Friday, 27 December 2019

Family time

We filled the car boot with Christmas bags filled with presents for the family. The back seat was already filled with salads and desserts, cutlery and dishes. And we set off for youngest daughter's house.

We had already touched base with our granddaughters with their babies and received lovely photos of them on their first Christmas morning. And because I don't know which ones I like best I am going to show you two of each of them :)

Arlo, our gorgeous blue eyed boy.
Arlo dressed up as Santa...
...and opening a present with help from one of the dogs.
Alice dressed up and ready...
to go to church with her Nana and Grandpa.
I love these photos of Alice, to me she looks like
 a Christmas parcel tied up with a gold bow.

Barbecuing was the order of the day and we all anxiously watched the weather forecasts as Christmas drew nearer. Wet. Wet. Windy and wet. Clearing. Wet. So the tent was put up in the backyard and that's where the food was cooked and salads served. Desserts were on the table inside.
As it turned out it was cool, rain threatened but didn't happen.
Teenage boys appeared, gathered food and disappeared again :)
Youngest granddaughter arrived with her new beau.
We all gathered around the tree and gave out our Christmas presents, teenage boys appeared again and disappeared again.
DIL snoozed, she'd just come off her morning shift 
and was in need of some zzz"s.
All in all we had a wonderful relaxed day.
I'll leave you with this montage of photos of our adult children 
with their partners, and my GKB and me.

We hope your Christmas was as relaxed and happy as ours was. 
Blessings and best wishes for 2020.


Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Merry Christmas

Waxeye feeding 
photograph courtesy Brian J Hunter

Wednesday, 18 December 2019


Despite the sadness in the air, Christmas preparations still go ahead.
I wondered whether I should have taken my last post down but it was real and happening and just a tiny reflection of how I was feeling . The country is slowly coming to terms with the tragedy that occurred at Whakaari White Island and grieving alongside families of those lost. Such a sad, sad time.

 I have been slowly buying and wrapping Christmas presents and posting those to family who won't be here for the day. I've still a couple more to get - but nearly there.

I have been to a 'production' of the gospel story put on by/for the littlies of Mainly Music and some of the older kiddies from church.
It was a fun time and followed by hot drinks, soft drink and Christmas fare to eat.

I've had a wander around some of the houses decorated with Christmas lights. Unfortunately my camera didn't do this yard justice. It looks so festive in reality and I wrote a Christmas card to thank them for the display and the added joy it brought to people at Christmas.

My GKB and I went down to the family fun evening in an alley behind the main shopping area. Merry-go-rounds and bouncy castles for the kids along with the candy floss, ice cream and chips. There were a lot of stalls selling a variety of crafts alongside the usual food stalls and the scouts fundraiser sausage sizzle. After some carol singing we had a sausage each but at $7 for a coffee we passed and had ours at home. It was a nice evening out despite the winter like temperatures :(

 I don't know whether I'll be posting again between now and Christmas so I'd like to wish you all a 

wonderful and blessed

however you are spending it.


Monday, 9 December 2019

What a week...

It's not a lot of fun for a lot of people at the moment. While a lot of us are enjoying the build up to the Christmas celebrations others are dealing with very real disasters. In my part of the world Australia is dealing with extremely large bush fires in NSW and Queensland and have been for several weeks. And it is only the start of their fire season. Fire fighters from New Zealand and Canada have been called in to assist with the fighting the fires. Smoke from the fires is actually evident on this side of the Tasman, particularly in the North Island. I have family in both states so keep an eye on what is happening.

 Then just 3 hours flight over the Tasman Sea here in New Zealand we are having a totally different sort of disaster with big storms and flooding. The lower half of the South Island has been cut off for several days with road and rail links taken out by flood water and major slips. Communities have been flooded and people evacuated from their homes, not to mention the tourists trapped between slips on the West Coast of the South Island. The only way out for them at the moment is by helicopter, if they are prepared to pay. They are in a remote part of the country and many are having to sleep in their cars due to a lack of accommodation.

Photo with permission of Tanya Salter Photography

And just now breaking news that there has been a volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island just off the East Coast of the Bay of Plenty in the North Island. Just under fifty people were on the island at the time and several have been critically injured with some unaccounted for. This is ongoing as I write and snippets keep coming in on the news. Personally I'm having a problem with why they were there if the island was threatening to erupt. It's a monitored site, for goodness sake, that's been blowing it's stack on and off for years. I'm feeling a bit angry about it so should finish with that subject I think.

