QUILTING WILL DOMINATE THE NEXT FEW MONTHS

TIME TO GET THIS FINISHED - 10 YEARS WORK IN PROGRESS

Thursday, June 21, 2018

STRUGGLING TO FIND MY MORNING NEW ROUTINE

Wednesday, June 20th

Writing here today is part of establishing my new routine.

I didn't sleep well last night and I've no idea why. I spent yesterday sorting out a few things and emptying John's desk It takes up far too much space and was bought off TradeMe because John needed somewhere to keep stuff. He had his laptop and the printer set up and kept all kinds of things in the drawers. I do things differently so this bulky piece of furniture has to go. I used to give receipts and instruction manuals to John because he seemed to like being in charge and I thought he was more likely than I to keep track of things. I've found all kinds of electrical and electronic stuff that is of no interest to me. I gave it to my son to sort through and I'll keep only what I know I'll use. Being a man, he's going to keep some and the left overs will get disposed of.

I found 2 cancelled passports and our new ones. They don't look easy to destroy. Of course I'll keep my new one. I suppose I should find some sturdy scissors to chop up the others enough so they'll burn easily. I'm sure they'll add to air pollution but I'm more concerned about personal safety.

 We stored a lot of our things at Whitianga when we moved three years ago. It only followed us last December when our daughter moved into her new house and we took everything out of storage. Jane's move more or less coincided with completing the modifications to our flat. When the truck arrived I discovered I had acquired Mum's writing desk. It is quite nice so I'll keep it and that will give me somewhere to put what I need to keep.

The sun came out yesterday afternoon. Christchurch is way behind on average sunshine for this month, so weak and wintery as it was, it was also very welcome. I hopped into the spa for about an hour. Our spa is still out in the weather with no shelter from the wind, an icy south easterly, so it was a case of staying under water as much as possible to stay warm and a quick scramble to wrap up after climbing out. I did enjoy having a long soak.

I have a doctor's appointment later this morning. Just a routine check up for blood pressure and medication. While we're out I'll get a new folder to file the collection of manuals etc. and any other shopping I think of. I'm making use of Jane before she goes home tomorrow. I was hoping it would be sunny enough to take Ava with us and have a play on the beach. I love being beside the sea in winter. But..... the forecast is for some rain and a top temperature of 9'C (48'F). In the meantime I need to tidy up the mess I made yesterday. While I know I've made progress it looks just the opposite.

Thursday June 21st

Jane is waiting at the airport for her flight to Hamilton. The airport is fogged in and it looks as though there will be no domestic flights for a few hours. I'm going to miss her. We've been together since  May 30th. I think she'll miss me although I know she's looking forward to having her home to herself again, just as I am enjoying having my flat to myself.

Airport Update Jane re-booked for a mid-day flight tomorrow so hopefully it will not be affected by fog. We will enjoy another day. It's not too hard to say goodbye when I will be going to Whitianga again in less than 6 weeks.

All went well at the doctors yesterday, although I got a bit teary when I talked about our trip and John's death, which was followed a month later by my friend Julie, both unexpected. I continue on my current BP meds and that's about it. We went to the Eastgate Shopping Centre where I updated library information and got out my usual collection of 5 books including non-fiction, mystery, western, romance and a novel from the general section, all large print and light reading, I hope. I like to read in bed and it's important to have something that doesn't keep me awake. We did a little shopping and had a light lunch of coffee and savoury muffins from Muffin Break. while Ava made good use of the playground. I bought some colouring in pens and book for Ava to keep in my house.

I know it's winter ... but really, couldn't the sun shine? I do enjoy not needing any other excuse to stay cosy inside but I am worried about my lack of fitness, I can hardly walk 100 metres without getting breathless. The worst part is that the physical discomfort puts me off doing anything, when the truth is it will only get worse if I don't change. It's all about head space.

I was very tired after our outing so just fiddled away the rest of the day.

The big national news today is that our Prime Minister, Jacinda Adern, has entered hospital to have her first baby. She's a courageous woman. I hope all goes well. As I get ready to post the news is that New Zealand's first family have a baby girl. The new mother will take a six month break from her post while the deputy stands in for her.

I have a multitude of small tasks. The kind that I tend to put off for another day. Here goes to seeing how many I can tick off today.

