Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Well... it's the last day of 2014.

It's been a horror year for air travellers, with the loss of MH370, TransAsia Flight 222, Air Algerie Flight 5017 and the latest, AirAsia QZ8501, and of course all the other smaller flights that came to an untimely end with the loss of lives.

But, according to statistics, it's still far safer to fly than drive!  Apparently 1.24 MILLION people died on the roads this year.  That's HUGE.

I hope 2015 is a better year, and the stats go DOWN on both flights lost and lives lost on the roads.

On a happier note... IT'S NEW YEAR'S EVE!  Do you have any plans?  We don't.  We are boring old farts who actually like to stay home!
We are a bit weird like that.
This year we have Miss Muppet and Dante to think of too... so probably a normal evening.

Today's plans?   Stay home, potter around.  I might read some blogs, catch up on a few of me favourite people.  *smiles*

And of course, spend time with Keera, the kids and Stew.  Might even lie in the sun again, it's quite nice to see some colour in me cheeks.

ABOVE: Little Miss last night, completely zonked out in her Granddad's chair.  See the spot on her forehead?  She scratched an itchy bite.... and before she went to bed last night the little bugger picked off the scab and made it bleed all over again.  *sigh*
I hope she doesn't make a mess of her face!
I might have to put a plaster over it so she leaves it alone.

Grrrr... kids.  Griffin is the same, picks everything and makes a darn mess of himself.  He's covered in poxy little scars.

Russell was the same as a kid too.  

Right, I better go and see what's happening around here...


Well... we haven't done much at all today.  I've caught up on some blog reading, had me lunch and now we are going to Spotlight so I can get some more of that Calico at the sale price.  Yaaa.... I love a bargin.

ABOVE:  Well I got the calico, and some more wool for felting and some velvet too.  My blog friend Jackie inspires me.  (  She does the most gorgeous things with felt and fabric and stitchery.

ABOVE:  Griffin was sitting out on his basketball, so Dante went and got his out of the bedroom and sat on it... then Keera found a ball and did the same.  So cute.  Kids sure learn by imitation.

Right now it's really QUIET.  Stew, Brylee and Griffin are out at the mall and Dante and Keera are asleep.  It's bliss. 
I'm going down to my 'sewing room' to fluff around a bit.  (fluff around means : just potter, do a bit of this 'n' that)

End of Day: I got some sewing done!  I made 4 mug rugs and will show you tomorrow, they are very cute.
11 pm, looks like we might just see the New Year in after all!  Stew's having a few quiet drinks, but not me.  I'm perfectly happy to stay sober.  
Have a great evening if you are still up.
nite nite

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Today I show you my flowers... cos in this property we don't actually have many pretty flowers...

 ABOVE: My growing collection of container pots with flowers.  One day I can see the entire fence line covered in pots of flowers. I might even get silly and get a yellow/orange one yet!  Or not.  I really love blues/pinks/lilacs and whites the best.

Brylee had a play with my hair last night, and did this:

ABOVE: came out quite nice actually.  Not sure if I'd wear it like that 'out and about' but who knows?  Can you see the touch of sunburn on the back of my neck?
Got that doing the waterblasting yesterday afternoon.  

My face got a touch too... first real sun on my body in a couple of years.  I've been avoiding the sun, I just get too hot!

Maybe this summer I will get a tan?   I can always jump in the spa pool to cool down, now it's running at 27 degrees.

We are expecting Lacy and Keera today ... at some point.

Lacy needs Keera looked after for the next couple of days as her boyfriend's father passed away suddenly on the 24th, and his funeral is today EDITED... the funeral is tomorrow..
Such a sad and tragic thing to happen right before Christmas.

So, we shall have the pleasure of Miss Muppet's company, that's going to be so neat.  She hasn't been here much lately.

Right, I'm off to do something constructive...


WHOOPS!  We have been busy!

