Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Merry Merry Merry.........

A very Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

I'm now all ready to jump onto the plane, and zip my way up to the chaos! :) The present box is packed - with only one present not fitting, which is all good. My suitcase even managed to fit my sleeping bag into it - because you just never know what may happen. Alas... the pack is staying at home this trip, so it won't be any totally wild adventures of that sort.
And... I have books to curl up and read while lazing on whatever beach we stumble across.


So... wishing everyone many blessings over this holiday season with family and friends. And all the best for this new year... may it be one filled with lots of laughter, adventures and love!

For a giggle... here is a picture of our christmas tree. Not quite what you would call typical. We call it "Javier" our beautiful Avocado tree. :) Since none of us were actually going to be here for Christmas, we figured we would honour the faithful plant instead. Jackie shakes her head everytime, and exclaims that it is so wrong... Ains loves it - and I'm just in awe of the awesome plant which was started when Jackie and I first moved into our house. hehehe. It's almost a year old, and about ready to be put into it's own special pot. Maybe I'll even graft it to see if we can grow some avocados of our own?

That's it..... till next year......

Peace and Love!

Thursday, December 22, 2005


I was thinking back to my old "Thankful" jounral that I used to have.....
I need to start that up again. I feel like the bad is consuming me, and I'm missing out on the blessed.
And I don't mean that in a... I'm being down, and out about life and everything in it kinda way. I mean that it's always easier to see the bleak, and I just want to spend less time thinking about that! And at the same time, open my eyes a little wider to take in the awesome. :)

So... Four things that stand out for me today....

* Incredible weather. The changes that happen... the fact that I got to see the lightening this afternoon as I was driving around. I could have very easily have missed it, but I didn't. And I so love lightening. The fact that God obviously knows that. ;) hehe

* Surprising thoughtful moments from people that you don't know well.

* The ability and funds to be able to bless someone else... to see beyond my needs, and my wants and realise I do have excess.

* That I get to jump on a plane in 2 sleeps and fly into a city, to be met by one of my family memebers where I will be given a car to drive North for an amazing family gathering. To top that.... it will be a gathering where we will all be celebrating, and remembering what the reason for this Holyday is.

I've been listening to Mark Schultz new cd... and am absolutely loving it!! His latest song "I AM" is one that I have been blasting while I've been driving around the city centre.... amongst all the frustrated drivers.... singing as loudly as I can - and just not caring, except to know that God is watching, and no doubt laughing away at me. I can handle that.

Listen to it!!
Better yet, get the cd!! and watch the dvd, and then let me know if you cry too! hehehe.

"I am the fountain of living water. The risen son of man, the healer of the broken, and when you cry I am, your saviour and redeemer who bore the sin of man. The author and perfector, beginning and the end!"

Princess Beatrice

"Ms Bea"

The jeep that we drove up to Canada in. It survived the oil in the transmission freezing, and the whole non-stop drive back to the Bay Area.... which is all a total blur to me now. All I remember is that I somehow managed to be the one driving whenever we went into the next State. hehehehe

And this is what happens when a jeep breaks down on me in a dinky little town. (Canmore) Lucky for me, I found some paints, and got to work! :) hehehe. It was amazing the attention we got when we were back in the Bay Area. Met SOOOOO many Kiwi's because of the art work.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

For Mella!!

I told Mella that I would make her a trophy for her awesome writing efforts.

So, Mella. Here you go. Your own, personal, and scrumptious Gingerbread man.

I do hereby proclaim that I LOVE YOUR WRITING!!!! And will gladly curl up and consume any writing that you do. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

life is a highway....

I wanna ride it all night long.

Takes me back to days driving around in the jeep - top and doors off... wind blowing the hair every which way.

Ok... so this emotional highway that I'm on. hehehe.

A while back I wrote about how I'd been trying to find a long lost friend from my Kentucky days. He was at med school at the time, and we'd do all sorts of wacky things together. Ice skating, the opera, hockey games. He was a blast to have around, and was just always someone I really appreciated.
He flew out to San Fran to stay just before I flew back to NZ, and at the time I was abit of a stressed out monkey.
It was still fantastic hanging out with him.... but I probably didn't make as much of the situation as I should have. Especially in hind sight.

I lost him.

I've spent much of this year trying to track him down. I rang the hospital where he did his residency in Wyoming, a clinic in Kentucky. It was pretty hillarious, and upon looking back on it - had similarities to a stalker.

I found him today.

Actually online.

We chatted for a couple of hours about this and that.... and it was so good. I had wanted to apologise for the time that he was over, and just the way I wasn't my normal relaxed self. 6 years later... and I finally did. Of course, he said he had understood - and would always remember me as the relaxed one. :)

I hope that I don't loose him again. But, if I do, I at least had the opportunity to tell him that he was important to me, that I missed him, and thought of him often.

That was important to me.

upside down....

How I love to be blasé about things that bother me or turn my world upside down.

Certainly easier with some things.....

I got an email yesterday. Yeah - an email. I don't generally mind emails. In fact, any kind of mail generally gets me quite excited.

This one didn't. It was from Bruce.

Funny.... there in my inbox it sat - just staring me in the face. And I could immediately feel my heartbeat quicken. My hands probably shook.
Bad, huh.

After 3 years I got an email from him earlier this year. He'd just been back to the States for his younger sisters wedding, and he'd caught up with all the family - so wrote and told me about it. It was cool to hear about it all, though at the same time my heart did flip flops, and I wondered about it all.

I don't love him any more. I don't think I could if I tried. I wonder about him. I'm still in contact with his mother and aunt - though we're not exceptional at keeping in touch. hehehe. Very rarely do either of them mention him to me, which is fine and dandy. It's all kind of a catch 22. I want to hear, but when I do, I do go into emotional mode.

I can't help it.

