Grandma and her boys

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Ring of Bells

I mentioned on a previous posting about my" favorite books" or books that mean something to me.

So here is number two.

The Ring of Bells by Barbara Whitnell. published 1983

This book is a non fiction and is just a saga about a pub/inn in Oxfordshire UK and the young girl who goes to live there and about her life . It is just escapism and a gentle read. Ring of Bells was a common name for a inn in UK in 1800's.

" In 1871 Jenny Fitzgerald arrives as a child at The Ring of Bells, it was a simple country inn. Seventy years and three generations later the Inn has become the flagship of a thriving business. This is the story of Jenny's life and her livelihood, her marriage toRoger Leyton and her role as a business woman, mother and grandmother, the First World War and the Depression and, above all, the mainstay of her existance."

This book means so much to me, for when we were living in France in 1984 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, at the time thinking straight was not on the cards and reading was a way of dealing with things, I had already purchased and read this book and decided to read it over again while in the Clinic.

It was also read by Eric while he waited at the clinic during the operation, as it was the only English reading matter available.

A few years later we actually named our Canal Barge after the book but that is another story.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

So what did Santa bring you

Santa was very good to me this year...

I decided I would like a water feature on the deck
outside of the lounge window, just a little one may be a fountain
in a half barrel with a water lily.....

Look what I got !! wow I never expected something like this at all.

It is wonderful, all I have to do is wait for the stores to open
after the New Year and buy the plants and fish
So this is a big public
to my husband Eric for building this for me

Some times life gives you roses!!

If you have followed my blog a few months back I mentioned that Eric and I had decided to part company.
I have great news that we have thought about things and we have decided that we will give things a try again

But sometimes life gives you not such
sweet smelling roses
My husband has always had a yearly check up for Prostate problems
in the form of a simple
blood test.
This years test came back raised and he has now beeen diagnosed with
Prostate Cancer,
it is in the very early stages and is treatable.
So ladies and gents please get your partners,
husbands and boyfriends to go to their GP
and have this simple blood test you could be helping to save their lives.
There is so much in the media about womans cancers
and tests and examinations available
but nothing about MEN
So please pass on the word

A Christmas Message

I received this message from a friend overseas I loved it, it says everything one could wish to say to ones to all my friends on or off the blog, this message is especially for you all.

My Christmas wish for you my friend, is not a simple one.
For I wish you hope, joy and peace, days filled with warmth and sun.
I wish you love and friendship too, throughout the coming year.
Lots of laughter and happiness, to fill your world with cheer.
May you count your blessings one by one, and when totaled by the lot,
May all that you've been given, be more than what you sought.
May your journeys be short, your burdens light, may your spirit never grow old.
May all your clouds have silver linings and your rainbows pots of gold.
I wish this all and so much more, may all your dreams come true.
May you have a Merry Christmas friends, and a Happy New Year too!

Where do I live

Where do I live now ?
One or two people have passed a comment on this for in the Quilting Bloggers site they still have me as being in the Middle East.
But if you go back to my September postings you will see we have now returned to New Zealand
to retire.
I will get in touch with Quilting Bloggers and have my place of abode changed, although they do have me in both sections New Zealand and Dubai.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

8 days to Christmas

With all the upheaval in our house this year with moving back to New Zealand and weddings, Christmas shopping has taken a back seat.

But I have finally realised today that there is only 8 days to the big day and we have the family (10 in all) here for lunch on the great day.

So out has come the proverbial list and I have written down every thing I can think of to be done.

Presents: well every now and then may be every 3rd or 4th year I opt out and everyone gets a voucher of their choice, yes! you have guessed it, this year is an opt out year so my shopping will be stress free. I can recommend it.

Cooking: I have decided against the traditional Turkey etc. and we will have Beef Wellington, with a little Chicken for the children who are all quite young and would prefer this.

So time to get into gear.

Christmas Tour

My Daughter Kathryn follows a few blogs, some from all over the globe.

One of these blogs I believe in the USA started a Christmas tour of her decorations each year, Kathryn now follows this trend, so I thought I would share mine with you this year.
So Welcome to my home here in Rotorua New Zealand we live in a Lockwood house this is a house made of pine and it is all interlocked thus the name.
This lends its self very much to Christmas decorating, especially the traditional colours of Red, Green and white

Most of the decorations have a story to them or have been collected on our travels during the last 35 yrs.

This Noel Hardhanger by Emmy Bishop, I embroidered at least 20 yrs ago, it is still my most favourite piece of embroidery I have ever made.
This Crystal Tree is a fairly new piece and was purchased in Bahrain, costing more than I should have been willing to pay, but I fell in love with it, so here it is, amazing really as I am a very traditionalist when it comes to Christmas and this is way out of the square for me.

