Where I Am At Home

On her blog this week, Tsh Oxenreiter is celebrating the release of her new book, At Home in the World. I picked up (totally cover lust) Notes from a Blue Bike a while ago and liked it.

On her blog, Tsh is inviting people to write about three things:

  1. Share about a place where you feel at home in the world.
  2. Write about a city (of any size) you love. (there’s prompts for this submission)
  3. Tell me whyyou’ve chosen to stay wherever it is you call home…

 I’m picking number one. And for me, number one is Te Henga or Bethells Beach, Auckland.

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It’s a wild, windy West Coast beach with all that the geographical location implies. There’s no swimming here (except in the lagoon that is formed by Waitakere River) and the surf patrol is only during the high season. The coffee cart is in the clearing next to the main carpark – and often the eftpos is down, so make sure you take some cash & don’t expect to be able to use cell phone data or WiFi – and the public toilets are paved with the black sand from where people have showered or simply rinse their feet off before going home.

Walking down the sheltered entry you could be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing much going on here. The carpark may be full but it’s rare that you’ll encounter someone else, except when the tide is out and all the kids want to explore the cave. Dogs run freely down the south end of the beach, wheeling around like the gulls they chase, bouncing into the surf after tennis balls and driftwood. If you want to explore, head left at the heads and climb over towards Ihumoana Island (now fenced off due to rockfalls) and further north, past Kauwahia Island and surf at O’Neill Bay.

Head right, and stretch your legs down towards the old wharf and the caves. You can keep going, moving down the Hillary Trail for hours or days. Your head will clear of anything and you’ll come away reinvigorated. It’s a great place to walk & talk to God, to your significant other, to your kids.

Resources: http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/cnlser/pbr/plans/pdf/tehenga/rmptehenga_pg9to20.pdf

 

Back to your regularly scheduled programme…

Important bit – none of the links below are affiliate. Deerskin is actually to a review, not the purchase.

It feels so good to be back writing, and reading, and stitching, and (dare I say it) work! I spent a good portion of the last fortnight ill, five work days away from my desk, and it’s only yesterday that the sleep-deprived me felt kind-of-normal.

SO about the above..

  • I started & finished Deerskin, by Robin McKinley. I’d not read any of her novels but I got hooked in by the cover. And the price (it was free that day). Now I’m adding Sunshine to the Kindle, as @aragonsgirl72 recommended her on my IG post.
  • For those of you that liked my version of Not All Those Who Wander, Emma Congdon has now uploaded this to her etsy site.
  • I brought myself the Palace Cinema from Lego. Loving it. Construction kept my mind tired and from being overwhelmed with solo parenting & worry. I finished it and brought the Bank set. I might have started a new obsession…
  • Mase “helped” with the construction. Cars are still a little boy favourite. Look how long his fingers are now! I miss the true little boy chubbiness.
  • And last night was my first night at a stitch group in far too long. I laughed and really enjoyed myself. It was in Grey Lynn, an older established and PRETTY suburb of Auckland. Love the way the trees grew to form a canopy.

And stitch-wise, I am well into March’s Stitch MAYnia designer SAL, which was Teresa Wentzler. My goal was to back stitch and fill in a lot of the gaps in the top floral border of Tapestry Cat. I’m really happy with the progress.

And as for the other, that’s for an Instagram swap. My partner loves How to Train Your Dragon, so as one of the pieces I am making her a needlebook with the two main characters front and back. Cloudsfactory make such easy, cute designs for this sort of thing.

What have you been up to?

 

WIP eh..Thursday. Yay, it’s Thursday!

So far, so good. I am swimming along at work (have counted to 10 a few times, but yesterday didn’t hit my self-imposed swear limit, so getting better) and at home. Great amusement is had by the adults of the house, removing critical pieces of the children’s equipment like laptops they try to hide at night…I am also upping the “mean mum” stakes in expecting the boys to monitor their own cell data useage – they do not have the password to the WiFi! Oh, this is fun!