First off, we went to the mall for fresh fruit and veges, and Stew spent his Hallensteins Gift Voucher from Kelly and Gordon.

ABOVE: Kelly, Dad got 5 singlets with the gift voucher, thank you!

Then we came home and had lunch.  Lacy, Keera and Ava arrived (Ava is Lacy's boyfriend's 8 yr old daugher), they stayed for a couple of hours then Lacy and Ava left again, leaving Keera here.

ABOVE:  Little Miss Muppet's hair is going gold in the summer sun.  She's adorable, a real delight to have here.

After they left, Stew decided to chop down the two palms up by the lawn, they have outgrown their setting:

ABOVE: Before and after.

ABOVE: Tallulah had to be in the thick of it the entire time, she's such a nosey parker!

ABOVE:  The reason we had to chop them down.  Stew has put plant killer on the stumps, so now we have to wait for them to die and rot before trying to remove them completely.

That will give us time to decide what else to put there.

When Steve and Bex got back from shopping, the kids and Steve had a water fight with water guns and I lay in the sun and got all wet, which was really refreshing.  Dante enjoyed shooting me with his water gun too.  Keera had a blast getting all wet as well.

Now... almost time to think about dinner.  But not really.  We are having meatloaf and salads.

I've already had my 'main' meal of the day... I had a baked potato with onions/mushrooms/baked beans and cheese.  One of my most favourite meals.

Tonight I will just have something small.... maybe some fruit and cheese.

End of Day:  another really lovely summer's day here.  Miss Muppet keeps going around saying "Mummy?  Couple of days."
So cute.  Stew told her Mummy would be back in a couple of days, so she keeps saying it.  All is quiet, kids are all in bed, time to hit the sack myself.
nite nite

Monday, December 29, 2014


I can't believe it!
All the 'jobs' I had lined up for the next week or so are all done.
Now I have to come up with something else to fill in the time while Stew's home!
He can't sit in front of the tv watching friggin cricket for the next 2 weeks!

I know the kids want to get to the beach, but we have been holding off as every man and his dog will be at the beach right now!
Getting out of Auckland is a nightmare if you want to go north too, so going to the marine reserve at Goat Island is probably not going to happen yet either.

I can't wait to go back there though.  It's magical there.

So, I'm not too sure what we will do today.  
But... I'll tell you all about it later... IF we do anything that is!

For now.... how's this?

ABOVE:  Kelly got it for free off some sort of 'trade and exchange' site on Facebook I think.
As it's too small for Rena, she gave it to Dante.  And he loves it.  So does Tallulah.  I hope she doesn't bit a hole in it.

Right, I'm off to see what the day brings.  I hope you have an awesome day and it's nice weather where you are.


SANDIE: Ummm.... we HAD to get the pergola taken down so the Archgola can go up.  He was the one who suggested we re-stuff the lounge suite... and wanted to do it.  As for any other 'jobs' ... well there are none really.  And of course, if he really wants to watch tv for two solid weeks he can.  I'm not a slave driver.

When I said I needed to find something else for him/us to do I meant as a family... you know... like go out on day trips and so on.  Not just line up more jobs for him to do!

So... Stew is sitting in the lounge watching the TV... not cricket, but still.
Then he starts folding the washing in the basket and I say:

"You shouldn't be doing that.  You should be just sitting there watching cricket!"

and he replies:

"I should be doing nothing, but I value my life, and the safety of others around me".

What a smart bastard.  lol

Stew IS watching the cricket on TV.  And I'm waterblasting the patio, in readiness for the archgola and then  'dining room' to take shape.
It's stinking hot again, but at least I'm getting a bit wet, which helps keep me a bit cooler.  It's a dirty job though, and I'm covered in splatters of dirt ... ikkk.

It's been such a gorgeous afternoon.... the boys had fun with water:

ABOVE:  I won't need to water the lawn tonight now.  *smiles*

Steve and Bex are off to the airport shortly to pick up Bex's niece and nephew who are arriving from Invercargill.  They are here overnight until their Mum picks them up from here tomorrow.

