Saturday, December 31, 2022


 This morning our plans are to move some stuff from our home to another family member's garage.  Time to declutter the house.  I can't wait to have some room in the spare bedroom and back sheds again.

Amanda and her boyfriend, and Lacy are helping us.  It should only take a couple of hours, then the day is ours.

Once that is done I will be getting the spare bedroom back to some sort of order.

It's the last day of the year.  I was so happy with my loss this past week.  I didn't get to my end of year mini goal, but I came within 2 kilos of it!  That's not to be sneezed at.

To date (this time around),  I have lost 8.4 kilos in 4.5 months.  Again, not to be sneezed at.

I'm bloody happy with how I'm going to be honest.  

Next year ... that being tomorrow...  my goal is to lose a minimum of 1 kilo a month.  If I actually do that.. NO, when I do that, I will be at my personal GOAL.  It's not what WW expect me to be at, but it will be what I am happy to be at.

In fact, do WW still set you a GOAL, or can you set it yourself now?   I must ask.  

Now, as for New Year's Eve.  We don't have any plans, boring old farts that we are.

Do you have any fun plans?  Going to a party?  Lying on the beach and counting down?  Fireworks?  
Sitting in the lounge with ya nightie on?  😂😊😉  That will probably be me.

ABOVE:  Yeah.  Seen this all over Facebook and just had to steal it.

Last night at around 6.50 pm, the girls finally ventured out the front yard on their own volition.
I was in the sewing room ironing so could watch what they were doing.

ABOVE:  They checked out the neighbours... all good there.

ABOVE:  Then a sniff in the freshly turned over garden.

And THEN.... thank GOD I was watching, cos our goddam ESCAPOLOGIST found 'the gap' that was bigger than all the others...

ABOVE: And she walked straight through it and out onto the bloody road!

You won't believe it, but I RAN! 
Yelling "Coco!  Coco! Come back !".
So thankful she heard me and did as she was told for once.

I've rammed a garden stake in that gap until the guys can render a permanent fix.  

Then we will let her out again and see if she can show us any more places she can get out.

I swear to God that dog is SO CLEVER!  Just give her 4 cm more... and she's gone.  Thank God I was actually watching them at the right time.

She could have been long gone.  Doesn't bear thinking about really.

We took the pool cover off on November the 5th.  To see this:

ABOVE:  Yeah.  Horrendous.   It took about a week to get rid of the green.  But it has taken me hours and hours, and hundreds of dollars to FINALLY get it crystal clear.

I really didn't think I was going to get it crystal clear to be honest.

BUT... after exactly 8 weeks... I got up to tend the pool this morning to see this:

ABOVE:  Finally, a crystal clear pool!
I could cry.
It has been such hard work getting it right again.

Now let's hope I can keep it that way.

ABOVE:  Ahhhhh..... me.  Doing NOTHING.  Her ... doing it all.

ABOVE:  11.40 am.  All done and back to having a beautiful spare kid's bedroom.  
Stew has gone to the supermarket for his usual weekend shop.  Then who knows what we shall get up to?
Might be a pleasant lunch out somewhere.

ABOVE: Steve called in and attached a length of timber to the fence, effectively closing the gap.
We have put pavers and bricks under that section of fence to stop Coco from digging under it... we had already done that yesterday.
We know Coco through and through.  
The gate is LOCKABLE as well... so no one can just let them out.
Stealing them?  OMG they bark something rotten when a stranger comes near them... so we would hear that too.
If we are not home, they will not be out the front.
I think that covers all possible scenarios.
2 pm:  Home after a lovely couple of hours out and about.

ABOVE:  We chose to try a local suburban cafe, in Queenwood.  JAM.
It certainly looked inviting.  

ABOVE:  We chose their Beef Filo wraps, with a Corn Salad side dish. 

Stew gave it an 8/10.  Me:  5/10.  The Filo wrap was full to brimming with BIG chunks of Beef.  But it was tasteless.
The corn salad was spicy, so not to my liking at all.
We shared some wedges, which were OK.

