Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Farewell to 2012, welcome 2013

Another year has come and gone, a few highlights to share:

Achieved most (but not all) of the goals I set for 2012

Shed almost 20kg, looking back 40kg was possibly an unrealistic goal for me, I'm very happy to work towards losing another 20kg this year

Have adapted a healthier lifestyle, mostly making better meal choices and planning so as to incorporate exercise into my day.  Brilliant side effect - my health is much improved

Enjoyed many spiritual highs in 2012, probably too personal to share.  Faith is definitely an active, rather than passive, experience

My kids and I catch up by whanau email, every Monday

The family photo shoot!  We hired a photographer to come and take some family snaps at the Temple in October when we were all together for the first time in more than 5 years.  3 generations having lots of laughs together, wow.  I'm so glad my kids all love each other and are still very close

Discovered that I really enjoy living alone, it's only lonely sometimes and you always have the option to go out visiting

Attended my first SENZ, (scrap booking, card making, crafty delight) spent a fortune and loved every minute of it

Was successful in obtaining a six month secondment to Wellington as a project adviser.  Finally doing some work I actually enjoy and surprisingly enough Wellington is okay too (provided I can stay away from all the fab shops)

Found the best hot chocolate in the world, it's even better than the ones we used to enjoy at the Lindt cafe beside my old work in Sydney.  It comes from a little chocolatier I have to walk by every day on the way home from work.  It's a small block of solid chocolate attached to a stick like a lollipop, and you heat a cup of milk to boiling, then swizzle the chocolate on the stick in the hot milk to dissolve it

Okay I was on a roll and there were more highlights however the Block Australia is on and I'm quite into it, so I may finish this with a few photos later.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Remembering our Dad

A couple of Saturday's ago, we had a whanau gathering to remember our dad, Major, who would have been 100 if he was still with us. It was my sister's idea and I was happy to go along with it. We spent a most enjoyable afternoon over a simple buffet, catching up on the news from all the cousins, aunties and in-laws, watched the kids run round and round and even caught a wedding which was moved the foyer next to us due to inclement weather. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon. My sister and I

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rythmn n Vines aftermath

The new year was suddenly upon us. I spent the first night of 2012 holed up in a motel in Napier with son Mike, daughter Justine and of course the indomitable Major in a studio with a queen bed and a trundle bed to accomodate the four of us!

We'd left my sister's house at Wairoa and headed north to Gisborne to pick up Mike from Rythmn n Vines (every mother's nightmare) music fest with plans to head home to the Bay of Plenty via the Waioeka gorge and Whakatane.

We got less than 5 minutes down the highway toward home, in line with the 25,000 other concert survivors who were going our way, when two drivers going the opposite way to us signalled us to turn back. Now our line wasn't moving and theirs was, so we turned back and sure enough before long we heard on the radio about a couple of big accidents on the highway ahead of us - Road now closed due to accidents & major flooding!

Now the only other highway out of town took us back south to Wairoa where we had come from but we didn't want to go back to my sister's - we'd said all those sad goodbyes, and see you sometime in the future farewells - so we carried on right by her house and headed south to Napier, arriving there in the evening. We'd been travelling all day, so Major was understandably car crazed, he had definately had enough of the car (and we'd had enough of Uncle's BO and fumes - 4 days camping & concert leftovers wasn't pleasant).

Justine, bless her heart and ability with smart phone, found us one of the last available rooms in Napier. The city was bursting at the seams with all those other bedraggled Rythmn n Vines survivors who couldn't get home for the same reason as us and who were all now stranded many hundreds of kms in the wrong direction, desperately looking for a place to stay.

What a cool adventure it turned out to be. I've got tons more to write about it.

However, it was the photo above, taken at the motel, that decided my BIG goal for the year.

I finally realised it was time to begin some kind of weight loss journey - MY weight loss journey. My goal is to loose 40kg and so far I've lost a little over 11kg and I feel FANTASTIC, I'm even on the way to getting fit and I can swim lots of lengths. I can scarcely believe it and I look forward to sharing my challenges and triumphs with you. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Second Thoughts

I looked at my blog a few minutes ago and thought, I'm not really into this anymore and it shows. I checked visitors to my site, all foreign strangers and I started feeling a little uneasy. So I decided I might post one last blog - The Last Post.

Then a funny thing happened, I remembered posting the story of Christ's birth one Christmas, so I started scrolling back through old posts looking for it. Another funny thing happened, I was quite surprised at some of the funny things I'd written and of the diverse range of topics I'd blogged about. I actually used to think I wasn't that good at blogging, not compared to those witty American bloggers and my very funny friend from Dal, Hel and Bel (Incidentally Hel, I've never stopped hoping that sometime soon you will have time to give us an update).

No wonder my family never check me out anymore - I never post! So here is one of those resolutions that will make it to the New Year list.

