"Worrying about tomorrow means that you are missing some of today" Corey Allan of Simple Marriage

Friday, December 31, 2010

... and a Happy New Year

I'm being a sad a** and ringing in the New Year, at home, in front of the TV, watching a movie I have seen a few times before.  TJL is falling asleep on the other couch.  How exciting are we?  We did have plans to go out, but I think I ended up just too tired.  Or lazy.  Can't figure out which.  Besides its a 1 hour drive to get to where we want to go, and since I'm travelling to Wai.puk.u.rau tomorrow

I'm looking forward to 2011, as I always look forward to a new year and a new start.  Heres hoping that 2011 is the 'year of the baby' for us.  If not, heres hoping that we can move forward in childlessness and learn to embrace it, and focus our attention elsewhere.

To New Years Resolute or not ... so many resolutions, so many failures.  But I guess if one does not at least attempt to better ones self, regardless of failures or not, then one will never progress.  And so my New Years Resolutions are

1.  Lose weight, and to really make an effort at this one this time.  No more two week (or is that too weak) attempts.  I really need to work hard at it, and keep myself accountable, and to just grow up about it.  No more instant gratification.  No more 'but I wanna eat chocolate'.  No more 'its just too hard'.  2011 will be more about blessing my body with wholesome, healthy, pure foods.

2.  Reduction in TV watching hours.  Stop turning the TV on first thing in the morning.  Stop turning the TV on as soon as I get home from wherever.  Stop having the TV on all day when I am home, and just scrolling though all channels discovering constantly that there is actually nothing of interest on.  Instead I can fill my time with exercise, bible study, photography and scrapbooking, and developing real life human relationships.

3.  Keep the house CLEAN and tidy.  Organise a daily and weekly roster of chores to be done, and to do them more often than not.  Bless my home and my little family of two.

4.  Focus on the positives in my life.  Quit whinging about my job, my weight, my looks, my finances, and the things that I don't have.  Focus on the things that I DO have.  Intellectually I KNOW I am blessed and I really have to start thanking God for my blessings, instead of insulting Him by focusing on my perceived lack.  And it really is only perceived lack, I am well and truly blessed in this life of mine, children or not.

5.  Learn to enjoy my life to the fullest, be kind and gentle to all those around me, and to become more selfless and generous.

And so ends 2010.  In a few days I will be back at my job trying to remember to write the date with a 2011, or 11, amongst other things that make my life 'so difficult' ... lol

I hope everyone remembers the good parts and takes lessons from the bad parts of 2010,  and has a much happier, productive, and generous 2011.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Joy

I have had such a wonderful Christmas.  Mostly.  Drove from Eltham to Waipukurau on Christmas Eve, to stay with my parents. The traffic was not too bad, in fact I was one of the faster vehicles on the road, and since I basically NEVER speed, thats saying something.  

Christmas Eve evening Mum, Dad and I went to my sisters place for 'drinks and nibbles'.  Apparently my BIL had invited a few people round, unfortunately not many people showed up (a combination of Christmas Eve and the general lax attitude of people these days).   Of the four others that did, we had a fantastic 'conversation and debate' with a gentleman from Auckland (okay he was born very rural in Onga Onga, but now lives in Auckland).  He was so much FUN!  Loved him a lot!  One of those people who love to debate without getting offensive OR offended.

Christmas Day was spent around at my sisters place again.  Twas all of us, plus BIL's mum and stepdad, our Uncle, Aunt, Cousin, Cousins partner and two kids.  So it was a house full.  I don't handle a lot of people very well, I am even worse now I am a huge fatty baloofa, so I shot hoops, watched a bit of ice hockey, jumped on the tramp, and generally hung with the kids and 'avoided' the adults - so grown up of me, I know.  I was brave enough (well lets just say HOT enough) to borrow my sisters swimsuit and have a long, delicious swim.  I forgot how much I love to swim.

 Christmas day kidlets hanging on the tramp - I am no where near as brave as G! 

Boxing Day kidlets, one wriggley C and one 'bolt once the photo is taken' T.  G was behaving for once. 

Tukituki River - one of my favourite rivers in the whole of NZ!

Boxing Day Mum, Dad and I walked the dogs down at the Tukituki River (as Mum and Dad do every day).  It sure is nice down there.  Then I went to the sisters place, again.  Shot hoops, bounced on the tramp, and had another wonderful swim.  I DO NOT FIT MY TOGS!  

God, please help me love myself enough to worship my body with healthy food instead of junk.  Please Lord, I want to be slim and fit.  And I need your help!  I definitely can not do it alone.  Help me to make good decisions in all that I do.  Amen

And that's about it.  Food, hoops, swims and tramp bounces, how great of a Christmas was this!  Only having a child, or children, of our own could make it better!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My camera - think its dead!

I was supposed to photograph the Waitara ODE today, and I did, kinda.  The weather was terrible, very very wet.  Could have been worse, like cold and windy as well.  But wet is bad enough, especially when out in it with a camera.  To be perfectly honest, I didn't really think too much about it.  I have photographed in rain before, just not perhaps SO MUCH rain.  And it was wet rain, you know, the kind that covers and soaks EVERYTHING very quickly.  I managed to photograph most of the dressage, I left before it had quite finished to make sure I got pictures of all the cross country.  Hmmmmmm ... FAIL.  At about the 4th pony to go cross country my camera DIED!  Com.pleat.ley  I did have my spare camera with me, so I got the rest of the 40cm jumpers and then canned the whole idea.  No point in killing two cameras in one day, ah!  I have stuck my camera in the hot water cupboard, in the hopes that it is just in a rain induced camera coma, but I don't think so.  I have recharged the battery and put it back in, and so far NO GO.

And I have a show to do on the 27th.  Thats in 7 days.  And its Christmas.  So most shops will be shut.  Except for the days I will be working, and so unable to get to town.  And I don't have any money at the moment anyway.  Heres hoping I can get the limit on my credit card extended.  It is a pretty low limit at the moment, so 'fingers crossed' there won't be any problems.  I know, I know, not the best way to go, but I really don't have THAT much debt, really (do I sound convincing?)


So then I also have a testing dilemma.  I was trying to work out today whether I really want to concentrate on my photography OR would I rather get back into riding horses.  Or can I do both?  I thought that my camera dying was a sign.  Or is it a test, too see how badly I want to photograph?  And then I got a phone call tonight booking me for an event in March.  Is this a sign that I am supposed to do photography or a test to see how bad I want to ride again?

I think I think too much ... hahaha.

And now its hot and muggy, and I have work tomorrow.  *sigh*  I think I complain too much ......

