Monday, January 31, 2011

Will it be a pink baby?

I shared in a previous post about the secret I had, and how it was the event of our third grandchild.
My daughter Jennifer and her husband Jason have not found out what the baby will be so it is a surprise for all of us.

Jennifer did ask for something very similar to this pattern I have made, in a red if it is to be a girl but I didn’t have any 3 ply wool in red so I have made this one instead.
If it is a boy I will just pop it away until their daughter arrives whenever that is.
In the meantime it is on to the white little layette for when the baby comes home.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cyclone Wilma

Over night the top half of the North Island of New Zealand has been hit by Cyclone Wilma.

We had continuous rain, but not heavy, over night and although it has cleared and is warm it is very windy outside.

I took some photos of the speed it passed this morning.
These are taken over a three hour period.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Where I Work

After a month’s holiday I have returned back to work and there have been lots of things to catch up on but I am getting there. No-one seems to have filled in any records or other requests that needed dealing with so I have had a few full on days

I thought I would share a little of where I work as I sometimes comment on it.

I work in the Church Office as the Office Manager and so I do many things for the Vicar, other members of the church leadership and church members, and I am most often the first point of connection for people making contact with the church, through phone calls, emails, visits or letters through the mail.

I work Monday to Friday from 9.30am until mid-day and although there are a few basic things I have to attend to each day i.e. answering and checking phone messages, receiving and sending emails, sorting through the mail, opening up the hall complex and checking for damage, unlocked doors etc you never can tell what a day will unfold.

Sometimes it is exciting with lots of requests, visits and messages and others can be very quiet which then gives me time to catch up and tidy up around me.

Some days can be very stressful and demanding and I may even end up working late, coming back in later or taking it home with me, but generally I love it.

This is the church viewed from the road at the north driveway and looking to the left you can just make out the far end of the hall complex, where the office is.

The office is situated in an alcove next to the Vicars office.

Inside it is not a large room by the time you take in to consideration that the computer and photocopier are just to the left of this photo. When the Youth Worker was in here too with their desk it could be quite cramped.

I have moved things around a few times to try to hide most of the cubby holes that look 'cluttered' and allowed myself a view to the door where ever I work.

I have been encouraged on numerous occasions of the good I provide for the church and its people, so I know that for now this is where God wants me to be.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Enjoy Your day

When I was in the Henry Bennett Centre because of a breakdown a good few years ago now, among many things, I was given a card.

It felt a bit hard to be what it said “Be a Joy Germ”.
I mean how could I when I was feeling the way I was.

But when you turn the card over it gave you “six of the Best”

Today, what was the best thing... 
  1. I saw 
  2. I ate 
  3. I received
  4. I did for me 
  5. I did for someone else 
  6. I found funny

Even answering those questions wasn’t that easy on the first few days but as I thought about it through the day I was able to look out for them and then I found I was able to smile a bit when I discovered the little gems I would use to answer the questions.

I would look out for something beautiful to see, yummy to taste, gestures or words of encouragement from others, little things I could do for others in a smile, hug etc, and try to remember what had made me smile or laugh.

But above all I discovered things I could do for me as I had always given out to others and I missed out.
This is something I continually have to remind myself of.

If I don’t look after myself I will be of no earthly good for others.

So Be a Joy Germ

Looking towards the Kaimai Ranges from Tirau

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Harry

My husband has just had a birthday. He still likes to tell everyone he is 21 but if you add about 36 years you are more likely to know his true age.
So to celebrate we went out to the local restaurant we have been to a few times before, right here in Tirau.

The Settlers Inn

Harry likes it as he can order a seafood platter - his favourite, even if it means taking home a "doggy bag" at the end.

This time Katrina, who came with us, ordered a half portion of the same meal while I stuck to my usual favourite - a chicken meal of some kind - chicken schnitzel.

While Harry went out for an after meal smoke, he did not know that I had chattered with the waiter and mentioned it was his birthday.

