoping to start in the  next week or so.  I am also going to be looking after both Noah and Tilly again as from Monday, it'll mean 2 trips to Palmy a week as Aimee needs me on a Thursday too.  So the next weeks leading up to Christmas are going to be full on and probably (hopefully) fly by.

In other news - the monthly card making group is still going strong.  For the last few weeks we have been making Christmas cards.  I gave the Rawleigh shop a good spring clean and rearrange. I have finally added some of the other craft items that I have been making.  It now looks great and smells amazing thanks to the scented candles I've made.  I had a wonderful day this past week down in Wellington for a chicks day with my dear friends Jackie and Stella.  We had a wonderful time as we always do chatting, shopping, laughing and unbaggaging.  It is always a blessing to be able to spend time with these two wonderful ladies and just what I needed to recharge my battery.

As Murphy's Law would have it I decided to clean out and put away my fire stuff. We had been having such lovely warm days and even the evenings were mild.  Well no sooner had I done that then the weather changed and it cooled down again.  I have as yet not succumbed and relit the fire - instead in the evening I put on a jersey, close the curtains and light all my candles - I'm dutch after all ;0)

Well there are the highlights of the last few months - well most of them anyway.   Hopefully it wasn't too boring a read.

I still believe that the Lord has great plans for my future and I wait (as patiently as possible) for His timing.  Life is good and I am blessed daily - sometimes I just forget to see and appreciate them.  Life is too short to let yourself get burdened by baggage.  We need to enjoy each and every day we have been given and be thankful for the blessings. Things that have happened in the past need to be left there.  You can't change them and if you keep dragging them along they will eventually trip you up.  Let go, stop looking behind and look forward and most importantly look up to Him who will supply all your needs because when all else fails you can trust in Him.

Thanks for spending time with me via this blog.

Till next time.

Love and blessings

Sunday, 26 July 2015

The saying goes "When it rains, it pours" and that has indeed been true lately.  Not in the weather sense, but in the funeral sense.  Four funerals in the last two months with three in three weeks.  Three of the four where members of my congregation and the fourth was a past member my father-in-law.  The Lord called Pop home suddenly and peacefully on Monday 13th July exactly 6 weeks after his 90th birthday.  Pop was enjoying his afternoon coffee and quietly passed away, he didn't even eat his biscuit!!  A beautiful way to go really.  It's a strange feeling really when you know something is eventually going to happen, but when it does you still aren't really prepared for it.  That's how it was with Pop's death.  Already before Christmas the Doc's said that Pop didn't have long, giving him weeks rather than months and he proved them wrong.  In fact they took him off almost all his medication and he rallied, improving and seem way better than he had been for a long time.  Son Ryan always reckoned Pop wanted to outlive his Dad who had passed away at 90 and 3 weeks.  Well he sure did that - by 3 weeks.

Funerals are a little bit unsettling as they bring back memories.  Pop's funeral meant a trip to the cemetery where Roy is buried.  It was the third time I'd been there since Roy's death.  I must say this time it was far easier to face than it had been when Nana passed away. I guess that is progress.  Funerals are actually great family times and it was wonderful to catch up with the extended family, to spend time together and share memories.  Pop's death made me realise that things change when parents die - suddenly you become the older generation, the tie that binds siblings is gone and your focus changes to be on your immediate family - children and grand-children.  I feel very blessed to still have both my parents alive and well.

At the beginning of July I made a trip to Christchurch to celebrate grandson Asher's first birthday.  This trip down ended up being a comedy of errors due to me not actually reading my ticket properly.  In fact I didn't read the ticket at all and just assumed!!   I was all ready and packed on the Thursday morning and Mum and Dad kindly gave me a lift down to Paraparaumu Airport,  They dropped me off deciding not to stay, which I had said was fine.  It turned out to not be so fine as when I got to the check in the lovely lady there informed me that I wasn't actually flying till the next day.  I of course disagreed with her and then felt pretty silly when she pointed out the date on the ticket.  Well that left me in a bit of a pickle esp with Mum and Dad on their way back home.  First I rang them - which they didn't hear - so I sent them a txt instead asking them to come back to the airport, quietly praying they got it before the arrived back in Levin 45 mins away.  I then rang the airline on the off chance that I could change my ticket  to fly that day, however the cost was going to be far more than the original ticket so I decided against it.  Thankfully Mum and Dad had received my txt and returned to the Airport.  They kind of expected to find me very upset and in tears and probably if this had happened 18 months ago they would of - obviously I have matured a lot.  In fact I had a good laugh about it as it really was my own silly fault.  The upside was that I was able to get the Church bulletin done once I got home rather than having to do it while I was away and I was also able to attend a funeral.  On the Friday we once again headed down to Paraparaumu for my flight to Christchurch - yes it was the right day.

Yvette and Asher picked me up from the Airport and Tim finished work early so we could headed out to my sister-in-laws place in Bealey near Arthurs Pass.  Helen runs the Arthurs Pass Eco Lodge.  If you're looking for a place to stay I highly recommend it.  It was amazing.  The trip out there is beautiful, the views are stunning and the accommodation is fantastic.  We had a really great time.  It was cosy and warm inside thanks to the wood-burner  and -1 outside still at 10.30am.  The last time I had been out to Bealey was when Jim (Helen's husband and Roy's brother) and Roy were both still alive, so it was a first to face.  It was great to be able to create new memories and I look forward to going out there again in the future.  On Saturday we headed back into Christchurch and I spent the rest of that day with my cousin Femmy and her family.  Sunday was Asher's birthday party out at Yvette's parent's place.  It was a lovely day.  Monday I had a quick catch up with a friend over coffee and then it was time to head home again so it really was a flying visit but very enjoyable.  This time we flew into Paraparaumu over the land rather than over the sea and Kapiti Island.  It was so cool to see the new express way that is being built from the air.  It is a huge project and looked amazing. It was a wee bit freaky flying low over the top of houses just before we landed.

