Showing posts from November, 2016


With each year seemingly shorter than the year before, it has been a very long time since I've been organised at Christmas time. Most recently our traditional Christmas Pudding Making day has had to be squeezed in some time in the last days leading up to Christmas.

But not this year.

The puddings are hanging to dry as I write this and it's not even December!

I'm not sure what DH and I expected when we began this tradition over thirty years ago. Certainly not the mess and the joy and the excitement that would mingle together with the flour and butter and fruit and spices and make everything taste better - raw and cooked.

We never imagined back then the next generation becoming involved. That was too far off in the future and grandchildren were a distant dream. But now are they not only involved but they could probably do it without our help. (Apart from the cleaning up. No one has ever taken over that side of things.)

Nowadays the older cousins help the younger ...



Let's Eat!

One of the many benefits of having DH home has been that he has taken over the cooking. It's wonderful to get home from work and not have to bother with cooking tea.

He's also done quite a bit of baking, especially when some of The Most Adorable Granddaughters in the World have visited.

Of course, fresh gingerbread is a good excuse for eating outside with a pretty quilt as a tablecloth.

Feeling guilty that he was always slaving over a hot stove, I decided to celebrate his heritage and make something I have wanted to for a long time: Welsh Cakes.

Now these are not the same as the Welsh Cake recipe his paternal aunt jealously guarded. That cake we think was a fruit cake. (One day I hope to find a living relative willing to share the recipe.) No, these are what are commonly called Welsh Cakes and are similar to a griddle scone but with currants and sweeter.

We left off the dusting of sugar and the toppings of jam and butter as they were already sweet enough and didn't need an…

Silent Night

It was just a minute or two after midnight when New Zealand was sleeping (or should have been) when we were rudely awaken.

My first inkling that anything was amiss was hearing DH say, "Put a pillow over your head."

Still more asleep than awake I failed to immediately comprehend.

Until I realised the house was shaking.

And shaking.

And shaking.

Three minutes they said it lasted. Really? Only three minutes?

Some time during those long one hundred and eighty seconds when we thought it would never be over I heard doors swinging open and shut.

DH reminded me to keep my head under the pillow and then commented, "There's going to be a lot of damage around town."

It was at that point that the power went out.

I heard DH call out to Son#4 and ask if he was okay and then DH fumbled around in the dark and located a torch. We proceeded then to remove ourselves to the hallway where Son#4 was already sheltering in a doorway and probably hoping his guitars were not going to fa…

Follow Up

On Thursday DH had a follow up visit at our local hospital and on Friday I spoke with a nurse who used to work in the eye clinic at Wellington Hospital. It seems that whenever we speak to these health professionals that one message comes through loud and clear:

DH's situation was serious and the chance of a full and complete recovery was far from guaranteed.

In other words, we have been extremely blessed.

We know that, of course, but when the message is repeated again and again, you are left in no doubt as to the seriousness of his condition.

The specialist at the local hospital that we saw on Thursday was the same one who sent us immediately to Wellington without passing Go or collecting $200! I think her words were, "How soon can you get there?" with the impression being that if we were there that very second it would not be too soon. However, at that time all she said about her diagnosis was that he had a giant tear and it was starting to detach.

It wasn't until…


It is possible that today will go down in history for all the wrong reasons.

I don't pretend to understand American politics or why some people are staunchly Republican and others Democratic. But, like many other nations, we have been watching with interest the recent American election.

Unlike eight years ago when there were debates raging all over the blogosphere about who was right and good and who was wrong and bad and arguments about why this one or that one should or should not be president, I've read little this time apart from jokes ranging from funny to decidedly bad taste about the presidential candidates. I think for some of us watching from a distance we expected at any time for the 'real' candidates to step forward and to learn we had all been duped. And now, we struggle to understand how the outcome of this election affects us all.

As I stated previously, I don't understand American politics.

But this I do understand ...

Our God is in control. Still. …

A Blessing in Disguise

Our unwelcome and unwanted souvenir from our South Island Adventure has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. What seemed to be an intrusion into our ability to settle back into the daily rhythm of life, has become a blessing far greater than we expected.

Yesterday DH returned to Wellington for follow-up surgery. At the hospital DH had a pre-op appointment where the surgeon examined his eye and expressed surprise that it had healed so well. It was then that he explained in more detail the extent of the damage to DH's retina and told us that he had only given the surgery a 50/50 chance of success and the retina reattaching. (So glad he didn't tell us this earlier.)

He warned us that the follow-up surgery could cause the retina to detach again and that repair work might be necessary. When DH had not returned to the Recovery Ward two and a half hours after I'd seen him go off to theatre, I could only assume that it had gone badly.

How wrong I was! Apparently he had had to …