26.12.09

Giveaway

This won't take a minute.
Pop over and see my friend Melissa who is having her first giveaway. It's cool Kiwiana.

21.12.09

Holiday


Merry Midsummer Christmas to all from the prettiest corner of New Zealand.

Sk8tey, teen, PJ and the red head will be with their Dad.

Gilly will be without her babies for the first time in 17 years.

It aches already.

12.12.09

Sharing

I set up my handcrafts at the "Country Occasion" a couple of weeks ago. My photography skills on my son's camera do not do the scenery justice. We were set up in the middle of the beautiful Neudorf vineyard with a view of mount Arthur in the distance, on the only fine day amongst a week of rain. Setting up- around 8am.

I missed my family to keep me company but got set up well before the fundraiser started. I had West Coast whitebait for breakfast and trust me it was well worth the entry fee. My favorite potter Owen Bartlett was there, though I still haven't indulged in one of his magnificent pieces.

The kind words said about my work were enough to make the day worthwhile but by far the best, was a European lady who saw me knitting once the crowds were settled and listening to Jazz and later good old 60's and 70's covers. She said "I'll show you continental knitting it's heaps faster"
Well, that demonstration was enough to convince me! I have been practicing ever since. It's taking alot of persistence to retrain my brain after 18 years of pretty constant English style knitting, but I am so determined to master the art. I did several rows just practicing garter stitch and then "googled" continental knitting to figure out the purl technique. Now I'm onto some pink candy striped fingerless mittens in white angora and pink homespun for a friend's daughter.
As I get older I appreciate the value of sharing knowledge freely. In my 20's I carefully guarded my craft and gardening skills and wouldn't share, but now with the example of fabulous Aunts and strangers like the one I met at the fair I realise how rewarding it is to pass it on. In a way that is why blogging continues to be rewarding for me.
I may not make it back here between now and the New Year. So I'll take this opportunity to say to all who visit:
Thanks so much for your support. All the best for Christmas and New Year wherever you may be in the world. The people who I correspond with will be in my thoughts, along with my close friends and family.
I shall be back in early January for more waffles about my garden, crafts and other stuff that I am learning.

6.12.09

Our Agricultural and Pastorial Show

The kids had prize winning peas and Broad (fava) beans with their dinner tonight. I reminded them on several occasion's that they were the best in the district. (Tongue in cheek) Though the "red head" still didn't eat what was on his plate. He did appreciate the fish that the neighbour gave us. I text my Dad to gloat and he quipped "just as well for you I didn't have anything entered" Garden rivalry runs strong in our family!!! Makes it all the more worth the hard work.

I got up early this morning and carefully selected my best vegetables for the Agricultural and Pastoral Show. My organic peas and Beans took "first" from the old fellas who entered almost every vegetable category. My mixed collection of no less than 8 varieties didn't place, which made me all the more determined for next year.
Entering the A and P show is very "Nana" but I really enjoy it. I have missed it the past two years but set my alarm today to enter even though I really could have done with a weekend sleep in. My handcrafts also scored two seconds and two thirds making me determined to have another crack at the Nana knitters again next year.
Our little local show is great, but nothing to compare to the ones held in large New Zealand farming communities. We went with my Dad, in my (only daughters') opinion- the best farmer in the world, every year to the A and P show in the Wairarapa. It was about 5 times the size of our little Motueka show and featured real stud animals and serious farming business. Of course I was a pretty stuck up farmers' daughter when I moved here, and anything less than about 1,500 acres was a hobby farm. ( Tongue in cheek again) I honestly do remember laughing to myself at kids who said their fathers were farmers on 250 acres. I am so glad that life did take the path it did as I don't think I would have liked myself much if I had continued to be that person with those attitudes.
I do remember so fondly though those Solway Park shows with fantastic Rams, Bulls and Roosters in the 70's. The handcraft sheds were full of beautiful homespun crafts, making an awe inspiring impression on little Gilly, while the animal sheds had angora rabbits, cashmere goats and merino lambs.
Shearing displays in Masterton, the home of Golden Shears were of course supreme. A few seasons in a shearing shed as a Rousie will always remain the best of my youth. Try it, hard pysical work throwing fleeces all day, skin covered in fresh Lanolin, music and laughter, you can't beat it. Good people and good money, it's nearly the perfect lifestyle job for a teenager in my opinion.
Today my Pj loved the piglets the most. She said to me "Mum remember when I asked you for a little piglet pet?' I love piggies too. The miniature Schnauzer puppies stole my heart as well.