Everyone else is winding down for the day.  I might do a little sewing, depending on what's on the telly!

End of Day:  and the children arrived safely, and spent a happy few hours playing with their little cousin Dante and everyone else.
Another lovely summer's day here.
nite nite

Sunday, December 28, 2014


I'm pretty sure today is dedicated to bugger all!
We might get out to the garden centre for some flowers yet!

I took these photos yesterday...

 ABOVE:  Give a kid and puppy water... and you get FUN!

 ABOVE:  AND a wet Granddad!  He's lucky he's got such a lovely Granddad.

ABOVE:  Our mad puppy Tallulah.  She's such a delightful little girl.  Coco doesn't like the water, so she was no where to be seen!

Right, that's all for now... catch ya later.


Well... we finally got some plants, but they will not get planted until tonight, when it's much cooler.  Right now it's blisteringly hot outside.

We also went to Spotlight and bought enough wadding to plump up our old lounge suite.  It's sadly 'flat' after 17 years, so that's the next big job!

ABOVE: Didn't quite think it through before we left, we should have taken  the Highlander! Luckily for the kids we only live about 10 minutes from Spotlight.

ABOVE:  While there I spied 3 more fabrics I wanted and a big 10 metre roll of calico, which is perfect for using as backing fabric for me mug rugs/placemats etc.

ABOVE: Last night I prepared a 'few' mug rugs ready for stitching.  I had all these heart blocks ready, which I made 2-3 years ago!
So... I'm keeping myself busy if nothing else. *smiles*

Stew and I worked for a few of hours this afternoon putting new wadding in our green lounge suite:

 ABOVE:  it was hot work!  We couldn't find any super thick wadding, so had planned on using three layers of this thinner stuff.  But in the end we only used two layers.  So, we have ended up with a good deal left... YA!  I can use it in the sewing room. What a BONUS.

ABOVE:  Now the green suite is as plump as the brown suite.  Before, the green suite looked really small ...

ABOVE: now the head rests are as high as the brown suite.  I'm thrilled with how well it's come out.

End of Day:  another busy and productive day.
We got lots of lovely flowers planted this evening too... I'll show you tomorrow.
nite nite

Saturday, December 27, 2014


I told Stew today was 'CLEAN UP DAY' and the smart arse immediately said "I'll be out today"!

Like hell you will mate.
There is heaps to do.  Like take down the decorations, tidy, sort, put away presents, vacum, mop, dust and so on!

Everyone can pitch in and it will be done in no time.

THEN.  The next big job will be for the boys.

We need to take down the wooden beams above the afternoon patio, in readiness for the Archgola to be constructed.

I am sure it's not going to get done in the next few days, but hopefully it will be done by mid-January.  That is when I was told the Archgola might be here.  Fingers crossed, I can't wait to see it!

So, not a lot happening today really.  

OH!  Last night my blog Stat Counter clicked over to ....:

One and a half million page views!  Not bad for my humble little blog!   I'm surprised I got to see the actual number when it changed. 

My blog has been getting quite a few more 'hit's just lately... which is strange as usually blog world gets really quiet over the holidays and I start to wonder where everyone is!

Right, I'm off to crack the whip... 


Hmmmm.... I get up, and instead of directing the clean up... I'm on my own with only Stew to help!
Steve, Bex and the 3 kids have buggered off to The Warehouse!
They did have the grace to let me know they would help when they got back, so that's something I suppose!

So, I've been pottering around, just doing a general pick up/tidy up until they get home.
There is no way I'm doing the vacuming and sweeping/washing floors.  My back would kill me.

It's another overcast/partly sunny day, so the heat is trapped down low by the clouds.  So muggy.  It even looks like it might rain at some point, that will make the humidity even worse.

Never mind, it's holiday mode.  Two loads of washing on the line, and no more to go for a change.  Feels good to be up to date.  We got so behind when the washing machine was broken down I felt like we would never get up to date.