The atmosphere was lovely and relaxed, until towards the end of our meal, when the old fulla behind Stew lit up a smoke.
That was not nice at all and I couldn't wait to leave.

We will probably go there again and try something else.  But sit INSIDE where smoking is not permitted.

After lunch we headed over to The Base and got some spare gate keys cut.  Then we went up to the movie theatre...

ABOVE:  We pre-bought tickets to see A Man Called Otto, starring Tom Hanks.  I love Tom Hanks.  I hope it's a good movie.  He doesn't do  many flops. We are going to watch it tomorrow.

ABOVE:  9 pm on New Year's Eve.  I am loving my new view from the sewing room.
Dusk.  Fence 'n' gate.  Secure. 
Coco has been outside, but has not even tried to investigate where the gap was.
I reckon she can see it's been blocked, so no point going there again.

It's been another long, stressful year, and I'm happy it's coming to an end.

May 2023 be awesome for everyoneThank you for sticking by me and reading my blog for another year.  If you were new here, Welcome.



Friday, December 30, 2022


Steve is coming back today to finish off the gate/fence out the front.

I'm thrilled to bits with how it already looks.

Yesterday afternoon my Christmas present from Mike and Joyce arrived in the post.

ABOVE: I have the same rugby shirt as Stew.  I love it very much.  Thanks kiddos, you ROCK.

Lunch time today I am off to Melville to weight in at WW.  Not sure what the scales will say... I'm unsure.  Might be a small gain?

Time will tell, and if it is a gain, it's not the end of the world.  My 2023 aim is to lose a kilo a month.  Small losses I can maintain.  Huge losses?  NOPE.
Slow and steady wins the war.

And that's me for now... catch ya later.

10.30 am:  Stew and I had a nice, leisurely start today.  Stayed in bed till 8.30 in fact.
Now the guys are back out there, doing the fence panels, then it will be DONE!

ABOVE:  The first panel (on the right) is on, and Stew is working on preparing the ground over by the letterbox for the panel that goes on that side.
Steve meanwhile is working on putting the final panel on the right up.  
I had a sneak peek at the scales this morning... NOT looking too bad!  I'm hoping the WW scales concur.
I get to DRIVE through our new gates today.  I'm just a little excited about that.

ABOVE:  There ya go... it's finished.  And that's a huge load off Steve's mind.
He has been well aware of how much I wanted it done, and how impatient I am.
I think I did rather well by NOT nagging him every other day for the past few months.

Weight Watchers... well that was a surprise!

And that's with me having a very lovely Christmas lunch, and three helpings of Trifle over three days!
BUT... NO SNACKING.  And that's what did it.
Sensible eating, modest portions, good choices.

FELICITY:  Like, HELL NO will I be joining Stew in watching sports.  Slap yourself upside the head for even THINKING it!  😂😅😆

For the first time in about 2.5 years Stew has joined his mates at the local pub!  I hope he's having a good time.  About time he started socialising with his Hamilton mates again.

Meanwhile, I stayed home and shaved me legs (lost a kilo I'm sure! 😂)... gosh that's such an old joke.  And then I just sat and watched some telly.
Very peaceful.  

After I'd picked Stew up from the pub we came home and ordered Pizza to be delivered.
It wasn't very good pizza.  Shame.

Now... bedtime.  It's been a long, hot, productive day.  💙💚💜

Thursday, December 29, 2022


 Could today be THE DAY?

The guys are going to head off to Mitre 10 to get the bits 'n' bobs necessary to assemble our GATE!

I'm hoping like hell they can get the 'special' hinges Steve needs to make the gates swing open properly.

The 'problem' is the gates have to swing open on a sloping driveway.  It only has a slight slope, but it's still a slope.  

So... of course I will post photos of any progress made.

Once they have got what they need at Mitre 10 we shall swing by Para Rubber again, as I need PH DOWN for the pool.  😖😡😠  Yet more chemicals to pour into the bloody pool!

I swear to God if I don't get it right soon I will have to get the pump looked at.  It's about the only thing I haven't done YET. 