Day's over and although it's not even 8 pm I'm going to bed. I feel so weary. I haven't got a lot to show for the day. I changed my bed, (haven't even remade it with the clean sheets yet), sorted and filed some papers and took photos which have gone into a secret file somewhere in my computer so I can't even show you any. so weird. I can view them but not add them to posts or emails. I'll have to find an expert to work out the secret place. Tonight's photo is from my other file. the one that is accessible.
LONGING FOR SPRING..... 

A TUI FEASTING ON KOWHAI FLOWER NECTAR  

                                 


Saturday, June 16, 2018

HOME

I'm home in Christchurch at last. Jane, our daughter, and I flew from Hamilton on Tuesday.
MINE IS SIMILAR BUT COPPER COLOURED

Yesterday was my 79th birthday. Jane and I and Ava, who has a nasty cold with a horrible cough, went shopping at new to me Garden Centre. I bought a bird bath and a frilled, white cyclamen with a decorative pot to put on my dining table. John and I had looked around but never seen anything we liked enough to buy. I'm sorry he wasn't with me, both to see and help me place it. He enjoyed watching the antics of birds around our bird bath at Matarangi. We followed this up with lunch in the Cafe before going to the supermarket. I got a few groceries before Jane took Ava to the doctor. Jane cooked a simple tea of pork steak served with a version Greek Salad based on what was in the pantry. Today  have chosen a seaside restaurant for lunch. It's smart, yet casual and a comfortable place to be with an active three and a half year old. John and I had considered The Beach Bar many times but not gone into until this year. It always seemed to be closed for remedial work following the earthquakes. I'm looking forward to going there today.

Coming home has not been as difficult as I thought it might be. There were hidden tears as we left Whitianga. I didn't want to upset Jane who was driving. It seemed that as long as I was in Whitianga I felt close to John and the life we had together on the Coromandel Peninsula. Leaving to come home was like saying final goodbyes. It felt sad to leave so many memories behind. I'll be back but it will be forever different. John and I spent time together there, either living or holidaying, almost every year from 1960 onward. Sitting in our car, being driven by Jane set off another wave of emotion. I was surprised by the strength of my feelings as Jane drove us away from the township. John and I spent many hours studying cars. We waited until we had a guaranteed sale for Mum's house before choosing a badly needed replacement car. We bought a brand new red Honda Jazz which John was very proud of. He loved driving it. John took the car for it's twelve month check the week before we left Christchurch.


The third day John was in hospital the doctor on the palliative team went over John's situation with us. John said he would miss two things. The first was his little Ava coming from her back door to our flat with a smile and a hug for Granddad, while the other was driving his car.

After John died I talked it over with family and we all agreed to give the car to our daughter. I haven't driven for over 6 years. I lost my confidence when I got Bells Palsy because  somehow it affected my eyesight. I don't really want to drive around the city and we are close to all the main bus routes plus there are taxis if  I want to be independent of Wayne and Amanda, who made it plain they don't want the worry of me driving

This flat I live in at our son's home doesn't feel like home and yet it is. It's nice to have things in convenient places for me but I've still got lots of re-arranging to do. We haven't been in the finished version for long. Less than nine months and I'm still surrounded by stuff that needs sorting out. Now I'm on my own everything will be different.  There's no need to consider John's ideas or his comfort. Living alone is a different ball-game. I would like to go to church tomorrow, but after two days out, I need time at home. If I want Jane's help I should start tomorrow.

It's been cold, with daytime temperatures around 13'C, (55'F), cloudy and wet. Today should be fine but don't expect to see much sun and tomorrow it rains again.
THE BEACH BAR, SUMNER BEACH, CHRISTCHURCH.

Later. We had a lovely lunch. It was all that I hoped it would be except for the fog. Even so it was beautiful and I loved watching families and dogs playing on the misty beach. We were able to go for a walk on the sand so Ava could run around too. I had Eggs Florentine with hollandaise sauce followed by Creme Brulee and Baileys Irish Coffee, just to prove I'm not 100% teetotal. Ava spent the rest of the afternoon watching Netflix with me while I dozed and Jane, Amanda and Wayne gardened and stacked firewood.


Friday, May 18, 2018

ANOTHER LOSS AND MORE TEARS


SUNRISE SIMPSONS BEACH JULY 2013

This morning I got up feeling more in tune with living than I have for several days. I settled with a film to watch on my laptop and my sewing. I'm still embellishing the patchwork front for the shoulder bag I'm making for Julie.

