Saturday, 31 December 2016

Done and dusted

No not 2016, although that is certainly done and dusted.
And not Christmas either, although that is well and truly done
 and dusted too.
My reading challenge - done and dusted, thank goodness.



Would I do another one? I don't think so. Having a deadline to finish a book took the joy out of reading, for me anyway, so what's the point? But it meant I got some books out of the way that have been lying around for years in some cases. I will probably do the winter reading challenge at the local library though, it encourages you to look at different genre's, has a bit more focus than just getting through books you haven't got round to reading yet.



Some of the books I enjoyed, some I struggled with and one I didn't finish. A mixed bag. Most of them have now gone to a book sale for  someone else to enjoy.

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And as it well into New Year's Eve here,
all that remains is for me to wish everyone a 

Happy and Prosperous New Year

Diana


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A busy week

When I was a child growing up summer began in August and lasted until March. We ran around in shorts and sun frocks and by Christmas when our southern cousins arrived for a holiday we had lovely suntans. They didn't. Now I live down south near those
 same cousins and summer is much later arriving :( 
Sometimes by Christmas, like this one, we are still wondering whether summer will arrive at all and whether we will get a suntan.
But family time is still as good as it ever was and that is what really counts.
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So what has my family been up to this week? 

rain beginning at grandson Jack's assembly
First of all Jack had his final assembly for his primary school and parents, grandparents and all the pupils gathered at the appointed hour. Rain had been threatening but we were all ever hopeful the assembly would be over before the rain arrived as it was being held outside. We decided to put our rug and cushions under a tree and took our umbrellas with us, just in case. Well you guessed it, just as proceedings were about to begin the heavens opened and the rain bucketed down. The upshot was that the kids were all herded inside, those who could fit went in with them (small hall) , and people like me went home. So I missed Jack's final assembly.

Caitlin (grand daughter)  and her proud Mum
The next night both my GKB and I had Christmas breakups to go to for different organisations. So we went our separate ways and met up at home again later in the evening.
 I didn't miss the next important event on the calendar though, this was Caitlin's graduation from her Tourism and Travel course, the end of two years hard work. My GKB and I both went and we are so proud of her as she was also nominated for the Integrity and Development Award. It was an interesting graduation with a couple of items from the cultural group - the Pacific Island community lent a lot of colour with several of them graduating as well. We thoroughly enjoyed it all.


Sunday brought a special seasonal church service, Lessons and Carols. Once more we sang several carols we had sung the week before at the Carols in the Park and we listened again to the Christmas story unfolding. A bonus was that people from the congregation who had not been able to attend the park were able to join in the songs with us.


Yesterday my little mother had her 87th birthday. Tonight her youngest grandson is taking her out for a meal, she has been resting all afternoon so she is able to stay out for a while this evening. She is much better than she was but still awaiting a date for her heart op. All of her overseas Christmas and birthday parcels arrived at my place so I took them around yesterday (two boxes full) and she enjoyed opening them and putting her Christmas ones on her decorated hearth to wait for Christmas Day.

And that has brought us up to today. I've taken my little Mother shopping and in the afternoon my GKB and I went and, hopefully, finished our own Christmas shopping. Phew, if I haven't done it now it probably won't happen :)

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And so to end I would like to share a couple of photos of some of the fun things around the neighbourhood. 





Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas,
filled with, fun, laughter and love.
Diana

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Merry Christmas


On a cold, blustery summer Sunday we went to the Botanical Gardens in Dunedin for a community sing-a-long. 
Although it was cold there was quite a good turnout to sing some old Christmas favourites and learn a new one or two. 


The Taieri Gospel Band led the singing 
and there were one or two guests between brackets.


We ended with Feliz Navidad and as my GKB recorded it on his camera I thought I would share it with you. So without further ado, from my city to yours 
Merry Christmas
Meri Kirihimete
Feliz Navidad

video

sung by The Taieri Gospel Band

And yes, thats me about 1.30 minutes into it.
Diana

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Christmas in the summertime

I love looking at posts showing Christmas in the northern hemisphere but for me Christmas happens in the summer. So I thought I would show you some pictures from a summer 
Christmas Day past.

One year we kitten sat for our daughter, summer is kitten time, and she ended up decorating our tree. She loved the fact that we had put  a tree in the lounge for her and covered it with all sorts of shiny toys. She gave us a lot of laughs as she climbed from bottom to top and back again.