Thursday, December 16, 2010

No appointment this month either *sigh*

Well, I was proven correct.  I was unable to get an appointment to have my tubes checked AGAIN this month.  I did kind of expect it, as it would be need to be done over the Christmas break (well 24th-ish).  I asked the receptionist at the clinic, how many times would I need to call before I could get an appointment. It turns out that they only do the scan twice a week, Wednesdays and Fridays, so it's just pot luck.  Sooooo,  rats!  Apparently I would have a better chance of getting an appointment if I tried in a city 3 hours away.  Thus my plan is to hope and pray that I can get one in January otherwise I shall ask Dr FuFu to send a referral to PN and I shall PAY to have it done there.  I'm 39 and 2 months.  If I don't find out sooner rather than later, and we need IVF, then I could be 40 and then it's too late.

Fortunately God prepared me for this moment by directing me to blogs last night that involved women with families who had lost their husbands.  Which was a lovely (terribly sad too of course) reminder that even when you have what looks like the 'perfect' family, the 'perfect' life tragedy can strike at any time, and in reality, yes infertility is tough, but there are so so many more people out there doing it tougher than I am.  And then today I just caught a bit of 'The Biggest Loser' and on there was a lady who lost her husband, son AND daughter all in a vehicle accident.  Her happy, perfect family, gone!  I mean, that has got to be SO much tougher than infertility (in my eyes anyway, and it's my view of the world that counts for me, isn't it).

So yes, I don't have a baby or child, and yes, I can not get an appointment to even have my fertility checked, but I do have a loving partner, and my parents, and my sister, and her children, and good friends, so I don't have it so bad, really!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sick day

I had such a killer headache yesterday that I ended up leaving work early.  And I hardly ever get headaches, except for lately that is.  I don't know whether it is due to the heat, lack of water, or stress.  More than likely its a combination of all three.  I also ended up having today off sick as well, sore throat and general feeling of blahness.  Since I basically hardly ever have a sick day I feel like I am entitled to one.  Since I have to be up by 5am to get to work by 6am, its actually quite hard to work out whether you are sick or just not wanting to head into work, but due to the fact I have spent the entire day on the couch in my pajamas and have felt like doing NOTHING I think I was genuine.  Strange how guilty one feels, even when one is being truthful.

And again I have attempted to sort out my life.  I just need to get more positive!  Actually, no just about it.  I need to get more positive.  I figure my 4 biggest negative thoughts are to do with work, being childless, food (weight) and money.  The under pinning of my negative thoughts are the thoughts that I am somehow missing out on something.  So to throw a positive spin onto these things today ...

Work means that I have money and social contact.
Childlessness means that I can go anywhere, do anything, at anytime I want.
Eating healthy means that I will feel better about myself and I will have more energy.
Saving instead of spending means I will be able to achieve my big goals and/or be ready for emergencies.

I actually thought that there was a fifth one, but I can not for the life of me think of what it is right now ... hahaha

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Okay, I'm normal now

Well as normal as I can be.  I no longer feel like my life is in turmoil.  I no longer feel like I want to leave TJL.  I no longer feel sad or depressed.  I am glad that I kinda knew it was down to stress yesterday, I feel a little silly for writing about it, perhaps I will delete that post, perhaps not.  I shall think about it.

My room looks definitely Christmassy.  I have 7 Santas, 2 snowmen, and a large assortment of baubles etc.  What I do need, however, is MORE TINSEL.  I thought that I had way more than I have, in fact I thought I had more decorations than I have.  But I need more tinsel!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Should I stay or should I go ...

Who would have thought I would write a post like this?  I mean I am talking about the man I have been trying to have a baby with.  But I'm thinking that maybe its just too hard.  Its just not worth it.  I'm just not happy.

I had to have one of my horses put down.  While I am not devastated as such, I am pretty upset.  I feel fine, and then have a cry, we all know how it goes.  My horses, well horse now, live with my parents 3.5 hours away.  Trent did do the obligatory how are you texts, but he didn't actually phone.  And now I am home, and other than a brief, how are you? question, there has been nothing.  Well actually something.  He laughed at me when I was having a cry about her.  Do I really want to spend the rest of my life with a man who has so little compassion?

Obviously I am upset so won't be making any hasty decisions, I'm pretty strung out and have to go back to work and face people again.  My stress levels are at the extreme to say the least.  I don't even know if I will tell anyone about Channelle being put down.  I just feel low, bordering on depression.  It sure would help if my partner in life (or maybe just for the next month) was a lot more supportive.

Of course I am asking God a lot of questions, and leaving it up to him to help me decide, but at the moment I just feel numb.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

All gardened out

I spent quite a bit of time in the garden today, in fits and starts as it was so hot!  And I don't like it too hot, or too cold for that matter.  I'm temperature fussy I guess.

So all of the gardens are mostly weeded.  I have just a tiny section of the large garden to go, plus weeding around one shrub/tree thing.  They definitely look a lot better, well I think dirt looks a lot better than weeds anyway!  This evening I have planted 60 flower seedlings along the driveway garden.  I hope they bush out enough to fill it in.  Every year we have been here it has always looked patchy at best, so I hope I have done a better job this year.  I might need to buy a few more, but I won't be able to for a couple of weeks.  Of course, now seedlings are planted, the garden will actually get watered, and so the weeds are going to flourish!  It is such a never ending battle.  I wonder who the experts are who determined what is a 'weed' and what is a 'plant' in the first place?  Some weeds do have the most delightful flowers.

I have also potted a plant that I had to replace.  TJL's mother gave me a plant for my birthday, and we promptly killed it by lack of water.  I think I found the right one to replace it with, and I have potted and watered it promptly this time, so here's hoping I don't kill it again.  Of course TJL told his sister (my fault I asked him to ask her what the name of the plant was) so no doubt she will tell his Mum and I will be unpopular again.  They seem to like to share things that gets other people in trouble  *sigh*, and they 'care' - my family don't care so much about the little things.  Talk about being raised different!

On the edible front each time a raspberry has begun to go slightly pink, by the time we got back to check it out later in the day, it had disappeared, well the pink/red bits of it had.  Very neatly pecked away by the local sparrows no doubt!  Now we have got netting over the raspberry canes and strawberry plants, so try and get in there now my feathered friends!  Actually they can still get in there and the netting isn't completely fixed as yet, but soon, just you try and get in there my feathered friends!

Back to work tomorrow.  I really can not wait for the day TJL and I manage to get 'knocked' up so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Please let my tubes be open, Lord!  It would mean so much to TJL and I if we can have a baby or 3.  In the meantime I appreciate having a job that pays well and really is not all THAT bad.