All memories and moments making for a pretty awesome day. Never mind the rain, farmers and gardeners LOVE it!

5.12.09

Insects. Goodies verses baddies

Spotted in the garden this morning, oodles of honey bees, several types of hover fly, ladybirds and tiny wee praying mantis. On the baddies list not too many aphids but a growing population of green vegetable (stink) bugs.
I do not want to find any potato psyllids and am keeping a close eye out for signs of infestation. My Dad, who has a small market garden has warned me they are on the increase in these parts and are quite devastating to potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants etc. There doesn't seem to be too much info about controlling them in the home garden except to squash them and encourage ladybugs to the garden which may feed on them. To encourage ladybugs and other beneficial insects: let buckwheat, parsnip, parsley, yarrow, Valerian, chervil, mustard,phacelia, radish etc go to seed in the garden. Also don't get too stressed about the aphids on roses because the lady bugs will want to feed on these when they get to the garden. I have also noticed hoards of wax eyes going round the garden eating aphids this spring. The article I highlighted above mentions some insecticides will control physllids including organic ones, which I suspect would be pyrethrum. Another thing I saw at a shop which imports "Trade Aid" items the other day was a bar of "Neem" soap. I thought that might be quite useful as a soapy water spray against bugs. Has any one given that a try?
I like how the garden looks at this time of year. I'm mulching as much as I can to keep the grassy weeds down as the rain has given everything the energy to flourish, including the weeds. I love that my garden is getting a much better balance of Nature being in charge.
Bugs, flowers, sweet smells and sounds, seed heads, movement and BUZZ.

1.12.09

Miss my boy

Skatey is away at school camp. The "red head" and I are missing him alot, I think Willow the Jack Russel is missing him the most (no one warm to sleep with)

Skatey will be 13 tomorrow. I remember about his birth and infancy more vaguely than the others as I had post natal depression. He was overdue. The week before he was born I had a nasty fall when I went out to hang the washing, I also had a terrible tummy bug which the Dr thought should have bought on his labour. We'd had some late concerns about his growth rate and when I went to see the Dr on a Friday, he told me if he hasn't come by Monday we're going to do a "sweep." Now that didn't sound too good to me so when Sunday night rolled around and there was no sign of the boy I walked two rounds of the Ngatimoti School field. That didn't work, so we drove to town and walked up and down the Mot beach. Still not working so we went round and round the Memorial rose garden. If my memory serves me rightly I think I might have helped myself to a gypsophilia cutting.

Thankfully at 5am the next morning things started to happen. His Dad went to work. I carried on till about 9am and then decided I was too scared to be alone. There was a horrible bull in the paddock that bordered our house and he kept roaring at me as he'd done in the final weeks of pregnancy. I sneaked down to the shed where the 1968, red family Datsun was parked. At the time the teen was 3 years old and I drove he and myself to town about 25kms, to where my Mum lived. No cell phones in those days, quite a scary ride down the Valley stopping on the roadside on my own with a preschooler for contractions. Poor Mum freaked out as I laboured at her place, I think eventually we called my partner home from work and got to the birthing centre at about 12.30pm.

His was a very intense labour from then on and he was born at about 1.30pm weighing 9lb2oz. Towards the end it was fast and very freaky.

After that is a total blur except for rain outside the window and a beautiful pink rose in flower.
He was a good daytime sleeper for about 6 weeks but feed alot at night.