The following weekend Noah came to stay for 3 nights.  He loves coming to Oma's to stay and Oma loves having him.  He is always really good and doesn't get homesick at all.  I took him home on the Monday (this was also the day Pop died) and spent the day there catching up with youngest son Joel when he came for dinner at Aimee's that night.  I hadn't really been looking forward to the drive home in the dark but it went fine,  if I'd known what I found out later than week I might have been more worried.

On the Thursday of that week I had booked the car in for a new warrant and service.  The mechanic rang to let me know that I needed 2 new front tires as they were in very bad condition - something I had suspected.  When I asked if I could have the car back to drive to Palmy that afternoon to collect Tim, Yvette and Asher from the Airport he said no as it would be far to dangerous driving long distance with those tires, esp in the wet - gulp glad I didn't know that on Monday when I drove home in the dark and the rain.   Unfortunately the replacement tires would not be arriving until Friday so in the meantime they found me another car to use.  It is so weird driving a different car - this one was way, way lower than mine and had a really sloppy accelerator.  Anyway it did the job even if you tended to fall into it and have to hoist yourself out of it.  I was glad to have my own car back on the Friday, it actually had to have  4 new tires as the mechanic discovered that one of the back ones was  marginal so they all ended up needing replacing.  The bill was a trifle more than planned but at least the car is up to standard now and I def wont be needing tires again for a while.

Earlier this month I finished my course and received a certificate of achievement.   My last 2 assessments were using Excel and Word.  I really enjoyed both of them and have used what I learnt in Excel to set up a Petty Cash logbook to use at work.  For the Word assessment I had to edit a document which was a lot of fun.  My tutor was super impressed and her comment was "WOW! This is one of the best submissions I have ever seen for this module. Your contents table was fantastic, layout professional, bullet points perfect, loved your tables, headers and footers."  Feeling super pleased.  Maybe I should go into editing!!

Work continues to elude me and not from lack of applying for jobs.  I don't know why God is not answering my prayers for work, but I know that He is control of this and that in His time it will happen,  it is hard with so many doors closing and none seeming to be opening.  To make things more frustrating my job at English Language Partners has also been put on hold as from last week as we are waiting for funding to come through from a grant application.  We have received money from this organisation before for my position so we are hopefully it will be successful again, but you never know.  Being reliant on funding is sadly the down side for organisations like ours.  Please pray that the funding application is successful and that the Lord will open the right door for me work wise.  I know that God has a plan.  I pray for direction to follow it. Patience to wait for it, and wisdom to know when it comes.

Well on that note I'm calling it a night.  I didn't sleep very well last night so need to catch up.

Have an awesome week.

Till next time love and blessings

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Rain, rain go away we've had enough this winter!!

I decided that since it was raining - again, that today was a good day to catch up on some blogging.

On the subject of rain - it has rained pretty much for the last 48 hours (actually I'd say it has rained off and on for the most of June) and the region is suffering because of it with flooding, slips and road closures.  The flow of traffic past my place today is very low as currently no-one can leave Wellington - State Highway one (the main road north for non NZ readers) has been closed just south of Levin due to a bridge being washed out.  At this stage it will take them 24-48 hours to fix and the continuous rain is not going to help.

Rivers are high and overflowing in places, farm land is covered with water, streets are flooded as the drains just can't cope with the volume of water falling out of the sky and sadly some people have water flowing through their homes.  Thankfully I am not affected as my house it high off the ground except for the garage and at this stage the water hasn't come in there.  My carport does however have a pool in it as the water just can't drain away.

So while the sky continues to leak I am sitting in my lounge with the fire going and no great plans for the day except to hopefully catch you up on the last few months.

Looking back I see that I lasted blogged on the 9th of April - wow that's a while ago.  I see that at the time of writing I had little to no voice - believe it or not it took me 3 weeks to finally get my voice back to where it stayed around all day ;0)

A lot has happened since I last wrote.

For a start I have made 2 trips down to Wellington all on my own - I feel so proud and grown up ;0).  The first was a weekend down to go out with a group of friends to see the musical 'Singing in the Rain' - ha seems very apt to be writing about that now considering the weather outside.  It was  Loved it, loved it, loved it.  What an awesome way to step out of the cares and worries of your everyday life for a few hours.  The songs were catchy, the cast was very professional, the story was easy to follow, we laughed a lot and we were all really glad we didn't have seats to close to the stage in what was called the splash zone as those people definitely got wet when it 'rained' on stage - they did get given rain coats!  It was a great night out with a wonder group of ladies and nicely rounded off by catching up with friends at Church the next morning.

A few things happened before I made my next trip down to Wellington.

One was that I finished my weekly trips to look after Noah as Aimee went on maternity leave.  It left much more of a hole than I thought it would, although to be honest I don't miss the very early morning starts or the driving too and from Palmy in the dark.  The second significant thing that happened was the arrival of my beautiful grand daughter Matilda (Tilly) Elsie Waite.  Tilly was born on Monday 25th May and weighed 7lb 8 oz.  She is as cute as a button (but then Oma's always say that about their grand children) and at this stage a very easy baby.  Noah is pretty proud and loves to help out at home.

Photo taken by Keepsake Photography

 My second trip to Wellington was to go and celebrate Dad Nugteren's 90th birthday.  An awesome achievement considering he was at deaths door just before Christmas.  We had a lovely morning tea for him at the rest home with family and friends coming from far and near to be part of this special occasion.  Dad was very well that day and seemed to enjoy himself very much.