I have lazy follicles

So I had a day 14 cycle scan today, my first ever one.  It appears that I have lazy follicles.  Today they should have been around 20mm, my biggest were 9.  They get so far, then sit with me on the couch and do sweet f.a.  But its good to know.  My eggs etc are all fine.  Next step is to have the hysteriosomethingorother to see if my tubes are blocked (Dear Lord, please let my tubes be free and clear, I would really appreciate that).  And if they are fine then its off on a start of hormone treatments.  Dr FuFu (as TJL calls her) said that she will start me off on a low dose, and increase it until something happens.  This is to reduce the likelihood of a multiple birth.  Twins are fine, triplets and more are risky.  So here's hoping that I get to do the hysteriowhatsit this month.  Chances are I have to have it done over Christmas, and the place will be shut, hoping not, but I am prepared for this.  So saying I can have the hysteriothingamee in January, and that all is fine, then hopefully will start the hormones in February, and everything will be crossed!  Well everything EXCEPT the legs of course ... TMI ... I know.  I actually feel a lot more positive about things now.  Kicking myself for not organising myself, like, a YEAR ago.  But hey, wheels are finally in motion now.

Poor ill chicken had to be put down today.  She has been paralysed or something.  Her legs have not been working right.  Daily she got taken out of her private coop, and placed under the trees, and each night put back into her private coop.  The last couple of days see seemed to have stopped drinking and eating, so it was best to put her out of her misery.  Very sad!  I love my chickens, but you have to be 'cruel' to be kind unfortunately, and to have her suffering does not sit at all well with me.

The other chickens are fine.  They 'helped' me in the garden by ripping the leaves of the broccoli seedlings planted yesterday, and then following while I weeded the flower garden standing right over me to pounce with beaks and feet as I roused invertebrates from the soil.  They are so lucky they are cute AND have laid over 22 dozen eggs this summer so far (well two of them have, the other remaining two are old and retired ... lol).

The dog helped in the garden by having to be told 'LEAVE' the chickens around 600 million times, and then going into the vege garden, while chickens and I were in the flower garden, and trampling any seedling that got in her way.  She is so NOSEY!  Lucky she is so cute that she doesn't have to produce anything, as all she actually produces is chaos.

And so to bed!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Tis the season to be busy

I am SO busy!  And I think that because I am so busy, and my mind is working overtime, I don't blog - why?  I guess because I have gone over everything 10 000 times in my head so that it is boring, and why would I want to write boring stuff?

Yeah.  So the 'busy' season.  Being summer work is busy, as farmers are busy milking cows and my job involves testing end products from dairy.  And I had to change rosters at work, but at least that means I get Christmas Day off, and New Years Day off - both of which I have worked the last two years.  Then being summer my photography business is busy as there are lots of horse events on, and I am out photographing them, and then sorting and editing the photos, uploading them to the website, filling orders which are slow in coming, but I am grateful for any that I do get.

And then it has been my nieces birthday and gymnastics competition involving travelling home to see her, one of my horses has laminitis so I need to keep travelling 'home' to ma n pas to check on her.  I have doctors appointments to examine my fertility, or lack of fertility, further.  And coming up is Dads birthday, Christmas, Mums birthday, another nieces birthday, TJLS birthday.

And finally, I have managed to get the vegetable garden planted.  We have potatoes (planted earlier), corn, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, tomatoes, lettuce, beetroot, broccoli, celery, rhubarb, raspberries (canes from last year) and strawberries.  Seeds I have just planted are carrot, zuchinni, radish, pumpkin, and capsicum.  So far I have watered all of these EVERY  DAY!  This has to be a record for me!  Time will tell if I manage to keep it up.  Also time will tell if I actually manage to harvest anything!  So often my vege garden grows and grows and grows and goes to seed .... ooooops!  And thinning is not my strong point - sorry carrots!  And weeding is not my strong point!

So yes, very busy, but I do need to get back to blogging, even if it is only once a week.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Visit with the gynecologist

So I had my first appointment with the gynecologist today.  Turns out the blood tests the doctor ordered weren't exactly correct SO I have to have some more.  No doubt it is just the beginning.  I had one lot today, as it did not matter when I had them, and the sooner the better, right?  The next lot I have to have are on day 2 of my next cycle.  *sigh*  When one works 4 days on, 4 days off, 6am to 6pm, things like this make it kinda tricky.  I guess, when someone works anywhere it makes it kinda tricky.  The main thing is I really dislike having to take time off of work to do these kinds of things.  I know a lot of people do it without a second thought, but me, I prefer to get them organised on my days off.  Luckily two of my team leaders at work are female, and one has been struggling with infertility herself, so I am sure it won't be too much of a problem.  A slightly larger problem is that if I get my period on Friday, I have to get to medlab on Saturday and, if the Medlab in H.town is not open on a Saturday then I have to go to N.P, which is an hour in the opposite direction to work *sigh*.  I love living rurally and working in a small town BUT sometimes it is a bit inconvenient.  Of course if I get my period on Saturday then I have to wait until Monday, nowhere medical will be open in this neck of the woods on a Sunday ... lol

On another note I decided to travel 2.5 hours away to a show to take photos on Saturday.  So I just put it 'out there' ie on an internet chat board, that I would be there, and I MIGHT go on Sunday as well.  Well two people have said that they are riding on Sunday and would like some photos SO I get to travel 2.5 hours away on Sunday as well.  I would have stayed the night BUT I have to be back in Hawera for a work 'do' on Saturday night *sigh*.  And there is no guarantee that I will sell any photos, thus 'make' any money.  I am more than happy to do it as it will get my name out there.  Then after Sunday I have to get back, get to bed as I need to be up a 4.45am to resume my work 'week'.  THEN Tuesday TJL and I are off out to a comic in NP.  I  AM  GOING  TO  BE  SO  TIRED!

And I am not even going to begin thinking about my next days off.  Lets just say it involves more appointments, more driving, and another show, and on and on it goes.  Talk about BUSY season!  And its only just begun.

Very exciting though.

I love it!

God, You are just Awesome!

I think I need to walk around with a dictaphone

I quite often (ie every day) have totally wonderful, insightful, and sometimes funny blog posts assailing my brain.  These occur when I am driving, walking the dog, in practically all situations where I do not have access to a computer.  Then, as soon as I get back and in front of the computer nothing.  Nada.  It's all just gone, and my head is empty *sigh*.