Once he was back and we were discussing deserts of which I always make room to order, the chef arrived with this. We sung a quick "happy birthday" and he blew out his candle.

Needless to say he is not a dessert eater and doesn't like cheese cake so I ate that and he had the ice cream.

Happy Birthday Harry 18th January 2011
So all in all it was a good meal and night out even if Daniel decided not to come, and I have added to The Settlers Inn facebook page "like".

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Dragonfly

We had a little visitor looking for a cool spot to rest the other day. Katrina took some pics thinking it would buzz out the door quickly but it stayed for longer. Infact, in the end I had to open the windows, and let the curtain flap outside before it decided to move on with help from me flipping the curtain right around.

I then discovered I should have let it stay as...

A dragonfly is an insect ... characterized by large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, and an elongated body. Dragonflies are similar to damselflies, but the adults can be differentiated by the fact that the wings of most dragonflies are held away from, and perpendicular to, the body when at rest. Dragonflies possess six legs (like any other insect), but most of them cannot walk well. Dragonflies are some of the fastest insects in world.
Dragonflies are valuable predators that eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies, bees, ants, and very rarely butterflies.

Who needs fly sprays if you have a dragon fly in the house!

So next time I will let it stay for as long as it wants.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mumma Burgers

For quite a few years now I have made our own burgers and with the entire ingredients 1 tends to be enough (Unless your name is Jason).
Below is a list of all the ingredients I use and how it is put together.

Burger bun (I like to use the ones with sesame seeds on)
Enough mince for one burger per bun
Sliced onions
Tomato sauce
Pineapple rings
Large lettuce leaves
Grated carrot
Grated cheese
Beetroot slices
Oil for coking
A skewer to hold it all together.

Add a little oil to a large frying pan, just enough to stop the meat from sticking. I use an electric frying pan.
Squash as much mince as you can into a large lid. (I use the screw top lid off a large jar of peanut butter) I do not add anything to the mince so it is a real meaty burger.
Drop these on the hot oil in the frying pan. Just make a few at a time as you will need room in the pan for other things.
Add the sliced onions and cook at the same time, turning often to stop them burning. I tend to place them in the centre so they cook in the juices of the mince as well.
While this is cooking wash and allow to drain, the large lettuce leaves, one for each bun.
Grate the cheese and carrot.
When you have turned the burger patty add some sliced pineapple to the pan and turn half way through the cooking of the last side of the burger patty.
Near the end of this time slice the burger buns in half and place cut side down in the pan (I put these on the outside edges of the pan so they don’t get too much oil/fat on them)

Time to assemble…
Place the bottom of the bun on a plate.
Add a meat patty.
Spread the top with tomato sauce.
Place onion rings on the sauce and then a pineapple ring.
Hold a lettuce leaf in the palm of your hand and put inside it, the grated cheese, grated carrot, slices of beetroot and a dollop of mayonnaise. Curl the lettuce up like a parcel making sure everything is still enclosed in the lettuce leaf and trying not to split or break it.
Place this parcel on top of the pineapple and then top all this with the top of the bun.
Secure with the skewer and serve with a large serviette.

Cooks perk - drink the pineapple juice for the can!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Children

Charlotte Wood is an Australian author and The Children is one of four books by her...

When their father falls off the roof and lies critically injured in hospital, Mandy, Stephen and Cathy come home for the first time in years. Like any family, there are rivalries and hurts between the three, which must be confronted as they sit at their father’s bedside and try to support their mother. Mandy has raced back from Baghdad where, as a foreign correspondent, she deals with death on a daily basis. Cathy, her sister has joined her on the trip down, driven by Mandy’s husband Chris. And Stephen, the prodigal, has eventually arrived unannounced to join the rest.