On a brighter note... it's a lovely day!  It looks like all the rain we have had is over and summer really is finally here.  Well... at least for the next week or so anyway, lol.

ABOVE:  Mike sent me this photo, it's one of his favourites from Christmas Weekend.  I swear Beau is smiling.  😊💜💚💙

And that's me for now... catch ya later.

11.30 am:  And we have been out and about, gathered up all the hardware necessary for the gate and more chemicals for the pool.

The pool  !!!   Is looking clearer today.  Thank God.  I really was getting super pissed off with it.
I have overdosed it with the Clarifyer... fuck what they said to put in it!   It wasn't working.
I'll do it my way ... as per usual.

The guys have started on the gate:

ABOVE:  We have one post in!  lol
Don't they look like utter dags in their sunhats?  But if it works for them, all good.

I'm now going to make them cheese scones for lunch.

ABOVE:  The parcel fiasco!   The parcel has spent several days going from place to place in Chicago... and when I checked this morning, it was going to CINCINATTI, Ohio!  WTF?

ABOVE:  Nicole, I think it's taking the long way!  😂😊😅

ABOVE:  Cheese scones made, jam and cream on the ready.  LUNCH.

ABOVE:  Can't see much progress yet... but it is happening!

ABOVE:  One gate on.  2nd one to go, then the fence panels on both sides.

ABOVE:  Two gates installed, and locked even.
Tomorrow the guys will install the side panels so the front yard is completely enclosed, and safe for the dogs to be out there.
They are gunna go nuts!

We all just had a fantastic swim, the water is so nice and refreshing.

End of the day:  Steve is knackered and has gone home to sleep.  He copped a bit of sun today, he's not used to working outside anymore.
Stew looks a bit sunburnt too. They both better use heaps of sunscreen tomorrow.

Dinner this evening was just scones and ham!  Waste not and all that.  

Catch ya tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022


 All our visitors are gone, which means we are back to status quo.

Just family popping in and out now.

ABOVE:  We are looking forward to LOTS OF THIS!

Just hanging out in the pool, soaking up the summer weather.  FINALLY!

I'm going back to Blue Illusion today, because I was so taken with that shop.  I want to have a really good browse today without worrying about other people waiting for me. 

Did I tell you the sales lady gave me a $25 gift voucher?  Well she did, and I am going to use it, and take advantage of their 40% off at the same time.  

Apart from shopping and swimming, I have no other plans.  It's summer, it's chill out time.  And that's just what we are doing.

How about you fulla's?  Tell me what YOU have been doing?  Anyone travelling?  Doing anything different?  Jumping outta planes?  Scaling mountains?  Trudging through the snow?  On a cruise ship?  


10 am:  And we are home after a kinda frustrating morning.
First up, we went to that lovely clothing shop.  I tried on the two things that took my eye yesterday, but hadn't tried on.
There was another really beautiful dress that fitted me perfectly, but I was sure it wouldn't have been comfortable to sit down it as it was fitted.
So I didn't end up buying anything else from there.

Then on to the Pool Shop.

I've been going MENTAL trying to get our pool CLEAR.
8 weeks of tweaking the chemicals, taking over half the water OUT, and still it is cloudy!
So I got the water tested AGAIN this morning.

And came home with 'PHOSPHATE' remover.  It's yet another product to try... after ALREADY trying 3 other Clarifiers that are supposed to remove PHOSPHATES!  WTF?

I am so over the damn pool.
I swear I have spent hundreds of dollars on different chemicals, all in vain so far.

One guy tried to convince me it was our pump filter not working.  Like ... mate, it's only 3 years old.  There is nothing wrong with the damn pump!  
He wanted to come out and service our pump... for several hundred bucks, plus labour, plus vehicle costs, plus plus plus.  YEAH NAH.
I didn't come down in the last shower MATE.

So yeah, feeling really frustrated.  And annoyed.  

I got on the scales this morning... was that a good idea or not?
UP ONE KG.   So not as bad as it could have been.  Let's see if we can get that down again by Friday lunchtime, when I go back to WW.