He was the baby I shared with my precious Grandma. Driving to town in the Datsun with no heater in winter and stalling at the intersections because the timing was out. Before he was born I sat on her sofa, knitting, chatting and choosing antique baby clothes. Afterwards I dropped the teen at Playcentre and raced around to Grandmas place. She was always waiting with chocolate biscuits in her tin and books in the white cabinet if I wanted to borrow some. I made her a cup of tea and we talked for two hours about life and the goings on of all the rellies till I reluctantly left for clean up time at Playcentre. Skatey entertained us as we sat, she popped him in her old cane pram and then when he got older she bought out her antique toys and puzzles for him to play with.
Happy Birthday to my Skatey tomorrow. I wish my Grandma had lived to see how awesome he is.
I'm now going to make the never fail Chocolate birthday cake with walnuts,
to surprise him we'll have the day off and drive out to camp tomorrow. (hope they are having eel for tea)
XX

Moist Chocolate cake.
(Never failed in 15 years)
4oz butter
2 eggs
2tsp baking powder,
2 cups flour
1tsp baking soda
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 cups milk
2 dsps golden syrup
2 Tbsp Cocoa

Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs one at a time. Then flour, baking powder and cocoa sifted.
Warm golden syrup in milk with baking soda.
Then combine with dry ingredients.
Creates quite a wet mixture. Stir to combine, pour into greased square tin and bake for about 1 hr at 190 degrees Celsius. Ice with Chocolate icing and decorate with walnuts.

29.11.09

Caught a Kahawai. Vege friends look away

It sure does take a village to raise a child.

How lucky we are to live in such a good one.
Several times over the past few weeks one or other of our children has run inside at dinner time to ask "Mum can I go fishing with the neighbour?"

Even though dinner is about to be served, camp consent forms need to be found and rooms should really be tidied, I couldn't possibly answer no.

Skatey boy rushed back in at about 9pm.

(I'd just been beginning to fret as I do when my kids are not with me, especially if they are on the ocean. I'd keep them cuddled up at home, but their Dad taught me some years ago that the best thing was to give them the full experience of life and not to molly coddle them too much.)


He ran in, "Mum look at the Kahawai that I caught!!!!"

I was gobsmaked! That fish will feed the whole family tonight. We had the story of the catch and so, the appreciation of where the food comes from. It also provides a boy who needs adventure with the buzz he needs without searching for some kind of artificial high. If I could get him anything he wanted for Christmas it would be life long adventure. Thank you to my neighbours on both sides and up the Valleys for helping me out with that.

He approved the showing of his face and his fish on the blog.

26.11.09

A Country Occaision

This weekend the most talented crafters of New Zealand will gather at Neudorf Vineyards for the Country Occasion.
Also divine local food, wine and music in a magic setting.
All proceeds to child cancer and Moutere Hills Community Centre.
I hope they have a clear windless day and that the local community come out in support of treading lightly on the Planet.
Buy local.

23.11.09

Tappy feet

Four children didn't ask to go through this kind of year.
The stabilising factor has been staying in their own home and continuing with all their routines.
In the midst of winter after days I'd rather forget, we went every Thursday to tap practice.

As spring came we went to exams and extra practices for the recital.
Her feet grew and her shoes got tighter, she put plasters on her heels!
She tried so hard without any complaints, (OK, maybe a little tired sulking)

It all paid off for her yesterday. She smiled till her cheeks got sore, as her Dad watched in the audience and I cried in the wings.
Her name got called for a prize. Fantastic exam results, and much improved confidence for the year.

Well done my girl.

22.11.09

Sewing fast, growing fast.

Typical story for late November.
Sewing like mad for Christmas.
Once a week I've been checking the Sew Mama Sew Handmade Holidays ideas. The Mama Chic wrist cuff took our fancy. A silk one for me and a patched one for PJ.
Meanwhile the garden.....
is close to bountiful.
Peas sown where garlic was last year. A bit silly of me to put the peas so near the back door though as I'm sure they'll all get eaten raw before I can get any on the table.

