Saturday, 26 December 2015

I wasn't going to... again until after New Year 
but couldn't resist the pull, haha.
So that's my willpower down the drain
 before we even get to the resolutions bit, 
so I don't think I'll bother.

Four of my six grandchildren were at youngest 
daughter's home for Christmas dinner, 
along with parents and grandparents and one great grandparent,
 so it was quite a crowd. Later in the day 
another cousin arrived from up the street 
where he had been celebrating with his grandparents 
and all the kids had a good time together.
Youngest grand daughter is modelling the scarf/stole
she received from her aunty and uncle in Japan.
All the girls of all ages received one in different colours,
mine was in neutral colours with a rose pattern. Lovely.

It was a lovely day with just a bit of a breeze. 
We had been planning on a barbecue 
but the long term weather forecast was a bit iffy
 so we decided against it. 
We still had hot weather desserts though, 
because that's what we do in New Zealand.
I can't begin to imagine what to make 
for a cold weather dessert at Christmas.
I ate far too much of everything 
and will be taking myself out for a walk
 after tea tonight when it cools down a little.

Mackie, youngest daughter's old cat (about 12 or 13) guarding 
his Christmas chow from the kittens (about 4 months).

And of course the Boxing Day sales were all on today. 
We don't usually indulge because it is such a mad house, 
but guess what? We found ourselves at the Warehouse, 
quite accidentally of course, but didn't spend too much. 
We just bought stuff we needed - like the new cushions 
we had been planning on getting for the swing seat.
 Half price, a bargain ! Now we just have to get a coat 
of paint on that swing and she'll look as good as new.

And of course I really I needed wanted this blingy top. 
I have been looking at it for a couple of months
 and as it was also half price I thought it was
 too good an opportunity to let pass :)
We had actually only gone up to the local shops
 to buy vacuum cleaner bags but ended up in the city 
because our shops didn't have the ones I needed.  
That's my excuse anyway and I'm sticking to it. :) 

And just because I can here is a windmill I grabbed from the 
Good as Gold $2 shop because I liked the colours!
Sometimes you just have to let your inner child loose.

joining in with the party at:

Hoping your Christmas
was truly blessed
and that 2016 brings
all you hope for.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Christmas greetings

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David
 a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:11

Wishing you and yours the many blessings 
of a joyous Christmas and a prosperous 2016
Diana and Bob

Monday, 14 December 2015

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree...

I thought I could show you some of my 
Christmas tree decorations. Not many, 
just some very old special ones and a couple of fun ones.
You will see there is no rhyme or reason to my tree, 
I just put an eclectic mix of ornaments on it, 
because that's the way we like it.

The tree in all it's Christmas glory, both taken at night, 
one with the flash on and the other with the flash turned off.

This old plastic Santa is so old and I don't know where he came from but I rather think he once belonged to my sister who 
moved to Australia what seems like a lifetime ago.
She also owned the little gauze fairy on the right. 
Very olden pieces, not that she is mind you :)
Both pieces precious to me.

These ones are more recent buys and are just for fun.
On the left is All Black Santa, dressed in our national football team's colours of, you've guessed it, all black!
He is accompanied by fishing Santa 
in honour of my GKB who loves fishing.

This angel was sent to us one year by the one of the children we sponsored for several years. I always put her in a prominent place on the tree, somewhere in the front, so we can think of her at this time of the year even though her sponsorship is finished.
Our tree topper is a silver star with a dove just beneath, 
not a good photo of them I'm afraid but you get the idea.

And this is a little glimpse of my glitter church 
and an ice house I have on my kitchen table.
I'm wanting to make a little village 
but as yet only have four houses - but four is 
more than none and something to start with :)

Monday, 7 December 2015

The week just gone...

No, the photo below is not taken in Rotorua at the geysers 
but one day during the week as my GKB
 was heading up the road to pay a couple of bills.
Council workmen had hit a water main while
 digging up the street, for goodness knows what,
 and this was the result. He actually rushed back
 home to get the camera so he could take some shots.

a geyser - not
It looks quite spectacular, as, I think, does my lovely girl below. 
This is Caitlin, our middle grand daughter at her graduation.
She has just finished a years study and could
 leave her course now but has decided to go on
 and do the second year and get the full diploma.
So this was her graduation for the components
 she has already achieved.