While living in the USA, I saw someone do this decoration to her lamps and have copied the idea every year since.

Another expensive purchase was these Villeroy Bosh candle sticks but I just love them.

When we were in Spain, in a rented furnished apartment we just did a little decoration on a shoe string budget, as we only had the barest of necessities with us, so I made these small bits and pieces, and they seem to have survived

One purchase I made in Spain was a Nativity

This photo of our tree

for some reason did not transfer to the computer well.

This tree is just half a tree and hangs on the wall, we have had this for a few years now, whoops a few I should say 15 yrs, whee! how time flies by.
At the time we had a small lounge where it was difficult to fit in a tree and this one just served the purpose perfectly and for some reason we still use it.

So from my house to yours I wish you all a very

Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year

Friday, 12 December 2008

We are getting there

Yes! we are getting there, the house is beginning to look like our house again we have had a complete spring clean and I really do mean complete.... all cupboards and boxes.

Eric is here with me for a few weeks and we have worked non stop on the clean up and out, we have taken trips to the recycle a few times and moved stuff that has not been moved for years.

A garage sale is looming on the horison.

I have changed the rooms, Eric's old office has now been turned into the spare bedroom and the spare room is now my sewing room...larger and better view from the window more shelf space and larger cupboard.

My old sewing room is now the study.

We have spent a few hours in the garden and it is looking good, but we did make it almost maintenance free a few years ago.

The garage is now a garage and not a general dumping ground for stuff that has no home, or it will be after garage sale.

We have updated the lighting in the kitchen, all ways a job that needed doing and put off as you only think about it when you turn on the lights.

We have had heat pumps put into the living areas, of which we have two. We had a day not long ago when we tried them!! instant heat great.

We have till Christmas as a dead line to organise and finish every thing.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Everyone has a book or film

Most people have a book or a film that is their escapism.
I have had 2 books and a film.

The film and one book are one of the same:

Little Women by Lousia May Allcott

I remember reading this way back when I was about 14yrs old and it made an impression that has stayed all my life.

I would dream of being part of a family just like the March's, this ideal family of 4 girls who laughed and lived in almost total harmony. All though of course my ideal family bubble burst as I grew up but my love for this book has stayed with me.

Then years later I saw the 1950's film staring June Allyson and Elizabeth Taylor, I was blown away as they say, it portrayed my family just as I imagined.

I have a very old copy of the film and believe it or not I do not have a copy now of the book, it disintegrated over time, some day I would like to find a lovely bound copy.
This film I can watch any day at anytime, I know it word for word and still cry in the places that call for it. If I am happy or sad this film does it for me.
The very sad part of my dream is that I heard a radio programme on the life of Louisa May Allcock many many years ago and her life was one big drudgery in the civil war in America, a daughter of a school teacher, who would not allow her to go out and work, although she did do hospital work for a time.

Little women was written while she was dreaming of this perfect family and life using her own situation and family as the characters.

My second book is Ring of Bells by Barbara Whitnell, but this is the subject of another story another day.

I Believe

This email was one of those thought ones!

A Birth Certificate shows that we were born, A Death Certificate shows that we died,
Pictures show that we lived!
Have a seat . . . Relax . . . And read this slowly.

I Believe...That just because two people argue,it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe...That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
I Believe...That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I Believe...That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I Believe... That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe...That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I Believe...That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I Believe... That you can keep going long after you think you can't.
I Believe...That we are responsible for what we do,no matter how we feel.
I Believe...That either you control your attitude or it controls you.I Believe...That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe...That money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I Believe...That my best friend and I, can do anything, or nothing and have the best time.
I Believe...That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.
I Believe...That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
I Believe...That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe...That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I Believe...That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
I Believe...That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but, we are responsible for who we become.
I Believe...That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life Forever.
I Believe...Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I Believe...That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.
I Believe...That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
I Believe...That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.
I Believe...The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

A Thought for today

This is a picture of my grandsons taking a walk in the local park, I wonder what they were thinking about at the time.

I get all sorts of emails some serious and some jokes and some ? well, I could do with out them !!

But every now and then something comes along that makes you smile or even laugh out loud.

I had an email that contained some thoughts for 2008, I can't say they made me laugh but there was a gleam of a smile.

A few of them follow:
Thoughts to ponder for 2008

We know exactly where one cow with Mad-cow-disease is located among millions and millions of cows in North America but we haven't got a clue as to where millions of illegal immigrants and terrorists are located. Maybe we should put the Department of Agriculture in charge of Immigration?

Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day, teach a person to use the internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

Some people are like a Slinky ..! Not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.
Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to Criticism.
In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is Weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.
I hope they bought a little smile or even a titter of a laugh.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Decisions oh! they are so hard to make

I had a bit of time this morning so I took a look into one of the boxes containing sewing stuff

My machine and all the thread boxes look intact.