I've prayed about this one for a long time. That God would heal my heart. That I wouldn't have any feelings for him, and that it wouldn't have any effect on me. I don't want to keep carrying this one around with me everywhere I go. It seems completely insane - especially after the way things were when I was in England. I wanted closure - I got it by the truck load! So - when I say that I don't love him, that I know he wasn't the one, and I know that it all worked out for me. Why the emotional rollercoaster when I get an email?

I feel myself shut down in a way... my heart clamps and I get grumpy. Poor Ben had to deal with it when he first got here. To make it worse, I don't want to talk about it - because it all feels so silly. Is it that I don't want to admit how fragile I am or feel? To admit that it does still effect me after so long. I'd be the first to jump up and down and say ..... no way do I still feel anything. But I guess there is still that feeling of absolute hurt and betrayal. I don't hate him. I don't think I ever did. I just always felt so completely devestated and hurt by it, but forgave him for it all.

Maybe that's it. When I hear from him I close off because someone could do that again, and even though it's been so long, I still have the bruises, and remember all too well how much it hurt then.

Does that mean that I'm holding onto the hurt too closely so that God can't actually do anything about it. The whole... here, fix it, while I cling to it for dearlife because I'm way too scared that even you might accidently do something? And it will hurt all over again... maybe even more.

So... in amongst all this is my absolute fear of rejection... which is like a shadow following me around. It reared it's head when I went to give Ben his Christmas present. Something as silly as that. That he would reject something I had done. It felt like I was giving away apart of myself... and in doing that, opening myself up big time. I had to joke around about it all... saying that he could always just hide it away until I became super famous, and then he could get rid of it and make his millions. You know the whole build yourself up, while in actual fact you are crumbling inside.

ahhhhhhhhhh....... I don't like feeling this way!!!

I don't like pretending either.

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpases knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:16-19

somewhere in it all - there is a peace.


I forgot.

Today is our house Christmas! Yes... we're having dinner together, and opening presents tonight! :) WOHOOOOO!!!!!

I know, I'm excited, although it does also mean that I'm cooking dinner, and I don't know what that's going to be yet? Maybe I'll make some pasta? Traditional to the core. hehehe.

Both Jackie and Ains are leaving tomorrow, leaving me on my lonesome till I fly out on Sat morning. House to myself.... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

in the end....

I managed to get my room completely cleaned up - minus clothes that I can't find a home for... and all before ben arrived.

He arrived with all the groceries to cook up a storm, and I was very well behaved. I mainly kept out of the kitchen while he cooked. He hates me coming in and taking over, which is something I can get a little carried away with in my helpfulness.

And... have to say..... it was a pretty good meal. :) My stomach handled the venison, which was all good. Funny, I can handle the taste of meat, but it's often after eating it that I really regret it. I don't enjoy the taste enough to go through the aftermath. Still... survived, and now, hopefully my iron level is up a little bit. hehehe.

After dinner we went and saw Narnia. It was a pretty good movie.... and totally cool to recognise alot of the scenes as ones that I'm always driving past on my trips. hehehe.
Alas - I didn't realise how long the movie was. Ben had wanted to see King Kong - but we were both put off by the 3 hours. Narnia wasn't that much shorter! hehehe.

Anyway... it was nice to hang out with him... and he liked his Christmas present too. I felt horribly self-conscious giving him one of my photos that I had blown up, and framed for him. Ahhh.... good old rejection I guess. Anyway - he loved it.

Guess what... more gingerbread men are waiting to be made. This really will be the last of them though. REALLY! :)

Monday, December 19, 2005


I'm sure it's an art form that I am mastering. hehehe.

I was about to take a pic of my room - but decided I would just hang my head in absolute shame at what it's become... so, instead, I'll take a pic once I've finished the rehaul!

I know that all my comings and goings don't make it easy to keep everything in place - also, I have an issue with some of my storage space, being that it got VERY DAMP over the winter, so I have clothes everywhere, and nowhere to put them. Trust me, my room is rather unique as far as not having a wall to put anything on - besides the one that my bed is on. hehehe. I have a bookcase which runs along one wall - with my desk in the middle.... huge window seat runs along another wall, then two cupboards, and some wacky shelf thing that takes up all of the other wall. I love the room itself... but gets a little frustrating at times.

So... I guess I'd better jump to it. Could turn out to be an all day project yet. hehehe. And Ben is coming round to cook me a scruptious dinner tonight. My first experience with Venison. Pray that my stomach can handle it - and that I don't jump on the defenssive with him. I haven't seen him in MONTHS, and I just don't think he gets that I miss him.

I was thinking about the way people show their value for others. (hope that makes sense) I often think that the people that mean the most to me, are completely oblivious to the fact, and I mean very little to them. Could just be a pity party? That, and I'm just feeling a little more raw than I should. Emotions are high, and I'm feeling vulnerable and scared. hehehe. The things I do. I'd rather live on the edge and put everything into relationships....

"It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved....." I pretty much apply that to everything that i jump into. My heart is on my sleeve... and while it gets a little bruised sometimes - on my sleeve it will stay.

Sorry.... rambling. Must need coffee before I start this mamoth task. hehehe!

Sunday, December 18, 2005


"Christians are somehow prone to talking more about where they’ve been instead of where they are. Very few people want to speak up while they are in process… They’d rather wait until their junk is resolved, so they can give a “testimony” about the happy ending. As it relates to your writing, please don’t feel the need to tie it up with a bow at the end." Brad O’Donnell

Hmmmmmmm.... funny concept to think that all of our junk is ever all resolved?! :)
I like it.... but don't think it happens..... that is, until we come face to face with our maker. :)


Things like this make me mad.... and sad!!

Lord's Prayer At School Angers Parents
A complaint has been lodged after an Auckland primary school included a reading of the Lord's Prayer at a weekly morning assembly.

The parents of a pupil at Victoria Avenue School in Remuera has complained to the Human Rights Tribunal, after going to an assembly in which several religious references were made.