 I hope all is well with you all. Please give an occasional 
thought to those less well off over the holiday period. 
I'm sorry if this has been a depressing post, 
I didn't intend that when I started.

Until next time

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Food, food and then some

That's what we had last night at our local Aglow end of year breakup. The local Lion's Club came in and cooked us a wonderful barbecue and supplied salads galore. Sadly, I was so busy eating I forgot to take a photo :(

I did get one of some of the desserts I made before I took them down. There were many more on offer as well as orange juice and punch for the thirsty. A scrumptious spread.

 We followed this with cups of tea and coffee and lots of chatter.
And then it was time for the music team to get up and lead us in almost an hour of singing Christmas carols and worship.

We let them take a break about halfway through 
though so we could give out little thank you gifts 
and  Christmas tokens to those who were there :)

A very enjoyable evening in the lead 
up to the Christmas season. 

Pace yourself folks, or it can get exhausting.
Have a lovely week,

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Hello there

Hello all. I know I have been away for a long time, 
and the Christmas season is fast approaching 
so things will not slow down just yet. I do hope to be a bit 
more regular in posting from now on though.

Life has been really busy over the past few months 
so I will try to catch you up a little bit on what 
has been happening since last I was here. 

In September I flew up to Palmerston North to spend some time with my granddaughter and her new baby. It was a lovely time with the new mum and baby and her partner, who was meant to be on deployment with the army (hence the reason for me going up) but at the last moment his deployment was cancelled. Still it let me get to know him a bit better and see how the family unit worked :) They are doing well, granddaughter is a natural mother and just cruising through, asking questions when she needs to. She came back with me for a few days to visit her family.

mothers and babies with a grandmother

On the other hand granddaughter down here is struggling with depression after the birth of her baby. It's very sad as she was so looking forward to being a mother. So on a Thursday I pick her up and we go to "Mainly Music", a group for toddlers and their carers. We have babies from 5 months (our Arlo) up to four year olds, and carers encompassing mums, dads and grandparents. Music, games and food for all. Both Mum and baby are enjoying it. Of course she has other support from other members of the family but I am the one who doesn't work so can be on call, so to speak :)

two proud great grandparents with the babies
Babies seem to be in the air at the moment. We had a baby shower (no pun intended) a few weeks ago for a young lady in the study group I go to. Middle daughter gave me a couple of dozen disposable nappies and said, 'you can make them into a nappy cake Mum!' So I did, once I'd had a look on the internet and found out what she was talking about :) Here's a picture, I hope. (I'm writing on one device and hoping to upload pics from another :(  haha.)

nappy cake
Daughter in law has also had family visiting from Hong Kong and from London so we have been visiting with them as well. That was an enjoyable time and we have invitations to visit. Whether that ever happens remains to be seen, but I never rule out the possibility :)

I've also typed up a dozen of my little mother's children's stories. They are just short ones and were written for her grandchildren as bedtime stories. I hope to get them printed up and give them to those same grandchildren for Christmas. Most of them now have children of their own and I think they'll love them.

Other stuff has happened as well but I think I'll finish off here.
Have a wonderful week and I hope to be back again soon :)


Sunday, 15 September 2019

150 and still going strong

Well it may be spring but this morning we had a good ol' frost on the ground. This did mean it turned into a lovely sunny day with warm temps later though.

It also meant it was very cold in St Paul's Anglican Cathedral where we were celebrating 150 years since the Dunedin Diocese came into being.  I certainly wished I'd worn a warmer jacket while I sat through the service. But it was great to be there with other like minded people to celebrate. The choirs and music were fantastic and reminded me why I love the Anglican tradition. Although it was fairly traditional it was also reasonably relaxed. After the service doves were released from the cathedral steps, some of them seemed somewhat reluctant but eventually they all took wing and soared away, and that was followed by a tree planting to commemorate the event.

I met my GKB afterwards, he arrived in time to be photographed on the steps with the rest of us - almost front row centre as well -  which made me laugh as he is not a churchgoer. We were actually going to head off for a lunch date but also had movie tickets and because of the length of the service lunch didn't happen. Instead we took popcorn and hot drinks into the theatre. A naughty lunch really but it only happens occasionally. And if we can't be a bit naughty sometimes life would be very dull :)  We saw Downton Abbey which I thoroughly enjoyed and which my GKB said was okay.

And that's it for just now. 
I am heading north in a few days to visit with my granddaughter  (and baby Alice) so will see you all when I get back.
Until then,


Saturday, 31 August 2019

And so we waited...