Then came a phone call which has left me broken. My dear friend, Julie, has died. Julie has been a friend to me since I first met her more than 16 years ago. I am sorry to say I neglected our friendship at times but she was always there for me. She even said she admired me for the way I stood strong, through major family problems. Julie was married to Murray who is pastor of the Pauanui Baptist Christian Fellowship. They are the main reason I was pleased to be here when John was so ill and of course his service was taken by Murray. Julie stood beside me as I read the poem.

Last Sunday I was upset and shocked to hear she had a brain aneurysm and had been operated on to stop the bleed but would be kept in a coma for several days. Julie died in the early hours of this morning. I couldn't shed proper tears for John but now they come like a flood. I feel for Murray and their family. I know how this feels. I also know that they will celebrate Julie's life knowing that she is safe in her forever home, in the arms of Jesus, The whole family have a strong Christian faith but we still miss having the one we love around to hug and talk with.

Julie was the most loving woman I know. She was generally wise and stood for no nonsense. Although always kind, she never minced words if she thought it would help. Her love was both practical and spiritual. In other words her love was seen in everything she did. I found love, acceptance and healing that I couldn't have imagined before I came into Murray and Julie's church family. I grew and found myself in a fresh way under their leadership.

We all grow older and day by day we come closer to the end of life on earth as we know it and we still feel sad when a someone we love goes on to Glory. Sorry about all the Christian cliches but for me they are also the reality of knowing Jesus died on the cross to give eternal life to all who believe in him. I have no problem in believing that the Holy Bible tells the truth. And what's more, to back this up, I have a deep knowing that cannot be shaken. It's as though my heart, (spirit), knows even more than my mind does. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true.

Now I will complete the shoulder bag for Julie and let God drop into my heart what to do with it. I'll keep on sewing and it will be my way of celebrating my memories of our times together.

I wanted to post a photo of my progress so far but my camera has flat batteries so another day will do.  I'm not used to sorting out batteries for all the electric stuff I use.

Tomorrow I'll join women from churches around the area who gather at River Day. More about that later.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

THANK-YOU

I tried to reply to comments on my previous post but somehow the security robot and my settings have become confused. A teenager used my laptop to set up a slide show for John's funeral. I might have to wait until the school holidays to get her to sort it out. Thank goodness for teenagers but .....

Hi Chris and sorry to hear about your friend. I do hope I can meet up with you and also Lynda before I go back to Christchurch.

And Lyn, it's long-time blogger friends like you that keep me coming back. I've been thinking that it would be a good thing to get back into my old routine of writing first thing in the day. Actually, I used to walk first and I'm so unfit and lazy as a result.

I do a lot of hand sewing. Still doing patchwork and quilting by hand. We bought a sewing machine just before Christmas because I'd given my old one to Jane years ago and now that we live so far apart I can't borrow it. I still haven't used my new one and there's a lot to learn but I must. I have so many projects lined up that I've no hope of completing most of them if I don't set aside my fear of using a machine again. Hand sewing is so relaxing and usually easy to carry around from place to place. I cannot count all the unfinished pieces I have. There's always something important I want to finish that takes priority. Currently I'm working on Ava-Jane's 'forever' quilt I should only need a couple of weeks to finish but I keep getting distracted. I've begun a few small pieces of crazy patchwork, which is odd shapes with as much embellishment as I can think of. My current piece is a shoulder bag for a very dear friend.

I went to a Crazy Patchwork Workshop at Grandmother's Garden in Gordonton, near Hamilton the weekend John's health collapsed. It was good to be there among both experienced sewers and learners and I learned one important thing. There's NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY. What a confidence booster that was But by the Sunday I was feeling very anxious because it was obvious that John wasn't well and we were too far away from his doctor in Christchurch. The next morning, Monday, April 9th, he asked me to call an ambulance.

All our family are very thankful that John did not have a prolonged illness. We are still puzzled that the liver cancer wasn't detected during the followups after the heart attack he had last November but somehow his symptoms became confused with the possibility of drug incompatibility. This meant we had no lengthy period of anxiety regarding a diagnosis of cancer. And none of the terrible decisions around the worthiness of treatment and side effects. We enjoyed life right up to the last 2 weeks and had settled into our final home accepting that if there was ever another move for either of us it would only be into some kind of hospital care, if that became necessary.