Of course there is always heaps of food and even with summer salads and cold meats it is easy to over eat if you're not careful.


And if you manage to behave with the salads 
maybe you won't be so good with the summer desserts.
Naturally there are delicious sweet and savoury nibbles 
scattered around in strategic places as well.


Afterwards there's always time to sit around out of the sun 
and just relax and socialise, have a long cool drink or two
 and wash all that party food down.


Or join the kids for a game of backyard cricket and maybe lose some of those calories you just piled on over lunch. Or what's more likely, lose the ball, probably on a neighbours roof :)


But before any of this happens there is the opportunity to attend a Christmas church service and celebrate the birth of Jesus, who is after all, the reason for the season.



Just a little glimpse of a 
summertime Christmas, 
I hope you enjoyed it.

joining Amy and friends for:

Diana


Saturday, 3 December 2016

Flowers, outside and in.

 We've had a bit of wind so this is how my foxgloves ended up :(
almost flat but still quite pretty. I know some people consider them a weed but I like them. You just have to get them out of the ground before they throw all of their seeds.


Blurred, but this is a bee gathering nectar
 in the cup of one of the foxgloves.


A lovely Japanese iris.


And this is a elegant bearded iris, knocked off it's stalk when the boys were kicking a ball around.


A couple of peonies cut from the garden after 
the wind had knocked them around.


And all that remains of a bunch of roses one of my neighbours 
gave my little mother. A pretty, delicate pink colour.


Since Mum has had the stent put in her health has improved immensely. So much so that she has decided to go home while she waits for her main operation date. I will check on her daily, she is only 5 miniutes away and my brother is even closer to her. I think she will cope okay as long as she doesn't try to do too much. Thank you for all your prayers and care, we appreciate it very much.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Chloe and Jack

Just touching base with everyone to let you
 know I am still alive and kicking. 

Last night my youngest grand daughter Chloe got in touch to see if we wanted to  join her in a girls only afternoon tea: coffee and brownies. So my little mother and I went out with her to a nice cafe/bar and  had a very relaxing afternoon out. Two of the 'girls' couldn't come, my daughter and her youngest daughter but we were still a nice little party. This is the first time Mum has been out socially for a long time, months in fact. She has been back in hospital since last time I posted and they have put one of the stents in. What a big difference it has made to her but we are still awaiting the main op. and so she is still staying with us. It was nice to go out and not be visiting the hospital for a change :)
My little mother is tired tonight though.

Vanessa (daughter), Chloe, Monica (eldest grand daughter), mum and me.

On Wednesday night my middle grandson, Jack, had his year 8 formal. Girls a dress and boys trousers, shirts and tie. That would be a novelty for the boys in particular I think and possibly for some of the girls as well :) They have been practicing some ballroom dancing for several weeks now as well as some more fun stuff.
The photo below is Jack all scrubbed up and ready to dance (reluctantly in his case). This is his final year at primary school and next year he will travel into the city to attend high school, growing up and starting a new phase in his life. They are all growing up so quickly, I don't know where the time is going to, sigh.


Sorry about the quality of the photo, it has been through many incarnations before I managed to get this pic on the page. 

Keep well,
Diana

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Creatures great and small...

...well, mostly small :)
Both my little mother and my GKB are napping at the moment, it's that sort of day, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to put up a few photos I took during the week. 

My eldest granddaughter came over to visit her great grandmother and brought her little dog, Mack, with her. Mack sulked throughout the visit because my GKB didn't pay him due attention when he first arrived. When my GKB was ready for him Mack turned his back and refused to have anything to do with him. Doesn't he look just a little sulky to you?


Then a day or so later youngest granddaughter arrived with her new puppy, which she was not supposed to get and is now in the throes of winning her father over and showing him she is a responsible owner. Meet Sass, isn't she a cutie, 8 weeks old and exhausted from playing with the big dog at another friend's house so she slept the visit away.



Today I went to a friends home or a flying visit and one of the local duck families came to the back door to visit. Mum and five ducklings. It had been raining so they were poking around in the grass looking for worms I guess.


That's Mum standing to attention and watching me closely.


Mum and some of her babies, they're about half grown and stay with the mother for about 20 weeks.


