Friday, December 15, 2017


Denim and Marley needed more inside toys to play with... so yesterday afternoon I went to the Warehouse and got them a bunch of toys.

ABOVE:  Rather typically, even though there are heaps for them to play with, they fought over the one toy!  Silly girls.

I get to sleep in today!
Brylee is on Keera duty.  We are going to take turns getting up to her until she leaves for Auckland.  So... I'm still in bed!
How cool is that?

I might even get Brylee to get me 'breakfast' in bed... won't be hard.  It's only Diet Coke!  lol

Our son Steve went shopping yesterday afternoon too.

For something they really, really needed too.

Stew and I have been quite worried that when they visit us, they'd have to come down in 2 vehicles, as the car Bex drives only holds 4 people.  With Keera added into their family, they wouldn't have room to all fit in one car.

So, he has been on the look out for a bigger car, one that will accommodate their growing family.  And he found this:

ABOVE:  It's a Nissan Presage, and it has 8 seats!  So, plenty of room.  So, not only have they had to move house (that happens next Friday), but they have also had to buy a bigger car... all so they can have Keera.

I can't thank them enough.  Her moving in with them is the perfect fit for her, us and Lacy.  There were other options... but none that would work well for EVERYONE involved.

Right... time to go for now.
No plans for the day, though I would like to get some sewing done... even if it's on the little machine.  


Moving on. I slept in till about 9 am. It was lovely.

Now... the girls and I are going into Hamilton. Keera needs new togs (swimmers) and we shall have lunch at the mall as a treat.

Today was all about KEERA:

 ABOVE:  We had lunch at a coffee shop... which included sandwiches, cake and hot chocolate.  And marshmallows... let's not forget them!

 ABOVE:  Then it was off to buy some new togs... she chose these.  I love them, Keera loves them, Brylee thinks they are too bright.  I think we won't lose her at the beach!

ABOVE: Then it was time for a haircut.  Nice and short for summer.  And easy care for Bex, who's not used to little girl's hair!

Talking of Bex, she's taken possession of her new car.  Hopefully she gets used to driving it quickly.  It' much bigger than what she's used to.

4.20 pm:  Just spent over an hour at the doctors, mostly WAITING.... Brylee has been feeling unwell the past few days.  Turns out it's most likely a viral tummy bug, so fingers crossed she feels better in a few days.
Drinking ice cream smoothies is such hard medicine to take I'm sure!  

Dinner tonight will be left overs outta the fridge, I'm in no mood to cook.  Hear that Mr Harvey?  *smiles*

LOL... Mr Harvey came home with the makings of a silly bugger dinner... AND he cooked it too!
Saveloys and spagetti on toast, sprinkled with cheese.  Rather nice.

Winding down for the day... the heat of the day is cooling off thank goodness.  
Brylee is feeling a bit better, the anti-nausea medication is working.

Thursday, December 14, 2017



Cos it's Keera's last day at her Cambridge school.
In fact, it's only a half day today.  They finish at 12 noon.

So, last time I have to get up, make her lunch, get her ready and out the door to school.  And last day I have to interrupt my afternoon to go and pick her up.

Considering I've had to do that for 34 years with all 8+1 kids, I think I'm entitled to feel damn relieved it's OVER.

Next year I will only be going to school to take or pick up Brylee and Griffin if it's pouring down with rain!  And even then I might think twice about it!  lol

So... once Keera is home from school, we have ONE WEEK until she moves to Auckland to be with Steve, Bex and the boys!
One week to spend some quality time with her before we revert back to 'just' being her Grandparents.

I don't really have any plans for today, other than remembering to pick the kid up at midday!  I'm sure Brylee will remind me.

There's quite a bit of housework to do, maybe I will do that?
Oh and I need to wrap Dante's 5th Birthday present.  He's 5 on Saturday!  OMG ... let's all say it:

"Where the hell did those 5 years go?"

It simply doesn't seem that long ago he was coming home from the hospital as a newborn!

OK... time to go... gotta make that lunch! Get her to school on time...


10.00 am:  and it's already been a good morning!
I dropped Keera off at school and had a chat with her teacher.  They have just finished doing an assessment of Keera's learning, and will email me the report so I can give it to her new school.  Excellent.

Back to my car, and one of the patchwork ladies comes out of her house and yaks to me on the street... so I asked her where in town I could take my sewing machine to be fixed?  JUST AROUND THE CORNER!  Excellent.