18.11.09

A strategy for tattle tailers

I have to share this wonderful trick.
A friend who I really admire has raised 5 lovely children , one of whom has special needs after an horrific accident involving a fall when he was two years old.
I was telling her about my tiredness at dealing with constant silly tattle tailing. She said "look this is what worked for me: Every time you get a tattle tale say to the child something like Oh dear that's no good, just a minute let me wipe your face it's really grubby"
I LOVE IT!
I still listen, don't get me wrong, but those silly tales (she did this, he did that) get forgotten after a good scrub of the face.
Helps them solve their own disagreements and they are playing much more happily while I prepare dinner, which with the warmer weather and abundance of veges in the garden is probably an 80% sustainable meal most nights.
That's gotta be good! Skatey boy is even stepping up to do some cooking!
Oh happy days.

10.11.09

Making ginger beer

Truth be known, the produce from my garden is wasted in my cooking as I'm a totally uninspired cook. Beautiful fresh peas, asparagus, broccoli and carrots are all being steamed together tonight to have alongside chicken and rice. I like to spend as little time in the kitchen as I can, unless it's one of those days when I am spending all day in the kitchen cooking enough food for a week, or throwing together some raw stuff.
The other night I made something with pasta and veges, sprinkling on some chopped parsley at the last minute. The teen, who was setting the table said sarcastically "f a n c y Mum. You finally learned something from Masterchef"
Cheeky little begger!
I do like making concoctions for keeping, like ginger beer, Elderflower cordial, jam, sauce, syrup and cider. Got some of them going on this week.



I know there are recipes for these all over the web but here's my ginger beer recipe followed by one from my Dad:
Ginger Beer 1:
To make the plant:
8 sultanas
2 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp grated ginger
strained juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp of lemon pulp
2 cups of cold water
Put all ingredients in a screw top jar. Leave for 3 days in a warm place. It should show signs of fermentation (bubbles) Then feed the plant for 7 days with 2tsp ground ginger and 4 tsp sugar.


Making up the ginger beer:
3-4 cups of sugar
1 litre boiling water
juice of 5 lemons
strained ginger beer plant
7 litres cold water
Mix sugar and boiling water and stir until dissolved, then add the lemon juice.
Strain the plant through double muslin, squeeze the muslin to get all the liquid out. Add the plant liquid to the sugar, water and lemon juice. Reserve the plant left in the muslin.
Now add cold water and stir.
I bottle into saved plastic bottles to avoid glassy explosions.
Fill bottles and add a sultana to each. Store in a cool place for two weeks.
To make a new plant halve the plant residue left in the muslin and place back in the jar. Add 2 cups cold water. Feed daily as before.
usually freak out about the sugar quantities adding less sugar at stages.
Feel free to experiment or offer some other ideas.


Dad's recipie: (More simple, less wholesome)
16 cups of cold water
1lb sugar
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp lemon essence
1 level dessertspoon of DYC Active yeast
Mix.
Stand overnight (or at least 12 hrs)
Strain, bottle and cap.
Stand 24hrs at room temp, then keep refrigerated.

4.11.09

Forget what you've been told about 4 year old boys.

The Montessori teacher stopped me on Monday to tell me about a conversation she had with the red head.

He told her " God gave me to my Mum as a special gift. I'm so glad cos she was just the Mum I wanted"

I of course nearly cried at that. Beautiful child.

After the school fair on the weekend he came home with his sister and presented me with this:


"Mum that's a love heart for you because we're in love"

28.10.09

Even the weeds look good


I haven't had time to do a lot of seed raising, planning or planting this spring, but luckily for the last six years I have established many of the herbs and fruit trees we need. Radishes, kales, beetroots, lettuces etc self seeded last autumn and are now providing us with tender salads along with the addition of a few choice self seeded weeds. I've also been indulging in some local olives and oil just to top them off.
( Just need to find a source of nice local feta to barter.)
It is interesting that Motherwort and nettle are thriving in my garden at the moment. My friend who is a herbalist once suggested to me that all the plants you need for your well being at any point in time will colonise your surroundings, this might also explain why I just cannot grow some herbs despite much persistence while others rampage out of control. The nettle is being taken as tea for the iron and vitamins, while the Motherwort is helpful for woman's cycles.