On the stitching side, I am hitting my goals and then some. For the first week of the year, the StitchMaynia 12 Days of Christmas SAL continued, so I worked on the Hands On Design chalkboard Christmas, completing the first trilogy with Be Merry & Believe:

This week is my Magazine SAL week, as hosted by Heather Stitches on Facebook (that link is to her blog, BTW). Because the 12 Days SAL finished on the sixth, I started this piece a bit early, but I have a finish. This is Country Cottage Needlework‘s  Merry & Bright from the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament 2010 issue (as I brought myself the DVD via 123 Stitch in December, I’m planning an ornie for each of this SAL’s entries). I’m planning on a cube finish with present buttons added:

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I did not use the threads recommended (Stitch From Stash, people!). If you want to copy, I did this 2 over 1 on 25ct ivory Lugana with the following DMC changes:

  • the circle is 3364
  • @ is 347
  • the square is 434
  • the dot is Kreinik 032
  • and the half circle is 895

And as that took me only 3 days, I pulled out one of my existing WIPS, Arezzo. All that 1 over 1! Add on Nora’s doctor’s scrawl of a chart, and it can be heavy going. I find it takes me a few moments to adjust even tho I have blown the chart up and use a high-lighter. I have frogged the error that caused me to put her away and made a lot of progress over about 4 hours. I don’t know the original stitcher of this version but she did a beautiful job. Me? I’m plodding along:

And at work, my focus is to finish the stitching part of the second variation of Mill Hill Fireflies. I’ve sorted out the blue thread, and expect to have this ready to bead for Saturday:

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What I Did On My Summer Vacation

So..the family went away. The kids & Grandma flew to Invercargill on the Sunday, then (as regular readers will know) Si & I went the following Wednesday.

I’ve tried to select some different shots from what I posted on IG, and they should have captions. If you want to know more about a place/time, let me know in the comments.

Enjoy!

On New Year’s Day, Si & I then drove the Toy Car back up, along the West Coast, catching the ferry at Picton, spending time in Wellington then back home.

EEP Monday-itis

I’m feeling more than a little off today. It’s the first Monday of the new fiscal month here at work, so it’s busy-busy-busy yet I want to play (as I write this I’m heading into the last couple of hours and I’ve cleared today’s reporting requirements and am up to the 23 store emails from Friday, so at least that’s something). As a family we have a new routine this week with Si away (we’ll see him briefly on Thursday but that’s it until Sunday). I am absolutely stoked to have finished Cloudsfactory A-Team (only 6 stitching nights!), a huge chunk of Persephone’s skirt for Stitch Maynia’s colour challenge (over 2K stitches or nearly half a skein!) and a new start on Emma Congdon’s Wise Words trilogy (altho for now I only want to do the Tolkien). Both my Secret Santas this year are really hard!!!

And on a personal note, I am struggling with forgiveness.

On Saturday my eldest brother let me know that his dad, my stepfather, is very ill and has been admitted to hospital. JM is 87, so this may be his time, but I am struggling to give a crap. I’m on empty when it comes to him & my (biological) mother – and that’s where I have an issue. Great that I’m not angry or disappointed or frustrated anymore – but where is my Christian spirit? My heart is so hard. I imagined visiting and telling him that I forgive their selfishness and the hurt they caused; but as neither honestly believes they have wronged anyone of us children this would be a waste of time, and would hurt me more. I’m having trouble lifting this burden. Please remember me in your prayers this week. x

WIP Wednesday is a bit different

20161101_215933and I apologise to those of you looking for a stitching update (honestly? there’s so little to show) but I do have something else… but I am so so pleased to show you what our eldest boy has achieved – excellence marks all the way for B!

He has also passed NCEA level 2 even before the final exam credits are counted. Phew!