Parent Dr Nicki Butt believes prayers are not appropriate at secular state schools.

She says she and her husband now need to prove that their daughter has been harmed and says the attitude of the school and the abuse she and her husband have received from other parents has caused part of the harm.

Can't get my head around it..... and now, how do they prove that it has harmed their daughter???? How can saying the lords prayer harm anyone? I have to listen to enough of the things that everyone else says that goes completely against what I believe... I don't go to the extreme to say that it harms me - while for those out there speaking death... it does!


that's it... just had to get it out now.

Friday, December 16, 2005

so it is....

One of my stops on the way to Hanmer.... historic walk where there was once a train track.

Another fairly quiet week away.
Got to catch up with J&J up in Nelson. Actually ended up going out there after work and gardening with them. Nice to have company and people to talk to for a while. Plus - my favourite time of day to be out there pulling out the weeds - early evening/dusk.
I'd made some whipped shortbread to take up for some clients and for them. So we sat out on the deck and had high tea.

Ains has been wanting me to meet a friend of hers up there for ages. A guy that she did her nursing training with. We finally got to go out and have coffee together. Kind of funny meeting some stranger again, like that. I haven't been brave enough to meet someone that I don't know in a long time. (Does that make any sense?) I guess my self confidence is still hanging around my ankles. It's not that I don't love meeting people either. Anyway.... it was nice meeting him, and knowing that there is someone else I can ring when I'm up that way. We sat over coffee and talked music for pretty much the whole time. He had even managed to get tickets to the U2 concert. hehehe. alas, was not gentlemanly enough to ask if I would like to go with him.

I got back yesterday in time to help Ains out with her Mexicana party. Was complete madness when she eventually got home. Jackie and I were abit miffed - but managed to pull everything together, and she had a great night which was the aim. Just realised again how differently we all deal with situations, and how different our gifts are too.

Now... I'm zonked! And meeting a friend from teacher's college days for breakfast bright and early tomorrow. Really looking forward to catching up. I've asked if I can do some reading programmes with his class next year - just so I don't completely forget what I learnt... should the desire to ever teach again come and hit me over the head. I don't think it's likely.... though I have been thinking about the whole youth worker type stuff again. Nothing serious - promise. Just thoughts.

Lots of thoughts. And I'm really just looking for that light.... at the end of the tunnel.

Anything I've ever done that was ultimately worthwhile.... initially scared me to death.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

pretty picture postcard.....

This weeks ppp had to be this one..... was driving along.... on the road between Blenheim and Nelson - totally the middle of nowhere. It's a windy, hilly trip, and there was the tree. All nicely decorated. It took me a while to find somewhere for me to turn around and get back to it to snap the picture.
I thought it was gorgeous! :)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

sea of.....

Thank goodness.... all done!

So.... I take off tomorrow for my last week up North before Christmas.... praying I get a really good nights sleep.
First I need to go and clean up the amazing kitchen... putting away all the little men. :)

Be good while I'm gone!

"You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them, or to them."

milly molly mandy.....

Miss Milly Molly Mandy is now a proud mother.

Sounds so corny.

Regardless.... there are now 4 puppies at home, just waiting for me to get up there. YAY!
Mum rang last night to let me know.... says they look amazingly like snoopy. hehe. I guess he was based on a tiny puppy, rather than a grown beagle.

Mum is feeling a little over run with animals, and I don't think we've even had any foals yet. Still have some calves, 9 kittens, and now puppies.
I tell you... it really is more a zoo than a farm. (especially when you include my brothers into the equation.)

Gingerbread men are in production again. And I hate to say it, but I will be soooo glad when this is all over and done with. I'm tired of them. hehe.

Also had friends round for dinner tonight, and cooked a huge lasange, salad and peach and apple pie. I'm shattered now.

So... nighty night world.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

name sake....

I'm often asked what CJ stands for.
And there is a stuborn part of me that doesn't want to open up and tell people.

I am CJ. All my close friends, bar one call me CJ, and alot of them probably have no idea what my real name is.
Of course... I'm someone else at work. hehehe

Yes... I have an alter ego.

Let me introduce myself.
I'm Christina Jane.

My Name had to be Christina, though my mother wanted to spell it with a K to be different, but my dad had it in his head that he wanted a CJ. As it happened he followed it with a DJ and an AJ, Tam is the only one who didn't get it. hehe. Of course, I'm the only one that gets called by their initials.

So... my name had to be Christina. It's been a tradition in my mothers family... the name goes from first to second name to first...

My grandmother was Christina Mary, my mother, Bridget Christina, and myself... Christina Jane. So, should I ever have a daughter - her middle name will be Christina.

Do you know how hard it is to find a name that works well with Christina as the middle name? hehehe. Not that I need to worry about that one right now.

My Grandmother was known as Tina, and I was known as Christy to her, my aunts and mother. I couldn't imagine EVER being called Tina. Pity the poor person that ever try it. I have enough problems with people calling me Christine. I really went into CJ mode when I moved over to the States. It was while I was very angry at God for so many different things - but mostly my grandmother dying. And I didn't want to be reminded of her by being called Christina. I know... odd, but just one of those things. I've been CJ ever since with friends. I only really got back into Christina when I started working over here, especially with my teaching. While CJ suits me, it's not particularly professional. hehe.

The only friend in my life that calls me Chris would be Nig... but then, he also calls me chook. :P

Now I get all confused answering the phone.... who am I? hehehe. If I answer CJ, so people question it, and if I answer Christina, the other's are confused. Classic, huh.
Either way... I like it!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I seem to think that this photo was taken about 4 years before Granny died. It was while we were having a bbq out at their place.

