Sunday, November 29, 2009


This year we decided that we'd try a new family celebration - Thanksgiving. Christmas has not been the same for us since John (my husband) died on Christmas Eve in 2004. Our old Christmas traditions are tinged with the sadness of our loss so we thought it was time to develop some new family traditions that celebrate life, love, family and the things we hold dear in a new context - a New Zealand-style Christmas/Thanksgiving all rolled into one!

I really enjoyed decorating the house, setting the table, arranging the flowers and preparing the food. I was not overwhelmed by the sadness that I've felt over the last few years when getting the decorations out. It felt different and new.

We had a lovely evening - talking, laughing, eating great food, sharing great times and exchanging our Christmas gifts. A highlight was sharing what we were thankful for. It really felt like God was adding something special back into our lives.

Thanksgiving - definitely a tradition that we will continue to celebrate as a family.

Friday, November 20, 2009

crafternoon tea

Went along to check out Crafternoon Tea in Kingsland today with my daughter and fellow craftnerder - Beth. Loved the setting - the Trinity Methodist Church Hall. It's kind of a reference to the traditional places of craft selling - church and community fairs. I love going to crafty things. Just to walk around, to see what creative endeavours the store holders have been up to and to meet some really nice people. There's something about crafting that brings out the best in people. They like to sit, think and create.... so they're generally thoughtful, patient types who don't mind spending a lot of time in seeing their ideas come to life. I am making generalisations here but the crafty people I've met are personable, interesting, friendly and more than happy to share their inspiration with you.....

One stall I loved was Ferrit. She has created some really beautiful soft sculptured jewellery, accessories, dolls and quirky pottery letters. I loved it all! Made several present purchases and one for myself! A gold fabric chain bracelet that's a bit of bling for the party season coming up! The detail on the jewellery is gorgeous. She draws her images, screenprints them on to fabric, then machine stitches over the design. The finishing touch is the delightful presentation.... love the twine and brown paper! I fell in love with the yellow rose bouquet. She drew the roses from her garden and then transformed them into a beautiful, everlasting, soft sculptured bunch of flowers. Check her out at

Broke my rule of only having one image per week/posting. Oh rules were made to be broken!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This week I decided to add photographic images to my blog. Each week I'll choose an image that means something to me and add it to the post. It may be related to what I've done or just something that I've been drawn to that week. I had wanted to use a polaroid camera and put the photos up round the walls of my office at home. Sadly they haven't reintroduced them as yet so the images will be digital.
This is my tattoo. The other image was taken at the altar in the Mexican Specialties Cafe and Shop in Marua Rd, Ellerslie. I've walked past it several times with my dog, Bunny, but it never seems to be open. It was celebrated in Viva this week as the premium Mexican takeaway place so I found out that it is open for a few hours from Thursday to Saturday. It really is a hidden treasure.Today it was packed out with people sitting down eating their lunch and buying takeaways. I ordered a takeaway tostada and then explored the shop. It's tiny but cram packed full of Mexican food, ingredients and treasures that you can buy. I was particularly drawn to the variety of madonnas and crosses on display. My girls would say "enough Mum!" as I have a small collection at home. I resisted the temptation of the Marys and crosses but did buy some of their chilli chocolate skulls with some trepidation. I'm not a fan of hot food and have always preferred to eat a meal that doesn't make my nose run! But they are my new taste sensation! They're a macabre kind of chocolate, looking a bit like they've been dug out of a little tomb - dark and dusty with the chilli powder. I was a bit nervous when I bit into the skull. Yes, they are hot but the combination of the chocolate, the runny green centre and the chilli powder is quite amazing. I can still feel the glowing warmth of it in my stomach nearly an hour later. They are not chocolates for the faint hearted but they are a treat if you're willing to take a risk!

Friday, November 6, 2009


I turned 49 yesterday. Wow! How did I get to be alive for so long? Still don't feel old but it's such a lot of years. I decided to embrace the celebration of it. So since I am in my 50th year of being alive, I've decided to do 50 things to celebrate. That averages out to one a week. So over the next year I'm going to try different things - food, places, activities..... Small or momentus...... one a week. Not extreme like bungy jumping ot throwing myself out of a plane but different and new.

So I am documenting my journey in this blog - another first! I kicked it off by getting a tattoo last Saturday. "Beloved" on my right arm. A permanent kind of memorial to my beloved husband John (who died 5 years ago on Christmas Eve), the way I feel about God and a constant reminder that I am beloved. Every time I look at it, it reminds me of all of that and it makes me feel really good!

Also had an accidental first last week. Ate beef jerky for the first time.... and LOVED it!! Funny! I've always looked down on it as some cheap, trashy kind of nasty snack food for extreme meat lovers. I was SO wrong! I won it as a prize at our staff meeting - guessing the hangman word first. An unusual prize! I was like "beef jerky, interesting (not)"! But decided to open it up and offer it around. Everyone is "no thanks too early in the morning for me". So I tried the first piece and loved it!! I then hoovered up the whole bag (and it was not a snack bag!). Thinking maybe I'm a bit meat deprived as Holly (my daughter) has gone vegetarian and I haven't been eating much meat!

So three firsts in my first two weeks - blog, tattoo, beef jerky! What a start! What next....


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