#craft31days day sixteen

Not a lot of stitching tonight, maybe 80 stitches in all?

The main reason is that Si is sick, so after swimming lessons I drove back into town so B can go to his Force Fit meet. I walked around Silo Park & the Wynyard Quarter back towards the CBD. #masetheace wasn’t too happy as I only let him use the elevator twice, & forbade him from interupting a yoga class on the most amazing glass viewing platform (there was plenty of room for us anyway) but I enjoyed the fresh air.

And summer is coming! That top left photo? That’s the pohutukawa starting to bud. Its our Christmas tree, as its covered in gorgeous red flowers during December. Old Maori tales say that if the tree flowers early, we’ll get a long, hot summer. Yay!

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#craft31days day ten

Wow! We’re almost a third of the way thru the month & I’m pleased to see I’m sticking every day. It’s the little things, but I love the feeling of accomplishment.

#craft31days & going hard… The bathroom is fully done with the tile slate (the Screaming Teen couldn’t be bothered getting out clamps so used #masetheace as a weight on top of my freezer!!!) & half lined in gib.
Second large portion of #fairyidyll is also complete down to the wisper back stitch. Really happy with how this is working up & looking.

#craft31days day eight

I’m down to 5% battery so let’s make this quick.

The bathroom is clean & clear of all the debris. 840kg worth, people. My wrist & shoulders hurt. Simon started nailing down the new tile slate tonight. With “help”.

I managed to get a decent hour or two in Fairy Idyll after everyone else went to bed. Hooray! That’s another 250+ stitches in this weekend.

Hope your weekend was as productive!

#craft31days day seven

I got up early this morning, mostly for coffee & to hustle the Screaming Teen out the door; he was getting picked up at 7am for a day refereeing. I got five or six threads into Fairy Idyll before the rest of the house got moving, then we got stuck into demo.

We learnt a few things.

  • Only one of the walls had the proper gib (wallboard).
  • The toilet pan was glued to the floor. No screws.
  • The cistern wasn’t fixed at all.
  • The basin carcass was also glued, not screwed.
  • The ammt of glue used to hold down the top wouldn’t fill a bottle lid.
  • Surprisingly there was insulation in the outside wall. We had our doubts by the time we got to that one.

I’d forgotten how much I hate demo. And yay! We’ll get to do it all over again with our bath before summer ends.

Bowentown & Karangahake

BowentownThis past weekend, we left B at home (he’s too cool for family stuff, LOL, plus had refereeing commitments) & the four of us went out of Auckland to relax. As is always the way, it took longer to get out of Auckland than the rest of the drive but once we were on the way, it was awesome. Dinner in Paeroa & we see someone from Dad’s work *eyeroll* can’t go anywhere in private!

The house we rented was a decent size 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 lounge that would sleep 8 easy – if anyone wants the detail, please hit me up – and in a really quiet spot well away from the usual holiday residences/camp grounds. Bowentown is down the end of the mini-peninsula from Waihi Beach, which is both more touristy and more settled.  It was a few minutes to walk to the beach, tennis courts, petanque, playground etc & the boys wanted to do everything – except petanque, as apparently that’s only for adults who like wine. Me, in other words.

Saturday morning was GLORIOUS. We were out on the beach exploring as soon as everyone woke & was fed. I had woken at 4 & curled up with coffee, stitching & my eReader. You know it’s time to get up when the other half steals all the duvet, right? So I got to watch the sunrise and drink coffee in peace. Once everyone else was up we went for a long ramble along the beach…

After the beach & a snack we headed out to Karangahake Gorge. On the map above, it’s a little bit to the left of Waikino. This is the site of old gold works & battery, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) who manage the site do a great job. Of course the first person we see is someone we know *eyeroll* but this time it’s Z’s rugby coach Keryn & the Year 12 drama class from college. Z’s year 10, but you could tell the kids were eyeing each other up with the “do I know you?” look.

Anyway, I love this region. History combined with water combined with forest. I am never keen on being enclosed in underground & that 1.1km tunnel does stretch my limits! However the boys love exploring, doing boy things like climbing on old bridge supports, throwing rocks in the river, jumping over streams, bouncing on swing bridges so we happily spent several hours walking. Technically, if you didn’t look at anything and just walked on the one track, it’s only 3.2km & that’s less than an hour.

3a82d9c2bbeb4bcbc1d673c1ef300701--cornwall-new-zealandWe dragged the boys thru a couple of the antique/junk shops in Paeroa (I got a rare ash tray from the 1940 Centennial exhibition. I’m collecting the rarer stuff as it’s cooler to me but as often was in everyday use, hard to find). But they weren’t into it, so we headed to the supermarket then back to the rental.

That evening we napped, had dinner then watched the election coverage until about 11. It was clear reasonably early on that we wouldn’t have a clear government come Sunday, and in fact we might have to wait a fortnight for the special votes to be counted. I’m OK with that. I won’t get into how I voted (we have MMP or mixed member proportional system so you get two votes, one for the person you wish to be your local MP & one for the party you want to govern). Interestingly, it would appear that the Maori Party is gone completely with less than 1% of the total vote. All the Maori electorate seats went to Labour Party (the left) representatives. I don’t agree with many of their policies obviously, being of the “white settler” background & also having no time for racism or secularism or many “ism” at all, but I was astonished none of their candidates made it thru.