We have a new great granddaughter and her name is Alice Dawn.
It was quite a lead  up to her arrival. Her Mum was still working, due to finish that week, but when she went for her midwife appointment during her lunch break she was told "You need to go back to work and tell them you are finishing immediately. Baby's head is down."  
So she did. Then went home and rang her mother, who was in the South Island, and told her. Mother was booked on a flight to go up later in the week, in plenty of time for the birth, so she thought. Then the waiting began. 
And we waited. 
The proud granny got on her plane and flew up to the North Island
at the end of the week.
And we waited some more
 - to the point we all thought Granma was going to be back in the South Island again before baby put in an appearance. 
And still we waited.
 But, as we know, babies will make their appearance in their own good time. Eventually, six days after she was due and almost three weeks from the midwife instructions to finish work, wee Alice came into the world. She is a week old now and a beautiful wee button. And the nice thing is that her Granma was able to spend a week with the new family, enjoying baby and lending a helping hand. She comes home tomorrow afternoon and the other granny flies in that evening, so ongoing support for them just now.

Sweet Alice ready to go home.

 Wee Arlo, three months old now,
 visiting with his aunty.

And now this besotted great granma is going to sign off.
Keep well until next time,

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Hello there

Oh dear, it is almost 2 months since I last posted but I promise I have been busy. And I have called in to see you all now and again. We have had computer problems as well and I'm not sure whether or not I'll be able to post any pictures, but I'll have a go :)

Our new great grandson, Arlo, has been out to visit. He is growing so fast, it's hard to believe he is nearly 3 months old. Winter is cold and flu weather and so we have been very careful in our visits with him. My GKB has been down with a really bad cold twice this winter so we haven't seen the wee man as often as we would like.

Back in April I showed you a panel from a crocheted blanket that I am cross stitching on. My middle sister made it over 20 years ago but I never got the stitching done. Well now it is completed and flew out of town with my middle daughter yesterday to await the birth of another great grandbaby. Due tomorrow. But they live in the North Island so we won't see so much of this wee one.

When I had finished the blanket I decided it was time to do something a little more relaxing, craft is not my thing, so I have finished a very busy jigsaw. Fun. Although my daughter in law says, "Jigsaw? No way, Mum".  :) Unfortunately it had a couple of pieces missing but that added to the fun, I don't think I'll keep it though.

Yesterday I thought I should start going through the boxes of Mum's writings and photo's etc that have been sitting in my spare bedroom  for over a year. Mum wrote poems and short stories, none published, and a lot of them for her grandchildren. Now said grandchildren would like copies so I need to find the ones they want and do something with them. I have a little pile, about six inches high, of folders and notebooks I need to go through. I have up to three versions of some stories so far, not all in the one place either, so I can see I am in for an interesting time. It will be nice to eventually have my spare room back :)

And that is it for the time being. 
I will try to get back a bit sooner next time. 

Until then , keep well.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

A train trip

My GKB has just had a birthday so the kids all dubbed in and shouted him a trip to Palmerston on the Seasider train and I went with him :) It was a pleasant way to spend a winter's day.
We had a little while to wait before we could board the train once we arrived in Dunedin so we had a poke around the farmers market and then  listened to some young people busking outside the station.

Eventually we were able to board the train and our journey began. 
We had a nice young couple from Auckland sitting opposite us, they were doing some sightseeing before they headed back north in a couple of months time. They took this photo of us.

My GKB's family are from the Palmerston area, none left there any more, but he still feels a real connection. He spent a lot of time there as a boy. When we arrived he only had one thing in mind - one of McGregor's (world famous in Otago) mutton pies for his lunch. 

I think he was a little bit disappointed as the pie as a bit dry. Mutton pies always used to be greasy, the fat would run out as you took a bite and run down your chin. People either hated them or loved them, I was in the first camp. So I had a large sausage roll :) 


 After lunch we took a stroll around the township before heading back to the train. On the way we stopped to chat with a couple of the local goldminers. A lovely day out and a thoughtful birthday present from the kids for their father.

That's it until next time,
enjoy your week.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

A year on

It is just over a year since my little mother went home to her Lord.
That time has passed quickly and she has been on my mind
 at some part of every day since.

One of my sisters in Australia sent me a beautiful flower arrangement 'for looking after our mother' in their absence.
They really are rather lovely and lasting well. A lovely gesture.