My grandparents bought a 5 acre section with a gorgeous old house on it which they retired to. It was the first "home" that I had when we moved to New Zealand. The place where I fell asleep in the bath, where I met my first Huhu bug and where my first pony came to live, also where I became a woman. hehehe

My mother's parents were a crazy couple. The pillar of our family and all it's wacky traditions. It took a while for me to get my head around it all after leaving Canada, but now I see it in all it's glorious splendour.

We had all our Christmas'at their house. We would meet at church in the morning, and then go home for the mayhem. Grandad always cooked a HUGE ham and turkey with new spuds from the garden, along with loads of beans and pumpkin. His Vegie garden was for his grand children. And every year as we got older, the garden got bigger. :)

Santa would always visit us to deliver the presents - it would often be someone who didn't have any family that would come and join in the fun, dressed as santa with a very special mission. We would have the presents distrubuted to everyone.... all 13 grand children, the 3 daughters, 3 sons in law, and whoever else came to join the party. After that, it would be time for a HUGE lunch....

After lunch you would often find a few of the sons in law snoozing on the sofa, while the kids played with the new toys, and the draw was being readied for the golf tournament extravaganza!

We would all be paired up with someone to play a round of the golf course, which changed every year, and wound its way around their amazing garden. You were always incredibly lucky if you landed Granny or Grandad as your partner.... they won loads of trophy's every year, so were the favourites. hehehe. It would basically be a round robin... the winner receiving the trophy to share for the year with their partner. (Which reminds me - I never got the trophey this year! My partner has hogged it!)
The trophy itself is quite the work of art... a person made from wire, with a club in his hand, golf ball and tee to finish it off. Classy! On the back it lists the winners from the last, guessing 15 years. Very precious indeed.

Inbetween all that you would jump into the salt water pool to cool off, and splash around. There would be people jamming on their guitars and singing away. My cousins had formed a band, with trombone, trupet, drums and guitar, plus clarinet when needed. They were hillarious, and so gorgeous.

One of the regular "extras" for Christmas was a Canadian girl; Katie woowoo. I don't know where we found her? She may have been a hitch hiker? Or may have come over to work on the Woodies farm? I don't remember.... we've missed her though, and this year she's back!! :)
She introduced the Bag of presents into our day. Now we each have to buy a small present to go inside the bag, and sit in a circle. The bag goes around and you decide if you want to open the present you pulled out, or you can pick one that someone else has already opened. BUT WAIT. Once you've gone around the circle - you go back the other way again... either keeping your present when it's your turn, or picking someone elses. Yes... imagine how that went when we were all much younger. hehe. "But I wanted the snorkle!" "I didn't want a shower curtain!" I tell you, anything and everything ended up in that bag. It's hillarious. :)

We had one Christmas at Bombay after Granny died. Poor Grandad wondered around like a lost soul that day. Often sitting off in a corner, watching us all, but looking as though he didn't know what to do with himself. A blessing that he died before there was another one?!

Now the Christmas' are shared amongst the daughters. Ros and Hugh have a bed and breakfast up on the Whangarei Heads... a gorgeous house overlooking the harbour, where we sail and kayak. Simon and Rosalind got married right on the waters edge - in fact, we (bride with her bridesmaids) sailed into the wedding. Was totally amazing! :) Always a very challenging golf course, as it's on a hill.
Anne and Philip have a sheep farm with caves on it, which is becoming more of a tourist attraction - though totally rough! Massive gardens... HUGE! Also a very challenging golf course due to the slopes. hehehe. And perhaps the cries of Annie telling us to be careful of the plants?! :) It's also totally out in the middle of nowhere!
And then my parents... our horse farm with goats, cows, cats and dogs. We have the flatest garden, but somehow, my creative brother manages to make the most technically difficult courses every time it's there.

It's funny. With everyone getting married, ( out of 13, 6 are now married) we kind of wondered what would happen to the huge family Christmas.... but it would seem it's just doubled in size! hehehe. Anyone who marries into the family is instantly apart of the chaos. It actually surprises me in a way that even the girls who have married in love it as much as all of us. I somehow think that once you've experienced one of our crazy days, you don't want to be anywhere else. I could of course be completely bias to it all.
My cousin, Ellie and her husband, Josh arrived back from England the weekend of Dave's wedding back in Oct, and while I think they quickly stoped in to say hi to his parents - they were quickly whisked down to our place for the wedding for the whole weekend. We talked about it, and Ellie said she didn't think she would be quite so keen had it been for Josh's side of the family - but he knew what we were like.... how you just don't miss something like that. hehehe. Poor guy was completely shattered by the end of it all and finally got to catch up with his family at the end of it all.
Anyone who has married in has certainly become such apart of the family.... all my cousins wives are totally my cousins, even some of my cousins cousins are considered to be my own. hehe

We are a completely blessed bunch, and it's very cool that we are so able to invite other people along to join in the fun.

So... while I've tried to explain it all to my South African friend, Jiljane who is flying up with me this year... I don't think I can fully do it justice. It's a tradition. One filled with love, and laughs. One that started more years ago than I've been around for. And one that won't be ending any time soon, while the family continues to grow....


Lastest pic of the whole family - minus Erin and Bruce.


So, tickets went on sale yesterday for U2, who will be over here for a concert, March 17th. I didn't have the money to buy a ticket, and figured that the tickets would sell out pretty quickly.... but in under 2 hours.
They announced that there would be a second concert - on the 18th, and the tickets will go on sale next Monday. I'm away from Sunday, and won't be anywhere to get a ticket. That, and I don't really have anyone to go with. Last time I saw them was in Columbus, Ohio for their POP tour. Awesome night, but I'd gone along with a German and Irish friend, and they were more interested in getting stoned.... so I stood and watched the concert, screaming my head off by myself. Yeah, I know it's a concert, and what the hell do you need company for - but.... I'm actually sick of doing all these things on my own. I want to have someone around for afterwards when you can say,... yeah, and when they sang... woweeeeeeeee! :)

So... I need to check out flights to Auckland, and seek out that crazy person who will want to go along with me before next Monday, when I'll then have to find someone to buy the tickets too. hehehee.