In the next paragraphs I'm going through our experience. This is also my only journal so is for me more than anyone.

In some ways it would have been less stressful to have been in Christchurch when John became ill but...... Our family and friends are mostly in the Waikato. My sister-in-law, Jenny, is Senior Trauma Nurse at Waikato Hospital and popped in to see how we were each time she visited the Emergency Department and she helped to see that we got the best care possible. She stayed with me until a doctor came and told us John's blood tests showed 'Deranged Liver Results' and they would admit him for a CT scan the following day. Although we didn't talk about it then I was aware it meant he had serious liver disease, probably cancer. My brother picked me up from the hospital that evening and took me to the B and B. The next morning I packed all our stuff into our car and my sister took me back to the hospital and stayed with me for a few hours. Our daughter, Jane, completed some essential work related to updating her nursing registration and was with us from early afternoon of that day, (Tuesday 10th).

She was the one who made sure we saw the right people and arranged to see the palliative care team the following morning. We were able to stay with my brother and his wife that night. It was quite late when my brother and Jane went to the place John and I had been staying to pick up our car. It was comforting to be with family and know that we all understood what was going on with John. By this time we all knew he might only live a week or two and maybe less. When we got up the next morning, Wednesday, Jane told me she hoped I was in agreement with her plan to take John back to her home and to be out of the hospital by 3 pm that afternoon. I was so relieved to have her help and support as I knew it was exactly what we should do.

Jane put aside her personal feelings and put her District Nurse's cap on.  She arranged for John's medical records to be transferred from his Christchurch doctor to his old Whitianga doctor. The Nursing Care, a Personal Carer for showering him, a hospital bed and other paraphernalia associated with hospice nursing in one's own home were all organised in the next few hours. The palliative team consulted with us and prescribed the correct medication. A  pump with anti-nausea and pain relief drugs was established under Jane's experienced eye. Jane even wrote out John's hospital discharge and referral to the Whitianga Community Health Centre because the nurses on John's ward were somewhat confused by the whole thing. Did I say the hospital was confusing? I knew what we should be doing but I'd never have got through the process on my own. We left the hospital at 2.30 pm.
 and thanks to the medication John travelled reasonably well throughout the nearly 3 hour trip

A note about Waikato Hospital. The staff were lovely and worked hard, always doing their best. The system for someone in John's condition was exceedingly poor. The triage in ED was quick and he quickly had blood tests taken and was placed in a cubicle. After that there was almost no nursing care and we waited and waited. I'm not sure at what point it was known John would be admitted to a ward, but it must have been early afternoon. We waited because only a doctor from the General Surgical Team could arrange the admission. No-one with this authority was available until nearly 8 pm. In the meantime John was severely dehydrated and had some pain but was left untreated while 'more critical patients' were attended to. Even my lovely sister-in-law couldn't make much of a dent in this process. When John was finally taken to a ward the only bed they could find in the hospital was in orthopaedics with young men and broken bones. Again the nursing staff were lovely but none had experience in the kind of care John needed. They did their best to keep him comfortable but it was not ideal. Nor was it good that we were discussing John's limited future and care without any privacy. It must have been unpleasant for the young men in the nearby beds.

The last straw was the lack of consideration by the Consultant who we were told was 'The Top Liver Man'. He took his team of registrars and trainees to see John when I was out, (on the next floor down), having a lunchtime cup of coffee with my sister. This was the only time I left his bedside until late that night. When I got back to the ward there was some kind of buzz going on. The nursing staff were fuming. The consultant had walked in and told John he had Liver Cancer and there would be no further treatment. At the time this went over my head but in retrospect it was awful and totally against hospital protocol. I don't think John, who was already in a weakened state, ever recovered from the shock. We are told the Consultant will get a rap over the knuckles.

Once again all the support in the world could not speed up hospital processes and it was 8 pm before Jane and I got the family consultation we had been asking for. The doctors who talked with us were very good but there was no provision for a private space so Jane had arranged for us to use the Ward Managers office. At this meeting we asked for the palliative team to be involved and they helped us organise John's subsequent discharge to Whitianga nursing care.