I came home, picked up the machine and dropped it off.  No hurry on the repair, I totally understand it is coming up to Christmas.

Home, and yakking with Bex, she's at the new school in Auckland for Dante's last visit before he and Keera start next year.

It's going well:

ABOVE:  OMG I remember playing with those peg boards as a little kid too!

This little family are just SO LUCKY ... they have this just 2 minutes down the road from them:

ABOVE:  A beach and playground!  I am so envious.  

Right, I shall bugger off and get something happening ... probably washing!

12.33 pm:  It's done.  FINALLY done with Cambridge Primary School.  I couldn't be happier.  

I just did a quick tally of all the preschools and schools we have attended with our various kids and bonus kids:

TEN Preschools, Playcentres and Kindergartens.
TEN Primary Schools.
THREE Intermediate Schools.... and finally
FIVE Colleges.

That's a lot of schools and uniforms!  Not to mention School Fees!  

ABOVE:  Cos I could, you get this little video.  

Well, the day has gone well.  I've kept my feet up this afternoon, so I still have ankles.. JUST.  The heat certainly makes my legs suffer!
I've also had a nagging headache for the past few days... no doubt the heat again.

Dinner tonight was a lovely beef and bacon hock stew.  Not much cooking involved thank goodness.

Winding down now...looking forward to a cooler evening.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Yes, late start to the day today.
I've woken up feeling like utter crap.
Sore throat. Headache.  Aching all over.

So, getting a cold no doubt.  

Just as well I have nothing on today then!

I got a message/photo from Steve first thing this morning :

ABOVE:  A proud parent moment for Stew and I.  And now we have a qualified builder in the family.

Right, I better get a move on... Keera needs to get to school.  When I get home again I think I will be going back to bed!  I really don't feel well at all.


Didn't go to bed.  Got out the jigsaw and cut the wood for the fireplace 'extra' bit.
Now waiting for the undercoat to dry so I can paint it and get it up.
Oh and I painted the black part too.. straight onto the wall.  I saw no point in actually using wood and then having to attach it to the wall.

So much for waiting to do it at a later date!

 ABOVE:  I got Griffin out of bed BEFORE 11 am to do a small job for me.  He didn't even complain!

ABOVE:  That's it !!!  DONE, nothing else is changing.  No more ideas please, I'm 100% happy with how it is.  (the Fairy Lights look better than the rope lights, hence the change)

And NOW I'm going to put me feet up before they swell.

You would be so proud of me!  I actually DID lie down with my feet up for a good hour and a  half!  And I still have ankles today.  Yesterday I didn't, and my left foot was super swollen too.
My legs ache when they get really swollen, so I'm happy they are behaving today.

Or rather, I'm behaving.  *lol*

Stew got home early from work today, so he's gone down to the supermarket for a few supplies, and I do believe, he's doing dinner too.  Nice one.

I can just sit here and relax for once.  

And relax I did.  I watched a bit of TV, then I did a little sewing.  My big machine has packed it's first 'sad'... so I will have to get it looked at.
Annoying, but happy I do have a little 'spare' machine to use, even if it's horrendous compared to McDreamy. 
McDreamy being my Brother Dreamweaver machine... which is usually an amazing machine!

Off to bed soon... still feeling decidedly under the weather, but not as bad as this morning.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I knew I shouldn't... but I did.

I climbed back onto the kitchen bench.  Yep.
There were these lights I found, and I wanted to hang them in the kitchen window, right?

Well that entailed climbing on the bench.

I was ever so careful, seriously careful.

And I still got hurt!

But I didn't fall off the bench this time... I stepped down onto the little wooden stool, which weighs quite a lot, and knocked it over onto me big toe!

Did do some colourful swearing, and ended up with a throbbing toe for me efforts.  *grrrr*

But, the lights look lovely:

ABOVE:  They had to go there ... cos they are blue and wouldn't have looked 'right' in the lounge.  So pretty.

After Keera is at a school, Brylee and I are off to Aqua Fit.  I hope to do half a dozen laps of swimming/walking afterwards too.
Missing the regular walking with the FBG's.  Shame it's wound down to just the odd social walk now.

I will try to get a few late night walks in myself somehow.

Keera slept well last night, no waking up all upset.  Thank goodness.