A week after Dad's birthday was the 2nd anniversary of Roy's death - the 8th June.  Why does it seem such a long time ago and yet it's only 2 years.  That is such an odd notion!!  There's a saying the time heals all wounds and I guess in a way it does - although maybe not heals but makes it easier to bear.  I have days where I don't think about Roy at all and other days when he is often on my mind.  Maybe it depends how busy I am with life and living.  Sometimes I have melancholy days, esp on rainy days or when I get another no response to a job application,  these are times when everything is just way to hard and I'm so tired of it all - tired of applying for jobs, tired of being rejected, tired of juggling finances, tired of being on my own ......and the list goes on!! They are days where I struggle with this new normal that is now my life.  Maybe some of that feeling of melancholy is due to frustration - the frustration of feeling ready to move forward with my life but not yet knowing in what direction I'm meant to be going.  I have learnt to allow myself these little moments as a way of processing whatever the current situation has thrown my way.  A lot of praying happens during these times of struggle, a lot of asking God why, when and how long and often with tears, but thankfully God is gracious,  He doesn't allow me to become overwhelmed with self pity and I am able to pick myself up, carry on and face the world again with a smile on my face.  God has also blessed me with good friends and family who are a listening ear when I need them.

Aimee and the children came down to spend the 8th with me which was really nice.  Nothing like Noah and baby Tilly cuddles to make it a great day.  My parents popped in for a quick visit - mainly to see their great grandchildren ;0)  and Diana and her sister Johanna came for dinner that night - actually they brought dinner and I made apple pie for dessert - yum.  All in all it was a good day - lots of memories and sharing and thankfully very few tears.  Thanks to all those who sent me messages, txts or phoned I really appreciated it.

I am pleased to say that I am definitely in a better head space this year than I was last year and although I don't want to sound conceited I am actually please and proud at how much I have achieved since Roy's death and also at how far I have come.  I have discovered I am a way stronger person than I ever thought I was, although it probably was always there, but it didn't need to come out as much because Roy had always been there to 'take care of things'.  Now I have to stand up for myself because there is no-one else to do it for me.  You get on with life and all that entails because you actually have no other choice.  If that means that I've become a stronger women than that's fine with me.

The job situation is as it was - I'm still applying for jobs without too much success.  I did have a phone interview for one job which is a bit of progress I guess but didn't get to the interview stage.  I recently did apply for a job that I was really, really keen on but that didn't pan out either, which I was quite sad about for a day.  Thankfully my good friends from Australia - John and Trudy - are here at the moment and they took me to Palmy with them for some Mall therapy as John calls and a catch up with Aimee, Noah and Tilly.  That was just what I needed and I am really grateful that they thought to include me.   There seem to be a lot more admin positions coming available locally so when I see them I apply, I then leave it in the Lord's hands asking Him to open the correct door.  Patience is a virtue so 'they' say, I must be brimming with virtue by now ;0)

My study continues to go well and I am now up to the last assignment.  I have really enjoyed studying even if at times I found it really frustrating and hard to understand.  It was actually good to go to the Church AGM this week and understand the budget, profit & loss statement etc.  In the past they were just a bunch of numbers to me but know they have way more meaning and make sense.  I did have a wee glitch which meant I had to put my study on hold for a few weeks.  The hard drive on my computer decided it had worked hard enough and was going to give up the ghost.  Thankfully it gave me fair warning and I was able to back up all my files.  Off  the computer went to visit my brother Ron to see if he could fix it, which he could cause he is so clever.  I felt quite pleased that I had backed everything up, however a week later it suddenly occurred to me that  moving an icon from your desktop to your external hard drive does not back up and save that file - I'm not sure why I even thought it might. I had thought I had saved the book I was making about Roy onto my external hard drive when all I had saved was the desk top icon.  In a bit of a panic I sent Ron a txt to see if it was still saveable and he assured me that he was still able to access the hard drive and would therefore save the book for me so I didn't loose it - phew!!  Being computer less for 3+ weeks was really hard.  The 'old' computer down stairs still goes but it was really slow and it was also really cold having to sit down there to use it, it also wasn't able to run some of the programs I needed for my course, but I was able to take the work laptop home a few times which was really cool and meant I could continue with my studies.

Work continues to go well and I still love the job, it's just a shame there isn't enough funding for some more hours.  I am being given more and more responsibilities and David (my boss) is quite happy to leave me 'in charge' if he has to be in Kapiti for the morning or if he has a meeting to go too.  He usually leaves me as much work as he can find and my goal is to empty my table and fill his.  This is generally achievable.

Last time I mentioned about continuing with the card making group and I must say it has gone very well.  So far we have met twice, always on the first Wed of the month and to date we have made 4 cards.  Usually there are between 6-7 of us and we have a great time of not only card making but fellowship too.  Next month we are going to make some Christmas cards - I better put my thinking cap on and come up with some ideas.

Oh that is some news I haven't told you yet - I finally have a case manager at Winz -  Yip third time lucky so to speak.  She is a lovely enough lady, not overly helpful but at least she is sticking around.  This coming week will be my third visit with her.  I have to go and see her every 4 weeks - unfortunately.  I'm not sure what it is exactly but it always puts a damper on my day when I have to go for a Winz appointment.  It's hard to describe but I hate having to go there and it leaves me feeling a bit 'meh' when I've been.  The sooner I no longer have to have anything to do with them the better.

I mentioned earlier about the book I have been making for my grandchildren about Roy - well it's all done and I am quite pleased it.  I have ordered 5 copies one for each of my children and 1 for me.  I am hoping that they will arrive early next week.  I can't wait to see what they look like.  The other thing I have done is go and inquire about a headstone for Roy.  The plan at first was to have a wooden (rimu) cross made up and have a brass plaque attached, but after some discussion it was decided that this would not weather so well and would eventually need replacing.  We are now looking at a black granite plaque with a smooth face but raw edges for that out doors feel that was so much part of Roy's life.  I had thought that doing this would be emotionally hard, but it hasn't been the case at all.  The man at the funeral home who I talked to is a lovely, kind gentle man and I think that helped too.

