Showing posts from December, 2008

Home Beautiful

Yesterday I was disappointed.

So disappointed.

But I'll get over it.

After Christmas DH and I went looking at sofas. Ours are fifteen years old, saggy, and getting very grubby on those areas that can't be laundered. DH has been saying for a while that we need new ones. So we went shopping. For four days we visited every shop that sold sofas - and then went back again and again and again.

I got my hopes up.

Then when I thought we were at the stage where we were ready to make a decision DH said, "It's up to you."

What? I thought it was what we wanted. I thought it was a joint decision. I thought he had suggested it. But he thought I was the one who had suggested it and he was just 'supporting' me. What a communication mix-up!

DH still would've 'supported' me if I'd wanted to go ahead and buy the sofas of my choice but half the fun had gone out of it.

Plus, he raised another point. Why this hadn't been raised before I got my hopes up I don't …

Stepping Aside

I'm removing myself from the quest for long beautiful silky soft hair. It seems I can have long but silky soft is not within my grasp.

I've tried so many different conditioners. Occasionally I'll have soft hair for a day but the next time I use the same conditioner the results are totally different.

I've also tried ordinary household ingredients. For a while a mix of egg and honey and oil left my hair soft but removing bits of cooked egg white from my hair was not worth the price of soft hair. And it seemed that whatever water temperature I used apart from freezing! cooked the egg.

Mixing honey or aloe vera gel with my conditioner gave mixed results. Sometimes I'd end up with soft hair, some times not. Sigh.

I have to be careful with oiling too. I've found that if I oil more than 3 or 4 times a week I end up with crunchy ends. And with the change of seasons, my hair's needs seem to change too and by the time I figure out what my hair needs we're heading in…

Happy Birthday ...

to The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World. She turns two today. Incredible!

I'm not sure what has been planned for today but I'm certain that we'll be making time to visit The Most Adorable Granddaughter. It was fun watching her open her presents on Christmas Day (by the end of the day she realised she could open them by herself and didn't need anyone else telling her what to do) and it will be fun watching her open them again today. It will also be fun watching her blow out the candles on her cake. I know she can do this because she did it a few months back when DH had his birthday.

A while ago I wrote a post about becoming a grandmother. Nothing has changed about the way I feel about being a Nana except that it keeps getting better!

So Happy Birthday to The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World (and I say that with all my heart).

Boxing Day

Yesterday was Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, where (in my part of the world) crowds once used to flock to the beaches for some recreation and relaxation. Now they flood to the shops.

We were not exempt, although in our little town there were no long queues or hordes of people fighting over sales. But since car parking was free (and there were a lot of out-of-town visitors), it was harder than usual to find a car park!

Boxing Day falls on St. Stephen's Day which was named in honour of the first Christian martyr stoned to death in Jerusalem around A.D. 34-35. Apparently the name 'Boxing Day' comes from the long-ago practice of the well-to-do giving boxes of gifts and bonuses to the poor.

In Australia, Boxing Day has become a significant sporting day with the Boxing Day Test Match (Cricket) in Melbourne and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race beginning in Sydney. In New Zealand, there's the Ellerslie Boxing Day Races in Auckland and the Cemetery Circuit Motorbike Races fur…

Reason for the Season

For God so loved the world,

that He gave

His only begotten Son,

that whosoever

believeth in Him,

should not perish

but have eternal life.

John 3:16

A Blessed Christmas, everyone!

Christ in Christmas

This Christmas when we celebrate, remember that the babe in the manger was God in human form;

When we ready our homes for the festivities, remember that the Son of God was born in a stable;

When we turn on our coloured lights, remember that it was a star that guided the Wise Men;

When we sing our carols, remember that the angels sang the first carol to shepherds in the fields watching their sheep;

When we exchange gifts, remember the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, signifying that He came as King, Priest and Saviour;

When we welcome family and friends, remember that there was no room for the Son of God;

When we look at the Christmas tree, remember the tree of Calvary on which He died;

When we look at the glittering decorations, remember His blood that was shed for all mankind;

When we think of Him at all this Christmas, remember that He gave His all … and asks nothing less in return.

Christmas in Our House

This Meme is an adaptation of one on my friend Daisy's Board. Please feel free to tag yourself!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper unless it's one of those really hard-to-wrap presents.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Real. In Australia we tried getting real trees but most were so spindly that we ended up buying an artificial tree. However on moving to New Zealand our artificial tree looked so pitiful with the high ceilings in our old house so we decided to get a real tree (easier here than in Oz). We still have our artificial tree but it hasn't seen the light of day for many years!

3. When do you put up and take down the tree? We used to get the tree just before Christmas so that it wouldn't be too dead looking on the day, but now we tend to get a tree on the first weekend in December as we've discovered they last. And I like to have it out of the house by New Year's Day. Then it usually lies in our backyard for a few months until someone gets around to c…

Christmas Mazurka

DH arrived home yesterday, lifted the tea towel covering the cooling rack, and started making appreciative noises. I'd made Christmas Mazurka - a recent addition to Christmas in our house, but one that has quickly become a favourite.

He asked why one was already cut into squares. I replied that I'd made it for gifts (it makes wonderful presents for neighbours and friends). Then he looked worried and wanted to know what we were going to eat. I'd made two and each one is meant to yield 80 pieces so I'm not sure how much he expected to eat!

I'll share the recipe but first I want to share some photos of other Christmas treats I made.