Caitlin - middle grand daughter
And below are some of her proud supporters.
Five daughters, four grand daughters, three mothers
 three cousins, two sisters and one great grandmother. 
Which adds up to five ladies believe it or not, not eighteen.
Of course this is just my side of the family, 
her other grandparents were there as well as a couple of other family members. All very proud.

grandmothers, mothers, daughters and cousins
We all had a lovely evening at the Town Hall,
 good food and drinks, non alcoholic as well as alcoholic.
 Lots of photos taken. And I won't tell you 
about the tiki tour I took on the way home. 
Suffice to say what should have taken approximately
 10 minutes took me about 25. I took one wrong turn 
and things went downhill from there, haha. 
 I knew where I was, it just wasn't where I should have been.

food bank collection vehicles
 And that brings us to tonight when we were sitting home 
quietly minding our own business and we heard sirens coming
 down the street and then an ambulance pulled up outside.
But all was well, it was the annual food bank collection 
with the ambulance heralding the arrival of the collectors.
We had forgotten to get anything for it but I managed 
to find some things in the cupboard that we could donate. 
The service clubs man (woman and child) this appeal just before
 Christmas to boost the food bank supplies over the holiday period.

Christmas goodies
And talking of Christmas holidays, 
I have decided to take this week 
off just to do those things I need 
and want to do for and with the family. 
Apart from a lunch date I have on Friday 
that has been organised for a few weeks.
One of the things to do is wrap Christmas presents
 and I need to do this before school finishes
 and little grands start to appear occasionally at the house.
Tomorrow morning is a visit to eldest daughter
 and then some Christmas shopping with little mother.

joining in this week with:

And that's it for another week.
Happy Christmasing.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Market day

December has arrived, heralding the beginning of summer, 
and the weather is playing ball.
 I got slightly sunburnt while out walking yesterday.
The Christmas tree has been erected in Anzac Park.

And on Saturday we had our annual Market Day.
The organizers were hoping to get about 8000 people along 
and as it was a good day I'm pretty sure they did.

Both ends of the main road were closed off for about six hours.
The shops were open and a lot of them
 had tables outside with sales goods on them.

There were critters for the kids to interact with 
and bouncy castles at either end of the street.
Little Flick was there as well,
who remembers him from their childhood?
I used to listen in on the radio and hear his tale.
Lots of kids riding on him :)

A sound stage had been set up and there was almost 
continuous music throughout the day as well as a talent quest.

Of course there were a lot of arts and crafts stalls 
as well as produce and boutique style products.
We found a lovely pendant we are sure 
our eldest daughter will love. One Christmas present
 down, heaps to go. Oh well it's that time of year.
We have to have the overseas posting done by Thursday 
and we haven't bought anything yet!
Methinks tomorrow (Wednesday) will be a tad busy.

We spent an enjoyable hour or so down there,
and did see one or two other things we'll maybe
 go back and buy sometime from one of the boutiques.
And that is pretty well it for this week.

Because the sky is blue 
I am going to join in with;
Blue Monday

Until next time, keep well.
Don't overdo things 
and enjoy the season.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Enjoying the ordinary

The last few days have been gorgeous, 
lovely and sunny with a bit of a breeze.
Well quite a breeze at times if I am being perfectly honest.
I thoroughly enjoy these mornings, 
this is when I get motivated
 to get things done around the house.
Every winter I promise myself that
 I will do all sorts of indoor chores 
so that I don't need to spend my time 
indoors when the warmer weather arrives.
We have a long, usually wet and cold winter.
With a correspondingly short, sometimes hot summer.
The winter chore thing doesn't happen very often 
although I did get my kitchen cupboards
 cleaned and cleared out this year.

So on Monday when the morning was so warm 
and sunny I was primed and ready to go.
Monday is wash day and bed change day, and silly
 as it may sound, I love pegging washing on the line. 
It was all out on the line and back in before lunch.
(folded and put away, as well, if I may skite).
I did my usual big weekly house clean,
 singing away to myself, and finished icing a
 Christmas cake I had made for a function for yesterday.

I drank coffee and chatted with my GKB 
out in the morning sun before the day got too hot
and finished washing down my kitchen walls and cupboard doors.
Then later in the afternoon I spent a little time in the garden. 
I had to find shady places to work though 
as it was really hot by then. So I really enjoyed 
my Monday at home and I hope you can find
 enjoyment in the ordinary, everyday things as well.

joining Stephanie over at:

Wishing you all a great week 
and a wonderful Thanksgiving 
Weekend to those of you in the U.S.A.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Conferencing by the lake

I had an Aglow conference to go to at the weekend
and so my GKB graciously drove me 
and a friend to Te Anau to attend.
This is distance of several hundred kilometres 
which took about four hours including a lunch stop.

Te Anau is situated on the side of Lake Te Anau 
and I would like to tell you that this was the view 
from our lakeside motel, but alas, it was not.
No, twas this :(  
We had a back unit, but never mind, we weren't 
there to look at the view from the motel window.
Te Anau is the jumping off point for tourists heading
  to Milford Sound and the surrounding area, 
so it was interesting to people watch 
as I was eating my breakfast. Some caught buses 
and others were walking into the Town Centre
with their back packs.

