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.