Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Today the guys are off to get a trailer load of sand.  It's the next step in the pool construction.

After that it will get more 'interesting'... they will be putting up the metal sides.

Hopefully we will see that happen by the end of the day?

It's taking a while this pool construction, purely due to the heat slowing them down.

Last night's dinner :

ABOVE:  It was delicious.  AND I have enough of the mince mixture left for another evening's dinner.  Excellent.

Hard to believe it's the last day of 2019!  This year has ended in a totally different way from what I imagined at the beginning of the year.  I never thought we would have sold our gorgeous Cambridge home and moved to Hamilton, that's for sure.

But, we couldn't be happier.  We just LOVE our new home.

I'm still trying to find something I don't like about it!  But it just ain't happening.

Bex sees me smiling for no apparent reason, and asks me why I'm smiling?  And I just say "Cos I love my house!"

And it's true.  Much as we loved our Cambridge home, we actually love this one more.  It's just so perfect for us on every level.

Maybe in 6 months we will have found something ???  I hope not.

So anyway... we are babysitting tonight. Steve and Bex are going to  hang out with some friends of their's for New Year's Eve.

We old farts will stay home and probably go to bed early!  We are just not into staying up late just to see in a new year anymore.  Been there done that dozens of times already.

So... I'm off to see how the day is outside.  Hopefully it's cloudy again, so the guys don't get too hot too quick.


12.06 pm:  And the guys have been and collected a load of sand.  Now they are just finishing putting the sand/concrete mix in the sloping, deeper part of the pool bottom.

ABOVE: They have used a sand and concrete mix so the sand stays put when they put the liner in.

ABOVE:  I don't know how much longer they will keep working, it's so hot.  Maybe the sides won't go on today?  
Let's wait and see.

I took a car load of 'stuff' to the Op Shop today.  Surplus Christmas decorations and a big fan.  I was going to donate our highchair too, but changed my mind at the last minute. 
We had a visiting baby here yesterday and I thought, hmmm... better keep it.

Looks like the guys MIGHT be getting the side bits out of the garage!  OOOoooo exciting.

2.04 pm:  And I had to get more groceries!  We are going through so much food!
When I left, the guys were working on laying down the wall guides on the dirt.

Now that I'm home again ... ?

ABOVE:  We have sides up!  NOW I can actually SEE how it's going to look, and the size it takes up.  So damn relieved we decided (thanks to the ROCK), to put it on the lawn.   It's made it so much easier to put up.

9.57 pm:  It's the end of 2019... a very interesting year I must say.
Glad it's over, it was hectic.

Looking forward to a more settled 2020.
All the best to all my family, friends and blog friends.

Monday, December 30, 2019


I grabbed these a little while ago, I thought they might be a nice addition to salads.

 ABOVE:  They are really, really nice!  Heaps of flavour and really crisp.

ABOVE:  Where we once had lawn and garden, we now have dirt.  And the rabbits still love it!  They are just a bit funny to watch... doing belly flops one minute, then flips in the air for no reason the next.

Bex and Steve let them out every day, and I think they regret it when it comes time to put them to bed!  They don't like being put back in the pen... and run around trying not to get caught.  LOL

Oh well... they do eventually get caught, with a few swear words thrown at them.  

Today?  Sorry, but just more progress on the pool I think.  

Well... that's what the guys are doing.  Me?  I want to go and get some more curtain hooks so I can hang the lounge curtains in the Studio, and who knows what else I will get up to?

There's some shops I noticed in Claudelands I wouldn't mind checking out.  *smiles*

So, until I have more to yabber on about... I'll catch ya later.


Woke up with very bad lower back pain this morning.  Still in bed. I've taken painkillers  and am hoping they kick in soon. 
Its not been this bad in ages.

Probably been overdoing it?

Well... it's 10.12 am and I'm outta bed, have put me face on and done bugger all else.

I got some mail today, a lovely surprise in the mail from my girlfriend Sandra, down in Palmerston North.

ABOVE: She sent me a gorgeous little necklace of 4 girls.   I reckon they represent us 4 Palmy girls (Sandra, Chris D, Anne R and me)... am I right Sandra?  *smiles*

ABOVE: Lacy is here dyeing Bex's hair.  Let's hope it's not a disaster!

12.18 pm:  And I went to the Claudelands shops, and the buggers were closed.  So, I will have to visit them after New Year I suppose.

I then went to the supermarket and got a few supplies for dinner tonight.

Then I got home and ...

 ABOVE:  The guys concreted in the side supports this morning, then they scalloped out the middle so we have a deeper part.  Perfect for doing aqua exercises.