All out - I'll be around $500 out of pocket to get there..... do I go? I love the guys... but I could go and do a weeks kayaking in Abel Tasman for the same price.
Ahh well.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Realised that I had missed a whole lot of the stories from my last trip North, which is crazy. It was such a crazy trip.....
BUT... to cause confusion, I'm going to go with this last weeks first.

Nothing too exciting happened the first couple of days.... I got to deliver the little men to everyone, which was kind of exciting. Not sure what people really thought - but that's ok.
Benny didn't make it down to Queenstown on Monday night, but I was pretty much expecting that. He flew out for Auckland tonight, and there was talk of a quick coffee, but he had a pile of stuff to get done, and I think he was kind of nervous about the driving around Auckland in a big bus, having no idea where to go - so I'll catch up with him one of these days I guess. I always joke with him when summer comes along - that I'll just catch up with him in the winter. That's just the way it goes, and it's better if we don't make plans, cause I can't help but get excited.

Anyway.... uneventful first few days.... gorgeous countryside, and wow... the lupins are absolutely everywhere. I drove past fields and fields of them, and they lined many of the roads. It was beauitful. :)

I hadn't booked anywhere to stay in Dunedin before I left. It's still one of those places where I have yet to find a "home" really. I haven't had an terrible experiences, but none of them have been great. I do like staying right downtown, being able to walk everywhere, but this time.... my timing wasn't great. It was graduation that weekend, and it would seem town was all booked up.
Last time I was down there I'd driven around, checking out the beaches and stumbled across some serviced apartments. I figured way out of my legue, and so far away that I'd forgotten all about them. Anyway... I gave them a call, and scored myself a room. I couldn't afford to stay in the rooms which were right on the beachfront - but figured I would survive - being happy with walking to the beach.
Got there.... and found the coolest place, really. Totally different from anywhere else I've stayed. I basically had my own living area, with dining table and chairs. The ceilings are about 14/16 foot studs, with awesome huge windows. The place is now called the mansion. Has a cosy kitchen with dishwasher in it, bathroom and bedroom, and from all the windows I looked out over one of the cool courtyards. It was very nice - and actually with the colours, it was exactly what I would do with a house of my own. Cosy and warm.

This was the view from my bedroom.

Doesn't really do it justice at all.

After getting everything into my room.... I wandered on down to the esplanade.... it was a pretty overcast evening - so no dramatic sunset for me... but I had my camera with me anyway. Got some shots of the brave surfers, and people walking down the beach. There is a heated salt water pool at the end, and they seemed to be having a bi-athalon, or some kind of race going on. There were people running past me, back to the pool....
I was standing there soaking up the salty smells and just enjoying being out of the car when I heard someone yell "Christy".
Not very often that I hear that one..... so I look around to see my cousin running along towards me. I'd sent her txts earlier that day to see if she'd have time to catch up. We were going to do dinner the next night, so this was a cool surprise run in. I was about to give her a hug, when she laughed and told me she had to finish the race... and I should meet her at the end. hehehe...
Was an awesome surprise to bump into her like that.
Had a quick catch up then.... and we decided that we'd have dinner at my place the next night.
The next day was pretty good. Had a great time catching up with my customers, but then I always do in Dunedin. Good thing I only really have to deal with a few people there, because my whole mornings are always spent at just one place. We always have so much to get through, and lots of laughs along the way.

That night was great. Since I started the job, and Nicola and I have had time to hang out, I guess we've gotten closer. Not guessing - we have! I guess I went overseas when she was still young, and got back and didn't spend any time with her before I moved down to Christchurch.... so missed out on alot. Thinking about it - we're actually quite similar... both love taking off and finding new adventures, meeting people and making the most of things.

The other night was the first time I'd talked to anyone about Grandad dying - which happened a month after I'd move to Kentucky - so I wasn't around for any of that. I'm sure that mum told me bits about the funeral.... but it was good to talk to Nicola about it. Almost 10 years later, and I get to hear the funny stories.
It was quite emotional for me to hear it all, but so good too.
The funeral was on my birthday, and I always think about him then... and just wonder.
It was all so sudden and to top it off.... he'd come to the airport to see me off, and had dissapeared just before my boarding call, and I never got to say goodbye. I have a picture of everyone there - minus him. That still makes me sad.

So... a good night talking about things that went on.

Right... way past bedtime here.


Saturday, December 03, 2005

the story continues....

I talked to Mike this morning. Yes, he woke me up before 7 on a Saturday morning!! hehe. Doesn't bother me being woken up, though I know that I'm going to be feeling sleepy tomorrow morning, for sure.

He'd read my blog yesterday... and had something to say about my whole "Mike Bashing" entry.
Of course, I was instructed to write something here.... but I can't remember. hehe. Can I blame it on my sleepy state. Won't go down well, but I'll do it when I remember what I was going to write.
For now... I guess an apology of sorts will feature here....

He challenged me when I started writing my blog to be open and honest about how I was feeling - and that was certainly a fine display of honesty, so he can't get mad at that, but he does feel as though I neglected to mention any of the good stuff. hehe. Poor Mike.
Good stuff.... he is a good guy, and I know that he didn't mean to make me feel small by mentioning the whole briscoes thing to me.... yes, he should know when I'm needing a little more support, but I should be less sensitive.

Ahhhhhhh... it's over and done with, really. He's a good guy.... and I still miss him, in his removed like status, which I've kind of stuck him in. (I'm sure that makes a whole pile of sense.)
I know he'll listen to me, and give me real words, not the whole made up stuff to try and make me feel better - and in all honesty, I appreciate that about him, but I do wish he'd figure out when I need abit more.

So..... Sir Mike.... I'm sorry..... Now, hurry up and get your name so you can write comments for rebuttals yourself.

last one

Ains has a thing for Pink.... so wanted to see me do something with it.