1. I will pick up blogging again and start sharing all the cool stuff that I have to be grateful for.

Yes folks, there are still 24 hours in every day, no more - no less; so I'm going to make a more concerted effort for 2012 to keep the whanau up to date with the happenings in my neck of the woods.

So tomorrow I start................ stay tuned

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cramming for exams

Isn't if funny how all those little things you meant to do for ever such a long time (ie new post), suddenly get done when it's time to start serious swotting for finals!

I'm usually quite well organised, know what jobs need doing on what day, have lists for everything blah blah but there is one time when I become the master of procrastination - and that time is now. So instead of cramming - here I am, alive and well, in remarkably good condition, apart from the body that groans under the strain of the always increasing weight. But come this weekend I'll start for sure. Promise.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I've been in hospital for some surgery. Although its one way of getting a few weeks off work, it certainly wasn't fun. I had lots of injections and other poking and prodding, lots of drugs that made me feel yucky and lots of PAIN. The visitors were the best part of the ordeal. My sister even travelled up from Wairoa to visit (although she looked so tired and stressed I felt I should have been cheering her up and not vice versa). Major learned to say Hostible, but there was no way he was getting anywhere near the bed incase I got to go home and he had to stay. Now I'm at my aunty's recovering. Under Dr Sally's careful eye I'm doing lots of ....zzzzzzz...
and the odd bit of this

And soon I'll be all good as new, back to work and this will all be one of those unpleasant, distant memories that I'll banish as quickly as it appears. After all you can't keep a good woman down!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


A quick whip around the garden a couple of weeks ago, brought this wonderful bounty to the kitchen. There's corn, purple and green peppers, tomatoes, grapes, cabbages, cauliflower, zuchinni, onions, passionfruit and these flying saucer type things that I don't know the name of which I accidentally picked up instead of zuchinni. They're obviously related to zuchinnis but taste quite different.

Anyway it's a real buzz to get all these beauties straight from garden to kitchen, well worth the effort.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Who sped time up?

I waited all year for the holidays and already they are over.

The good news is I got to spend a precious few days with both my mokos and it was so much fun. The joy your grandchildren bring into your life is hard to describe, your own kids are great but your mokos are out of this world. My mum told me that and now I know what she meant.

Major's helping Jade unpack her Christmas box from Gran (he was an expert at opening presents by the time all the gift giving was done - and he wasn't really fussy about whose present he was opening either)
Wish I could master the art of taking a good photo, this isn't the most flattering shot, but it's my best darlings without any airbrushing

Jade is so tall and beautiful now, we loved playing Cluedo with her. Despite our best efforts she still managed to whip us at it. Now previously Justine thought she was the Cluedo Champ, so there were a few heated discussions over whether a wrong accusation by all three players meant the last player to get it wrong could actually be considered the winner (that was Jade of course who still counts that game as a victory)

You have to have plenty of coins for the rides when you take Major near the mall
You know my great grandmother was full Maori and wore a moko (tattoo chiselled onto the lips and chin). You'd never know these two had any such connection looking at their pale skin. One thing's for sure though, they look like cousins and they're both mad about each other. Hope that lasts through all their years.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas from me to you

Work is over for the year, can you hear the yahooing from there?

It's so hot and humid I can hardly think, but I think it's hotter in Sydney and Brissie.

Christmas shopping is all done, the presents are all wrapped and labelled under the tree. Major is in for a lot of surprises this year and there's a lovely box full of goodies waiting for Jade, but I don't know when I'll get to see her. She is in NZ with her maternal grandparents but I don't think her plans include a visit to me this year. I'm trying not to be tragic about it.

Tomorrow morning I intend to be waiting at the supermarket when the doors open for business to pick up all those perishables that couldn't be purchased earlier. Then it will be off to the local butcher who, just like Kel from Kath & Kim, advertises himself as a 'purveyor of fine meat' (and the sign always makes me giggle when I remember that episode when Kath & Kel got a bit carried away out the back of the shop while the line of customers grew longer out front). Anyway I digress, it'll be off to pick up the rolled pork roast, chicken something or others wrapped in bacon and a few other fine meats.

Christmas day won't be a big affair in our house, our guests are arriving on Boxing day so we are planning a fairly laid back day on Saturday.

We'll start with a special breakfast - fresh fruit salad and yogurt sprinkled with Gran Denny's delicious toasted muesli (crunchy granola) then bacon and eggs en croissant. For the first time ever we are embracing the new Kiwi tradition of firing up the BBQ for Christmas dinner! But it's okay we'll do the traditional Roast Pork blah blah on Boxing day (although I am giving some serious thought to rotisserie cooking the pork on the barbie.

I've wrapped a few novelty gifts to put at each place setting for your Boxing day lunch, and got lots of Christmas bits and pieces too. I love Christmas and I love fussing about over it all too. It's a special time celebrating the birth of our Saviour and gathering our loved ones about us. Still trying not to be tragic about Jade.