ABOVE:  A gorgeous dessert from last night, simple but effective.  I love the dish it's in!

*** Just. So. You. Know.   ... I do have more plans for our 'fireplace', but they are still in my head.  And not likely to be done right now as there is no hurry,  I have what I want FOR NOW.  I really don't need any more ideas, I have more than enough of my own! lol ***

I've no other plans for today once we get home from the pool.  YET.


10.28 am: And home again.
The pool was MUCH COOLER today! 
Overnight some hooligans broke into the pool complex and threw all the BBQ tables into the pool, and put the hoses into the pool and turned them on.
So the pool was certainly much colder.  When the sun went behind a cloud it was really cold!

But, a good workout was had by all and I'm looking forward to Thursday to do it all again.

I've done a mental check of Christmas presents, and need to get just a few more,  so Brylee and I are going out shortly to do that.

Once home from that I think I will be doing a bit of housework and mucking around in the house.  No big projects ahead now for a while.

2.00 pm:  My god the days are going by so fast!  One minute it's like 9 in the morning, and then... friggin 2 pm!
Been to town.  Got shit...  stuff I needed.
Got some paper painted last night... like at 1 am (yikes)... with a look in mind.

Did a bit of work with white paint just now... and this is a mock up of how the fireplace MIGHT look down the track...

ABOVE:  I need to work on the proportions... it looks a bit too 'set back' ... but that's an easy fit.  This is just PAPER ... if Stew likes it and I work on the design some more, I will do it in wood eventually.

Hot. Crabby.  Feet swelling in the heat.  Ate too much dinner.  Now feel sick.
Signing off for the day, got to get me feet up.

Monday, December 11, 2017


As much as I would have liked to get the new fire surround/mantle finished last night, it didn't happen.

You just can't wish paint dry!  And it wasn't quite set enough for me to add the finishing touches.

But... I did get a photo or two to give you a sneak peek:

ABOVE:  Yep, I got creative again.  But don't worry!  It's NOT all over it!
Give me a few hours and I will be able to show you the finished result.  It will be worth it, I promise!

ABOVE:  Can't help it.... another sneak peek.  

Today marks the start of Keera's last week at her Cambridge school.
Three and a half days to go!
Then she has a week's holiday here with us, then she moves to Auckland!

I think it might be playing on her mind, even though we have done everything we can to prepare her for the move.

She's started playing up a LOT.  Being very naughty during the day and refusing to settle at night.  I don't know what else we could have done to prepare her for this change. *sigh*

I just hope she settles quickly with Steve and Bex and doesn't give them too many problems, or I will feel very guilty.

Maybe part of her behavior is just because school is finishing for the year too?  Could be.  I might just be reading too much into it.  She's tired a lot, particularly in the afternoons... perhaps she's feeling the heat too.   A combination of everything!  Yeah, let's go with that.  *smiles*

I've got a girly pot luck dinner to go to tonight, so that will be lovely.  I'm thoroughly enjoying living in Cambridge!  So different from Auckland in every way.

Right, I'm off to start the day and get a few things done before taking Keera to school.


And, after 4 days it's DONE.

ABOVE:  I'm thrilled to bits with how my mantle piece has come out.
Once it was up I decided it really needed a hearth, so Stew built one for me yesterday and I titivated it last night with the paint job and little doo dackies.  It's been a lovely, fun project.

And now I have a real 'feature' in the lounge. 

Once the Christmas decorations are gone I will be putting coloured candles along the mantle and some small 'logs' and tea lights on the hearth. 

What do ya think of it???

ABOVE: Miss Muppet pleased as punch with herself, she got to choose where to put the elf.

So, Monday mornings are always spent tidying the house after the weekend.  Today is no different.

I'm in the sewing room, which always becomes the 'dumping ground' during the week/weekend.  And rummaging through the left over Christmas decorations... and I found a Christmas lights 'rope'.  I don't think I've used it in over 20 years!

But... I found a use for it today:

ABOVE:  Coco approves, I'm sure.  *smiles*

I cooked the family roast chicken and veges for their dinner, then I buggered off to my girly dinner.  We had a wonderful evening, lovely food and company.

I got an email while I was out, saying how much I was missed at the Patchwork Christmas Lunch today!  WHOOPS, I completely forgot about that!  AND I'd paid for my lunch too!  I feel a bit suckful about that!  

Oh well... I am sure my share got eaten or taken home by someone.  