I actually like it better than the black and red one, but need to have the continuity going for the group with the red writing... so this is a loner.

It's Jacx and Shayne's anniversary tomorrow.... a whole year since the chaos of the wedding. hehe. Wow, it has flown!
Thought I might give them this one?


Have been wanting to do a set like this for a while. Not typically me using words, but there you go. Think I'll give them to Tessa and Tamati for Christmas?

This is one I did a while ago.... I did a couple of flowers for friends - quite different to this one. It hangs happily out in the hall, and actually looks ok there. (for an amature.... I think I'm actually happier with my photos being up than I am my paintings.)

Friday, December 02, 2005


Back and ready to go sleep. I went and got out a dvd when I got home, after grabing the essentials from the grocery store. It took me ages to pick out something. Totally lacking inspiration. Ended up with an Aussie flick that just dragged. I wanted something funny and easy to watch, since I've hardly got the brain cells to keep funtioning. hehe. I was going to get out Aprés Vous... which I've wanted to see for ages, but the prospect of reading while watching just about did my head in. Maybe over the weekend instead?! :)

Anyway.... hope everyone had a gorgeous week!

I certainly enjoyed my backwards trip.... funny how you are driving down the same roads, but everything looks so fresh from the opposit direction. hehe. Sounds so logical, huh.

I'll post tales from the trip over the weekend. No absolute madness, but some fun!

Ka kite.


A slice of the South Island for you..... Lake Pukaki with Mount Cook in the background. Pretty spectacular, and I was amazed at how much snow we'd had since I was last down there. Bizarre weather.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

hours later....

This is what I've ended up with..... 20 bags of little men and christmas trees. hehe.
And the great thing... I get to do it all again in a couple of weeks. :) hehehe. At least I know what I'm doing now. Think I can handle it, though thank goodness it will be over soon.

So... they are all packed up now, and I think I'm going to have to pack all my clothes in the morning. Just want to crash now.
Meeting up with benny tomorrow night in Queenstown, at least that's the plan. Going to be a long drive, and I honestly wonder if I was nuts for doing the trip this way round. Will have to see.

Hope everyone has a fantastic week. Almost December... wohooooooooo.

So, take care.... till the end of the week.

Arohanui. xx

(Maori - aroha meaning love.... nui - with. So, With love.)

my new man.....

Now..... since I've pretty much filled up my kitchen with cute, spicy and lovely smelling men.....

It's time to start icing!!!

Hopefully I'll have a pic later of how they turn out.

(all flatmates have run away, and I was hoping ben would be showing up today, after his huge 5 weeks of intrepid journeys... he's gotta want my company again by now, surely? and to be around all of us? and to know that I'll cook? hehehe )

more mail...

This time round......

to make me feel all grown up?

I got my first Jury Summons.

That's right folks. The week of February 13th, 2006 I've been summoned to attend as a juror at the Christchurch District Court. (of course my name was picked at random from the jury list... but still.)

Scary huh! hehe

Saturday, November 26, 2005

work in progress.....

Matthew 10:29-31 (The Message)

Forget About Yourself
29"What's the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. 30He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail--even numbering the hairs on your head! 31So don't be intimidated by all this bully talk. You're worth more than a million canaries."

I slept in.
Pretty good for a Saturday morning. And no, I didn't even head up the hill for the traditional mocha and view.
Today started with what has kind of become the ritual phone call from Mike. We kind of have fleeting messages during the day - which is pretty much the only form of communication going for us when I'm at home, and maybe a few txts while I'm on the road - but otherwise Saturday mornings are the only time we actually talk. And I miss the conversations.

I'll admit right now that I'm tired, and not sleeping well. That I am overly sensitive. And, that maybe, just maybe, I'm not thinking rationally all the time.
BUT.... still.

I'd sent Mike a message yesterday after I talked to Tamati and Tess, and mentioned the whole idea of moving back up there. Go and live on the farm for a while, save the pennies, head over to Canada.... but be around the family first. He was like - yeah. ok. Don't forget about the Canada thing.

Right now I'm feeling useless at work. I'm frustrated at the lack of communication, and the fact that when I email and ask for feedback on how I'm doing that I get none. I have no idea what they are thinking. I really would like some support, feedback, ideas! I don't like dragging along, not being the best that I can be in this situation.... and so, I want to jump ship. I know that it will all be better next week when I'm away - because it is always bussier, and I feel as though I'm doing something worthwhile.... but is it enough to feel useful for 2 weeks out of 4. I miss the chaos on my old job. I thrive on being busy, and doing well. I want that feeling back.

So, mix my self doubt at work with my longing to be near family and animals, and sooty dying and you get a pretty good mix of confussion.

Dad called in the afternoon and I asked him how he would feel about having his daughter move home. hehehe. Cheeky, huh. I never thought I would move home. He was, like....
"oh... ok. Are you not happy down there right now?"
"No, dad. I can't get my head around it all, and I don't know what to do. I think moving up there would be good."
"Ok then."

He said he would talk to me in the weekend.

So... told Mike all of this on the phone.

"what would you do up there?"
"get a job... "
"are there any briscoes up there in Hamilton?"
"Yeah, two in Hamilton, one in Cambridge. But I thought I'd try and find something similar to what I'm doing now."
"In Hamilton? oh. ok."

Hmmmmmmmm.... my mind races......
He's saying that I'm not capable of being more than a check out chick. WHY?! Or better yet... there is always McDonalds.

Call me insane.... I want someone to sit down and tell me I can be great! That while I struggle to figure out what I'm meant to be doing.... that it doesn't matter... I can do anything!

I felt belittled by him saying I could go back and work at Briscoes.
Sure if I could get the job that I was doing before the job change - great. I'd love that for a while. :) But he knows saying that I should go work there that it would not be doing that job. That it would be standing at check out. And I'm not doing that. It's not what I aspire to do. It's not what I'm worth. And damit. I am capable of more!!!!!