I had forgotten exactly how much Quilting and Embroidery stuff there was. Amazing how things can change in your mind when they are out of sight.

I just can't wait to get everything back into my sewing room, I have been playing with the idea of changing my sewing room... swapping it with the spare bedroom which is larger, but the draw back is it is not a sunny room ...Oh! all these decisions a girl has to make.

Lots of reasons it would be a good move, the cupboard space is larger, it is closer to the living area and kitchen, also the laundry is just opposite so it would mean I would not have to have the iron in the room it would be just a few steps away.

A few draw backs no telephone point in the room, so my computer would not be there, but that is easily dealt with.

The other point is would the spare beds fit into the sewing room, time to measure I think.

Moving or Chaos one or the other

These calves have nothing to do with moving back into my house, but they are in a field just along the street and they don't look fazed at all by the coming and going.
So the container arrived almost on time yesterday... it was taken straight to Iain and Claire's house where it was unloaded with the help of my sister in law Janet and of course Iain ( Claire was working) and the 2 lovely blokes who delivered it.
The delivery men did the bulk of unwrapping the bubble wrap and cardboard from the furniture, then it was left to us to unwrap the small items.. so far there has been nothing serious broken or damaged, just a lampshade that was only made of stiff paper any no great loss.
The furniture looks great in the house and fills it completely, so beds are up and cupboards filled with crockery etc that has come from Dubai.
We spent a few hours moving the stuff that has to come to my house by car, it is now all in the garage just awaiting Iain and Claire to remove all there personal stuff from the house to the new one.
Then the fun begins my end.
While we were busy with the unpacking the fitters arrived at my house to fit 2 new heat pumps so I spent a great deal of time between here and there sorting things them or making sure they were okay.
To top the lot ..... Iain ( a volunteer fireman) got a call out in the middle of all this organised chaos, lucky it was a quicky and he was back in about 45 mins.
So it looks like I will be back at home on Saturday ... gee!! it has been a long time coming. Then may be life can take on some normality, not that I am not grateful to my lovely neigbours and I have enjoyed staying with them ... but it will be fantastic to be HOME.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Ellis's Day

The next Teachers training day was at Ellis's school so today he and I spent the day together, and it rained all day not so bad we could not get out though.

We had lunch in town and spent a good hour looking in the Warehouse at all the toys..... his Christmas list must be 10ft long by now.

Birthday Afternoon Tea

Sunday was the day we went to Mamaku Blue Winery for afternoon tea to celebrate Mhairi's 60th Birthday.
The Friday Girls made her a quilt deplicting things she likes in colours that are her favorite lilacs and pink.

Mamaku Blue is a Blueberry Farm with a restrurant that does a wonderful homemade Devonshire Tea with scones to die for and clotted cream ( almost real) Did you know clotted cream is 55% fat and the bad fats at that...even so it was finger licking good.
Mhairi's Mum came across from Tauranga and her sister this is such a lovely picture of them had to include it.

This is the view looking back towards Rotorua from the top of Mamaku Ranges, would make a lovely walk if only it was not all uphill, but it is down hill coming back.

Finally it has arrived

Yesterday being 23rd November...
was the day our container should
have finally arrived in Tauranga NZ and guess what ? It finally did!! Whee.

Just a few more days and I will finally have a fixed abode.

Never mind all the work to put 2 houses to rights, it will be great.

Claire just mentioned yesterday it will be great to put something down where she knows it is going to belong, like ornaments and things that live around you in your own home.

Boxes will be piled high and Oh!! do I hate emptying boxes.

There is a saying that if you do not open a box for 12 months you don't really need it's contents...a thought, no wrong thought as there's all my sewing paraphernalia in quite a few of them, so will be a pleasure rather than a chore to open them.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Grandma's Garden Patchwork and Quilting

My friend Mhairi had not been to "Grandma's Garden" shop for ages and had a voucher to use so she suggested a day trip.
What else can I say that these pictures do not, so enjoy the views of the shop.

I actually came away from the shop spending very little, I don't believe it myself.

What a lovely rose

I saw this rose and had to have a picture, so thought I would share with you

Friday, 14 November 2008

Grandma in demand

Last Tuesday Claire had to work on a day that is not
her normal one.
So Grandma got to spend a day with
Harvey, we went swimming, which we had to cut short when a small child "did a whoopsy" in the pool and of course they have to close the pool to clean and chemically treat it, so we went off and had lunch at McDonald's which I can ensure you was Harvey's choice and then spent an hour at the lake front watching the boats and seaplanes coming and going, besides feeding the birds with popcorn.
Harvey does not like dogs particularly, and there was a very large black shaggy dog sleeping on a shop front and when he saw it he must have jumped a meter in the air towards me... this was so amazing as his Dad ( my son) did not like dogs when small and did the self same thing on occasions, for me it was like reliving the same scenario with his son.