In two weeks time I'm off to Christchurch to celebrate Asher's first birthday - wow 1 already.  I am so looking forward to it.  Maybe we'll get snow - that would make a nice change from the rain.  I will def be packing winter woollies.

Well I think that's about it for another epistle.  Goodness it has taken me almost half a day to write this, although I did get visitors half way through.  Before I end I'd just like to say it is still raining and doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon.  I will definitely have to watch the news tonight.

Now it's time to make dinner.

Until next time.  Stay safe and God bless.

Love and hugs

Thursday, 9 April 2015

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" - so goes the opening quote from 'A Tale of  Two Cities'.  Not that I've ever read the book, but the quote did spring to mind as I was thinking back over the last few weeks.

To be honest I should actually be working on the next module of my accounting cert. as I haven't done anything for the last 2 weeks, but I felt inspired to write instead.  And when inspiration strikes you've got to go with the flow.

So why the opening quote - well these last few weeks have been full of blessings and ........hmmmmm, the antonym of blessings would be curses, but I wouldn't say that has been the case.  Lets rephrase then, they have been weeks of highs and lows, positives and negatives, good and bad, happy and sad, encouraging and discouraging - take your pick!!  I'm sticking to the quote as that really describes it best - they have been weeks of the best of times and they have been weeks of the worst of time - leaning heavily towards the best of times of course.

So let me give you a run down of the best and worst of the weeks that have been.

My friend Diana and I decided to use our free birthday movie tickets to so see a movie together.  It took a bit of work to find something we would both like to see as we do have different tastes in movies.  We finally settled on the the new Will Smith movie Focus.  The plot was great, but the bad language at times was terrible and kind of spoilt the movie. Diana and I felt pretty special though as we actually had a private screening of the movie as we were the only 2 in the theater, but I guess that's to be expected when you go at 1pm in the afternoon - lol!!

I have been inspired this past month to get back into card making.  Betty - wife of our interim Pastor is a very talented lady and she has been teaching some of the Church ladies card making.  It was so much fun, not only creating beautiful cards but also fellowshiping together.  Sadly Bill and Betty have returned to Australia, but I am planning to take up the mantle and continue were she left off.  It is good to be able to use my gifts while I have the time and 'freedom' (read no job) to be able to do so.

Mid March Noah turned 2. He was very excited to get his big boys bed and proudly had to show it off to everyone.  His birthday party was a great event with good weather which meant everyone was able to be outside.  Aimee did an amazing job on the decorations and catering.  She is one talented lady.

I think in past blogs I have written about the fact that the house shakes in the evening when the big truck go by heading north.  Well it's been fixed. I decided to do some ringing to see if I could get the problem sorted out.  I had the usual thing of being passed from one organisation to another, but finally I was connected to who I needed.  The girl I spoke to was very nice and took all my details and said someone would be in touch - and I thought 'Yeah right!!'.  Well a week later they were - in fact he was standing on my doorstep and we had a lovely chat about the road, road bounce, ripple effect, bitumen thickness, culverts etc.  Some of what he had to say actually went over the top of my head but I nodded politely like I got it - lol!.  Anyway he did say he could see the exact 2 spots the trucks were hitting and he even marked them on the road.  He logged the info into their system and he hoped something would get done within 6 months.  I got his name and number so that I could get in touch should that not be the case.  Two weeks later a road maintenance truck pulls up and they fill the 2 dips in the road with a layer of asphalt.  I must say I was pretty skeptical that it was going to make a difference, but it really has.  The house still shakes but no where near as badly has it had.   I wondered if maybe it was just that I was so used to the shaking that I didn't notice it, but visitors have also noticed the difference.  In fact the wood-burner flue doesn't rattle anymore which is good.

I have had a few Skype sessions with Ryan, Ineke and Inge which has been awesome.  Noah joined in for a couple too which was great.  He often asks to talk to Inge on the 'puter'.  At the end of March Ryan turned 30 - wow where has that time gone.

My course is going really well, it is hard work but eventually it does make sense which is good.  I got 100% on my last assignment on the Trial Balance - a great boost to my confidence I can assure you. The next module is on Financial Statements (sounds heavy going) - I plan to start work on it this afternoon motivation allowing ;0) and if I don't get too side tracked with making a birthday card.

I have had a wee holiday down in Christchurch to catch up with Tim, Yvette and Asher.  It was wonderful and I had a great time getting to know Asher better.  He is a real cutie and a generally happy wee man.  He is crawling everywhere and standing up and walking along the furniture.  He loves being outside and is a real chatterbox.  Sadly near the end of my stay he got a cold and was pretty miserable.

While I was away I applied for a job - a clerical position for 30 hours a week (the things you can do thanks to modern technology). As you can imagine I was pretty excited to get a phone call half a hour after sending off my application asking me to come for an interview.  Explaining that I was currently not in Levin we arranged an interview for first thing Tuesday morning (I arrived home Monday afternoon).  I was a bit surprised to see that the job had been removed from TradeMe on Friday but didn't think too much of it really, except to think that maybe this was a good thing for my chances.  I left Christchurch pretty excited and nervous about the thought of finally having a job interview the next day.  I felt like my ship had finally come in, that this was the answer to all those prayers ............................... however..................................... I got home to a message that the interview had been cancelled as they had filled the position!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yip you definitely read that right.  Gutted doesn't begin to describe how I felt.  It was a blow to my confidence like nothing I've ever felt before. The wind wasn't just knocked out of my sails the whole mast was cut down and my boat scuttled.  Even now 2 weeks on and having 'processed' it I'm still find I get upset by the whole experience, it has left a very bitter taste.  I mean who does that?????  You don't treat people that way. If I had received the usual (and I've had plenty already this year)  'Thanks you for your application, but you were not successful' letter I could have coped. Probably muttered a bit as you do, but shrugged it off  and moved on.  But to have this happen is just.....just.... beyond words!!   It's just not right. Or am I being naive??!!