I've been a bit off colour for the past week with an inner ear thing going on so I haven't ventured far from the house until today. So I thought I'd share with you some of the books I've been reading over the last little while. I 'borrowed' the Ruth Rendell book, Going Wrong, when we were holidaying in Aussie last year and I must send it back. I'd never read anything of hers before and found her rather intriguing, with the twist in the plot that you don't see coming. I've read more since then and that same twist in the plot seems to happen, her style I guess.
I always enjoy Dan Brown, Inferno this time, but with a bit of space between books :) I like a good page turning action thriller occasionally.
Then there is Lost and Found by Marilyn Harris, who I'd never heard of until I borrowed this book as well. Also while we were in Aussie and also needing to go back but this one can wait until next time I'm going over. The story is set in the depression era in the 'American dust bowl', the tale of a little girl who is accidentally left on a train and her long journey to finding her family. Also a page turner.

The ones I have enjoyed most though are 'The Seven Sisters' series by Lucinda Riley. I was a bit iffy about the first book, before I started reading, but now I am hooked. The books all stand alone but having read one out of sequence I wouldn't do it again as it throws things out of kilter a bit. Each book is about one sister, all of whom have been adopted, and her search for her roots. I've read the first four books and so far have been to South America, Norway, Australia and England. Beautifully written novels with a lot of attention to historical detail. If you haven't read any of them I highly recommend them.

A couple of days ago eldest daughter rang to say she was coming over and 'don't buy pumpkin'. No wonder, she had three in the car and left two with me. The big orange one is a soup pumpkin so I may put that in the community pantry around by the grandkids school. I certainly won't be making it into soup. I'll cut the other one up and give some of that away as well. It came from her partner's farm, he likes to grow unusual veges on a plot near the house. These are not too bad but we have been given the occasional strange, to us anyway, vegetable. Or odd coloured ones :) And usually enormous!
Winter has arrived with a vengeance this week, perhaps I should make that pumpkin into soup ;(

Until next time

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Queen's Birthday Weekend 2019

Well that was a weekend and a half...but we got through it :)
Queen's Birthday Weekend happens in June, and you guessed it, we commemorate the Queen's birthday. A long weekend, Friday through until Monday.
It started off with our expectant mother going into labour late on Thursday and giving birth to a lusty son on Friday via emergency C section. He weighed in at 9lb 1oz and is named Arlo. We haven't been to see him yet as, although he is doing well, mother is a bit overwhelmed and isn't up to visitors. So we'll put it off for a few days and go when she's ready. Sorry no photo's, you'll have to take my word for it that he's a good lookin' dude!
On Friday night I helped my daughter decorate the church hall for a baby shower. Yes, we have another little person joining the family in August :) A little girl this time. So it was a pink theme.
Very traditional.

Chloe lives in the North Island. She came down for the holiday weekend so her Mum decided a shower would be nice for her,
and for her old girlfriends.

She was given some beautiful gifts, the girls and the family did her proud :) Someone was even thoughtful enough to give her a big pink fluffy dressing gown for herself.

Her aunties and grandma's provided most of the afternoon
 tea and it was a lovely spread. It was also very cold with snow threatening which is why we are all dressed in our winter woolies.

We managed to get a photo of Chloe with all the grandma's.
Left to right we have two great grandma's, grandma, mum to be, grandma and great grandma.

As you can see we decorated with little baby outfits and dresses - from back when my girls were babies and toddlers.
I didn't know they had kept them.

 The only trouble with decorating is that it all needs undoing but the young girls all stayed behind and helped. I thought that was a really nice gesture.
Now it's Tuesday evening and I've spent the day away at
the funeral of a friend. He was only in his late 60's
 and his death was unexpected. But it was a joyful funeral,
he had a deep faith and has gone home to be with his Lord.

As I said, it's been quite a weekend, but we got there.
So, have a good week folks,
until next time,

Friday, 24 May 2019

A lazy tea

It's been a busy day today. Housework in the morning
and down to the shops this afternoon followed by a visit
from eldest daughter and still pregnant granddaughter.

She was due six days ago but I think
he is nice and warm and cosy where he is
 and knows it's winter out here :)

ready to go under the grill

So it was a lazy tea tonight.
We had cheese rolls - a southern specialty.
People have their own secret recipes
and they are a popular school fundraiser.

ready to turn

A cheese mixture rolled in bread, brown or white.
We prefer white. We often pair them up with a cup of soup.
Cold day comfort food.

ready to eat

Youngest sister ordered two large cheese roll whilst
out for lunch one day, not realizing large ones
 were made from a caterers loaf. She hadn't
had one since she moved to Australia nearly
thirty years ago.

hamming it up on holiday.

Have a good weekend