Then Thursday was Ben's day,

He had a "Non Contact Day" ( the mind boggles in our day it was called teachers training) and of course it has to fall on a day that neither Mum or Dad could take off, so Grandma to the rescue again and I drove to Hamilton and spent the day with him, this time we watched TV before going to the park beside a lake where they have a really good adventure playground.
Then to Subway for lunch this was Ben's choice.
After lunch we did some shopping for fruit, seems he likes strawberries so they were dutifully purchased and if allowed he would have eaten them all.
He also enjoyed at least an hour playing "Cafe"
My camper van has a sliding side door, which includes sliding windows in it.
Ben opened the window and closed the door and ran a cafe from it, I sat on a chair at the garden table close by and had to keep going to buy food and drink, one moment it was a McDonald's, then a Subway, then a pizza place. He also managed to put the prices up during the time....I think we have an budding business man on our hands.
When his parents returned home his Dad asked where he had been and Ben replied " The Park".
"Lovely" said his Dad " Did you drive there".
"Don't be silly Daddy I can't drive " was his reply " Grandma drove".
Not the answer his Dad expected.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

I do not believe this!

Yesterday I had a call from the delivery company in Auckland to say unfortunately our container had been off loaded in Singapore and was not on the ship arriving in Tauranga on the 12th, she was very sorry and all I could do was say a few not so nice words and she said that was her sentiments entirely...
Now the next date we have been given is 23rd to arrive and most likely 27th on wards for delivery as long as MAFF don't question anything. I guess someone had paid a lot more to have a container on the ship than we did.
So surely there has got to be one angel up there looking out for me or have they all taken a break before the Christmas rush.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Where have I been for the last few weeks

Not living in my own house, I have had to live else where of course, as mentioned before we have great neighbours.
I have been using Shirley's house an immediate neighbour, while she has been away on an overseas mission in Africa. This has been great having my own space.
When Eric returned to Dubai our other neighbours Lynne and Keith decided that staying on my own was not a good idea especially as it was not my own home, and they said I had to move into their spare room where there would be company for me. So I have been staying in this neat little house across the street from my house.
Lynne has some most beautiful Azaleia's and Rhodo's in her garden, I should have been quicker to take a picture but this morning when I did get around to it, the wind had gotten up and blown a lot of the flowers down.

It is almost here

Yesterday the 9th November should have been the day the container arrived from Dubai, but as all best laid plans go it is late, due on 12th now.
So that puts back the date a little for getting back into my own home.

I was in touch with the removers today and paid the MAFF fee, now we just have to hope that MAFF ( Ministery of AG, Fish and food I believe) don't want to see into it, as far as we know there is nothing they should be interested in.

Oh to see my stuff again will be great, all my threads and fabric, and started projects that I want to get on with it will be like Christmas come early.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Life and it's twists and turns

As everyone will see from the previous postings we are back in New Zealand.

After a wonderful wedding and time spent with the family life has now to come down to earth, our earth may be a little lower than the average just at present.
The time came to reflect on our marriage of 44 years and life together, after dicussions and heart searching we have decided to part company, all very mutual and amicable and no blame on either side.
Eric will do his own thing living once again in Dubai and I will follow my path here in Rotorua.
I have rejoined my Quilting group and Embroidery Guild, I hope to rejoin the Bowls club and get back on track ASAP, but I think this may take a little time

So please for give me for the lack of blogging for a little while, I will be back on track just as soon as I am able.
Thank you for the lovely messages left.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Welcome home Grandad

Today "Grandad " arrives from Dubai.
He has been left behind to do all the sorting and packing, makes a change I have done it at least 12 times in 32 years. Finally every thing is on the high seas and it should arrive here in NZ on 9th November.
He has sorted his employment out, well it's a hobby really as he does not want to retire completely yet awhile, but happy to just work a few hours a week from home and the occasional trips to places far flung every now and then to feed his travelling bug.

The Grand kids have been continuously asking " When does Grandad arrive " and finally I can now say "Today"

Monday, 20 October 2008

Time has been found

After my last blog, no time on the computer, I now have a few minutes to spend on a posting.
I spent the day on Sunday with my Quilting group "Rainbow Quilters" here in Rotorua, where we finished Charity Quilts for the hospital, mainly for long stay children.

Each year we have managed approximately 20 to 25, this year it is 22 with a couple unfinished.
15 of us gathered and stitched and pinned and generally gossiped and ate and drank tea and coffee for the best part of the day, but a lot was achieved. The photo's do not show all the quilts or even show them at their best.
But the "Teddy Quilt" is he not the cutest you have seen, I just love the one in the sunshades.