Tuesday, 9 April 2019


Ava is growing up so fast. She has her own unique style. I often find my things re-arranged to suit her taste. She chooses her own clothes and her mother has decided ot to do battle. Ava is such a strong-minded child that it's best to pick and choose the essentials and leave other areas to work out as she matures. A picture just for Grandma.

Sunday, 7 April 2019


Last year John and I were on holiday. John wasn't at all well but he still drove me to the Quilting Workshop being held at Gordonton, about 10 minutes drive from our B & B. I was very anxious about him and burst into tears at one point of the afternoon. It was a relief when he arrived to pick me up but I was most alarmed by his driving. In retrospect he was already becoming disorientated.

I have to face this period of mourning. It's not going to be easy. I could spend the days completely distracting myself  but I have this sense that I need to be living it to the full. I need to remember the confusion as things changed for us too quickly to fully comprehend. At the time I was able to accept what was happening, knowing that the damage had been done long before and nothing was going to change the progress of whatever disease he had. As it turned out he had end stage liver cancer. Suddenly John was dying before my eyes and my job was to do all I could to help my children through. I also needed them to be around me.

I am doing reasonably well now but looking back I can see how superficial my life was for months after John died. Grieving has been a weird process. On the outside I mostly looked as though I was coping, as though it wasn't a big deal at all to be alone, and I stayed positive

My dreams told a different story. There was the night I had an anger dream.... not toward John specifically but I was shocked by the overwhelming anger that rose up within me. It took several days to feel as though I was on an even keel again. Then there was the sobbing dream. I woke up crying, confused, because the dream was unusual and not related to anything personal in my life but I immediately understood that I needed to cry and if I wouldn't/couldn't while I was awake I would in my dreams. It took me a week or so to break free of the sadness and low feelings that followed that dream.

More recently I went through the questions I didn't want to face - How much did I really love John? Had I stayed in our marriage because it was convenient? All those doubts that I'd had from time to time. Suddenly I felt really guilty for not loving him freely and not showing or telling him how much I loved him often enough. Oh the guilt! The thing is we had grown comfortable together and often took each other for granted. I think that's normal. The truth is I loved him deeply and never have wanted to hurt him, ever. I found I needed to forgive myself for not loving him as much as I wanted to and he deserved. I will never put him on a pedestal.... I knew him too well for that. But he had so many precious qualities, often taken for granted by me but highly valued by others.

I think that we live in communities because no one can completely know the complexities of another but in community we have some hope of being appreciated as others find different aspects of our personality.

I should be at church today but maybe I needed this time of reflection.

Yesterday I baked a couple  of coconut loaves. One was savoury with grated cheese Morrocan spices and a whisper of curry. The other was a sweet version with vanilla, dried cranberries and chopped almonds. The savoury one went well with a couple of eggs for tea.

I also mended a Barbie dress for Ava. I celebrate every positive thing I do. Today my tiny kitchen needs a tidy up. I need to look after myself. I need a shower. I need to eat well. I am doing okay but there's so much more I can do to make the most of today. I guess I'm lonely. John would have helped me get sorted out and he's not here. I have to be self-motivated. No-one can do it for me.

I really miss him in what seem like trivial things. Popping in the car to go to the library and have a cup of coffee. Doing the dishes. Making sure the laundry gets pegged on the line to dry. Having meals at regular hours. It's nice to go at my own pace but I often get totally out of kilter. Just doing stuff together. I like my own company but I'm a bit of a slob on my own.

I guess finally writing this is positive, but it has stirred up too many sad feelings. Time to find some rock and roll music, have coffee and then shower. I knew when I dithered about going to church I'd find it hard to get myself up and going. It's too easy to procrastinate when one only has oneself.

One of my great fears is that I could become crippled by my emotions.

Thursday, 28 March 2019


Today I'm doing as little as possible.

A week ago Greg sent a text telling us he was getting ready to drive down to Christchurch from Rotorua. I haven't had much time alone since then. Greg left about 11 pm on Monday night. He would have been on the 8 am Interislander then he had a 6-7 hour drive home to Rotorua. He'll be tired and I haven't heard from him yet. I hope the trip didn't trigger another urinary tract infection. Unfortunately it's something that some paraplegics are prone to and he is one of them.

Tuesday I was out and about with Amanda keeping appointments, shopping, paid a couple of bills and selected a fresh pile of library books. We had lunch at the Tannery and had a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying day without spending a fortune. Yesterday my cleaner came. I feel as though it's an indulgence but it's an incentive for me to tidy things up properly and for a while my place looks picture perfect.

These photos of the Tannery are taken off the internet. It's a lovely place to browse although I'm not sure I would do a lot of shopping there as most things seem rather expensive. John and I enjoyed going there, not least because there's a cinema which showed movies we were more likely to be interested in.