It's been a cooler day today, so much easier on me.  Winding down now... it's been a lovely day.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


So a little run down of our Scavenger Hunt yesterday.
Clever little Mary from Stew's work came up with the idea ... we split into two groups and were given a box of photos.

We had to go to each place, once we had figured out where they were, and take either a photo or a little video to prove we found the place.  We had exactly 2 hours to get all our photos and videos and get back to the start again.

Some were easy, and a few were much harder.

 ABOVE:  The clue to this one was a photo of the statue.  We had to find it and take a photo of all of us doing a dance.  I nabbed a lady walking by to take our photo.  This was one of the easy ones.

The next one was much harder, it took me ages doing a Google search on my phone!  The clue was a photo of the plaque:

ABOVE:  There are only two 'Hitching Posts' left if Hamilton, and we found it!  
We had to tie one of our group to the post... so Stew was 'it'!  lol

Another hard one, a photo of the lake, and we had to find a skateboard and take a video of one of us on it!

Do you think we could find someone on a skateboard that we could borrow?  Nope, so I rang Amanda and asked if she had a skateboard we could borrow?

She did...

ABOVE:  But it was a teeny tiny one!  So Stew sure wasn't going to get on it... so Shona did:

ABOVE:  very, very short video!  She didn't want to risk breaking a leg!

Lastly... cos ya don't want to see all of them... we got a photo of a cycle path.  It was another tricky one, but I managed to find the park.
Once there, we had to find a bike and get a photo of one of our group on the bike.

We walked around and waited for quite a while hoping someone would come by on a bike, but no such luck.  Then Shona came up with a brilliant idea!....

ABOVE:  She got a photo of a bike on her phone, and we took a photo of Stew 'straddling' it!  And it passed the test!  

It really was such fun.  I'd love to do something like that again some time.

Dinner was at a Turkish restaurant.  Not bad at all either...

ABOVE:  I had a prawn and avocado salad and Stew had a Chicken dish.  There was a bread and spread entree and Baklava and ice cream to finish.

And that's a wrap!

Today we will be finishing off our Faux fireplace, and a few odd jobs around the house and yard.  
I've still got heaps of sewing to get done before Christmas too.  I hope I get some time to do that in the next week!

But for today, I really want to get the fireplace done so I can show you.. it's already looking AMAZING!

3.05 pm:  And today hasn't quite gone to plan.  Not that often it does really!  So, we ended up going into Hamilton for some shopping and lunch.
I got a couple of things for Christmas presents, and so on.  Very overcast day, threatening to rain.  So it's very humid and oppressive.

Home now, and Stew is starting to make the 'something extra'.  I'm waiting patiently to do my bit.

Sorry but our big 'reveal' won't be tonight after all.  Waiting for paint to dry before finishing it off is taking longer than anticipated.
So I can't show you the finished project till tomorrow, can't be helped unfortunately.

But we are both very happy with our efforts!  Just wait till you see it... it's GORGEOUS!!!!!

And that's about all for today.  A quiet evening ahead, still no rain, but it's certainly cooler.

Saturday, December 09, 2017


Well, I don't know quite why, but I feel really happy today.
Actually, I was really happy yesterday too.

I think getting my 'faux fireplace' in the lounge is making me rather happy.... it's been something I've been thinking about for bloody ages, and to finally act on it, and have it coming to fruition so fast is awesome.

ABOVE:  The only thing I'm not enjoying... paint all over my hands.  It's so drying, and feels yuk.  I hope the painting phase is over for today at least.  We are adding 'something' else to the 'fireplace', probably tomorrow, that will need painting.  So better not put away the paint just yet.

Having the Sue's call in yesterday was just so neat!  I don't get many visitors, so them popping in was special.

I took a tiny video of them on me floor:

ABOVE: How cute are they?  I really like those crazy tarts.

Today, well this afternoon, we are going to Stew's work Christmas function.
Something different for a change too.
We are starting in the afternoon with a Scavenger Hunt, finding 'clues' scattered all over Hamilton in teams, then after that we are doing drinks somewhere in Hamilton East before going somewhere else for dinner.

It all sounds like fun.  Might have to wear comfy shoes ... what am I saying?  I always wear comfy shoes!  I've never been a high heel type of girl anyway.