As Geoff lies dying, the three alternately comfort and confront, dealing with past and present hurts. Margaret, their mother, must also confront her own fears and insecurities – about lost chances and her track record as mother and wife. But someone else is involved, too. A stranger who no one remembers. Tony is a wardsman at the hospital, but is also a figure from Mandy’s past, determined to become part of her current life. His presence is unwanted, and dangerous.

The Children is an insightful novel, looking at family relationships and the effects of death and illness on these connections, as well as on the impact that being exposed to violence can have on an individual. Moving through the long and emotional days of the family’s bedside vigil, the story offers the multiple viewpoints of the different players, so that the reader is drawn into the differing perspectives of the family members and comes to care about what happens to them.

This was an easy read and very insightful

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

God's Plans

While working in the flower garden today, I took a picture of this miniature rose.

It was given to me by Sheryl, a friend, many years ago when my youngest three were quite little. She had children of the same age. She said at the time that I had been a great support to her and I often wondered what I had done but have learnt to accept things graciously.

I don’t mean to be proud, just that I do what I do, as that is how I am.

Sheryl moved away to Tokoroa, but we still bumped into each other at the library, college or our church Community Get Together. She has since remarried to a man named Rima.

Rima is a ganger on one gangs building the Waikato River Trails.

Daniel has been working in one of the gangs with him for a 6 month contract but that was to finish at Christmas. However the trails aren’t finished yet and so it was decided that out of the two gangs four people would be picked to complete them.

Rima as the ganger was part of the new team and Daniel was also picked.

Some would say it was all just a coincidence that they were there together but I call it God’s plan.

Jeremiah 29:11
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

Psalm 139:16
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

All Scripture is from the New International Version 1984

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Silk Tree

I read in another blog of a lady who posts some photos each month from the past month. I thought I might like to find something a day.

Now that would be a task and so I am going to find something that makes me smile and add it.

I was talking with our eldest daughter Theresa today, while sitting in the sun on the deck, and I couldn't help but noitice the cooling beauty of our Silk Tree (Albizia).
We planted it when she still lived at home over 10 years ago and with each year it spreads out a little further.

Under it by the trunk is a garden seat and table she and a group at Putaruru High School made as part of the YES (Young Enterprise Scheme).

I've talked about it on the Notebook: forum  even having one  member, Wendy from Australia, sit with me on it three years ago

In the autumn the leaves fall and so the sun shines through.

It is good to find something each day to smile about and thank God for.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The First of the Crop

Yesterday was a beautiful day and so I decided to work in the vegetable garden. This was the bed I started in Spring, and the potato crop had just finished being dug from it then.
I often find new potatoes growing as I dig more of the patch and its lovely to have new potatoes for dinner with a splash of butter!

It has been a while since I managed to find the time to be out there for more than five minutes and so it needed a bit more of a tidy up. I usually spend about twenty minutes every second day or two to hoe and weed around the plants or maybe sow some more seeds, but with the busyness of Christmas, New Year and family the weeks have slipped by.
I actually thought my Dad might have too, but he took it easy this time and only found my herb garden under all the weeds. Another job that I hadn't started since winter!

I worked for a bit until I got too hot, then stood in the shade for a time and eventually had it all weeded and new seeds and plants put in.

I like to let our hens out to roam as much as possible so they pottered and scratched around me too, but it also means I have to cover up the seeds and new seedlings.

Harry made this moveable netting frame a few years back and its very handy.
Its two pieces of half round fencing posts with some hen netting stapled to the top or each. He measured the width of our garden plots (there are four all of the same width) and made it to fit.

But the highlight was seeing the first cucumber ready to eat now and the promise of a good cabbage in a week.

It wont be long before I will not have to buy any vegetables from the shops for a while.

I would love to be able to do this all year but I still need to plan a lot more.
Even with fruit I need more trees for each season.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Even on Holiday, People Need Administrating

I am on my holidays at the moment. I have about three weeks paid annual leave and then two weeks leave without pay while the church office is closed over the summer break.

My job involves administrating for funerals at our church, but you can't not have people die, just because you are on holiday; that’s in God’s hands.