Other herbs and medicines also thriving are: Elderberry and elecampane, chickweed and calendula, comfrey and hop plant, lovage, marshmallow, borage and lemon balm. Listing those herbs makes me really think about all their properties as well and how I must "make hay while the sun shines" so to speak. The warm, windy weather is quite favourable for harvesting and drying them.
The weeds are also doing a good job of "supporting" some things I have planted. The broad beans for example don't need to be staked as they are being held upright by weeds.
The planting that I have been doing has involved planting 6 telegraph cucumbers in the tunnel house, a few, "Ahem!" F1 hybrid tomatoes in the glasshouse. Ox heart tomatoes curving round the corner of the garden path leading to the blueberries. Tomatoes and basil near the water tank. Sunflowers and Phacelia by the neighbours fence with spinach and hearting lettuces poked in the shady wet spots. The onions were a disaster, I think they were too little when I planted them out so only half have taken off. Peas look good, a few flowers showing. The red head has a very close eye on the strawberry patch after a lesson in why we don't pick the strawberry flowers for Mum, a few weeks ago.
One row of spuds in, one more trench dug and lined with comfrey.
Hope to get the Purple Cherokee tomatoes planted in the tunnel house this weekend as well as the cannelinni beans and gherkins outdoors. Have four zucchini in but have been a bit slow to plant the pumpkins and forgot to buy corn seed altogether. Will watch a friends experiment with saving corn seeds this summer with interest.
If any Kiwi's want motherwort roots, sunflower seeds or cannelinni seeds drop me a line.
I'll happily pop some in the post.

16.10.09

A Breath

Here goes, .............. a long deep breath before summer.


Pj needs new tap shoes and her term fees paid. Practice, practice, practice before the end of year concert.


Skatey will be off to school camp on his birthday. Trapping possums, eeling, orienteering, camp fire cooking and other adventures.

The school book and Country Fair. Fundraising for the solar heating on the new pool.


The teen will sit his exams and go on summer holiday early.

Grandpa will need help picking strawberries and peas at the farm.


I will sew for markets and events and grow a garden full of beautiful food.


Pj asked tonight " Mum when will we have raspberries and cream after dinner?"

Our future is uncertain here. But I can grow sprouts and herbs anywhere.

Mum gave me a plaque which I like:

"No matter what

No matter where

It's always home

If love is there."


Breathe

8.10.09

Time out


I've realised that techniques I learned for observing children at Playcentre, come automatically
now and help me with interpreting what my own children need. "Notice, Recognise, Respond" is the little phrase that runs though my head.
The other day I noticed one of my children seemed upset. Recently I have learned myself that a change of scene, especially a walk to get the blood pumping can really help put things in perspective. I had no trouble convincing the other three adventurers to come. A lovely walk to a lookout through the beech trees cliff side and over to the next beach for a play, where the first thing we saw was a perfect tree for climbing. Of course once skatey jumped out of it the others wanted to as well. This is probably why I end up at the hospital with kids with broken bones. Thankfully not this time. Off to the store for an ice block and a cheered up car load of kids on the way home.

4.10.09

Saved seed verses bought

It's interesting to note how my own saved strain of sunflower seeds compared to a packet of bought seed of the same variety. I've been saving my strain for about 6 years. This year I only had quite a small amount of saved seed to plant because I didn't do enough collecting in Autumn, so I bought a packet. I sowed one tray from the bought seed and one tray of my own seed on the same day in the same potting mix and raised them under identical conditions.
So there they are sitting next to each other, my seed on the right is growing bigger and healthier looking plants. I am very encouraged.
Just wanted to show this good recycling idea too. We buy old ironing boards from the recycling centre for $2 each. Because they fold down flat they are ideal as market tables in summer, with a cloth over them you'd never know. Then when they get to tatty for that I use them as potting tables around the garden and in the glasshouse.
My plant tags are cut up icecream containers or venetian blinds.