Son#2 had to take a plate of food to share at work so Son#4 and I made these 'Christmas Puddings' out of Chocolate biscuits with white chocolate icing and sweets:

They were quick and easy and lots of fun to make. And they look so impressive!

When it comes to gifts, I'm definitely gift-challenged. I never know what to give people, a…

The Value of Experience

Last night Son#3 informed me that he would be cooking our evening meal. Without any assistance from me.

He decided to bake the potatoes and carrots. Knowing that it would take at least an hour for them to cook, I settled down on the computer to do some writing.

Forty-five minutes later there was a commotion in the kitchen. Apparently when Son#3 had checked the vegetables earlier he'd realised that Son#2, whom he'd asked to turn the oven on, had not turned it on at the wall. Result: cold veges and cold oven. However Son#2 informed him that using the fan bake function would cause the vegetables to cook quicker, so they went with that option.

What neither of them knew was that the only function that still works on my oven is bake (they were both away at University when my oven started playing up and Son#1 did some fiddling around with it to get it working). So at 7.00pm when they checked the vegetables, they were still uncooked and the oven was stone cold.

We ate late last night. Lat…

Christmas Traditions

Not long after we were married, DH asked his Mum for her Christmas pudding recipe. It came written on a blue aerogram, the type that used to be so popular many years ago (at least in this part of the world). She included an ingredient list and basic instructions, but an inability to read her handwriting and the omission of several details for these two cooking-impaired individuals meant that DH and I had to engage in a little bit of experimentation. We quickly learnt that there's not much you can do to a Christmas pudding to ruin it - unless you let it boil dry (thankfully this hasn't happened yet).

For over twenty years we've been making Christmas puddings. The recipe has grown and changed but one thing has become somewhat of a tradition: every family member must stir the Christmas pudding before it's boiled. As sons have left home, it's been up to those remaining at home to ensure the tradition is carried on, but most have returned home anyway for this particular …

The Vision

God has planted within me a desire to write that I cannot deny. I've always written: notes, journal entries, stories, shopping lists, dramas, Bible studies, letters, essays, articles, and more recently, book-length manuscripts. When I write, I'm in my own little world. When I write, I'm totally unaware of time passing. When I write, I feel that this is the purpose for which I was created.

For many years my dream of making a contribution to Christian literature was put on hold. Marriage and a young family, then part-time study, took most of my time and energy, until one day I discovered that I finally had the time to write. I joined an online writing community, expecting to dazzle them with my ability. Instead I found out just how many good - in fact, very good - writers there are out there, all struggling to become published. Suddenly I realised how insignificant I was and how unlikely the chance of ever becoming published. My confidence was shaken, to say the least.

I quest…

A Beginning

The Christmas tree was delivered three days ago. For two days it stood sad and lonely until some one took pity on it and hung the lights on it. I've been trying to get the boys to get the decorations out and put them on the tree but no one's interested.

Wasn't it just yesterday that decorating the tree was a fun family thing to do? What happened?

Peace, Goodwill and ... Stress?

I rarely drink coffee but I’m drinking coffee right now. I’m not supposed to drink coffee but I needed something stronger than a cup of tea even if the coffee is decaf! (It’s not the caffeine I need but the bitter taste!)

The Christmas season (or should I say the Christmas stress) has begun in our house. It started Thursday when I started my ‘spring cleaning’ in readiness for Christmas. I washed cross-stitch pieces, doilies, cushion covers, and quilts, and aired and vacuumed other quilts and pieces. I also hung our Christmas quilt on the wall. And that’s as far as I got. I plan on doing more next week on my day off (unless I've been 'committed' by then).

Today I decided I’d start my Christmas cards. I had what I thought was a simple idea: print the inside of our cards with a montage of family photos from the past 12 months. It would have been simple had I been home alone and been left to my own devices. But my IT Experts (aka Son#3 and Son#4) felt the need to offer advice.


Changing the Rules

A colleague went in to have her mid-back-length hair trimmed and came out with a shaggy shoulder-length cut. Naturally she was upset. Sadly, stories like this are all too common for those with long hair.

However, the stylist told her something that I've never heard before. When cutting her hair he said: "Young women shouldn't have long hair. Long hair is for old women." What??? Those of us who are 'older' are often told that we shouldn't wear our hair long - that only young women can have long hair and get away with it.

What I want to know is who changed the rules when I wasn't looking?

I'm over forty (some would consider that old - I know my children do) and have long hair. 86cm to be exact. Or almost 34". (I've gained 3/4" this past month which is a record for me.)

It now seems that I'm 'allowed' to have long hair. Fancy that!

Roll the 'r'

Today I got drenched. Say that and roll the 'r' as in drrrrrrrrenched. Because that's what happened!

It was only spitting when I left home to go for a walk. It had been doing that on and off all day and nothing had come of it, so I didn't expect this time to be any different. Still I grabbed my wonderful jacket that keeps out the wind and the rain and the cold - just in case. The only problem is that the rain tends to collect on the bottom hem and then whoosh! it pours down my legs like two thunderous waterfalls.

My legs were wet. Very wet. Saturated. Drrrrrrrrrrrrenched.

As was my hair (at least the rain brings out my waves - there's always something to be thankful for). My upper body though was lovely and dry. But hair and legs: drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrenched.

Today has been one of those days at work that makes me ask myself: WHAT AM I DOING HERE? Why would I turn down a job where I could work in the peace and comfort of my own home? Where I wouldn't have to listen to …