Anyway I am taking a wee break from job hunting (not that there is anything going) to concentrate on the things I have going on that need my attention, esp my study  and I have 2 orders for sewing items to get onto.  I still believe that God is in control and has a plan, but I must admit to being pretty cross with Him that day,  I know that He will have something better planned for me when the time is right and I guess this experience will definitely make me stronger.

The rest of that week pre Easter was actually great with 2 sessions of card making, work, a catch-up afternoon tea with my friend  Jackie from Wellington who had a work meeting in Levin and a movie/dinner night out with friends to see Cinderella - which by the way was a fantastic movie, although I am just a wee bit biased as it is my favourite fairy-tale.  On the Thursday before Easter I went to pick Noah up and he came to stay until Easter Saturday afternoon - we had an awesome time together.

Although the week was good I kind of felt a bit meh!!  I just lacked some energy and wasn't sure if it was post holiday blues or job let down related.  Turns out I was getting sick.  That cold that I said that Asher had, well not only did Tim and Yvette get it but I got it too.  And sadly I have passed it on to Noah.  On Good Friday I woke up minus my voice - well a good part of it anyway.  Having no voice I can cope with, but the coughing is driving me crazy.  By the end of the day my chest and head hurt.  At times I feel like I'm about to expel my lungs. And the voice - well lets just say that resting your voice by not talking isn't making it any better, if anything it gotten worse or should I say less.  I  feel fine now, but am still coughing although that too seems to be a bit less.  Maybe with less coughing the voice will recover as well.  Time will tell.

So you can see why I wrote that it was the best of times and the worst of times.

Well I think I'll leave it there for now.  This has already taken up more time than I expected - but then  good things always do.

I will leave you with the following verse which I read this past week and which has given me great comfort.

Till next time.

Love and blessings

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Hi everyone.  I'm back!!!  Not that I've actually been away, but it's definitely been a while since I sat down and put pen to paper  - so to speak.  Fingers to keyboard just doesn't have the same ring to it even though it's the way of the modern world.  Pen to paper is probably something that is happening less and less.

I'm guessing your lives are all speeding along just like mine is.  The other day I reading the following which kind of sums things up nicely:

"Oh okay,  it's March!
Nobody panic it's just March! 
Hahaha, that's fine, everything cool!
It was just Christmas, but okay  it's now March!!

Yip that about sums it up alright!!

So what's been happening the last month - well lots really - I think?????  To be honest it's a bit of a blur but lets see if we can work it out!!

All the usual stuff has happened - weekly looking after Noah, going to work (although I am doing Tuesday afternoons at the moment as there is a course running in the office in the morning), doing  the Church bulletin, mowing lawns, a bit of sewing, getting up each morning and going to bed at night (probably a bit later than I really should - going to bed that is not the getting up - lol)!!

At the beginning of February Noah came to stay for a couple of weekends.  He was home in between the two weekends.  He was great and we had a wonderful time.  He has progressed from the port-a-cot into what he calls his big boys bed when he come here to stay. He is so proud and loves to show people his bed with the beautiful quilt a friend made. Thankfully he's never fallen out of bed yet - more by 'luck' than design I'd say if you'd seen the different positions I would find him in.  One time when I went to check he was lying on his back the wrong way round in the bed with his legs up the wall - fast asleep, another time he was literally hanging over the edge, also fast asleep!!  Going to sleep at night took a bit longer than usual - one because of the heat and the other was the excitement and freedom of the new bed.  I decided as long as he stayed in bed he could stay awake as long as he liked.  That seemed to work and the bonus was he usually slept in in the morning.

February also saw a personal milestone - another birthday/Valentine's day without Roy (yip my birthday is on Valentine's day).  The week before I'd been feeling pretty melancholy about it all.  Last year I had a relatively big party because I was turning 50, so this year was a bit of a downer and I wasn't sure what to do.  During the week leading up to the actual day my friend Diana took me out for a pre-birthday dinner which was lovely.  As a 'gold card' member of the local picture theater I got a free movie ticket because it was my birthday and as I have a 'club' card at the local department store from them I got a free pen as a birthday gift.  I felt pretty spoilt and a bit more in the birthday mood.  In fact so much so that I even baked - a beautiful pavlova for my birthday dinner dessert.  On the actual day I had a lovely visit from my sister in law Joc who came for morning tea and then the family (those who could make it) came for dinner.  It was a wonderful day/evening and I felt truly blessed.  A BIG thank you to those who sent cards, txt's and messages on Facebook.  They were very much appreciated.  The birthday weekend was rounded off with a Skype session with Tim, Yvette and my handsome wee grandson Asher- that wee man is growing up sooooooooooo fast.

Job update: there's not a lot to report actually - the 3 jobs I applied for last time I blogged came to nothing and currently there are another 4 'in progress'.  Time will tell.  I apply for the jobs and then leave it in the l
Lord's hands and I'm not worried about it at all - amazingly.  Actually I don't worry about much anymore.  I get nervous about stuff, but not worried.  Max Lucado in his book 'Come Thirsty' wrote : "The worrisome heart pays a high price for doing so.  Worry comes from the Greek word that means “to divide the mind”.  Anxiety splits us right down the middle, creating a double-minded thinker.  Rather than take away tomorrows trouble, worry voids today’s strength.  Perception is divided, distorting your vision.  Strength is divided, wasting your energy.  Who can afford to lose power?  But how can we stop doing so?
Paul offers a two-pronged answer: God’s part and our part.  Our part includes prayer and gratitude. “Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks.” (Philippians 4:6)  God’s part?  “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7)"  So why worry??