So this morning will be spent doing some housework I suppose.  Stew wants to get the lawns mown... they are growing so fast right now, I swear Stew only just finishes doing them and the clover flowers appear again the next day!

I thought our agapantha's were not going to flower this year after we cut them down quite severely months ago... but no.  All of a sudden we have really tall flowers appearing!  I haven't taken a photo yet as the flowers have not burst out enough yet.  I love that they are BLUE.  *smiles*  Our hydrangeas are all flowering too... blues and whites.  So pretty.

AND that fig tree out the front that we chopped down?  

GROWING again.

We have decided to let it grow for now and see how it goes.

And that's all for now... catch ya later.  Have a lovely day.


I got up with Keera before 7.30, then had to wait till 10.30 before Stew was up and fed before we could go down to Mitre 10 to get the screws and wall fixings etc for the fire surround.

It was painful watching him eat his breakfast and drink his TWO cups of tea!  I wanted to throttle him.. and he knew it!

But in jest... we did finally get everything we needed and the fireplace is almost attached to the wall!  We still have to make the extra 'something'... but that has to wait till tomorrow.

Soon we have to start getting ready to go out.

Right now I've got hair dripping down my back... Brylee is going to dry it and straighten it for me.  Then it will be 'put the face on' time.

10.01 pm:  And we are home after having a very enjoyable time.  I think everyone had a good time doing the scavenger hunt.  It involved going to various places around Hamilton and taking a photo or video to prove you were there.  We got a photo clue of where we had to go.

I didn't expect to enjoy it so much!  We had two hours to complete the hunt, and ended up back at a local pub, where we had a couple of drinks before going around the corner for dinner.

Dinner was OK too.  Home now and enjoying watching Coronation Street.  

Friday, December 08, 2017


The one thing I find difficult with having a 'public blog' is that you inevitably get well meaning people giving you their ideas/opinions.

Now there is nothing wrong with that of course, I do it too.
But at the end of the day... when it comes to what I'm doing with stuff in my home I have the final say.

And so... I will be doing the fire surround and mantle piece my way.  Sorry if it's not what you would do, but that's the beauty of us all being different!

This is kinda how it will look:

ABOVE:  We cannot move the brown corner lounge suite, so part of the 'fire surround' bit is obscured.  It is what it is, nothing we can do about it, and that is why I had thought of having it more as a 'shelf' as opposed to a fire surround/mantle piece.

So, we are leaving it as it is, but not adding all the extra side bits of wood it came with, they are not necessary.

I was thinking of painting it the same colour as the walls, but Stew thinks it will look better white, so I'll put the white undercoat on, then sit it against the wall again to see how it would look staying white.

If I don't like it, I can then paint it the same as the walls.

I have no intention of leaving it as 'natural' wood.  That's NOT the look I'm going for.

So, after I get Keera to school, I will be coming home and cleaning up the wood ready for painting.  It's already been sanded a bit, so I don't have to do too much myself.

I'm hoping to have the undercoat on by the end of the day, then I can position it again, and see how it will look white.


10 am:  And I've been working on making the lounge work better, and I came up with an idea first thing this morning, and couldn't believe no one had thought of it sooner!

I have taken a little video to show you... it's still uploading.

In the meantime...

ABOVE:  I've been adding bits 'n' pieces BACK to the verticals, so now we don't have to cut out the skirting board at all.  WINNING!  lol

HERE'S why I'm so happy this morning:

ABOVE:  Lounge and 'fake fireplace' sorted!  Now I simply can't wait for it to be up and looking gorgeous.

3.23 pm:  And I haven't got much done with the painting!
We got unexpected visitors ... the SUE'S!

ABOVE: Sue #2 on the left, and Sue #1 on the right!  Cuddling with the puppies.  
We spent a lovely couple of hours chatting and wasting time with the pups.
So lovely to see them after quite a long time.

Next year I can meet them on a more regular basis, as I won't have to rush home in time to pick up Keera from school.  

Now though, it's back to that painting.

The painting is going well.  I was going to show you how it is going to look, but Stew and I are working on the 'tweaks' to it... so I don't think I'm going to show you any more now till it's done.
And that will probably be Sunday night at the earliest.

So... come back then!
(or sooner, cos ya know I will be blogging tomorrow too eh?  *smiles*

It's stinking hot again tonight, I swear it just gets hotter and hotter as the day goes on.
Quiet evening ahead, painting, planning .... and so on.