26.9.09

Spring Shift

It sneaks up. I don't mean mother nature's changes, I mean the energy levels and optimism I feel within myself, come spring. For about a month the garden has shown signs of spring. Though only in the last few days have I felt the energy I need to keep up with the season. Instead of lighting the fire and sitting near it to knit, I go straight outside to collect the eggs, open the glasshouse, check growth, frost and bugs. Washing dries the same day it is hung on the line and grass grows in a week.

Meanwhile....

We're in the middle of school holidays as well. This is what the teen has been doing. His homework folder is out but I'm fairly certain from the earphones, pocket knife and dreadful computer game case that NCEA English is not at the top of his priorities.


I've had to focus on a few things I'd rather not be doing, so my Mum took a few days off work to look after the children. I came home the other day to find they'd started making some puppets, an idea from a Living crafts magazine. It's so lovely to have a Mum who wants to do things with her Grandchildren, they adore her for this. So does the dog who walks around looking for her when she leaves.

I managed to put the finishing touches on a bag last night, I'm off to put it in the shop after a couple of very much appreciated purchases last week.

24.9.09

Creature creations

We've been inspired by the monster hats and t shirts we've seen on felt lately. I was fiddling around drawing some designs for leather purses and bootee patterns when the red head took an interest in what I was doing. He whipped off with my pen while I was cutting and produced for me some terrific designs with instructions "make me a t shirt Mum"


How could I possibly refuse? His designs had oodles more character than mine and he needs some new gear for the warmer weather especially since he had two shirts cut off him the other night to get his cast on.
The first of many to come I suspect, he proudly wore this one to Montessori today.

19.9.09

Not Again

Trampoline this time. The red head snapped both bones in his lower arm last night. Skatey had been helping him to flip!!!!!!! Red said "I cracked my bloody bones Mum"
Very brave at the hospital, worse break this time, but got it x rayed quicker.
I missed the Playcentre AGM which I had been looking forward to for awhile as it would have been my last one, having gone to most of them over the last 16 years.

13.9.09

C'mon let's go have a walk round the garden. It rained yesterday.

Heaps of buds getting ready to burst on the Nashi, one of my best performing espaliers. It's pollinated by neighbouring pears.

Yay the asparagus is up, might be having it for tea tomorrow night. I like it wrapped in Proscuttio or lightly steamed then in with my sushi. Better pull out those weeds, they'll take off in this weather.I'm excited about this little purple one. I grew these form seeds three years ago so I get to cut and taste some of these this year.
Have you been saving your egg shells all winter? They're doing the trick for me to keep the slugs
off my sweet peas.
I haven't got many seedlings going yet. The purple Cherokee tomatoes I saved have had a great strike, but of my Money makers only two came up so far. Had a good strike of the Alderman tall Peas. Waiting for sunflowers, peppers, cleome, phacelia, basil, zucchinis and cucumbers to come up. Protecting them all from frost in the glasshouse. Haven't even thought about getting the spuds in yet or kumara, but have popped in a few onions and carrots.
Kids are looking foward to strawberries, plums and raspberries, cherry tomatoes and corn too I imagine.

11.9.09

Friday at last

PJ and I bought some delicious local apples for this weekend's baking. She's been taking about baking again all week and how could I refuse after she worked so hard to achieve "high honours" in her tap dancing exam this week.
The red head stayed home most of the week with me after his eardrum burst on Tuesday night. It was just as well he hadn't gone to see the Parachute band with the other kids that night. His earache came on so quickly but his fever and pain depreciated equally as quickly once the ear burst. So now I add burst eardrum to my long list of parenting experience. Gotta love it!

Thanks for the kind comments and emails I received after my last post. The blog community have been a lifeline at times over the past few years. Please accept this as a personal Thank You.



I understand too that my less than " perfect" relationship status got me dropped off a few peoples favorites as well. Walk a mile in my shoes before you judge me is all I ask.