Back in Jane's home John revived somewhat for a few days as the proper nursing care improved his comfort level, but the reality was we could see him losing strength almost by the hour. It was hard not to panic as I contacted our sons and they made arrangements for to come to Whitianga. Somehow we did all that was important and had a chance to say goodbye and begin our grieving process in a way that never happens with sudden death. Death is unpredictable and we were glad for both John and ourselves that this period was so short because John died on Friday Morning, April 20th.

Jane has only been in her house since last December and tradesmen are still popping in to give finishing touches. Today the painter is here. Jane designed her home with her aging parents in mind and also one of her brothers is a paraplegic. Her foresight was really appreciated as it made caring for John so much easier than a house with standard fittings.

We decided to have a memorial service the following Tuesday, April 24th, rather than sit in church looking at a casket. In fact it all went well and the days flew by as we went through contacting the people we thought we should and making arrangements. The most difficult was the photo slide show. This was partly due to our ineptitude with technology until the teenagers came to help and the fact that any photos prior to early 2000s were in Christchurch. I chose 30 minutes of music to precede the service including Singing in the Rain by Gene Kelly, I Believe In Angels by Abba, followed by songs by Legacy Five and Ruth Faizel. We played the sideshow to Rock Around The Clock, Route 66 and What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. Now we have John's ashes which I will have interred in Matamata Cemetery where some of my family and John's Dad is remembered.

It was a quiet, non-pretentious service that satisfied me and I hope brought some comfort to all our family and friends.

I wrote a poem which I was able to read and also the eulogy which was read unedited by my pastor friend from when we lived here. That brought a few chuckles because it was really unfinished and I lost the plot while writing due to distractions and getting too tired to write.

Here's a copy of what I spoke and I was very proud of myself for being able to share it without breaking down.



One of the great privileges of life is being given time to spend the last days and nights with someone you love. 


In the early morning hours of John's last day on earth I was given a sense that he would be spending eternity in Glory with our Heavenly Father. We were alone. John was sedated and sleeping peacefully. I was meditating on our life together and how amazing God's ways are even when we are unaware of his hand helping us through. 

We had been married 11 years when I made a serious commitment to God, becoming Born Again through Jesus. 

John never hindered my desire to be involved in church life but he never joined me apart from a few rare exceptions. I prayed and I believed God had a plan for John's life and I waited for the day we would be totally united in Christ. Eventually I accepted that God wanted me to accept life as it is and cease fretting. 

We had a great marriage. It was thoroughly imperfect yet full of life. We experienced just about everything life could throw at anyone and sometimes it seemed more than we could bear. There were times of deep sadness and times when life was full of fun and joy. I call it an abundant life. 

When I knew John's time on earth was coming to the end, I wondered about where he stood with God. For 44 years I'd been waiting for some kind of confirmation that God had heard my prayers.

Finally, my answer came in the stillness of the pre-dawn night. I composed this verse to mark the moment.

I believe in angels 
Tonight they wait with us,
Here to watch and keep us safe.
In my heart I heard God speak.
"I have a place prepared.





There are many rooms within my house
And John's is ready.
'My angels wait until I call,
They'll carry him to me 
And John will be home safe at last.

'I give you my peace
There's nothing to fear.
John will dance on the streets of gold
In the Holy City of God.

I played this song after reading the poem. Angels All Around by Cobhams Asuquo.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

LIFE KEEPS CHANGING

I need to tidy up my Blogs.

I am now a widow. The last few months have seen one adjustment after another.

Current situation. I am staying with our daughter in Whitianga for another 4 weeks before returning to my home in Christchurch.

Three weeks ago John died after a very brief illness. We had driven from Christchurch taking our time. We were staying at a B & B near Hamilton when John realised he was very unwell and we called an ambulance and went to Waikato Hospital. He was diagnosed with end stage Liver Cancer. Our daughter, who is a District Nurse and familiar with Hospice type care, brought us back to her home. John died on May 20th. It was all a bit of a shock but we had time to adjust and gather family. It was good for me to be among so many old friends and have my family surround me.

I am at peace and feel as though I'm on holiday. I do miss John. For the last 15 years we seem to have done everything together.  I am looking forward to my new life with some trepidation but also a sense of adventure.