I did come to the conclusion today that I am addicted to TV.  Have I mentioned that before?  I am pretty sure that I have.  And I am pretty sure that it is the root of ALL of my problems.  Not to say that if I manage to cut down my viewing time considerably that I won't have any problems BUT I think that they would be considerably lessened as I would start to feel SO much better about myself *ding ding ding*, folks we have a winner.

So I think I will set myself a 30 day TV challenge.  One that will severely limit my TV watching.  Beginning tomorrow, day 1, I will NOT turn the TV on first thing in the morning.  I will use my new CD player instead (the one that I HAD to have, and haven't used at all yet), and listen to uplifting music while doing far more productive stuff that watching the magic box.  I mean lets face it, reading a comic book would be far more productive than watching the magic box.

Lucky I have a couple of appointments in the big smoke tomorrow so that will fill in a lot of my day.  One of which is my first Gynecologist appointment.  I have no idea what to expect, and I will be going alone as TJL has the AB technician coming, and other farming chores to do.  So it will be interesting I guess.  I wonder what will happen ....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Insecure under achiever

Most days I feel like such an under achiever, well failure would be more accurate, but under achiever is less harsh ... lol.  It is probably something that I bleat on about far too often, but until I can change my thinking and attitude, I will probably continue to bleat on about it.

I think that my biggest problem is that I live either regretting my past and wishing I could go back, or dreaming about the future and where I could be, and so I totally forget about living in the now which means I never arrive to the dreams of my future.  Does that make sense at all?

It does not help that I see so many things that 'I want to do' or 'What I should be doing' or 'I am so jealous of' that my brain is full and confused and I end up sitting on my ass on the couch, watching TV where people are living the life that I want.  I'm surfing the net and 'dreaming' about what could have been, or what I wish for, or where I want to be, and then I get to the end of the day and have achieved ZILCH, ZERO, NADA.

While I can acknowledge that my life is not THAT bad, I strongly dislike it, and so I strongly dislike me. And it is very hard for other people to like you if you don't like yourself.  

And life is passing me by.  Every day I get older.  I am not living.  I am existing only.  I feel like I have no joy.  I feel like I have no time for anything.  I sit around feeling 'sorry for myself' - wah wah wah, I don't have children.  I don't have a farm.  I'm so overweight.  Poor me!

So what do I want?  I mean really, what do I WANT?!  What would make me happy?  What do I really think would make me happy?  Would being able to have children TOTALLY change my life and I will be happy for ever after?  I mean really?  Will they?   Will having a tidy house and lovely garden truly make me happy?  Will owning my own farm truly make me happy?  I mean truly, for ever and ever?  So I never complain again?  Nope.  Nothing will ever make me 'that' happy.  I feel like I will ALWAYS complain.

So maybe I am just an 'unhappy' person and I will never be happy.  Actually I don't think that happy is the right word.  I am looking for satisfied, perhaps.  Will I ever be satisfied?  Can I ever be satisfied with what I have instead of always wanting more?  Can I ever be satisfied that I can't go back in time and relive my life?  Can I ever be genuinely happy for people who have 'more' than I do, without feeling jealous?  Will I ever, really, truly like who I am?  I am where I am.  I have what I have.  Nothing can change that right now!  And so I need to live in the now, with an eye to the future and bearing in mind learnings from the past.

I need to focus away from thinking about myself, continuously.  ALL.  THE.  TIME.  I think about myself all. the. time!  How will this affect me?  How will people perceive me if I do that?  If I did 'this' or 'that' other people will think I am so cool.  Why am I so focused on what other people think of me?  And why is this focus about how 'cool' I am rather than how 'nice' I am?  Seriously, it is all about me, ALL ABOUT ME!  ALL THE TIME!  What is that about?

I guess it is all about insecurity.  The constant need for reassurance that I exist, that people like me, that I am 'better' than others (because who wants to be mediocre?  Seriously!).  Lets face it, life today is a popularity contest.  How many facebook friends.  How many 'views' of your youtube video.  How many photos you sell.  How many thank you's you get.  And you HAVE to compare them to everyone else, otherwise how else do you know how well you are doing?  Like, if there is another photog. in the same area I am in I 'freak out' that their shots will be better, or that they are sabotaging me by standing where I want to, or in my shots, or something.  Because it is ALL ABOUT ME you know.  And I am only truly confident in my photographic ability when there is no one else with a camera.  Seriously.  Insecure.

And so

It is time to stop!  Stop counting and comparing.  Stop wishing and whining.  Stop looking for instant gratification.  Stop doing things so other people think you are awesome.  Stop WORRYING about what other people think and say and do.

And now

It is the time to start!  Start being thankful for what I have.  Start focusing on what I want, and how I can get there.  Start living for God and for Gods approval only.

Lord, please forgive me of my many sins, the most prominent being selfishness.  Please help me to be a better, happier, selfless person.  Please guide me along the path You have designed for me.  Please help me bring glory to Your name.  Please help me to stay strong in moments of selfish weakness.  I know I am truly blessed to be living the life I have.  Please help me to count my blessings during my times of weakness.  Amen

Monday, October 25, 2010

So little time ...

I thought that I would do a quick catch up, sheesh I have been busy.

Spent 3 days back 'home' in Hawke's Bay visiting my parents, sister and assorted family members.  I also spent 2 days at the Hawke's Bay show.  Favourites from the show included dog trials and the cattle breeders.  I don't think that there are any dogs, anywhere else on Earth, that are as skilled and talented as NZ bred heading and huntaway dogs.  And no,  I'm not at all bias ... lol.

One of the best bred dogs in the world showing off their stuff.

It is a real shame that the A&P shows are no longer about the agricultural aspects of NZ, and more to do with sideshows, rides, and stall holders.  So there were very very few people showing cattle, and I could not even FIND any sheep.  *sigh*  Times, they are a-changin'.

This was one of my favourite cattle.  She was a 1 year old heifer, Murray Gray I think.  Absolutely gorgeous!

And then I returned back to Taranaki, and straight back into work, and when I am not working at work I am working on my website.

Last day of work tomorrow, followed by two days of photographing Targa Rally, then 1 day off followed by photographing Opunake Mini Show, and then back to work.

I'm tired.
I don't have very much else to say.
Hopefully I will get back on the blogging track soon.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blog challenge - Day 7 - Favourite Movies

So I have had a bit of a busy day today.  Driving to my sisters house for my mini holiday, and uploading a heap of pictures to my new website PauaVision Photography  The site still has a long way to go, and it has nowhere near the amount of horse photos it will have once the event season kicks off, but I am pretty happy with it.  I can't wait until I get some recents events up onto it.  And so, no real blog coming, but for day 7 of the blog challenge

My Favourite Movies

Fireproof is probably my current one.  It came on the SKY TV movie channel at exactly the right time in my life, and I loved it, and have now purchased it so I have it forever!