 ABOVE:  The little boys showing how deep it will be... well it will be slightly less than that once the sand is put down.

ABOVE:  Me in there too.  *smiles*

It's going to be awesome.

We are expecting Bex's brother, sister-in-law and baby son this afternoon.  So that will be nice.

ABOVE:  Oh yeah... when the guys came inside for lunch, we couldn't help but notice they were dressed almost exactly the same, right down to their underpants!  Too funny.

Well, the rest of the day has been fairly cruisy.  Our visitors came and went, then everyone except me went to the mall for a while.

I cooked Sherhard's Pie and garlic bread for dinner.  That went down very well.

Time to sign off for the day.
Catch ya tomorrow.

Sunday, December 29, 2019


Today we are pretty much repeating yesterday.
The guys will be working on the pool area.

Bex and I will be titivating around the house.

The kids will play and probably get taken to a park later on.

 ABOVE: Last night we ended up having ham and cheese toasted sandwiches for dinner!  So yum.  Best yet, I didn't have to cook them.
I'm really appreciating having others in the house who are happy to share all the jobs.

ABOVE:  These gardens are looking AWESOME.  I just hope the girls stay off them.

I might do some more gardening today, much as I hate it, the guys are too busy to do any weeding and what have you.

If the pool pump does not go today I will be going out to get a new one.  The pond needs one to keep it aerated. 

And that's about all for now, I'll catch ya later.


10.39 am:  And I did something that was on my list, but hadn't planned on doing it today.  But, as it was overcast first thing this morning... I decided to waterblast the driveway.  It had millions of loose stones all over it.  Dreadful to walk on barefooted.


 ABOVE:  I got started ...

 ABOVE:  3/4's of the way through I saw our immediate neighbour, and invited her in.  Interesting.  She's deaf.  So while she can talk, she is fairly difficult to understand.
A paper and pen came in handy.

She seems lovely.  Her name is Julie and her dog is Kohi.  Kohi bites other dogs, so our girls stayed in their bedroom.

 ABOVE: Done.  It's looking more and more like our home now. 

 ABOVE:  Steve got out there really early today, while it was overcast.  He's doing the final leveling, then he hopes to get the two side stays concreted in by the time he finishes for the day.

The sun is out now and it's bloody hot again.  It certainly curtails how long you can work out there.

ABOVE:  Steve also fixed the pond pump, which is neat.  The fish seem to be very happy.

edit:  the bloody pump stopped working again, so I went and bought a new one.

ABOVE:  Another thing sorted.  Once we move and replace the fence there will be heaps more room around the pond, so I can put a seat there.  It's going to be so nice eventually.

The guys are just about finished outside for the day.  It's stinking hot.  Stew and I MIGHT be going to the movies in an hour.  I say might because Stew might be too hot and tired to bother.

5.58 pm:  And we did go to the movies.  We saw The Good Liar, with Helen Mirren.   I knew it would be a good movie, and it was.  We thoroughly enjoyed it.  I'm going to make sure we go to movies more often, it's nice to get out and watch a good movie on the 'Big Screen'.

Got home and Steve is cooking dinner.  After working in the hot sun all day, he's cooking dinner!  

Dinner was lovely... Chicken schnitzel, potato wedges and salad.  They are now watching some stupid movie on TV, so I'm off to bed.

Saturday, December 28, 2019


Today the guys are going to carry on with pool preparation.

And I won't be doing any gardening!  It's revolting.  I got dirt all over me yesterday, which I hate.
I don't understand how anyone can enjoy gardening!  Ikk.

I like a pretty garden, just not working in it.  *smiles*

Instead, I'm going into town to see if I can find some more pretty glasses that I gave people for Christmas.  We love them and want some tall ones of our own.
I got us 4 short ones:

ABOVE:  They are PLASTIC!  But so pretty.  
I think Bex will probably tag along with me, cos I think she wants to get some too.

I shortened and hung the new dining room curtains yesterday.  They are not going to be drawn at any time, they are just 'side drapes'.  We have not put the roller blinds up yet... that will happen eventually.

ABOVE: They are sheers, so lovely and lightweight.  They tone in beautifully with the old Cambridge curtains that I've hung in the family room and lounge.  The little bit of blue echos the blue glass in the kitchen.  I'm very happy with them.

It's all coming together nicely.  And yes, in quick time too!  I'm a bit surprised at how quickly we have managed to get settled AND fit Christmas in too.

It won't be long before there will be nothing left to do!

Well... maybe not for a while though.  lol


11.09 am:  And so far today I've gone into town and weighed in at WW.