My Christmas decorations are packed away but 'stored' on the floor of my sewing room. Today the plan is to box them up so they can be put away in the garage rafters. After that I'll restore order to a couple of things that were moved to make room for Greg in his wheelchair. I might even get out some sewing. I disciplined myself to keep away from sewing until after the cleaner had been yesterday because I tend to spread stuff around when I start a new project. Not that I am starting something new but I will be finishing something that takes a bit of sorting out and thought. Maybe I can get a picture of it when finished. I still haven't worked out what my computer is doing with photos off my camera.
I can see I need to get some expert help.

Sunday, 24 March 2019


I do want to thank my on-line friends who found and read my recent posts. I did try to email replies but I got error messages and don't know for sure what got through.

I appreciate that you all took time to read, especially Heyduke, Retta and Gypsy not to forget Lynda from NZ.

I'm still sewing... patchwork quilting. I took a break from my large items to make these aproximately  7 cm crazy patchwork pincushions. They're a lot of fun to make and I have dozens of patterns.

Family are calling me so I had better find out what's on for today.

Blessings all.




I want to hold you tight

To feel your heartbeat against mine;

I want to look into your eyes

and let your pain be mine.

I want you to know that you belong

Safe, here in your home.

We are both beloved,

Made in the image of God.

It's been an emotional week. I am shocked that the massacre against the Muslim Community happened in Christchurch, let alone New Zealand. And yet there have always been signs that this was possible. Our gun laws were not as tight as most people believed. White Supremacy has been a fact of life, especially in Christchurch, for decades. Racism and religious bigotry are never far from the surface, often hidden under a polite exterior. Most New Zealanders are complacent and soft, yet strong and hard working, comfortable as a Norman Rockwell painting. We have it easy compared to many parts of the world. It's nearly 150 years since there was armed conflict on our soil. (Land Wars 1840 - 1870s). We have looked out from our semi-isolated nation and believed that the evil of the world cannot touch us. 

We are proud of our ability to stand out, to stand up to the world and be ourselves. We were the first nation to allow women  to vote, (1893). We are avid environmentalists, not perfect, but improving daily. We stood up to the most powerful nation of the world when we declared New Zealand a Nuclear Free Zone in 1987. We excel at sports around the world way above what could be expected. There is so much about our country we are proud of. 

In the midst of this we did not read the warning signs. We pointed toward the violent acts that occurred in other countries, overlooking our own backyard. Domestic violence, child abuse and sexual abuse are a way of life for some. We are people full of the potential for good yet capable of extreme evil. We tried to ignore the fact that the world is growing smaller and that the internet has changed us. We are shocked that someone dared and succeeded in attacking our little piece of heaven, our home land.

AND YET ..... we have shown our true heart this week. 
We weep with those who weep.

The one thing I am particularly proud of is to hear people from all walks of life, and different ethnic backgrounds say that something good has come from what was meant for evil. Never can I recall a time when our nation has been so united. We have been made aware of our prejudices and decided we will not tolerate military style weapons and any form of bigotry. The acts of love toward the Muslim community are legendary. We want to do more to show how much we care. Loving kindness abounds in spite of how we might feel about the religion. 

I am reminded that I love certain family members with an immutable strength that cannot be broken. Neither different religious and spiritual  beliefs, nor unacceptable moral behaviour can change my love. I do not endorse everything but my love is greater. I think of what God has done for me. 

The bible story about Joseph is a prime example of God changing a truly bad experience into something for great good. Read about it here.

On another note.... Greg came down from Rotorua on Thursday. It's his first trip to Christchurch in 15 years. He bought on spec a motorbike through an on-line auction. It was not a wise purchase but it brought him here and I'm pleased to say he is enjoying his brief visit of 4 days, and appears to find my wheelchair friendly home quite acceptable and even comfortable. I am delighted to have him here and do hope that it's the first of many visits. I love seeing our three boys together although their conversation gets a bit tedious particularly when they talk cars. Still they are happy. That is a blessing for any mother. I'd like to help finance future trips because it costs so much. He prefers to drive as that gives him greater independence. It's a long trip, maybe 20 hours all up, and although he usually avoids stopping over in a motel it still costs around $1000 including the Interisland Ferry fees.

Family time is precious so I'm not going to church today. There was a time when I would never have put family before church except for rare exceptions. How my attitude to life has changed.

Sunday, 17 March 2019


The last day and a half have been traumatic.

On  a quiet Friday afternoon while people went about their normal business a terrorist attacked Muslims at worship in two mosques in Christchurch.

I noticed a news item when switching programs on TV. Something  awful had happened overseas and I'd catch up with it later. A little later I received a text to say there was a shooting and Ava, my granddaughter, would be late home because her preschool was in lock down. I then turned to the news and was shocked and in tears. The main Mosque is about 6 km from home, the second 2.5km. While I personally never felt threatened it was a nervous time as who could know what would happen next. I felt huge relief when we were all together at home several hours later.