He had me in tears, though I doubt he realised that.

And when I tried to explain how it all made me feel, he told me that I was being too sensitive, and that I needed to be able to see it for what it was. A comment that I would be able to get a job.
Why would I want ANY JOB? I get bored... I know that... hello! Why am I so frustrated in my current job... BECAUSE I"M BORED!!!

I just don't know what I want to do.... but I need to be challenged, and stretched, and be around people.

I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with working in a store.... or being a check out chick. I'm saying that I would be in an even worse situation than I am now!
And I guess I was hoping for some insight, thoughts and support.

I thought he would get that.


Expectations..... I'm mad at him, but I know it was my expectations that he would get it, that he would have nice things to say, and that he would have some ideas that wouldn't make me feel worse are really to blame.

I want to kick his pompos ass..... he can sit up there... get his new job... his pay rise, and not give much thought to what he's doing with his life. He's pretty much set. He'll get married next year.... have the kids, get the dog... and that's that.

And I'm happy for him... that he gets to have that......

but I'm gutted that he can't see where I am, and how I feel.

Philippians 1:6
6There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

thought first

Psalm 139
For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O LORD, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my every thought when far away.

You chart the path ahead of me
and tell me where to stop and rest.
Every moment you know where I am.

You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, LORD.
You both precede and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to know!

I can never escape from your spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there.

If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.

I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night--
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are both alike to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother's womb.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous--and how well I know it.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!
They are innumerable!
I can't even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up in the morning,
you are still with me!

O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!

They blaspheme you;
your enemies take your name in vain.
O LORD, shouldn't I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn't I despise those who resist you?
Yes, I hate them with complete hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Friday, November 25, 2005

you've got mail.....

Yes, I'm still a HUGE fan of snail mail. :) How could you not get a buzz out of getting a note in the mail. It means that someone was thinking of you, and went to that little bit of trouble to say so with an envelope. hehe.

Call me old fashioned, I don't mind.

So, today... I got mail!

A PPP from my darling mother.

What on earth is a PPP? I hear you ask.

Pretty Picture Postcard.

My great aunt, who was a super staunch old maid, living over in England would always use that term with my mother and I.
Girls, I'd like a PPP from your next trip.

Everywhere I go, I try to remember the PPP. I send them to mum now that Peggy has died. I tease my friends when they head overseas, and beg them to send me one, but for some people - it's just too much of an effort. I can't hassle them too much. Come to realise it's just something that I get a kick out of, and I'm better to just send them to the people I know will smile. :)

My PPP today was from when mum and dad were in Australia for a couple of weeks.

Anyway... the above picture is my PPP for you guys. Little ol' NZ to help you get through your winter.

The journey has always been about laughing together, loving each other, seeking adventure, believing in our dreams and making a difference......

but sometimes we forget.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

SushiEspecially for Neo... I mentioned this to him ages ago, as a random song.

A mellow kiwi artist, who has the nack for sharing stories in song....


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sorrow mixed......

I don't want to dwell.... but I do want to remember.

So the story begins.

"Sooty" was a not meant to be.

I guess I should start from the beginning, somehow? Bare with me.

When we moved from Canada back in '85 my parents decided to bring along a couple of horses. Yeah... cause what's a huge move without a little more chaos?

So, we found the perfect subject; JMF Beam Song (aka Tui), for such a move at the Calgary Stampede. Yeah, it really is a great place for abit of shoping. hehe.
My mother grew up with horses, and is a little mad on them. While in Canada she found the Morgans and eventually discovered there were none in New Zealand. What an opportunity!

When we left Canada, they had organised for Tui to be sent to NZ.. of course, at this stage, my dad was staying on in Canada to look after packing and everything. He decided to do one better than my mum and bought a colt to keep Tui company. So.... in Jan of '96 JMF Royal Secret (aka Secret) landed on the good old Kiwi soil with Tui.

The two have been a fantastic match... Tui's had 13 foals, inbetween doing combine driving with me, and all the pony club chaos you would ever want in a lifetime.

I had outgrown my first pony, and while I used to ride Tui, she was always in foal, so not available for all the madness year round. It's not alot of fun having to ride around with a foal following.

Anyway... for the first time ever, Tui didn't get in foal. The vet had come and given her a negative pregnancy check. This delighted me, as I'd been doing alot of riding since her last foal was weaned, and I think we'd even been working on breaking her into driving then too. So... Tui and I were matched and best buddies. In fact, I doubt very much that I would have gotten through that year with any sanity had it not been for my daily rides.
Poor Tui is your typical Morgan.... one that needs no grass to survive. Put her on the spring grass and she'll blow up, and just keep eating until she explodes.
That season, the horse was in her "Jenny Craig" pen, ALOT! We were doing show hunter, and alot of jumping... and for the first time I was getting it. Feeling brave enough to go higher and higher, and know that Tui would fly with me. :) It was all awesome!
Anyway.... while a little stumped about her never loosing alot of weight we just kept tripping on.

One night, I was heading off to pony club... standing in the drive, ready to ride off, when mum suddenly looks under her, and gasps.
Tui had bagged up.

I jumped off... and looked, and no doubt, screamed!!!

5 days later, little sooty was born.

My poor, beautiful mare had been starved all year, worked really hard and all the while, was in foal.

Tui has always liked company when she's foaling, and is always really easy.... so I sat and watched as my poor foal was born. Amazed that she'd managed to carry full term, and not abort it earlier since she was no doubt lacking alot of nurishments all the while.
Needless to say, Sooty was tiny, but everything was fine. I'd got a pony from Tui and Secret. :) She grew to be 14'2" which is the perfect pony size, and was going to be great to drive.