GAINED 1.5 kilos!  lol.  I'm not even bothered.  There is a good excuse.  I ate too much!
Now I will stop being a pig and turn it around again.  I will probably go into the town meeting from now on, their times are better.  

I want to weigh in at midday and there's no meeting out here in Rototuna at that time.

Next stop was Red Currant, where Bex and I got a few more of the lovely glasses.

Then home.

To this:

ABOVE:  On the advice of the bloke at Animates, I dragged a net around the bottom of the pond to get lots of the sludge out.  Then we pulled the sides off the bridge to access the water better.

Then I scooped a few bucket loads of rancid water out, and replaced it with fresh water.

If we do that every few days, we can get the water clearer slowly without killing the fish.

ABOVE:  It was a disgusting job and I smelt like SHIT afterwards.

I've now had a shower and feel human again.

ABOVE:  The guys are determined to get the entire pool site leveled today.  They are going great guns.

I'm about to go down to the local pet shop to get more algae blocker for the pond.  I'm determined to get it as clear and clean as possible.

12.28 pm:  And that's done.  Got algae blocker, and more drinks, Diet Coke and Diet Ginger Beer for a change.  I  also grabed some vege plants cos Palmers was right beside the pet shop at Rototuna.  So handy.

ABOVE:  The guys have got the first step done.  Next one will be shaping the bottom, as we are making the pool slightly deeper through the middle.

Now though, it's relax time during the hottest part of the day.

I might have killed the pool pump.  Kinda doesn't go now.

Not done much this afternoon but some more weeding.

The kids went to town.  Steve got some clothes from Hallensteins.   And now the guys have gone to Mitre 10 for a new latch for the dog's pen.   

Tonight will be the last night of left overs.  Which is good cos I'm sick of them!

7.20 pm:  Dinner is over and everyone is chilling out ... time to sign off for the day.
Catch ya tomorrow.

Friday, December 27, 2019


So today I think the guys are going to get back to leveling the ground for the pool.

They will probably work in the morning till it gets too hot, then stop for the day.

Which is fine by me.  I don't want either of them to get exhausted and/or suffer heat stroke.

Yes, it will be wonderful once the pool is up and running, but I don't expect it to be done at the expense of anyone's health.

Ya hear that guys?

While they are doing that, I am going to potter around in the house.  There's still a few odd jobs to be done, what I call 'fluffing' around.  *smiles*

Plus there's washing to get done and hung out.
And I might even do some work down the side of the house where the dogs are.  We have not had a chance to do anything down there yet, except spray weed killer.

I did a good job last night in the sewing room, sorting out all my fat quarters:

 ABOVE:  I am a bit alarmed at how few I have now!  I have used heaps making Soup Bowl Cosy's.
 ABOVE:  I am really happy with my thread holders!  So easy to see what is there, and access them.
I do have 'spare' threads too of course, they are in little boxes on a shelf.

ABOVE:  Another thing I'm happy about, the curtains from the family room - now in here.  I get privacy at night now.

Right, that's me for now.  I will be back later ... with some more photos of the progress being made outside, to the 'pool area'.


12.30 pm:  And today is going as planned.
Bex and I tidied up and weeded half the area down the 'dogs' side of the house.

 ABOVE:  We have done to as far as that old, funky post.  The rest is probably going to look after itself.  And the girls go piddles on that end of the garden.  So whatever survives stays! lol

 ABOVE:  Sorted and looking good.  I will be getting some lettuce, parsley and chive plants soon.

ABOVE:  Working on the leveling still.  And clearing out the old pavers, down to the left for the new lawn.

9.28 pm:  We all worked till about 2 pm, then stopped and came inside to shower and relax.
I took Coco to Animates for her groom... she looks wonderful now.  

We decided not to have left overs for dinner tonight, instead we had KFC.  A night off for everyone.

Now?  Coronation Street.  Then bed.

Thursday, December 26, 2019


USUALLY I avoid going out on Boxing Day... it's just not worth the crowds and heat and frustration.

BUT... today I am going out.  Cos Spotlight is having a GOOD SALE on fabrics.  And I have a certain amount of money set aside to re-build my fabric stash.  So, I'm going to make a little dent in it today.

I really only want to get backing fabrics from Spotlight.  I'm not too fussed on the quality of the rest of their 'patchwork' fabrics.  Though I do sometimes get some if it's really pretty.  *smiles*

I think most of us are heading off to the sales this morning.  But we have to be home by mid morning as we are expecting Stew's sister Khady for lunch.