Anyway somewhere among all this food (that's steeped with family history - the pavlova's just come out of the oven, I'm still using Aunty Nella's recipe and she died nearly 30 years ago and the boysenberry Philly cheesecake that I first tried when I was 15 is about ready to throw together) well somewhere in the midst of all this there'll be games, trips to the beach at the end of our street, a few good movies, lots and lots of laughter and relaxation.

I can hardly wait!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all.


Sunday, October 3, 2010


Our stake is having an art exhibition and all the different wards were asked to have their own exhibitions and choose some pieces to show in the stake exhibition.

The scrapbook page above is what I made for our ward art exhibition and much to my surprise it has been chosen for forwarding to the stake exhibition.

This is the little speel I wrote to accompany 'Toku Whanau':

To Save the One starts with our own families.

In this scrap booked page I have tried to depict how each individual in our blended family is a unique, crucial part of the essence of 'Toku Whanau' (my family).

From Welcome Bay Ward, I'm married to Judah and my iwi is Rongomaiwahine.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's Been A While

Yes, I'm still alive and kicking, though not kicking quite as vigorously as I've been known to in earlier times.

Been having a bit of a struggle for a while, battling to stay cheerful while undergoing a myriad of tests. I've seen this specialist and that specialist and nothing I have is entirely serious on it's own, but combined they're enough to slow me down quite a bit. Most worrying and the biggest nuisance not necessarily in any particular order: arthritis, ovarian cyst, hypertension, impaired lung function, chronic anaemia and the good old IBS.

Some exciting news though, I'm back at tech, completing a Diploma I started a few years back. I'm doing business computing this semester. Gosh it's strange to be studying again. It took me a while to settle into. I must say the old brain isn't quite as sharp at retaining facts as it was when I started studying, but I'm enjoying what I'm learning.

Just got the first test results back this week, wow, I can't believe it - got an A for an advanced word processing practical. and dare I complain, I was so flustered in the test as time was running out so quickly, I submitted one incorrect file and that cost me 8 marks and a + on the A. But I'll take an A and give myself a severe scolding for a totally preventable mistake. Anyway, a pass is a pass is a pass. Go me.

The first day of Spring is just around the corner, next Wednesday actually. Hope I catch Spring Fever soon. I've normally got it bad by this time, dreaming and planning what I'm going to plant, rumaging through all the plant shop catalogues, wondering if this is the year we'll do the great landscaping project that will transform out back yard into one of those wonderous gardens they make on shows like Mucking In or Better Homes and Gardens. But every time I think about weeding the raised vege gardens, a large sigh escapes. Guess I'm not quite up to it yet.

Oh yeah, other good news, I've had a step up at work. When I moved from Hams to Tauranga, I moved into a totally different section of my company and they started me off as a 'Fundamental' specialist. Now I'm an 'Applied' specialist. They tell me you normally have to be 'Fundamental' for at least one year and I've been over here for only 5 months, so I guess that's good. Hope it means a pay rise!

Now I will try and post a little more frequently, but for now enjoy the daffodils, and the wonder of all God's creations.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Angels and Demons

has been to stay, some parts of his visit were just plain angelic and some parts were tense to say the least. He's walking now, or should I say lurching, staggering, stumbling, teetering and falling down A LOT.
I was pretty happy to see him, even when he slept in until 6ish on Saturday morning!

We went shopping at Bayfair. He's shaping up to be a petrol head just like his uncle....

Look at the absolute delight in these shots!

We let him have a good 10 mins drive time before we inserted the $2 coin and he got a taste of the real action

But it was all over far TOO SOON, this was a full 5 mins later after he'd stopped throwing himself rigid and screaming very loudly. We're down to gentle sobs here.

Then we went shopping at Farmers, now that was an EXPERIENCE

First it was hide and seek in among the jeans

Then it was time to startle some poor lady in the changing rooms

Just checking to see if any other unsuspecting shoppers need to have their privacy invaded

Oops both Mummy and Gran were after him by this time

So we went for icecream, then we had to go home, cos the mess was just too sticky and it was everywhere, even in my handbag

But dear hubby and I did survive and we can still manage a smile. (Although I cried when my angelic demon went home, as I always do).
And somewhere in between all this he took all the pots out of the kitchen cupboard at least 20 times, emptied the bottom cutlery draw a lot, broke the inside shoe shelf, threw DVDs around the lounge like they were frisbies, posted my mothers day Michael Jackson DVD in the sink while Judah was washing the dishes, threw his plate of dinner upside down onto the floor, walked up to the DVD and switched it off right at the climactic part of the movie, gave the best cuddles, danced so cutely to any and every piece of music, made his cute animal noise (all animals make the same noise at the moment), came to Stake Conference with us this morning where he played angellicly through opening exercises then right on cue went to sleep when the speakers started and we had to wake him up when it was all over.
I would just like to share that GRANDCHILREN are the most wonderful blessing of senior years that one could ever hope to enjoy.