Sweet Home Alabama - not sure why, perhaps it is the accents and the lead actor (whatever his name is)

Star Wars (the original) - love it, love it, love it

And there are a ton more, but I just can't think of them right now.  No doubt I will sign off and go


What about .....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall challenge 3: 'De-cluttering'

So the 3rd part of the Fall challenge (well Spring for me), is to ...

1. Pick an area of your home where clutter collects and put something there to contain it.


2. Set a timer for 20 minutes, grab a trash bag and walk through your house throwing stuff away!

And so the embarrassing photo of the area where clutter collects in our house

To makes things worse, this is where I SHOULD be operating my home business from.  As you can see from the photo, I am operating my business from anywhere but here.  In fact, it took me a good five minutes to locate the camera with which to take this photo ... LOL!

There are plenty of containers already there, full to overflowing, 
'she's a big job!'  And I definitely have to do it.  And soon, as my busy season is about to begin.

Both this corner, and the 20 minute walk with a trash bag will have to wait a few days as I head 'home' to visit with family.  But then, no excuses!  Light that candle, Put on that music, Say a prayer (or three), and get to it!

Blog challenge Day 6 - fav. picture

Aside from the main blog photo of my favourite beach, Pourerere in Central Hawkes Bay ...

this would be my favourite picture of late.  My two nieces and nephew, covered in sand, posing hard-out.
I am so excited that I get to see them for the next few days from tomorrow ... CrAzY  KiDs

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blog Challenge, Day 5 - Siblings


I have only one, my big sister Nikki.  She is only two years older than me, and has three children.  We made each others lives unpleasant during the teenage years, but are really close now.  If we live with each other the relationship does not work so well, luckily it works really well when we live apart.

Nix showing T the fridge for her yoghurt on her first day of kindy.

 Nix with the newest (and final) addition to her family, C

 Nix and C

Nix and C at Opunake Beach

 Nix and the girls, G and T, at Opunake Beach

And Nix and C

As you can tell, Nix is a great Mum, and I do not appear to have any photos of her alone.  I should remedy that!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 4 blog challenge - Meet the Parents

Awwww, my parents.  Mum and Dad.  Pat and BJ.  Mr and Mrs Johansen.  The people from whom I desire the most approval, and then take a big risk of getting in trouble by posting their pictures on the internet, sorry Mum, but you do know how I love to push your buttons, ah!  (It's ok, I am pretty sure they don't read my blog, if you do Mum and Dad, Hey there.  The picture you see below is a couple who look remarkably like you.  How lucky was I to find such a similar looking couple to use for my blog.  See you in a few days!)

The quick facts.  They are 10 years apart in age (almost exactly, Dad is a December 22 birthday and Mum is a December 30 birthday, Christmas in the middle, niece on the 1st of Jan - fan-jolly-tastic present wise!)  This fact always intrigued me as a child (the age gap), and I figured I could date any male up to 10 years older than myself for a big chunk of my life ... lol

Mum had my sister at age 20, and me at age 22, so when she was my age I was 17 and almost moving out of home (and back again, and out again, and back again, and out again) and I haven't even started having kids yet .... we're working on it.

Dad is a farmer and the PERFECT man.  I love my Dad to bits (yes I am a Daddies girl).  Kind and fun, and all children seem to gravitate towards him.  Yep, I always wanted a man 'just like my Dad'.

My mother refuses to have her photo taken so I have to take them on the sly.  Dad isn't so keen on them either, but he puts up with it because he loves me.

Speaking of which we hardly ever (closer to never) tell each other that we love each other, it's just an unspoken known. 

They currently live 3.5 hours drive away, and I would see them close to once a month.  I don't like being so far away from family, but am fortunate I can get home so often.

So that was MY PARENTS!

I  LOVE  YOU  MUM  AND  DAD! (Shhhhh it's a secret)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 3 of challenge - First love

Ooooooh ... My first love.


I assume this question is my first love ASIDE from horses and dogs.  And it would have to be requited love I guess.  I mean who could remember all of those original unrequited ones (aside for David S who I adored from afar from age 11 until ... now most likely).  And all those famous people.  Singers, actors and sportsmen - Paul Young, Billy Idol,  Bo Duke, BJ McKay, John Kirwin, Danny Morrison, Carlos Spencer, Bruce Grant (who died on K2 about 6 months before I made it to his hometown of Queenstown to stalk meet him).


So my first REQUITED love story is not a great one.  His name was Kyle and he was a part of our 'group' when we were all 17 going on 18.  A group of around 6 or 7 girls and 3 boys.  Kyle had already dated one of the girls, then was going out with another one (my best friend I am ashamed to say), and then it was my turn.  Oh the teenage angst!  The weirdness.  The shame I felt for 'taking him' from her over-ridden by my LOVE for him.  The fact that I was just one of a stream from the same group.  And then, after me, he went out with ANOTHER girl from the group ... DOH!

The relationship lasted almost 18 months.  I ended it as I discovered there were other guys out there.  After I ended it I learned that he had cheated on me towards the end as he thought I was cheating on him.  I had a spaz out at THAT wee fact.  But it was mostly good.  I really can't remember a heck of a lot about it (20 years ago), just drinking and watching videos in our wee group.

These days I am still pretty much best friends with my old best friend.  I am still in contact with this man.  He is married to a wonderful lady and they have 2 children and live in Australia.  And I am still in occasional contact with the girl he moved onto after me ... lol

I am fairly pleased to say that out of all the relationships I have had, none have ever ended so badly that, after some adjustment time, I can not be friends with any of them.  And I think that that is pretty awesome!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blog challenge - Day 2

The meaning behind my blog title.

When I was first looking at blogging I read quite a few blogs before I began, and everyone seemed to be so deep and meaningful and articulate.  You know, the kind of people that can look at a painting and interpret meanings and symbols behind it, whereas I could only see lines, or squiggles, or a landscape, or 'something a 2 year old could do' ... lol

       it came into my head that song or saying, 'Slow waters run deep', and since I figured I was the  
       opposite of the 'deep' people I went for the opposite saying,

 'Fast waters run shallow'

And at this point in time I do think that it is still quite accurate of me.  I actually kind of clicked on today that my mind runs so fast that I only ever skim the surface of everything.  I skim read books (please note that this technique DOES NOT WORK FOR THE BIBLE, which is probably why I haven't 'got it' yet ... lol), half listen to music, never really edit my photos to the best of my ability.  It's always quick.  It's never deep.

