Monthly Archives: December 2011

End of year report

Most noted award goes to Mother Nature in 2011. Relentless earthquakes continue to rock Christchurch. One major quake claimed a large number of lives, while many have caused extensive damage and destruction.

In NZ we also experienced volcanic ash clouds, flooding, tornadoes and we watched in horror as tsunami killed tens of thousands in Japan. On the flip side it has been a surprisingly calm year where I live with gale force winds being much rarer than usual.

One word to describe 2011 = Draining – mentally, emotionally and physically.

Achievements of the year:
 Beginning to blog again and meeting friends from other blogs. Sort of cyber pen pals.
 Decluttering a junk room which is now a bedroom of sorts
 Learning more about digital photography
 Pursuing creative hobbies, such as knitting, sewing, family heirloom recipe books and gardening
 Strengthening relationships

Music award for 2011 goes to the community group we sing with. The fun, fellowship and joy of sharing our singing has helped fill our tanks.

Academic awards go to three family members this year: a Certificate, a Diploma and adjunct Certificate and a Degree were all completed.

The Courage award is shared this year by 2 family members. One who recovered from major surgery and the other who faces more surgery in 2012.

It is also awarded post-humously to our cat who had had frequent visits to the vet, tests, scans, interventions, and medication but whose life was ended with mercy and love on December 22, 2011.

The “take courage” baton is now resting with our other cat as he comes to terms with the loss of his brother and constant companion of 13 years.

Highlight of the Year has to be the 4 days of family, fun and excitement in December. Our youngest son married on Xmas eve in the most beautiful weather – hot, sunny and calm. You will note the cabbage trees in the photo taken at the Reception venue are not moving. That is the rarest of rare things!


We spent Christmas and Boxing Day with family and new family by marriage.

And in the wee small hours on December 27th our new granddaughter was born. Mum and baby well.

Works in progress for 2012:
 More tidying and Decluttering
 Income generation based from home for me
 Keeping resolve, resilience and relationships to the fore.

Happy New Year everyone!

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Flowering and time counting down

I am having a deliberately quiet morning after three really busy days. My head is full of lists and plans, which is normal for many people at this time of the year.

I have been getting out with my camera and I have photos to use on my blog in the future. I have also been aware of lots of ideas to blog about but we have a family wedding on Christmas Eve this year and naturally all our attention is on that, plus Christmas arrangements. Excitement is building.

Our beautiful Melia tree is flowering in great abundance and for the first time I have given more attention to it and delighted in the delicate fragrance from its clusters of mauve star- shaped flowers.

Rain has caused the flowers to begin to drop and this morning I stopped and picked some up. In an unconscious move I have arranged eleven of them in a clock shape…..it is eleven big sleeps until the wedding and we are all feeling the clock ticking I realized after I had arranged them.

The star shaped flowers speak to me of Christmas and the short time the stars are shining in our southern hemisphere sky right now as we head to the solstice.

Quote from Martin Luther King

Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cafe singing

Our singing group, Take Note Singers, sang in the café at the Royal NZ Police College last night for our usual Tuesday session.

Our leader, David Dell, is the Chaplain at the Police College hence the connection.

We sing and share supper together and provide music for the often bemused looking people who are still at work or on courses at the college.

I sometimes wonder what they make of us all singing with enthusiasm as a one off event at the end of each term.

My hope is that the happy vibes and pleasant sounds are uplifting to the people who train in the often stressful and traumatic field of policing.

Last night we sang a variety of Christmas songs and carols. Some are traditional, some very New Zealand, some well known, some sweet and new.

Next week, our final session for the year, sees us singing at a local Rest Home. We’ll present some music and include the residents and staff in some sing-a-long Christmas music.

Carpet rose

When we purchased this white carpet rose we envisaged a low growing plant that was easy to care for and which produced an abundance of flowers.

It is easy to care for and it does produce prolifically but low growing NO! It is even bigger this season despite the good prune it received during the winter and the surprise of snow falling on it in August. Its spent petals look like snow on the ground now.

Gardening brings it surprises.