Once the clean up is done I am dragging Stew out to the garden centre.  We could do with some pretty flowers in our pots.

Well it's done.  The house is back to normal and I'm happy.
Flowers though, will have to wait.  The guys are watching a movie, then trying to take down the pergola beams.  

Well, the guys did way more than I expected today!

ABOVE: They took down the pergola beams!  And it didn't even take that long.

ABOVE:  Left - Before.  Right - After.  It looks so naked now!   Steve did an amazing job getting that pillar out and sealing up the electrics hole.  We were lucky, the pillar was just sitting on top of the concrete base, so we are not left with a large square hole in it.

ABOVE:  while he had his tools out I got him to grind off the candle 'spikes' that were on the top of my candle holder... so now I can sit tealight candles on it.

ABOVE: I am thrilled to bits with how this corner of the lounge looks now.  The boxes Stew gave me and the little Rhino Bex made me look so cute there... along with that gorgeous tray 'Santa' got me. *smiles*
I love making my home look so nice.

 ABOVE: Lastly for today, the girls this morning, all curled up on the floor.  They are so adorable.

End of Day:  a glorious day, way too hot but hell, it is summer!
No walk tonight, Stew and I are just too hot, and it's too hot for the dogs too.
Tomorrow for sure, even if we have to go when it's almost dark.
nite nite

Friday, December 26, 2014


We are going to the mall!!!

The kids and Stew will be off to spend Christmas money, while I go to Spotlight and take advantage of their 40% off sale on fabrics.

It's a good sale and I have some $$'s to spend thanks to Kelly and her friend Amanda giving me Spotlight gift vouchers! 

Following... a few photos I missed posting yesterday:

 ABOVE:  Rena and Keera in clothes I got them.  They both look adorable.

 ABOVE: These two clearly missed each other, and got on so well.  Darling wee bubs.

ABOVE: Tallulah playing with her bubble machine, and she's absolutely exhausted.  Dante got in on the act too of course.  Those two do everything together when it comes to playing.

I was looking at Steve and I just couldn't help but notice that as he ages he looks more and more like my youngest brother Vern.

 ABOVE:  On the left is Vern aged around 29, with Mike sitting on his knee.  On the right, Steve at 27 with his son Dante.  I can see a strong likeness, can you too?  Or am I just imagining it?  OH, and that's the same chair they are sitting in too!
AND... Steve has a cleft in his chin too... only ya can't see it in this photo.

Lastly for now, this darling little video of Tallulah and her bubbles:

Right, I'm off to put me face on and hit that sale!


We left bright and early for Sylvia Park.  So did 25,000 other people!

But, it wasn't busy at Spotlight when I got there, so that was awesome.
Stew and the kids walked over to the mall from Spotlight.
I found exactly what I wanted:

 ABOVE:  A stack of bright fabrics and ...

ABOVE:  A Tri-Memory Foam pillow.  

The kids got a few of the things they wanted, but still have money burning in their pockets.

I think we are going out again after lunch!

The traffic on the motorway is quite good, but OMG it's manic around the mall!  It took forever to get out on the main road when we were leaving.

People's tempers were getting frayed for sure.  

So, if you don't have to go out I say DON'T!

We went out again!

Brylee got some new lingerie and I kinda swapped my new sapphire earrings into diamond studs!

Stew did well with getting the sapphires, but they were just too dark for me.  I would have swapped for Ceylonese sapphires, but Stewart Dawson's didn't have any!  So... diamonds had to do!  *DO*  lol

 ABOVE: They are only teeny, but I love them.  Now I have to get me 2nd ear piercings re-done, cos they have closed over.  Not looking forward to that.

When we got home, Steve and Bex were busy making fruit sorbet's... in our new ice cream/sorbet maker.  

ABOVE: Strawberry sorbet ... yum.
I'm wondering if I can use 'fake' sugar to make mine? Equal? Stevia?   Anyone know?