On Monday I was rung to for help with a funeral and being me I couldn’t say no.

The lady, whose life we were celebrating, had been involved in the church and Women's Guild many years ago. One of the things she had done through these were flowers for in the church, so the family wanted to have that arranged for her, as she woud have wanted for anyone else.

I couldn’t find anyone who was available or able to supply flowers – being our summer holidays – so a nearby florist was asked to supply two floral arrangements. These were brought in already arranged on Friday, the day before the funeral.

They were truly beautiful and as they have been left behind for us, the parishioners, to enjoy I wanted to share the art of them.

Unfortunately with the hot weather they are starting to wilt after two days and may not last long, but even the lilies overnight filled the church with a pleasing fragrance.

Luke 12:27

27 “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

All Scripture is from New International Version 1984

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Chocolate Clusters

These are really easy to make. I have made dark chocolate and apricot but these ones are Daniels favourite so I make them each Christmas for the "sweets" platter for our Christmas evening meal.

125g white chocolate melts
125g glace cherries

Place chocolate melts in a bowl over simmering water and melt. Do not let the water touch the base of the bowl.
Stir gently as it melts until it is completely smooth.
Chop cherries in to small pieces.
Fold into melted chocolate quickly.
Mould into truffle balls as I have or just put teaspoon full clusters on a paper lined tray,
Store in an air tight container in the fridge.

You can use any combination of chocolate and fruit or nuts; just have equal weight of chocolate to fruit etc.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Apricot Balls

These are from Alison Holst's book, The Best of Alison Holst.
I have given each of my cherubs a copy of this book as it has some good kiwi basics in it!

250gr Dried Apricots
¼ cup sugar
Rind of one orange or tangelo
1 Tbsp orange or tangelo juice
About ½ cup of coconut

I do this in the food processor.
Place sugar and grated rind in the processor and process until the rind is chopped up small.
Add the apricots and chop the apricots roughly.
Add the fruit juice and as much coconut as you need to bind it and process until finely cut.
Shape into balls and roll in extra coconut.
Place in an airtight container in the fridge.
Makes about 20 balls.
This is a great coloured item added to rum balls or chocolate truffles on a platter.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Bolero for Evelyn

I have just finished knitting another little garment

This one is a cropped cardigan for my grand-daughter.

I bought her two dresses from Pumpkin Patch for Christmas, both with yellow in them and had thought I would get this finished to include in the parcel, but ran out of time.

The main part is knitted but the edging is in double crochet with a picot edging.
It is from a pattern book by Cleckheaton No. 951 design 5.
I used Shepherd Baby Wool in a 4 ply - yellow and it is Machine Washable.

It was surprising how quick it was to knit as I did most of it in the trips to Wellington last year but the sewing up and crocheting took its time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Honour Thy Father and Mother

A new year has arrived and over the long weekend I had my parents come to stay.

It was lovely to have them here for 5 nights and let them rest and be who they are.

Mum spent time playing computer games, reading a book and sleeping.

Dad would potter in the garden weeding or just relaxing out on the deck watching the farming aspect of our small town or coming with me when I went out for shopping or a walk.
But time with Dad would always be his continual cups of ‘high tea’.

An after breakfast cuppa can last until morning tea time. When that has been savoured, it’s nearly time for lunch… which is followed on by afternoon tea.
But that is the joy of just having him around chatting while you work in the kitchen.
Having recently lost our Moeder and watching them age, I treasure this time to have as good memories.

New Year’s Day was celebrated with nearly all the family together.
We discovered Evelyn giggled when near her Great Grandpa. That too was a pleasure to watch and listen to.

A special photo was taken of my mother, me, my daughter and her daughter.
Four generations of females in the same family.

Sarah, Phyllis, Evelyn and Fiona

What a truly blessed time of family and future memories.

Deuteronomy 5:16

16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

All Scripture is from New International Version