This wee one is the runt and considerably smaller than his brothers and sisters. More scruffy looking too.


And guess who this is? This is dad, heading in the opposite direction to his brood at a very fast pace :)

This is one of two families of ducklings in this little village, there were 11 babies in the other family but I believe some of them went missing in various ways. I haven't seen that family for a while.

Have a great week
Diana

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Odds and sods

Things have changed a little bit in our household over the past week.My little mother has moved in with us while she waits 
to go into hospital for heart surgery. Last week we twice ended up in ED in the middle of the night and on the second occasion she was admitted for several days. We all feel much better now she is home with us and we can keep an eye on her. Hopefully the surgery will take place before the end of the month.
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Anyway I haven't done a lot lately but here are some assorted photo's from the last week or so. 


Some of the flowers Mum has received from family in Australia.


Little mother organising her Christmas
 presents for her little great grandchildren.


Brown trout caught by my GKB, none of which
 won the competition he was taking part in.


Christmas cake ingredients and below finished product. I have a Christmas function I am supposed to be helping with so said I'd make the Christmas cake and then if anything happens with little mother I feel as if I have upheld my obligations.



A very enjoyable night out at a makeup evening with my girls, two grand daughters in front, two daughters and then me. And I was fortunate enough to win the door prize :) 

Diana

Friday, 28 October 2016

More randomness :)

As you will see, the weather has been random if nothing else.

A couple of weeks ago I walked to help raise money for Hart Walkers.  These walkers or 'child orthotic trainers' cost $NZ9,850. I thought the response to this appeal for people to walk was really disappointing. Below is a picture of everyone who turned up at the event where I took part. We walked around one of the local race courses, several times in fact. I did 10 ks.  I'm not sure how much was raised. It started out cool and overcast and became 
warm and overcast :)


One lovely sunny morning last week both my girls arrived over and decided to take me shopping for flowers for the garden. We headed out towards the airport where there is a roadside stall with an honesty box and picked through the plants for sale. I came home with some lovely pansies that I've planted out into boxes. There was one pottle of sweet little black ones but my daughter got to them before me. Bummer :) That evening we had thunder and lightning and a hailstorm.


I spent long time one evening wrapping small gifts for a ladies afternoon tea I was going to. Isn't it  amazing how long it takes to wrap these small parcels, you look at them and think this won't take long, but in fact when you have a reasonable number of them it can take hours. Still they were appreciated by the people who received them. I took them outside to photograph mid morning after a soft rain had been falling most of the night.


I went to the Christmas ( I know, it's still a while off, well only 8 weeks actually) afternoon tea yesterday and had a nice relaxing time. My little mother came with me but was ready for home after an hour or so. She enjoyed watching the 'passing traffic' as she called everyone, and she had a catchup with one or two people she hadn't seen for a while. There was a nice spread and I was able to bring home a couple of goodies for my GKB. It was a lovely warm day and we had the doors opened out to the lawn so people could stroll about if they wanted to. The lawn has a haha wall before it drops to a lower level and has a lovely view out over the plain. 

looking north towards the hills

 I've finished reading one of the Narnia books as part of the 
reading challenge I'm taking part in and have started on my next one. I know The Magician's nephew by C.S. Lewis is aimed at children but I enjoyed reading some of this series to my kids. I can't remember reading this particular one to them though and enjoyed it anyway. Easy reading. Some days have been warm and sunny and I have been able to sit outside for a while to read. Actually I rolled my trouser legs up one morning and noticed later in the day that my legs were a bit burnt!


joining Amy and her friends for:
Five on Friday

Thursday, 13 October 2016

In the garden...

...flowers,

pretty weeds,
more flowers,
apple blossom
and rhubarb.

I realise my posts are a bit light weight at the moment.
I have stuff going on with my little Mother just now and I need to concentrate on her. A lot of hospital visits and other health related appointments. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, they are appreciated very much.
Diana


Thursday, 6 October 2016

Daffodils and blossom







Did you see the Tui in the bottom photo?
Tuis are beautiful native birds.
There were dozens of them feeding 
on the nectar, so lovely to see and listen to.
If you would like to see a better picture of,
 or read a little about, the tui, click here.

joining Amy and friends for:
Five on Friday 
and
Friday foto friends
with