Our life in Christchurch was quite busy. We adapted Amanda's ex-showroom for Baby On The Move to become a fully self contained unit. After the earthquakes our son, Wayne, and Amanda had a new garage built. They took the opportunity to build large with one side garage and the other suitable to live in. We were still settling into our new home and had boxes everywhere while we made decisions on what to keep and what to sell or give away.

We had planned an extensive trip see here but John had a heart attack last November which meant several stents were placed in his heart. His specialist advised against sea travel so we cancelled. I'm so thankful we did that because the crash in his health would have coincided with being in the Panama Canal. Instead we decided to take a trip north sightseeing and visiting with family and friends.

Back in Christchurch I will still be close to family. Amanda and Wayne have a little daughter, our only grandchild. Ava-Jane is now three and a half years old. She is our delight. It is a great privilege to live so near that she can walk/run to our home and say "Good morning" while still in her pyjamas. I'm starting to look forward to going home but I'm also enjoying being with Jane. Today I' going to church and lunch with longtime friends.

Maybe I'll write more often. I did enjoy my days of regular blogging and the on-line friends I found.

Making the most of everyday.

CRUISE TO ALASKA 2009

Friday, July 14, 2017

SNOW

WEDNESDAY

Yesterday we woke, latish for us, to hard frost, blue sky and sunshine. Today it's grey with snow flurries with temperatures not expected to get higher than 5'C/41'F. That's cold for us. It's still dark and I'm wrapped up cosily with the heat-pump on high. It's not often it has to work so hard to keep our space warm.

The builder is arriving soon to begin install the glass door in our bedroom. This is one thing that has bugged me from the beginning. I'm not used to sleeping in a room that cannot open up to the outside. The lack of direct light and air onto our bedroom has run a close second to the inconvenience of having no running water. That too will be changed soon.

We Kiwis are tough. Double glazing and insulation are fairly recent legal conditions to new housing. Many houses are cold and draughty. Central heating is almost unheard of in private homes. I can remember sleeping with my day clothes in my bed and in the morning, getting dressed under the blankets.

My mother was a fresh air freak all her life. She slept with her bedroom window open even on frosty nights. First thing every morning she threw open windows except in the bitterest weather.


The America's Cup Parade is scheduled for Christchurch today. I'd love to go out and show my support but.... we are looking after Ava-Jane and I know we don't want to go out in this weather, especially as she is recovering from a nasty cold..



John and I closely followed New Zealand's Team challenge of the America's Cup. Now that we have Sky TV we were able to watch live all the races in Bermuda. It was exciting and nerve wracking. We knew we had a good chance to win the Cup but nothing is guaranteed until the final race is won. We are delighted to have the Cup back in New Zealand. It's a good time to be a New Zealander and we are so proud of the Team from the management and all other aspects including technology, creative design, the engineers, builders and the athlete's, (yachties), who sail the boat. Since our first challenge for the legendary Cup in we have seen people from our little country display amazing qualities of resilience, persistence, innovation and many other positive characteristics. Our population is less than five million and although there are wealthy New Zealanders there are international companies which probably have bigger budgets than our whole country.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in New Zealand was worth 185.02 billion US dollars in 2016. The GDP value of New Zealand represents 0.30 percent of the world economy. 


Weather is the great talk of the day. Our drive is slippery with frost. Icy rain and snow have left a frosting on the cars. There's more to come.

FRIDAY EVENING

At last we have natural light coming into our bedroom. I keep wanting to go in to turn off the light. It's been cave-like for so long it takes a bit getting used to having a window. Now I can feel confident about decorating. Eventually we'll have a restored cracklewood headboard and dressing-table. They're in storage st Whitianga until later this year. I have my quilt, as seen in the heading photo, and still to be finished. Ava-Jane's quilt must come first. Amanda likes painting so she'll do the new wall colours and I want a light coloured carpet, beige or oatmeal I think. We'll also be able to choose our pictures from what we already have, again in storage. Choosing new bedside tables and lamps are on the list too.

New Zealand has experienced a really rough few days with an icy winter storm. I can't remember when I heard so many roads closed for more than 24 hours. The stormy weather has passed us. Here in our part of Christchurch we are only a few metres above sea level, maybe fifty feet. Icy roads are common but snow not so much. We continued to have sleet and hail showers throughout Wednesday and it's just been cold, grey and miserable since. Yesterday we looked after Ava, today her father stayed home. We've all been off colour, some worse that others. Not strictly flu but headaches, queasy tummies, sore throats and all the usual cold symptoms have kept us below par. For once I feel better that anyone else today.