4.10 pm:  Lunch was toasted ham sandwiches again.  So nice.
After that Steve, Bex and the boys called in for a swim.
I had a nap cos I'm feeling a bit tired.

The pool is not looking any clearer since I put the Phosphate remover in.  So I put more in.
I have this shitty feeling it's not going to work.

I finished my Market Sign today too.  It turned out good.  NO embellishments added either.  It didn't need it.

Steve and Bex came over for a swim with the boys, then they left.  And came back with the makings for dinner.  They made everyone Franks on Buns.  Very nice not having to sort out dinner.

They have now gone home and it's back to 'Darby and Joan'.

I'm watching The Chase and Stew is in the lounge watching cricket.

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2022


 It's been an absolute pleasure having Mike, Joyce and their gorgeous dog Beau here for the past 4 days.

Lots of laughs.

Doggy moments... mostly good!

Coco and Marley were on a whole very good with Beau, though we did have a few argy bargy moments... which just made us all laugh.

Beau just wanted to play with the girls, but they didn't want to 'play'.  Coco put Beau in his place when he annoyed her, and he backed off.

Marley and Beau mostly avoided each other... well Marley avoided Beau!  At least once a day Beau would push ALL of Marley's buttons and she would have a go at him... no damage done on either side luckily.  😂😅😊

Mostly, Marley was only being protective of her humans/toys.

ABOVE:  A very rare photo of all three dogs in close quarters... without any argy bargy.  I think Beau was feeling a bit anxious about how close Marley was to him!  lol

The kids are leaving for Palmerston North sometime today, not sure when.  I forgot to ask them last night.

I'm pretty sure Mike is going to get his usual haircut before he leaves.  I will do the normal before and after photos.  😊😉

Once they have left, I am going to get back into my sewing room and finish working on my new Market Sign.  I think I've sussed it out now, how to get it to hang perfectly straight etc.

ABOVE:  A reminder to myself (and others) that one day does not mean the end of good intentions.  It just means you had a wonderful Christmas, and now it's time to get back on track.

12.57 pm:

ABOVE: The Grandbaby dog jumped up for cuddles in bed this morning.  So cute.  Got kisses too.

Shopping fun at Chartwell Square this morning:

ABOVE  X's 3:  Two new tops from Taking Shape, and a gorgeous pink dress from Blue Illusion.
Two older grandmas (in their 80's), were in Blue Illusion and saw me in my pink dress.

They gave me lots of compliments, then one of them decided to try on one of the pink dresses too.
She looked DARLING and we all told her so.  So she bought it.

Then she gave me a big hug and kiss, cos I'd made her day.

She said she would NEVER have tried it on if she hadn't seen me in mine.
Awww she made my day too.

ABOVE: Mike about to get the chop...

ABOVE:  Looking very swish.  (Stew took that photo)

ABOVE:  Before, and after.   Gosh it makes SUCH a difference!  

We have all had toasted sandwiches for lunch.  Ham, Chicken, Cheese, Pineapple or Tomato.  Slowly using up the left overs.

ABOVE:  Chillin' out after lunch, watching us in the pool.

ABOVE: And just like that, they were heading home.  Traffic is horrific by the look of the photos they are sending us!
To be expected though.

Just after they left, we had a visit from Richard, who is my 'brother by another mother'.  He lives and works in Pukekohe right now, but he's usually in Indonesia with his family.

ABOVE:  Loved seeing you Richard, was lovely to catch up again.  

It is finally just Stew and I here again.
We are having sausages and left over potato salad for our dinner.  Then a quiet evening before bed.

Dinner was lovely.
I'd made another trifle using left over sponge/fruit/custard/cream etc, so invited Amanda and her little kids, and Brylee over to eat it.
So they came over.  What wasn't eaten here was taken home.
No more temptations in my fridge.

NOW it's quiet and I'm bloody exhausted!
It's been a full on 5 days.

Tomorrow WILL be a day to rest and relax.