Sunday was a bit cooler than the day before. Everyone else slept late, as you should on holiday, but we again explored the area. Si & the boys went to tennis, while I sat lazing in the sun. I did most of the packing & cleaning while they were still in bed, so that there was as little fuss as possible. Being boys, there was still fuss!

We walked around Waihi Beach and surprise! Again there’s someone we know *eyeroll* Z’s principal & his wife. Who were not there with the drama group, but staying at their bach. Then the drive home, & the sheer delight of crawling into our own beds…

If you got to the end of this and asked – but what about the stitching? – rest assured. There’s plenty to show you on Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday #204

Yay! Most everybody got back to me after last week’s announcement (& a bit of social media nagging). The only person who didn’t was Carol, for Poppy Field. So, without further ado, I’ve redrawn this via Random Number Generator, & congrats to ANNE SHAW!

I’ve mostly been stitching at work during breaks, or while travelling. None of my big projects have grabbed me, altho I have put a few more threads into Nantucket Rose over the weekend, and so I’ve been working on two versions of the Florence Renaissance Santa, by the designer Sandra Cozzolino for Mill Hill. One on the perforated paper that comes with the kit, and another on clear 14ct plastic canvas. One for Lou, & one for me. It was Zac’s idea that I stitch both at the same time, as I haven’t created the second of the ones I stitched last year nor the two from earlier this year, & I think it’s worked. I’m up to the beading!

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And because yesterday (here in NZ) was International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I started both versions of Jamaican Caribbean Santa from this year’s series. Arg, me hearties…

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Let’s Catch Up, Shall We?

It’s fair to say that it’s been an awfully heavy month. I have done little else but work, cry, look after mum, try to keep the family sane, stitch & attend bootcamp. I can report that of all those, only work & Mum is the bit where I can consider it a pass.

If you don’t want to read on, you can take a pass here too. Thank you for your kind thoughts & prayers & comments over the last month. They are very much appreciated.

Let’s divide these up into sections:

WORK: I am up-to-date thanks to Jille taking care of one of my in-boxes for a week. I am currently starting at 6am, finishing just after 2, & picking Mase up from school, & into “normal” stuff after. I have run out of leave, as the rest of the adult family didn’t step up (yes, I am a little resentful here). I have another 4-6 weeks of this routine. It’s hard not having a proper lunch break/walk/escape from the office time. One of the buyers is also not speaking to me, the weirdo, as her work crush has been speaking to me! Umm – he has to, we work together?!! I have little patience for child-like, bitchy actions from people in their 50’s! I am treating this like a game & currently we are at day 12. I wonder if this can last until her retirement? Cross fingers!

 

BBM: I tried going to 2-3 of these a week. Unfortunately I’ve re-injured my wrist last Sat at the Strength HQ morning so can’t do half the stuff. I can’t STITCH either! Slowly going insane…cue the CRY. And the migraine, which is completely stress related. The GP yesterday put me onto Rizamelt, which dissolves in the mouth. So I’m more likely to gain a benefit, as the fast-acting migraine the other day left me vomiting.

 

MUM: So the 4 hour hospital appt turned into 5 days. The surgeon taking the lung biopsy cut thru her lung, & so she needed a chest drain. This gave rise to further complications. She doesn’t remember much, as she was pretty out-of-it, but at one point I honestly thought that she was going to die. Lung illnesses are scary stuff. The funniest point was when (high on morphine) she was glaring at one of the nurses, totally convinced the poor woman had kicked a squirrel! Yeah. We don’t have squirrels down here. Not even close.

The upshot is that we don’t yet have a comprehensive diagnosis. This is making Mum giddy, & it took a lot of talking to get her to understand that YES SHE IS STILL SICK and NO YOU CAN NOT GO BACK TO YOUR NORMAL. She likes to bury her head in the sand and ignore what she doesn’t like, which is one reason she got so ill, because she wouldn’t go to the GP until we forced her.

Her ANA tests are sky-high, which indicates an auto-immune disease. Her body is attacking her lungs. Usefully she tested negative for the more common strains, like rheumatoid arthritis etc. Her lung specialist has referred her to the RA clinic, as they deal with the auto-immune complications more than the respiratory clinic, then we go back to respiratory in 3 months time.

In the meantime, she has to eat regularly (at least 3 times a day, one meal fibre cereal & only 2 pc bread a day, which unknown to us was all she was having a lot of the time). Poop every day (instead of once a week). Take vitamins. Walk daily (cue a multitude of complaints). But she has lost 9kg since starting to see the specialist, so that’s good (it took 6 of us to move her in the hospital, as she was in so much pain she couldn’t help us). In another couple of weeks she can go back to the GP & see about clearance to drive & “work” at playgroup & school reading recovery again.

She will have to keep a healthy routine now for the rest of her life, and avoid people with respiratory illnesses themselves. I know this will be super-hard, as she needs to feel useful, but that should be a worry for another day.

If you got to the end of this, thank you! Well done! It was like a mini-marathon to run, & I guess you can tell that my personal stress level is super-high. I’m thinking I should probably take advantage of the work Employee Assistance Programme & the free counselling. Especially as I can’t stab things…