 

Feeling Good

It was the first long weekend of the “summer” for us down here in NZ. The forecast wasn’t too crash hot but who cares? Three days away from the desk beckoned…

And it stayed that way. I thought about work late last night & decided that hey, I’m capable of getting heaps done today, so why break into family time when I really don’t need to? So we snuggled down (as much as one can with a sulky teen) & relaxed. I’m so relaxed right now that I have “losted” my work key and sat in my car until (work) Z appeared this morning! It worked out well as I remembered my alarm code & he couldn’t remember his.

Screenshot_20161022-160919.pngSaturday started with boot camp, like it has for the last few weeks. I am enjoying this start to my weekend. We did the other steps at Trusts this weekend for a change; terraces to bear climb (or reverse bear) or run down, steps to run up, ab work on the dock in the sun, listening to the water rush by. I still don’t like being in photos but there is a huge difference between 8 weeks ago and now. I have cheekbones! That’s Loren, Si & myself, with #masetheace above us. Si keeps telling himself (and us!) that he was the rose. Huh.

In the afternoon I surprised the kids with the Lego exhibit that was on at Trusts. I won over cynic Teen 1 AND 2, not bad for seven bucks a head! We probably spent a couple of hours there; didn’t buy anything but I am lusting after both the Disney castle and Hogwarts – I have earmarked part of my bonus on a family holiday, part towards a canopy for the new ute and now part for a Lego castle. I am earning it, I may as well be frivolous with part of it! Mase dug into his pile of Lego on Monday and created a robot – he asks that you note the “glasses” it is holding.

We also went to Waiwera to soak out the stresses. Biebs stayed home so Lou came; Mase and (regular) Z went down the lazy river, had cannon fights and so on; I got very annoyed at a bunch of 15yo boys who had a go-pro, took over the relax pool and talked (loudly) about boners, shaming fat girls & so on. If any one of them had a gf I’d be very surprised – what little sh*ts. Grateful I don’t see my teens in this mode (altho I am very sure they have a sh*t mode too).

img_20161023_133618Sunday was devoted to Grandma’s house. Two sets of steps are replaced; the gardens are pruned/chopped/weeded, lawns sorted. Hard to believe these were puny $2 buxus that I put in 12-13 years ago. That hedge is as high as my waist now.

Monday started at Bethells dunes with Chris & Loren (Paige & her fam were late). For all the time I’ve spend at the beach, I’d never gone into the dune side. Chris had planned a three-step exercise for us and OUCH my calves were cramping very quickly! However apart from the reverse bear crawls up the slope (no-one managed that) & the two-feet-together-jump-up (only Si managed that) & the body drops (I struggle with those as my wrist goes too far, so I sub out) – I managed to complete a set. Si, Loren & Bran were well into their second set at the end of 20. Then we did a final set as nine – Paige had appeared by then – & I think the kids beat us adults hands down. Next time I’ll bring the board to go down the dunes! 20161024_085847.jpg

The rest of the day was devoted to relaxing (we watched Peter Kay’s Tour that wasn’t a Tour vid, totally recommend & I was in stitches for good portions of it and its fairly clean), getting ready for the week ahead (I prep Si’s & my breakfast cereals, snacks & so on for the whole week on Sundays now as a kick-start & did a lot for the kids also), and speaking of stitches, I got in some time on Andie’s round robin. It was a bit awkward as her stitching is the opposite to mine (/// then \\\) and had forgotten that I could turn it 90 degrees to get the same result and use my method. You can tell I clicked yesterday as the progress was so much more! Doh.

Tag starts this week; Si and Biebs are refereeing at two tournaments a week this summer, on Wednesday and Fridays. Then boot camp is Thursday (I want to start adding Tuesday to my schedule); next Monday sees the start of Tag…our weeks are filing up as Monday swim classes started last week. The next few months are going to be an exercise in balance; but only 15 sleeps until the US Elections (I do not envy your selection), 29 until Thanksgiving (the tradition I think I would adopt) and 60 sleeps until Christmas! So that’s 55 until I’m on holiday…