What I have done - with much gratitude and thanks to a very kind, but to remain un-named benefactor - is apply for the course I was interested in doing last year.  It is a NZQA Cert. in Accounts Admin and Payroll.  Last week I made a start on the first module and quickly discovered that at 51 my brain is a bit slower than it used to be, esp at retaining knowledge.  This study stuff is hard work.  What I also discovered is that the mathematical side was much easier than the theory side - I am surprised by this because maths and numbers have never been my strong point, I think the years of running the business have definitely helped improve my mathematical skills.  I take plenty of notes and I find that really helpful, and it is good to be able to work at my own pace.  My first assessment has been handed in for marking and I go 84% on my first test so I'm pretty happy.  As part of the course I received a copy of the 2014 Payroll  - A Practical Guide to NZ Payroll Administration - if anyone is having trouble sleeping let me know and you can borrow it ;0)

On the 1st of March my beautiful grand daughter Inge turned 4 - where has that time gone?? Inge loves the movie Frozen and I was able to get some fabric in that theme so I made her a couple of dresses for her birthday from it and sent them over to England.  It still makes me smile remembering her singing "Let it go" at the top of her lungs as we walked through town when they were here before Christmas.  Next week there will be another birthday as Noah will be turning 2 - man he is growing up too - he is having a Bob the Builder party - exciting.

Speaking of exciting - there has been much excitement at Noah's place with the arrival in late Feb of puppies.  Richard and Aimee's English Springer Spaniel Rosie has had her puppies.  She had 8 but sadly 2 died.  Still 6 is a good number and they are sooooooo cute and they grow so fast.  I'm looking forward to seeing how big they are tomorrow when I go up to Palmy.

I am glad to report that my wood shed is almost full.  One bay is completely full and the other is half full.  I'm pretty sure I have enough wood to last the winter.  Dad has also constructed a water collection system by adding some guttering to collect the roof water with a down pipe that flows into a barrel.  The barrel also has an overflow into a 2nd large bucket.  Great for watering the garden and Jack has plenty of water to drink.  Mind you with the torrential rain we had yesterday the overflow bucket overflowed.

Yes, yesterday we finally had a good drop of rain.  In fact it rained so hard that the carport got flooded.  The drain I dug just couldn't cope.  I'm really pleased that the firewood was no longer stored there as it would have been soaked.  We haven't had any real rain for probably a month and a half, so it was good to finally get some., Everything is fresh again and looking just that wee bit happier.  The warm weather has a down side in that is seems to have brought the spiders inside, esp the daddy long legs.  I don't mind sharing my shower, but not with anything with more than 2 legs ;0), also it is rather disconcerting to walk down the hall still half asleep in the morning and get a face full of spider thread.  Those wee suckers are really good at hiding too because for the life of me I can't find them in order to give them their eviction notices.  Even as I sit here and look at the window I see a beautiful web has been strung in the gate opening of the fence around the deck.

I am doing some re-winter sorting and cleaning - that should make spring cleaning easier.  I have sorted, cleaned and rearranged the laundry - as mush as you can without moving the tub and washing machine. I have also re-arranged the lounge and gave it a good clean and sort out and then last week Saturday I decided to tackle my bedroom.  My bed sits on drawers and is attached to a heavy headboard so it isn't easy to move - in fact it's pretty unmovable as far as a quick dust under or behind is concerned - so you can imagine that when I finally moved the bed that the 6 years of dust I discovered was not such a pretty sight.  After a lot of huffing, puffing, lugging and just a tad of muttering I got things re-arranged to my satisfaction. The bed head is now against an internal wall rather than under the small windows which will be great come winter.  The down side is that I am now sleeping on what was always Roy's side of the bed.  Not that this is a bad thing because it was his side, but I always slept better on my side so it is taking some getting used to. You might think I'm crazy but you should try try swapping side.  The simple fact that you get into bed in a certain way on 'your' side and that you have to do so differently the other side is a problem to start with.  Funnily Roy always used to say we should swap sides just for something different, but I never would.  He would be amused to see that now I have.  I have only changed because of convenience (closer to the door) so I'll give it a few weeks otherwise I'll change back to my side - it'll just mean a walk around the bed.  Some of you may be wondering why this is a big deal as I have the whole bed to myself anyway, but after years of sharing it is just habit to stay on my side rather than use the whole bed and anyway I am still sharing - with the cat and for someone pretty small she takes up a lot of space.

I have a few projects on the go at the moment  - I have been doing some sewing to make personalised pillowcases for children going through cancer treatment.  So far I have made 3 - for a little girl of 5, a little boy of 4 and another boy who is 10.  It is so sad that these children are having to fight such a hard battle so young, but also so awesome as well to be able to do something that will hopefully brighten their day and make them smile.

The other project is the book about Roy for my grandchildren.  I have finally felt emotionally ready to make a start on this.  All the photos have been scanned that I want to use and I am now slowly putting the book together.  I started with the cover and title page and when they were done I burst into tears - it sounds a bit silly now that I write about it but at the time it was much more emotional than I had expected.  The book has since started to take shape, and the tears do still flow at times as old memories are relived, but that's ok. The end result will definitely be worth a little heart ache now.

Well I think I'm all blogged out for now.  I have some exciting things coming up but I'll tell you about them next time.  For now I'm off to do a spot of knitting for my new grand-daughter (Aimee's having a girl) before heading off to afternoon Church.

I'll leave you with this Valentine's poem with a difference - it's beautiful.

Thanks for reading.  Wishing you the Lord's richest blessing on your life.  

Till next time.

Love and blessings

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Wow it's hot. Have you melted yet????  

At  5.30pm  the temp outside was 31.4 degrees C in the shade and inside it was 30.5 degrees C.  The clock on the Post Office in town was reading 28 degrees. The TV weather man reckoned we had 27 today.  Summer has well and truly turned up and it's great, even if it is too hot to be outside doing anything.  Mind you it's too hot to be doing anything inside as well.  I'm not complaining though because when the weather turns bad we'll be wanting this lovely hot weather again.