I'm trying to pull myself back into a healthy lifestyle. It's a very long time since I did any kind of exercise and I have been eating a lot of bread and sweet stuff. The results are easy to see. I'm doing really well to have one half decent food day in a week. The good news is that I am unlikely to get much worse. I'm gently bringing myself into a healthier pattern.

The first major spend we had after selling Mum's house was to get a new car. There was a lot of discussion and John had a lot of fun visiting car lots. Finally we decided to but a new car and I had several points that any car we bought had to meet.

1. High in reliability and kilometres per 100 litres

2, Comfortable seats and a roomy backseat for when we are 3 or 4 adults.

3. Red which was guaranteed against our strong light, and a profile I liked

4. Fabric, not leather, real or fake upholstery.

5.  Room for the child's car seat with easy installation, and space for another adult in the back.

My first choice was a Mazda 3 until I tried out the back seat. Grrrr!

We bought a Honda Jazz and kept it quiet for months because we paid our deposit soon after the sale was confirmed. Another 4 months went by before we were able to pay and collect it. I felt really cross when the lawyers took more than 8 weeks to do their bit in working out the distribution to the 6 family members. In fact we might still have been waiting if we hadn't begun to agitate. I wouldn't have minded of there was a good reason but it was simply a hold up in the administrative office of our lawyer.




Tuesday, July 11, 2017

HOW LONG IS IT?

I've been getting a few nudges from faithful readers.

Where am I?

John and I continue to live in the 'garage' at our son's home in Christchurch. We're not homeless but sort of camping still with no running water. Hopefully all this is about to change.
A SUNRISE VIEW FROM OUR FRONT DOOR LOOKING TOWARD NEW BRIGHTON BEACH

My mother's house, the family Beach House, sold with the final payout in April. What a marathon exercise that has been. Our son, Wayne, approached us with an idea he and his wife had hatched up.  Would we like to stay here and convert our current living space into a comfortable Granny Flat? John and I had to think carefully, but the pros outweighed the cons by miles. For me it was a no-brainer. A few days prior our wee Granddaughter, Ava-Jane, who was about 2 years and 3 months old had walked across the driveway and knocked on our door to give us a good morning greeting. It was a very special moment for me.

John and I quickly realised that when we bought our own place we would wait many years before Ava would be old enough to visit us independently. We love to look after her even though she is very active and wears us out. It's so much easier to live on the same property. Wayne and Amanda have the freedom to make spur of the moment decisions to go out on their own. And we have come to appreciate that they don't take us for granted. Amanda now has a part-time job but has arranged childcare so that we are back-up only. Often a whole week goes by without us having full responsibility, even for a couple of hours. Some weeks we do more but however it works out we see our wee girl everyday.

AVA-JANE AND AMANDA ABOUT 2 YEARS AGO


We continue to appreciate the privilege of being a hands-on grandparent. More-so when we still have the freedom to do the things we enjoy too. We still love to travel and as our finances allow we continue to go the North Island from time to time and have at least one overseas trip in the pipeline. We also want to see more of New Zealand and our scattered friends and relatives.



Today we are waiting on builders. It's a beautiful morning. The sun shines brightly in a blue sky while the forecasters predict stormy weather, freezing rain and snow to low levels. John is putting on some washing and I'm going to hop in the spa before washing my hair. I have a quilt laying on the floor while I work at basting the top, inner wadding and back together so I can quilt it. This is for Ava-Jane's bed and is intended to be a forever quilt. Something that will hopefully last and be something she will still treasure at 21.

REVERSE SIDE


Another reason for my lack of blogging is that I am Window's 10 challenged. I have a new laptop and was hoping I would understand it better. I've just spent one and half hours trying to get the photos from some file or other so I could add them here. GRRRR!!!!! I don't have the patience to work all this stuff out. It used to be so simple to upload photos from my camera to my picture files. Now I find that half my photos are in some weird place and I don't understand how it works. I can see I need some tutoring ASAP.

It's already almost mid-day so I need to have some breakfast and get at least one of my 'to-doos' for today off the list.
THE BEACH HOUSE THAT CONTRIBUTED FINANCIALLY TO OUR NEW LIFE IN CHRISTCHURCH