New Zealand is in shock. The grief for our Muslim brothers is overwhelming at times. We know that 50 people of all ages have died.

Our first responders did a magnificent job in an unbelievable situation.

I posted the following on FaceBook. I don't have anything more to say for now.

Church was different this morning as we turned our eyes toward God while still shocked by the events of the last day and a half. We offered our praise with hearts heavy with sorrow. It was emotional. We sang God Defend New Zealand with renewed vigour and fresh eyes. Did you know that the second stanza of our National Anthem begins with these words?

Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.

Half our congregation were not born in New Zealand. We are a multi cultural nation and in spite of all appearances our national culture is strongly based in Christianity. We have welcomed people from all nations of the world and embraced them into our communities regardless of religion. Our population is small, less than 5 million, and we punch above our weight.
An interesting thought was introduced by the pastors.... Christchurch has made global news twice in recent times, First the earthquakes, natural disasters; Second, the massacre on Friday which exposed the evil we can fall into when we ignore God's love.
Will the third time be something wonderful based on Love, Peace and Faith? It seems quite possible to me. Good is coming our way ... I believe a fresh wave of God's love will sweep our nation ... a Sudden overwhelming Revival will touch us in a remarkable way.
We need something bigger than ourselves to bring light out of the darkness. The more I know God's love the more I know we need more of it.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
from Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11 New International Bible.
God Bless you and your family.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018


There's nothing exciting going on in my life.

Listening to Legacy Five, my favourite Gospel group on youtube

Weather   Fairly cold, currently 5'C, (41'F). very little wind, sunny with clouds. I washed towels yesterday and dried them on a rack in front of the fire. Wish I'd hung them outside on the line so they'd be fluffy and smell much nicer. I'm tempted to run them through a rinse and dry them again outside today.

I did go to church on Sunday. Amanda dropped me off before going to visit her mother who is in a rest home. Empower Church on Springfield Road is definitely a better fit for me than the one I tried out at New Brighton. They have a seniors meeting on Wednesday mornings but it's a bit tricky for me to get there I'll eventually work it out but I think it involves some walking, probably a good thing, and at least 2 buses. I'd need to start out by 9 am and I really don't like going out before 10.30 in the middle of winter. I'll try it out one afternoon when the day beckons me to go exploring. In any case I want to start off quietly and get to know a little bit more about the church before I get too involved.

While Jane was here we discussed me getting some help with housework. It seems ridiculous to want help when I have only myself and 4 rooms to look after. The thing is, I function better when things around me are in good order but on my own I get into the most awful muddle. I haven't lived alone since 1959 and then it was for less than a year. Having someone come in regularly will encourage me to tidy up at least once a week. John used to do a lot of housework which left me more time to do fun things like sewing. I have found a lovely woman who lives within walking distance. I'm not sure how wise my choice is because she seems to be a bit OCD and is almost too fussy. Anyway I like her and I'm sure we'll get it worked out.

The big thing is that I still have unpacked boxes and pictures wrapped up because I can't make up my mind what to do with everything. I might take another year to pare my stuff down to what I need to keep and where to place it. In the meantime I keep as much as possible out in view so it doesn't become out of sight out of mind. Clutter drives me nuts. I think I would be happy with a modern minimalist environment but then how could I spread out all my projects and have my lovely comfy and cosy furniture with all the colour I crave. Just another dilemma. I'm not sure my head is in a good place for all this decision making.

I've had two packets of fabric arrive this week. It's time I stopped buying but I keep thinking how useful it would be to have this or that. I must have too much because storing it is an issue. It's not that I have a large stash by patchwork quilters standards, but for me what I have is more than enough. I keep reminding myself that my sewing days are numbered and one day someone will come in and all these pieces of material that I have collected as well as all the UFOS, (unfinished projects), will be given away. Perhaps I should put in my will or maybe a note inside the door of the main cupboard would do, that anything family do not want should go to the Whitianga Quilting Group.

I did unpack some bags of linen and crochet and other stuff. It was a mixture of heritage table cloths and more. Beautiful things my mother had bought and many other pieces that had been lovingly made by myself, my mother or grandmother, three generations of handwork. I have an embroidered nightgown labelled 'over 90 years old.' It's not exciting to look at but I think it might have been part of my grandmother's trousseau which would date it back to 1914 or earlier. I will never use most of these things but maybe some will find their way into 'Crazy Patchwork' which is my latest thing. I'm not into keeping things I don't use but I don't have the heart to dump so many beautiful things. My grandmother was very talented, a hard worker and prolific sewer. I wish we'd kept more things she made but they seemed so everyday we never treated them as treasures.

It's not good to live in this state of quandary. What to keep and what must go. If it's to go should it be re-homed or dumped in an opportunity shop? Decisions, decisions. My head hurts.

The morning has almost gone and I've not had breakfast. I'll post this and get into the 'meat' of my day. Brunch, a soak in spa, wash my hair and sort out at least one other thing.