So January is almost over and a busy month it's been too.  I have started back at work and it's great to be back there.  I now work 3 hours on a Tuesday morning and 2 hours on a Wednesday morning.  It took me a bit to get used to just doing 2 hours on a Wednesday though.  I'd get home just after 11am and think it was lunchtime - lol.  Next week I'll do Tuesday afternoons as there is a 9 week training course starting for new volunteer tutors and it's a bit hard for me to get work done while David (my boss) is busy teaching.  I have also had some extra days look after Noah as Aimee has been very busy with wedding cake orders what with this being wedding season.  Tomorrow I'm off to Palmy to pick Noah up and he's coming for the weekend as Aimee and Richard have an all day work do on Saturday.

Besides working and tripping up and down to Palmy I have also been busy down in the office where it is actually relatively cool so lovely to work in.  This week I had another cull of the stuff waiting to go on TradeMe.  It has been sitting down in the office since the last cull which was probably over a year ago so it was time to go through it again.  I got rid of a good portion which has been added to the growing Op shop pile. The rest has finally started to put on TradeMe.  I have also been selling off some of my fabric on a fabric de-stash page on Facebook.  What doesn't sell there will eventually go on TradeMe.

I have had visitors as well the last few weekends.  Sister in law Joc came for a weekend which was really, really lovely and then the following weekend my sister Carolyn came for a long weekend which was also really, really lovely.  It was so great to be able to spend time with these lovely ladies and reconnect. I felt truly blessed being able to spend time with them both.

There has been progress on the woodshed too this month and it is now at the almost done stage.  I promised you photos so here they are.

All that is left to be done is a mowing strip and putting down the pavers.  My Dad and my brother Ron have worked really hard to get this built for me and I am in awe of their handy-work and appreciate their effort immensely. It is a really sturdy shed.  Next week I hope to move the load of fire wood that is currently residing in the car port into it's new home. Exciting!!

The rest of the outside is looking pretty good - the  veggie garden has started to produce a crop.  I have been able to harvest snap peas and lettuce so far.  The spring onions are growing into leeks and I had to replant the beans as the first lot died.  I have also planted corn which is looking pretty good.  I try to make sure I water the garden and the pots every second day as the plants are struggling in this heat.  The strawberries are also starting to produce and the passionfruit plants have finally taken off and are making their way up the trellis.  I just need to spray them before they totally become infested with passionfruit hoppers and fluffy bum aphids which suck the life out of the plants.  Thankfully the lawns have finally slowed down a bit, in fact most of it has stopped and is looking brown except for the couch grass which is terrible stuff and just keeps right on growing.  I've just done a quick read up about couch grass and the only way to really get rid of it is to spray the lawn with glyphosate until the grasses are fully killed. Then the area can be dug over and prepared for re-sowing or re-turfing.  My lawn is pretty big so that just ain't happening, I'll mow instead.

The applying for jobs has started again too this month with 3 applied for so far.  Two are actually based in Palmy, and although the thought of travelling that distance every day doesn't really appeal I think that maybe it is wise to look in that direction.  My preference would still be to find something in Levin, but there just isn't a lot available here at the moment.  It will all work out I'm sure when it's meant too.

This week I went and got a hair cut.  I've gone short, very short as in no more curls.  I'm loving the new look esp in this heat.  The curls will eventually grow back - they always do.  Did you know that it's a known fact that people with straight hair want curls and people with curls want straight hair!!!!!  I've always loved my curls, but I'm happy to be without them for a while.

Well I think that about catches you up again on the goings on in my life.  The Lord continues to be my strength and He blesses me richly everyday. The very fact that I wake up every morning feeling refreshed and ready to face the day is a huge blessing in it self and one we so often take for granted.

Well I'm off to make a cup of tea and close some windows and doors so I can turn on some lights.  I don't want to be invaded by bugs so I'll just have to put up with the heat. Either that or leave everything open and sit in the dark which isn't a bad plan as long as I don't have to type anything.

Until next time.

Wishing you Gods blessing wherever you are.

Much love and hugs

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Happy New Year everyone - I hope 2015 has started off well for you wherever you might be.  May God bless this New Year.  May He be your guide as you step into the unknown that this new year will bring.

I guess the New Year is a time for reflection on the past and looking forward to the future.  On that note the reason I am blogging today is because today a year and a half ago the Lord called Roy home to be with Him.  Yip it's been a year and a half - 18 whole months.  Amazing really - where has the time gone and yet it seems so long ago.  So much has happen in the last 18 months -  I have learnt a lot about myself and what I'm able to do.  I have especially grown spiritually.  The last 18 months have been both hard work and yet very rewarding as well and I can honestly say that I have only come through them because the Lord has been at my side guiding me along the way.

"They" (those mysterious people who seem to know everything) say that it (grief) gets easier with time, but I'm not so sure about that.  I think it's become easier to hide my emotions and feelings from those around me.  When I do have a 'meltdown' (yip they do still happen occasionally) I do so in private.  The people around me have moved on with their lives (as is only natural)  and I guess I try to portray the image that I am too, that I'm coping just fine and life is sweet, and actually for the most part it is and I am doing fine.  I get up in the morning and I do what needs to be done.   I love spending time with family and friends, going to work, looking after Noah, sewing or pottering around the house and garden.  All those normal everyday things, that make life normal.   I have become comfortable living alone. Very much so in fact - maybe almost to much so.  I like having my house neat and tidy - just so!!  I like having smaller loads of washing, less dishes, less mess.   I'm even getting used to cooking smaller meals and I esp like not being 'accountable' to anyone.   And yet I miss belonging , being connected if you like. Sure I'm connected to my children, parents and friends, but they all have their own lives.  I miss being part of a couple and that is not getting easier with time esp at family gatherings, which are always wonderful and I love going to them or having them at my place, but they are bittersweet as they are often also very, very hard.  I miss being connected to that one special person and that has not gotten any easier over the last 18 months.  Maybe over time and with the Lords help that too will get easier.   I know that God has given me the strength so far to walk the path set before me and my daily prayer is that He will continue to remove the feelings that hinder my walk with Him and that He will give me His peace and guidance.