Perhaps my blog title is a reminder for me to 'Slow down and smell the roses' you know.  Switch off everything else that is a distraction (THAT WOULD BE YOU MR TELEVISION SET) and really concentrate on the task at hand.  And to live in the moment.  I am always so focused on what my plans are that I don't achieve anything, as I am always focused on the planning and not on what I am doing.


That was a bit of a long explanation. 

Day 1 of blog challenge

Introduction:-  I am 39 and 1 week old.  I live in New Zealand and was born in Central Hawke's Bay.  I grew up in Waikato, and have since lived in Wellington, Queenstown, Hawke's Bay, Christchurch, Auckland and am now in Taranaki, so I have pretty much covered most of New Zealand (it's a small country so not hard).  I do not have any children, but would desperately love some 1, 2, 8, I don't care.  I hope and pray that we will be blessed with children sooner rather than later.  I live with my partner TJL and we have 1 dog, 5 chickens, 170 odd cows, and 38 calves.

Recent picture:-  TJL and myself.

15 Interesting facts:-

1.  I was raised atheist and I have never been to church aside from a couple of weddings and a few funerals.  Since God found me I have not yet been brave enough to attend a church service, but I will!

2  Due to number 1 I never thought that I would be religious, never ever!  It is also why I live with my partner and we are not married.  God found me after the moving in fact, which is a bit confusing for me. I also have not told my parents or sister yet, not that I think they would care particularly (ie they won't disown me, they do care about me ... lol)

3.  I was super skinny as a child and could eat anything I wanted, so this overweight thing sux!  

4.  I am divorced from my 1st (and only) husband.

5.  I love animals more than I love people.

6.  I always dreamed of being married to a farmer and having the job of 'farmers wife' (hasn't happened yet, at least I have found my farmer though!)

7.  I prefer utes to cars, and I prefer stick-shifts to automatics

8.  I love to tramp/hike and LOVE the fact NZ does not have any dangerous wildlife (aside from Magpies in their mating season).  

9.  I don't drink alcohol.  I have done in the past, but have not had any for maybe 10 years (aside from 1 blowout when I left my husband and Auckland).

10.  I am a country girl and will never life in a city/town again, if I can help it.

11. So far I have only travelled to Australia (Gold Coast), Bali and Fiji.  Bali was my favourite.

12.  3 year olds are at my favourite age.  They totally crack me up, and love to stick out their tongues for pictures before giving you the best ever genuine laugh.

13.  I have always thought I was ugly, multiply that by 100 now I am also overweight

14.  I love junk food and I am a bit of a TV addict, even though I don't want to love either.

15.  I have a tatto of Thomas Vanderham on my ankle

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge

I found this 30 Day Blog Challenge over with Bobbi at The Johnsons Journey Blog and I thought that it would be a fun, and perhaps therapeutic exercise, for a month.  Lets see how I go.


Day 1 - Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts 
Day 2 - Meaning behind your blog name 
Day 3 - Your first love 
Day 4 - Your parents 
Day 5 - Your siblings 
Day 6 - A picture of something that makes you happy 
Day 7 - Favorite movies 
Day 8 - A place you've traveled to 
Day 9 - A picture of your friends 
Day 10 - Something you're afraid of 
Day 11 - Favorite tv shows 
Day 12 - What you believe 
Day 13 - Goals 
Day 14 - A picture you love 
Day 15 - Bible verse 
Day 16 - Dream house 
Day 17 - Something you're looking forward to 
Day 18 - Something you regret 
Day 19 - Something you miss 
Day 20 - Nicknames 
Day 21 - Picture of yourself 
Day 22 - Favorite city 
Day 23 - Favorite vacation 
Day 24 - Something you've learned 
Day 25 - Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs 
Day 26 - Picture of your family 
Day 27 - Pets 
Day 28 - Something that stresses you out 
Day 29 - 3 Wishes 
Day 30 - A picture

(As much as I can be) Wordless Wednesday

Because I did not get up to much

 Ahhhhh Flowers, even though I had to buy them myself

 Wind assisted tree fence strainer ... how do you do it?

Wind assisted tree fence strainer in its entirety

 Good ol' Mt Taranaki in the distance, gorgeous NZ farmland in the foreground.

 Stella Dog - oh how beautiful you are

 Buttercup - do I love butter?  Why yes I do!

 Stella Dog on her way to me after a successful 'Stay!'

Monday, October 11, 2010

Keeping the peace ... how hard can it be?

Today dawned beautiful and sun-shiney.  Okay, so the wind-chill factor is still pretty low, but the day has been pretty glorious so far.  Mt Taranaki looked awesome this morning.  He was cloaked in cloud over his lower slopes, and had a wee mushroom cap over his summit.

 Our herd with Mt Taranaki in the background.

And how do I know Mt Taranaki is a 'him'?  According to Maori legend, Taranaki used to live with Tongariro, Ruapehu, and Ngauruhoe. This changed forever when Taranaki fell in love with Pihanga (a pretty hill on the shores of Lake Taupo) – who just happened to be the wife of Tongariro. Tongariro exploded in a fiery rage, spitting fire, lava and burning ash, and making the earth shake as he fought with Taranaki. Broken hearted and banished Taranaki headed toward the coast, his tears creating the Wanganui River as he moved Westward to his current resting place.

Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe are all mountains in the central plateau of the North Island of New Zealand.

 This is Destiny, my favourite cow.  I rescued her as a calf as I thought she was a fighter.  I definitely can not rescue them all (being in the industry we are in), but I am glad that I saved her.  She is currently shedding her Winter coat so looks a little 'rough'.

Stella Dog, she is such a laugh.  She is so naughty!  Jumps up on you, and her nails HURT!

So TJL and I went into town today.  We went to Maracabo (sp?) for lunch where I had a de.lic.ious corn stack, YUM!  TJL had a BLT, so I got to eat some of his fries.  We also shared some chocolate fudge slice.  It was HUGE so very lucky that we shared.  I then popped into paper plus to buy some file cards (wow!  How exciting), and then I went to The Warehouse, where I planned to buy a cd player, amongst other things.  Here is where my 'keeping the peace' turned HARD.  So I did my shopping.  Found my cd player, grabbed a couple of DVD's, CD's, pots for my birthday plant, potting mix, socks, underwear, and a wee plant when TJL caught up with me (he ran some errands in town).  I was told, in no uncertain terms that we DID NOT need the CD player, and I went into instant 'grump, sulk, frown' mode.  The CD player, DVD's and CD's went back their shelves and I purchased the rest of my goods.  'Grump, sulk, frown'.  I WAS NOT HAPPY!  As I told him I didn't tell him off for purchasing a $100 wii game, and I never tell him off for purchasing parts for his mini-spring car, so how come I was not allowed to buy what I wanted.  'Less grump, less sulk, less frown'.  He said that his stereo did work, if you put all 5 cd's in, so I told him it had better or he was in BIG trouble (mood considerably lighter by this time and I was joking).