So.  I had an early dinner.  Then at 8.20 pm Stew and I took the dogs (and me) for a walk.  We were out for 35 minutes and I'm totally knackered.  But pleased I did it and hopefully this is a positive start to my FINAL weight loss attempt.

End of Day:  well and EXCELLENT day!  I have felt great all day, and hopefully tomorrw will be the same.
nite nite

Thursday, December 25, 2014


I hope you all have the most wonderful day, spending it with family, friends, or better yet, both!

By now we are probably knee deep in wrapping paper and empty boxes.

I hope you are too... enjoy your day and I will be back later with a few photos of our day.


 ABOVE:  Santa came!

The very  FIRST present given was to Brylee.  From Steve and Bex.  They anticipated a huge reaction:

 ABOVE:  this is the gift.  Wrapped in very appropriate paper,  for a 'Princess'...  well she acts like one!

 ABOVE:  The anticipation was palpable.



 ABOVE:  Tallulah loved all her toys, Coco?
Didn't give a rat's arse.  So Tallulah gets them all.

 ABOVE:  Griffin... happy.

 ABOVE:  no screams now.
But she loves her other presents too.
She's just used her hair straightener and loves it.  She can also now use her own hair dryer instead of mine.  Yaaa.

 ABOVE:  From Steve and Bex ... so pretty.

 ABOVE:  to me from Bex.  He's cute.

 ABOVE:  Because Tallulah just loved the bubbles the other night, Santa gave her a bubble machine!

 ABOVE:  My mum gave Dante a 'Marshall' soft toy from Paw Patrol.  Very appropriate as my Mum's surname is Marshall.  Too funny.
Dante saw it and said "Marshall !" right away.

 ABOVE:  Coco liked this gift!
Both dogs had their treat for breakfast.

 ABOVE:  Santa got us a Wok ... for all the healthy stir fry dinners we are going to be making.  'He' also gave us a Wok cook book. 

 ABOVE: Play fighting over the wrapping paper.

 ABOVE:  A sea of paper and boxes, and Tallulah in the thick of it at every step.  Coco ... well she took off to lie in the sun.

 ABOVE: I got this for Steve from the Hospice Shop, he loves it.

 ABOVE:  a gorgeous tray 'Santa' got for me.  lol
I'm 'Santa' of course!

 ABOVE:  From Stew... isn't he gorgeous!

 ABOVE:  Stew thinking outside the 'box'... gave me this set of three nesting wooden boxes for my sewing room.  How cool!

 ABOVE:  Another little gift from Stew!  Tallulah wanted it too.

 ABOVE:  Sapphire earrings!  Wow.  I have been very spoilt!

ABOVE: Coco finally came in for her Christmas breakfast.

And that's it for now!
We are expecting Lacy, Keera, Kelly, Gordon, Rena, Russell and Ange for Christmas lunch.
Stew is organising lunch.

FRUSTRATED!  How come Google has put "I'm not a Robot, and word verification' on my blog?  Anyone else got it without wanting it????

Everyone is here, food is on the table, belly's are getting full.  I've got a wine, so I'm happy.
Probably only have one glass though, or I'll get tiddly!

KAREN:  Stew got new clothes, the wok! and cookbook and an ice cream maker!  LOL, mostly he got stuff for the home like me.


ABOVE:  the last 3 are of Russell's two littlies in Australia, Sienna and Bodhi.  Russ got to talk to them over Skype for a while today which was just lovely.  They are both growing so fast!
We love and miss you two babes.

End of Day:  and what a day it was.  Everything went beautifully, and I think everyone had a good time.  I didn't over eat and only had TWO helpings of dessert.  Tomorrow I am cutting sugar out of my diet for a while.  And processed carbs.
Turning over a new leaf in a last ditch effort to shift the weight.

I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas, or are still having it in the Northern Hemisphere!
nite nite