The hotel the conference was held in was really 
nice but not so posh that you felt out of place.
Geoff Bear was in the foyer.

On Saturday night we had a dinner and my GKB 
attended with me. That's him on the left beside our friend.
Not many men there but we did have 
another man at our table for him to talk to.

The food was beautiful, cold salmon, 
a selection of hot meats, salads and hot vegetables.
Afterwards there was a selection of cold desserts 
that were replenished as fast as they were eaten. 
It was too easy to overeat , unfortunately :)
especially when there were things I had never tried 
and thought this was my opportunity to do so. 
Oh well, I'll just have to watch what I eat now I'm home again.

joining in the parties at:

Have a wonderful week, 
take care until next time.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Black and blue

Because things are a bit all over the place here
 at the moment I don't have time to put up
 a 'proper' post so thought I would join in
 with the party at Blue Monday
My GKB has been playing on his camera
 (which is really his cell phone) and loaded
 this to the computer so I thought I would use it.
 I don't know whether it is good,
 bad or otherwise but I like it.

Blue Monday

Have a good week, 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Saturday's light party

It's a wet and miserable day here, 
not at all like last Saturday evening 
when I volunteered at the Light Party
 in the city's football stadium.

face painters receiving their instructions
The light party is an event put on by 
the Acts of Kindness charitable trust as an alternative 
to the trick or treating of halloween.
It was nice and warm out on the field under the roof.

on the big screen - a *Kapa Haka group on stage 
A gold coin entry and various stalls around about
 selling eats and drinks, at (mostly) reasonable prices.
Non stop entertainment on stage all evening
and lots of bouncy castles, races, games and such like
 for those who are young or young at heart.

Chloe and her mate
Youngest grand daughter Chloe and her friend 
were volunteers as well, on the face painting booth.

the crowd coming in - gate is at the centre right
Their younger brothers and sisters were 
somewhere in the crowd. During the course 
of the evening we went for two 
Guinness Book of world records. 
The first one popping bubble wrap 
and the  second was for holding your hands in a heart shape.
I haven't heard how we got on but it was a lot of fun,
I was roped in as a marshal for that as well :)

tea or coffee and cake $2-00
My main job was working on a tea and coffee booth
and I must admit I had a ball and will 
be volunteering again next year.
The photo above was taken at the end of 
the evening just before we cleaned up.

*Kapa Haka is part of the cultural identity of 
most, if not all, of our primary schools in New Zealand.
I've put an explanation from Wikipedia below.

*Kapa Haka -
Kapa haka is the term for Māori performing arts and literally means to form a line (kapa) and dance (haka). Kapa haka is an avenue for Maori people to express and showcase their heritage and cultural Polynesian identity through song and dance.
Kapa haka - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Well I hope you all have a wonderful week.
I have a very busy one coming up 
but today's outing has been cancelled so this morning
took the opportunity to write out some Christmas cards!
I know, I know, but November is a busy, busy, month for me.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Catch of the day...

...from river to table via the smoker...

Brown trout

Marinating fillets



Labour weekend saw my GKB out on a fishing trip 
and he finally caught something he could
 bring home and put in the smoker! 
We bought it a couple of years ago and 
this is the first time we've used it.

Hoping you've had a good weekend.
Until next time,

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Introducing 'Her'

Do you remember 'Missy the Manx minx'?

We looked after her for a couple of weeks at Christmas
 a year or two back, just after she came to live with our daughter.

Well she is now a mama herself and below is one of her offspring.

Meet 'Her', one of three kittens.
She has a lovely long tail.
Her brother has half a tail and her sister has no tail!
We can only assume the daddy was not a Manx, 
which means Missy is still a little minx :)

Monday, 12 October 2015

Then and now...

Back in the beginning of autumn I took this photo
 from the car park up above the motorway into town.
The autumn colour was just starting to show. 

This is what the same area (taken from a 
different angle) looks like at present.
Last week we had fire sweep through and as if that 
wasn't enough there were also gale force winds.

This is just a little bit of the damage.
Behind the treeline there are houses but
 fortunately no homes were affected
 although a lot of outbuildings were destroyed.
About thirty homes were evacuated 
and more in the vicinity were on standby.

You can just see one of the homes
 through the trees in the top left of this picture.
The cattery where Leo goes on holiday 
(my friend's cat) is up this road
 and had to be evacuated as well.
It's just on the edge of the trees.

The road on the left is the motorway 
so the fire came quite close. 
My youngest daughter lives about 500 metres 
up the road from here, their suburb was cut off 
with road closures at both ends.

Something I found quite amazing was this 
blossom tree with everything around it 
burnt black and yet it wasn't touched.
The crews watching for further outbreaks
 have just been stood down today 
and we are expecting rain so that
 will be a relief for everyone concerned.

I think a lot of people are counting their blessings this week.