7.9.09

In the kitchen

It would take me all day to catch you up with what's been going on here in the garden, at the sewing table and with life so I'm not even going to try. The focus of my life has changed a bit lately, I don't feel I can be as open with my thoughts here anymore. Some of my friends know my partner of 17 years and I separated earlier in the year, it has been a horrific time involving alot of grieving and of putting all my energy into my children to help them get through as best we can. We all have a long way to go.
They were very excited about Fathers Day this year. PJ said she wanted to make cup cakes for her Dad, so despite the chooks wrecking havoc in my garden and the boysenberries still desperately needing to be pruned, we spent some quality time in the kitchen.

The red head likes the beater,
And PJ looked the part with her Grandmas apron as they teetered on the stool without fighting to watch the mixer going round.
Thank goodness someone in the family is showing some interest in cooking. Hopefully she'll be cooking dinner for me someday.


25.8.09

How blogging helps

This post inspired me today.
This one as well.

18.8.09

Music of my Youth

36, 20 years since I was 16, 1989.
My teen is alot better behaved than I was 20 years ago. My goodness 20 years seems such a long time. Music takes me back. We were doing " Annie get your Gun" at High School. I loved Art, U2 rocked, I loved Led Zep, The Volent Femmes, Joe Satriani, Marianne Faithful, and I was going out with the postman's son ( naughty, naughty) about to go totally off the rails with a bad boy from Oamaru. I hitch hiked to parties and spent weekends with friends. I quit violin and began to wear leather. If I was my mother I'd have been totally insane with worry. I also quite fancied a red head for a bit. If I could go back to 16 I wouldn't change a thing! Except I'd be confident that I was awesome as me and I'd love myself a bit more. On the eve of 36 I adore my kids and move forward with no regrets! I treasure these kids for their gifts, how lucky am I to know them.

My school report read " Gillian is a walking jewelery display and likes to be involved in activities. Can be distracted by others.",

"Gillian is an expressive worker but demands a high standard of herself. This can inhibit work at times but over all effect is good."

Mrs Bolt told me I wasn't going to pass my school cert music exam, so when I did I rang her to gloat.

She is still there at the teen's school, my school councillor is now the acting principal. The crusty old History teacher now teaches my son computer studies and my third form English teacher who I quite liked for debates about anti vivisection now teaches my son 5th form English and he is totally uninspired. Go Figure!

I'd quite like to teach textiles. My younger cousin teaches PE. J*** said to the teen, "hey Teen have you seen the hot new PE teacher? Teen said Dude she's my Mums cousin"

Man I loved High school. Skatey boy is off there next year and i finally fit in with a few mums my age.

Skatey loves Art and music and is sensitive.

Watch out Gilly!

16.8.09

Late winter Sunday

Drizzly Sunday morning.
My big boys went off to play paintball, so I popped over to the "fabulous fibre and fabric fair", nestled in the centre of Nelson city in the historic building Melrose house, which reminded me of my Grandma's home where I spent many of my childhood holidays, big rooms with high ceilings and coloured glass. Dark wood and a tranquil air. Grandma's house was packed to the brim with family treasures though and memories of games like hide and seek, books and comics collected by 8 children, dress ups she made from Enid Gilcrist patterns and Christmas morning with 15 cousins from all over the country.

I came home with a gorgeous green toned pear pincushion from Sally Ann, some fabric for bags and some balls of sock wool.



Not wanting to spend my grocery money I left the lovely felted wool brooches behind.

I must put my head down and do some sewing and work in the glasshouse this week!

15.8.09

Pink collection

Last week I received a lovely parcel in the post from my "Heart in the country" friend Kim. A necklace she had made with matching pink earrings. Thanks again Kim it looks lovely on but I couldn't get a good shot of myself wearing it. I haven't yet mastered one arm self portraits.

It inspired me to collect up some pink items today as it was far too wet outside for gardening.
Actually I was surprised how hard I had to look to put together a pink collection.



My Remote Treechanger friend Linda tagged me a few days ago too, I thought I'd better say I really appreciate the gesture but I'm so hopeless at following those things up. It wouldn't be the first time I've failed to respond. SORRY :)