That will be nice I'm sure.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  I can put all the Christmas stuff away, and carry on with getting our home how we like it.  Though I think I've pretty much got the inside DONE?

There's masses to do outside on the other hand!
It's going to look SO DIFFERENT once we are finished with it.

But... for now... let's get a move on and be parked outside Spotlight bang on 9 am!  NOT that I expect it to be crazy busy, they are always having sales really.


Well... We all headed out bright and early for the sales.

Stew and I got to Spotlight just before 9.  NO CROWDS... just a handful of people waiting for the doors to open.

We got the fabric I wanted very quickly:

ABOVE:  I didn't go mad!  I could have easily, but no point when it's not fabric they 'run out of' ever.

After that we grabbed a few groceries and came home to an empty house.

I have a favourite photo from Griffin's visit yesterday:

ABOVE: These two more often than not clash, so it was GORGEOUS to see them relating so well yesterday.

ABOVE:  Hugs all round.  Really lovely.

Now... we await more visitors for lunch today.

We just had some neighbours visit us.  Trish and Karl.  They are lovely!  We had a very nice visit with them, then Steve and Bex arrived back from the shops, so they got to meet them too.

The little boys have enjoyed doing some Christmas shopping, and the family got our Christmas present today too.

They said it was 'perishable', I had no idea what it could be aside from food?

ABOVE:  They got us two new fish!  Very nice gift, thanks guys.

3.49 pm:  Well another lovely lunch!  Stew's sister Khady brought chicken kebabs, which were delicious.
Along with ham, chicken and salads, we are all in food coma's again.  *smiles*

And because I am not into clutter... I've just taken all the Christmas decorations down!  I know it's very early, but I just can't stand clutter, and things out of place.

So, that's a huge job done with help from Bex.  And it all fitted in the wardrobe of Bedroom 2.  No longer stuffed up in an attic.

We are now taking a little break before doing some vacuming and general tidying.  Got two loads of washing done today too.  First load is already out and in again.  It's so hot today, very oppressive heat.  It feels like it wants to rain. But hasn't ... yet.

ABOVE:  Khady and her little boy Max.  She spent a lovely few hours with us.  We will see her again in March, when we go on our South Island trip.  Not that she's in the South Island, be we will swing by Wanganui to see her and her home.

DOGSTARS:  Boxing Day is just an extra public holiday.  There is an old explanation for it, something to do with people giving boxes of food to the unfortunate I think?

Bex and I did another run to Spotlight late this afternoon.  Bex decided to look for some cheap wool/yarn.  And I wanted to look for some curtains for the dining room... just as side drapes, not to actually close at night.

I found some.  And ummm... some fat quarters!

ABOVE:  The purple batik ones caught my eye, and before I knew it... I had 'a few' more!
OH WELL... they were on sale after all. 

This evening I spent a couple of hours in the sewing room sorting out all the fat quarters and scraps of fabric mixed among them.
It feels wonderful having all that sorted out. 

And now it's bedtime.  It's been another long, hot day with no rain, even though it was predicted.
Just ruddy big, black clouds and one or two miserable drops.  Just enough to make ya hair frizz.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019



I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Day, and festive season.  Much love from Stew and Me. ♥

It's all about spending time with those you love, and who love you.

If you are travelling, drive safe, stay safe.

It will be all go once the little boys wake up... which should be any second now!


ABOVE:  you didn't expect really prim and proper photos did you?
Just as well.


 ABOVE:  yeah.... make up is all smudged.  Off to fix me face now!

So far so good.  Stew and Brylee have gone over to Cambridge to pick up Griffin.  He's here for Christmas lunch.

ABOVE:  And now... Griffin is here.

Next thing?  LUNCH.  Then food coma's.

ABOVE:  The big boys.

ABOVE:  Dessert ... Jiggly Cake.

 ABOVE:  Christmas Dinner.  Ham. Chicken, Salads.  Nice and simple.  No huge, marathon cooking for anyone.  Just how we like it.

ABOVE:  Our first family dinner here in Hamilton North.  

So happy to be spending time with family today.

Can you believe, with a house full I managed to grab a nap this afternoon!
Just a short one, but it helped.

We had desserts for DINNER tonight.  Perfect end to the day.  Well, I say end, but really, there's still a few hours till we say 'nite nite'.

Everyone has walked down to the local park to play.  Stew and I are home alone.  Just soaking in the quiet and doing a couple of odd jobs.

10.31 pm:  and that's a wrap of the day.  It's been such a lovely day.  Family, food, and stress free. PERFECT.

Off to bed, everyone else is already stacking Zzzz's.