I found this lovely quote which is part of a poem by Minnie Louise Haskins, those some of you who are my friends on Facebook will have seen there.  I think it's a great way to view the new year.

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown!"
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.

That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."

 The other quote I really like is.

"I don't know how my story will end, but no where in my text will it ever read .....'I gave up.'

I don't know exactly what 2015 holds for me, but I sure am looking forward to finding out.  I know that the Lord has it all in His hands and He will reveal His plans for my life when the time is right.  It's kinda like an adventure ;0) and who doesn't love an adventure.  I guess it's about opening your heart and mind to new possibilities.  Life's too short so lets enjoy it, making to most of each day by reach out and share it with others.

Which reminds me one thing that will be happening this year, God willing,  is that I will be an Oma again of grandchild number 4.  Aimee and Richard are expecting a baby, which means Noah is going to be a big brother.  Baby Waite is due in May.  So exciting.

A lot has happened since I last wrote a month ago  What with Christmas and New Year and family coming and going and coming and going.

The week before Christmas I had Ryan, Ineke and Inge come for a few days, which was really, really lovely but way to short. While they were here we spent a bit of time in Palmy with the Palmy based family members.  Inge and Noah got on really well.  Noah was more than happy ( for the most part) to let Inge 'mother' him and drag him around, it was so cute to watch.  That week Dad Nugteren took a turn for the worse and was admitted into hospital with suspected kidney failure.  The doctors did not expect him to survive and we were all thinking we'd have a funeral before Christmas.  That however turned out to not be the case as he was actually severely dehydrated.  Since then he has actually rallied and although still very weak and frail is doing ok, but some days are better than others.

The weekend before Christmas I had niece Melinda and nephew Julian come and stay for Sat and Sun nights - Julian came to do some preaching at our church in Foxton.  Then on  the Sunday Tim, Yvette and Asher and their small dog George arrived and Aimee and Richard dropped Noah off as they had very early starts leading up to Christmas.  So I had a house full which was busy but actually really nice.  It was interesting to watch Noah and Asher together - Noah really had no interest in Asher at all.  Maybe that's a boy thing or an age thing.  Asher is a real cutie and a very happy wee man with a ready smile.

During this time I also got sick again - going down with a bug that both Tia and Aimee had - Joel also was not well.  That is one thing I can def do without this year.  I think 2014 had enough sickness to cover a few years.

On Christmas eve Aimee and Richard came to pick Noah up and then on Christmas day after Church we all headed to Palmy and spent Christmas Day at Aimee and Richard's along with Joel and Tia, my parents and Ron and Maria Tine (my brother and sister in law).  We had a wonderful day with glorious weather and way too much food.  Tim, Yvette, Asher and George stayed at Aimee and Richard's that night as they had an early home to Christchurch the next day and I headed home alone to my empty and very quiet house.  Mum and Dad popped in on their way home as they thought I might be a bit sad and lonely - what a blessing they are.

After the busyness of those 2 weeks it was actually nice to be able to 'put my house back in order' - by doing housework and getting the lawns done.  Mum and Dad came on Boxing Day for a 'left-overs' dinner and then on the Sat evening Diana came over for dinner as she was home alone as her family had gone down south for a family reunion.  Diana has trouble walking and the trip would have been just to much for her.  We had a great time together as we always do.

Monday saw me heading back to Palmy to look after Noah and Tuesday I headed south to Wellington to pick up Ryan who was coming to stay for a few days before he flew back to England.  It was great having him come and stay and together we played heaps of games of Carcassonne (a game Roy and I used to play regularly as in every Sunday after church).  It was great to be able to play again and although Ryan won more games than me we were pretty evenly matched - or maybe he was just being kind to his mother eh Ryan!!!!

New Years eve was a non event this year as the next morning I had to make another trip to Wellington to take Ryan back to the airport.  This time Mum and Dad came to and we first went to see Dad Nugteren in Lower Hutt and then we went to Whitby to have lunch and spend some time with my sister Carolyn and the family.   We dropped Ryan off at the airport at 4pm and were back in Levin for dinner at Cobb and Co (Dad's shout) by 5.30pm.

This past week I have been busy sewing a custom order of 4 cushion covers and 2 pillow slips which are off with the buyer to Croatia.  I just have to sew on the buttons which is tomorrows job and then they are off with the courier.  I also spent a day catching up on all the business stuff which I had let slide due to having visitors and the Christmas/New Year break.  Dad and Ron have been and have made a good start on my new wood shed, which I hope will get finished off before the end of the month. Yesterday I went to the funeral of a friends daughter who had died after a battle with cancer.  Diana came for dinner again last night and we chatted until nearly midnight - oh the things we talked about - such fun!!!!.  Consequently though I slept in by mistake this morning which mucked me up a bit as I had a coffee appointment with Mum and Dad.  This afternoon I did all the lawns (which thanks to the rain we keep getting haven't stopped growing yet).  I also got 3 loads of washing done, weeded and planted more vegetables in the veggie garden, washed the dog, tried to brush the cat as she keeps loosing fluff all the time - this plan was not as successful as I'd hoped as Pixie was not at all impressed.  I did manage to get a bit of fluff off her but I got a number of claw puncture wounds as my reward.  Pixie is not at all happy with me at the moments and runs away every time she sees me.

I am enjoying having a 'holiday' although I keep getting confused what day it is.  I was sure today was Saturday!!!  Next week work starts again which will be nice and it'll put me back on track.

Well this edition has taken me all evening to write, but I am finally done.  I think I'll 'unwind' with a episode of Magnum PI  before heading to bed - I've been watching them on Youtube since there is nothing worth watching on TV.  They made good stuff back in the 80's.

Until next time.

Love and blessings