So we get home, I put 5 cd's into his stereo and NO GO BABY.  TJL could not work it out at all, figures it has just died, really?  You don't say?

And so I think I get to go back and buy my CD player now ... lol   Plus I got a big apologetic kiss from TJL.  On the bonus side (aside from the kiss), I really didn't need the DVD's, and I can get the CD's from i-tunes at a cheaper price, so he has saved me money.  

Despite being upset and angry I did try to submit (the old me would NEVER have returned the CD player and discs, especially if I had been TOLD to), and I did manage to keep my mouth in check more than before, so 

Keeping the peace ... how hard can it be?

Very hard, and an on-going battle, but one worth fighting and it will get better.

And, as an aside, I said a prayer to God this morning to help me with my willpower to get rid of this weight and get back to health and fitness, and whadda you know, I went to get my last two mini chocolates as a snack and TJL has been there before me and they were gone.  I had to laugh, God has obviously decided that while he helps me with my willpower he will also help by removing temptations from my grasp ... lol

Praise Be!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Making your home sing

So the challenge this week from Courtney at Women Living Well is to make your home sing.  To play soft music in your home everyday and to focus on using peaceful words and maintaining peaceful relationships.

This is definitely a challenge that I will find a challenge, and so one that I need to partake of.  I am definitely quite a reactive person, and I really need to slow my thinking down, and thus my reactions to situations down, so I stop 'blowing up' at every little thing.  Patience, and thus Peace, is something I have been working on lately, and I believe that I am beginning to see some progress ... YAY!  I believe that this challenge will help me to proceed further along this path.

 I had a quick look in my CD collection and found these three - Moments of Stillness, Meditation - music for relaxation and dreaming, and Tschaikowsky.  My only problem is that our CD player in the house appears to be broken, so I am not too sure what to do.  I think I might pop into town and buy a cheap portable stereo, which is something that we need anyway, especially when I am outside in the garden!  In my ute I have an inspirational CD 'The Blessing' by John Waller.  I discovered him from the movie Fireproof as I really loved the song While I'm Waiting.

Of course my lighting my candles and saying my prayers for a peaceful home and heart will continue.

Praise be to God!

Just another manic Monday

So last night and this morning we had herd testing.  What this involves is adding a bit of 'pipeworks' to the existing milking machines so that a percentage of milk siphons off from each cow into a cup, which we number and then it gets tested so we know how much milk each cow is producing, plus the components of their milk ie % of protein, % of fat etc.  
 The herd we tested, there is approx 170 cows in there

I was up by 5.30am this morning, awake at 4.45 but dozed until 5.30, and discovered Winter hit us with a wee reminder that although Spring is here, Winter is still hanging around a bit.  It has been raining, windy, very cold, and threw in the odd hail storm for good measure.  While I was waiting for TJL down at the shed the cows came in, and were shivering it was so cold.  I said a wee prayer that all of our animals would be safe and warm and that the day would get better.  10 minutes later I look up and TJL was bringing the 'babies' to the hay shed/calf shed so I was amazed how quickly God responded to my call.  Praise be to God!
 The 'babies' all snug and warm in the calf shed, with yummy, yummy hay to eat.

Due to the weather I spent most of the day on the couch watching the ol' goggle box.  TJL went back out after breakfast (pancakes no less) to feed the cows hay and silage.  When he got back he was in a FOUL mood, turns out his tractor broke down.  Luckily we have a good boss who gets on great with the neighbours so low and behold a large blue tractor was borrowed and our little orange tractor received a wee tow.
 The boss on the neighbours blue tractor towing TJL and the silage wagon.
Hopefully it is a very temporary measure as the tractor mechanic has been out already.

The boss and TJL checking out the battery
Stella saying 'Hey Dad.  Cool tractor.  Can we keep it?'  Neighbours are so generous in allowing us to borrow their tractor until little orange tractor is ready to go.

And I did manage to go for one walk with Stella today.  I am so pleased that we had fine weather on my last days off when my sister and kidlets were visiting rather than this cold, awful Winter re-visit.  Unfortunately this weather means that I am more inclined to sit on the couch, eating all manner of chocolate and junk rather than being this girl

 from years ago.  I sure hope I can get back to being this girl this summer as she is currently hiding under  20kg of PODGE!  Actually methinks I should put this picture, and others similar, around the house to inspire me!

So that was my Manic Monday, Praise God

Friday, October 08, 2010

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

It's my birthday

Sorry, long winded self realisation post ... lol

Today is my 39th birthday, and DID I WAKE UP GRUMPY, well YES I DID.  I have been in such a shocking frame of mind lately, woe is me, poor me, my life sucks, TJL doesn't treat me like he should, I'm so FAT but I LOVE food and 'hate' exercise, and on, and on, and on I whine.  No wonder TJL doesn't want to converse with me, its always all about me, and its always BAD.  There are no laughs.  There is no happy, positive conversation.  There is no talking without some form of attitude - sullen, sulky, pathetic.  And its ALL TJL's fault, isn't it?


And so today I woke up grumpy and down and decided to jump straight onto the internet to read some blogs and email, and what do you know, God decided to smack me on the head big time.  One of the first emails I read was a post from Gather Inspirit about PUTTING GOD FIRST!  Finally it clicked.  I have spent my entire life putting myself first, MY ENTIRE LIFE!  I do remember my father telling me, quite frequently I might add, that it is not always about number 1, there were other people to think about too.  But for me it just never has been.  Oh sure I have donated, and gifted, and been kind, but I am ashamed to admit that more often than not it was about ME, hey look at ME, look how kind and giving and generous I am.  And I was born this way, I swear.  My father has many times told the story of when I was a baby waking up from naps, there was never a stirring, never a gurgle, never a 'warning sign' it was just a full on scream of MEEEEEEEEEEEE!  He sat and watched me once and he said my mouth opened before my eyes and launched into a full on scream.  Does this excuse my current behaviour - absolutely NOT, but is it a part of my nature, I believe so.

