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Beauty and Envy

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I never cease to be amazed at the incredible views when travelling in the Central North Island. (Something we had the privelege of doing this past weekend.)












I must admit to serious envy of those who get to live amongst such beauty day in and day out. At least we get to enjoy them on occasion. And all for free, too.

Survival Or Put Me In a Straight Jacket Now

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Also known as Week One of Renovations Round Three.

We have survived the first week of our renovations. I'm not sure how. DH has found it easier than I have (and I'm not even sure Son#4 noticed!). At times I thought I was handling it well and then one small thing would have me in tears - usually something inconsequential.

Last night Son#4 asked if some friends of his could stay over this weekend.

Me (trying to be open minded): How many?

Son#4: Five

Me (as I thought of our spare beds being used as a place to safely store dozens of quilts or with boxes/furniture hard up against them; the fact that we have had no lights or power in the bedrooms or hallway for the past week; and that camping out on the floor is hardly an option when there's a layer of dust deep enough to suffocate an army; and silently processing this information and thinking Why don't you just put me in a straight jacket right now - before I become a blithering idiot): Who?

Son#4 answered and I wondered wh…

Not Yet

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The first bulbs are out ...




the roses desperately need pruning ...




the sweet peas have gone crazy ...



the blueberrie are in blossom ...


the flowering almond needs something done to it before it takes over ...


the lawn is flooded ...


and I'm gathering seeds and ideas.

And yet, it's not Spring - not even early Spring - despite the rain (which we've had all winter), the wind, and the warmer temperatures. The danger of frosts is technically not yet past even if we've had relatively few this season.

I can't do any scattering of seed or transplanting ... no matter how much my fingers itch to get into the soil.

What I can do is, one, keep at that pesky onion weed so that it's hopefully all gone by the time I come to plant and, two, enjoy the bulbs while they last. Because, despite the rain and the buds and the daffodils, there's no guarantee that a wintry blast still doesn't have plans to come our way.

Creativity or Insanity?

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We haven't even officially begun Renovations Round Three and it's already taking its toll. It probably doesn't help that I'm not feeling well at the moment or DH wants me to help lift heavy stuff (and from my perspective is incredibly unclear about just what he wants my role to be) or that we're living amongst chaos (which I hate). I know it will definitely get worse and that I need to find ways to manage.

It certainly helps that I have work to go to most days. At least I don't have to look at boxes stacked in the hallway all day every day. (As of today they have been moved into Son#5's bedroom but soon a piano and table will take their place.)


Having a room to retreat to that isn't too messy also helps which is why I'm desperately trying to establish a system whereby we are not drying huge amounts of laundry in front of the fire or storing too much of anything in our main living areas.

Taking a walk or doing some gardening also helps. I don't …

Round Three

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I enjoy watching home renovation shows. Not the type where teams go in and transform a home in a weekend or equally short period of time (and you're left wondering how long before the paint starts flaking or cracks appear because the second coat was obviously applied before the first was even dry) but the shows where professionals makeover a grungy house and turn it into a beautiful family home.
Perhaps the reason I enjoy them is because I want to believe that there is hope for our old place!
But what really surprises me - more than the grand reveal - is how civil everyone is to one another. Spouses are making decisions about the home they are going to share together and they manage to blend two different wishlists without arguing.
I wish I knew their secret. 
We are about to begin our third round of renovations in this house and, frankly, I'm kind of dreading it. I think we've learnt to better listen to each other over the years but there are still so many areas that are…