And now, today, putting God first for me means that I have to think how my behaviour is a reflection of him.  Does my behaviour inspire other people to turn towards Christianity or does it turn them from it?  Does my behaviour inspire TJL towards Christianity and Jesus or turn him from them?  If I am embarking on this road of religious discovery then I need to fully immerse myself.   I need to stop and think, 'How is my current reaction to this situation reflecting on God?' 'Is my reaction peaceful and loving or is it a negative reaction stemming from the fact I am not getting what I want?'  It will no longer be about my wants and my needs, but Putting God First!  Will this be a struggle and a battle for me?  Most definitely, but I shall pray each day that God gives me the strength and wisdom to put him first.

Other blogs that helped me out today were this post from With him all the way and this post from Come have a peace, and on THAT note, a bit about my birthday.

TJL and I went to a cafe in New Plymouth called Chaos.  The have the best Caramel Crackle Slice ever, and I am VERY relieved that they had a piece for me today.

The sign, I was too shy to take a photo of the actual Cafe (how weird is that!)

 TJL waiting for our lunch to come.  He had a burrito and I had a pumpkin, feta and something else tower - mmmmmmmmmm.  Not to forget the Phoenix Ginger Beer (for him) the Phoenix Cola (for me) and the TWO pieces of Caramel Crackle Slice - should have taken a piccie of the food.

My birthday pressie from TJL.  Each time I remember I am wearing it I will remember that God is First.

We then went to Govett Brewster Art Gallery, which had a fairly good exhibition on, I quite enjoyed it, and I don't think TJL minded it too much.  We then came homeward bound and TJL's Mum, Dad and niece Grace popped in for a cuppa before TJL had to go down to milk.  When TJL's Mum phoned initially saying that they wanted to pop in my instant reaction was I DON'T WANT TO SEE ANYONE, IT'S MY BIRTHDAY AND I JUST WANT TO BE ALONE, but I managed to calm myself down, put God first, and be thankful that TJL's family WANT to come and celebrate my birthday with me.

Other gifts today included a plant with gorgeous wee flowers (don't know what it is called), two gift cards, and a lotto (up to $24 Million) ticket.  I have promised God that if I win said lotto I will definitely be making some HUGE donations :-)

The end ... lol

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Two weeks until launch

Had a great meeting with my web designer today.  I'm hoping that the site will be good to go in around 2 weeks - ooooh hooooooo - so excited.  I now have the delightful job of trying to do a self portrait, or 4, for the 'about me' header.  I need to make them a bit kooky, or a lot kooky preferably, as I am certainly not one of those fortunate photogenic people (doesn't help that I am 20kg overweight, but thats a post rehash for another day!).  Oh well, never mind, thats why I am BEHIND the camera 99.9% of the time.

So I have a couple of ideas for my portrait.  For some of my ideas I will need someone to take the pic for me, as it involves being on one of my horses, and a self portrait set up in that situation just ain't gonna work.  Other ones will involve setting up the camera on my tripod and shooting away, 2 to 4 different shots in the one location, bit of cut and paste, and wah la, multiple kooky.  I have to admit that this last idea is actually from the web designer extraordinaire himself - credits due 'n all that.  Mind you, the crazy guy saw some of my photos today and thought that this one

was exactly the same as one that he had taken.  He soon discovered, once he located it on HIS laptop that it was MY image ... DOH!  I don't know if I should be worried that my web designer can not remember the shots he takes, and then begins to claim mine as his ... lol

And that's it.  My candles are lit, my prayer 'Dear Lord, please bless our home and hearts with peace, Amen' has been said many times, and I am about to watch a TV programme 'Robber of the Cruel Streets' about God lead George Muller who dedicated his life to rescuing orphans.


Monday, October 04, 2010

Why an outside dog is better than 3 inside children

Have I had a fun filled 4 to 5 days!  And exhausting!  Man, just let me tell you, like you could stop me ... lol.

My fun filled days began with a bus trip to World of Wearable Art, which has to be one of the best 'shows' I have ever been to.  Sure, some of the music was a bit, shall we just say, not to my tastes (sorry Co-ca-cobana (sp?) is really not my thing, although the lady in front of me totally grooved out to it).  But the wearable art, far out man!

This image below was probably my favourite, although I really could not pick just one (ok so I just did, but you know what I mean).  There were some  FANTASTIC ones that work under a black light, and some really hilarious ones, but for some reason the one below just tickled my fancy.  Unfortunately cameras were NOT allowed *sulk* but luckily I could borrow these ones from the WOW site.

The Ring Mistress

And this one below won supreme overall in 2009, its made of WOOD, and totally WOW!
Lady of the Wood

I am hoping to get a few girlfriends together for a trip to WOW again next year.  This year I went with some work colleagues, but (no offense to them) I think I would have a lot more laughs with my girlfriends.  I find the ladies I work with a bit, hmmmm, sombre and serious.  I would have been keen to head into town afterwards and check out the night sights of Wellington, but instead we headed back to the motel and went to bed.  So, I got up at 6.15am the next morning, to head out and take in a bit of the city, before boarding the bus and heading back to Taranaki.  Now I am not a city girl, but one city I do love is Wellington, and I could have happily spent another couple of days just wandering around, taking in the sights.

Wellington from Oriental Parade, population 195,000 odd

I got home around 5pm, and was happy to discover that my sister and her brood had arrived safely.  G had already gone down to the cowshed to help TJL milk, and everyone else had made themselves at home (as well they should).

Day one of the visit we headed out to Opunake Beach, and it was a GORGEOUS summery (even though it is only spring) day.

At the beach there was a playground.

First night paintings (the ones we were allowed to keep)
 By G - aged 6

 By T - aged 3

The second day we went to Pioneer Village which is made up of very old local Taranaki Buildings.  I failed to take very many photos - not too sure why.  Probably because the girls kept running ahead, so I have NONE of the outside of the buildings.  But I did get a couple of shots of the girls in a couple of places.  I was amazed how big the 'village' was.  Might go back another day and have an adult look around ... lol
 T and G in the old Mangatoki Church

G and T in an old fire truck

Today they all left for home.  And so why is an outside dog better than 3 inside children?  Aside from their beautiful paintings they also left me with a floor covered in all manner of flotsum and jetsum, hand prints all over the TV, windows, and coffee table, paint on the dining table (table is old and it washed off so all okey dokey), three loads of washing (extra towels and sheets), and finally the fact that we have had a dishwasher full of dishes EVERY DAY that they were here (the two of us are lucky if we fill it up more than once a week!), plus the dog NEVER complains about what is for dinner (she might give us 'the look', but never says 'I HATE THAT!)'