As she grew older she was identical in looks to Tui... just a smaller version, and with such an awesome heart and personality. She nearly died when I first got back from the States, from Colic, and getting a tear during an examination - but somehow trouped through all of that, to the absolute amazement of all the vets that were dealing with her. It became a case study at the University.

She had one foal earlier, who is still around, so that's something.

I declared after that fiasco that I wanted to ride the stalions from then on. They couldn't get in foal!

I've only got two terrible photos that my mother sent me while I was living in the States, so a pic will have to wait till I'm up at the farm over Christmas. I really can't wait to get up there now. I just want to go hang out around all the animals and feel that all is right in the world.

Right now, it all feels a little topsy-turvy.

Can I hang in here till May?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


things happen that just throw you more than a little off balance.

yesterday was one of those days.

* my car brooke down (starter motor, which is all fixed now)
* my computer decided to do a minor freak out
* my mum calls to tell me that one of my horses jumped a couple of fences, ended up on the road, being hit by a car and killed.

and i wonder how long she lay on the side of the road? did she die immediately? was the person driving speeding? could they have missed her?

i am grateful that no one was hurt, but gutted. heartbroken. shattered. puffy eyed. super sensitive. shocked. so sad that she's been burried somewhere else, and i won't be there. and now... racooned eyed once more.

I know it doesn't compare to the pain that so many other's are experiencing, but it makes you realise how it's all such an individual thing, and so relative to each person.

Yeah... great day.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stone and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace......

God has made everything beautiful in its time.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

Saturday, November 19, 2005

bicycle built for two......

I was driving along the Kaikoura coast... minding my own business, when suddenly... yes, suddenly from around the bend comes a guy riding a penny farthing. OK... not exactly what you would expect to stumble across on State Highway one. But it got funnier.... they kept coming.
Turns out they were touring the South Island on these things. Yes, you too could tour New Zealand on a penny farthing. How much fun would that be, once you figure out how to ride the thing! :)

It was a beautiful sight, and certainly brought a smile to my face... especially to see some of them in costume to boot. Pity there was nowhere for me to pull over and snap a picture of it all. I promise, it wasn't a dream though.


had dinner with my aunt and uncle in Blenheim.... and before hand Margy and I went for a walk around some of the neighbouring farms. We stumbled across these guys. Thought it was a great typical NZ scene to share with everyone.

Was actually really lovely to catch up with them. I haven't seen much of them at all growing up. They have a daughter - Huia who is a couple of months older than me, and we were really close going through high school, but have since drifted apart. She's living in London now.

Anyway... will catch up on the week in the next blog. For now...

See Ewe. ;)

Monday, November 14, 2005

next, please.

Leave tomorrow... rather, today for the next big adventure. Wohooo.. bring it on I say!

So - just thought i would leave a note to say... SEE YA at the end of the week. It's always funny catching up on all that has gone on while I've been gone - but i'll manage.

Just booked my flights up to the farm for Christmas. Brilliant stuff! A friend of mine, and previous flatmate is actually flying up with me, which will be fun. She and I have kind of drifted apart since I moved out of the house, so this will be an exceptional opportunity to catch up and have an adventure all at the same time. So looking forward to it. And to top it off... she just said this is the first Christmas she's actually looking forward to since moving to NZ 6 years ago. :) I know she'll have a great time with my mad family. Don't know anyone who hasn't enjoyed coming along to our family Christmas'. They really are a great time for everyone, and there are always strangers who have been picked up to come along. She'll fit in perfectly. Plus... she hasn't seen a whole lot of the North Island either... so that will be a big bonus.

Hoping that I can borrow Dad's car, which the poor guy never seems to actually get for himself... always being taken off by someone else.

I haven't heard how their trip to Australia was yet. In fact, not even sure when they are getting home yet?

Right... sore throat, and it's already late enough.

Have a great week!


If the traveler expects the highway to be safe and well graded, he might as well stay home. The little roads without numbers are the ones I have liked best, the bumpy ones that lead over the hills towards vicinities unknown.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

lost words

happiness is to
love quiet summer days
consuming every minute
with such long secret naps
letting these dark blues burn away
like liquid tendrils
showering on glass skin
growing wild through
love and trust
hoping there could always be little moments

together like this.



I was talking to ben a while back about the meaning of life.... haha.

No seriously... I can't remember how this came up, but he must have been talking about what he wanted to do next year... and somehow we got onto the subject of what we would leave behind. He was saying how cool it was that he and his sister had a house in Nelson in a trust for both of them... and how he wondered if he would ever be able to do anything with his life.
I remembered a story that I must have read to a class at one stage about an old lady, who had traveled the world, and done lots of wonderful things with her life - but didn't really have anything to show for it, and she remembered her father telling her as a child that it was our job... each of us... to leave something beautiful behind in the world.
She thought and thought about this... sitting in her cute little cottage. What was it she could leave behind. She hadn't married, and had no children. No animals for all her travel. She was no poet, or writer... so couldn't write a book about what a beautiful world it was.
Eventually she came up with an idea...
This dear old lady loved flowers, espcially lupins.

She decided that she would go for lots of walks out in the country side and scatter lupin seeds, so that people would have beautiful flowers around every spring - thus leaving something beautiful behind.

OK.. so it's a corny story.... but it takes me back to the whole legacy thing. What will you leave behind you? Will it be beautiful? Thoughtful? Full of love?

Anyway... when I finished the story ben just laughed and said... damn, there are alot of really angry people at that lady for spreading all those seeds - they've caused havok with the eco system... covering native bush! HAHAHA!
Trust him to see that side of it all.

Anyway.... Whenever I see lupins, I think of the story - which to my knowledge is fictional anyway! So, driving back home past Lake Tekapo I jumped out to grab some photos of them. I figure I can be inspired.

Friday, November 11, 2005

the joys!


Since I mentioned one of my favourite stories I thought I'd try and put it up here for you.
Then wondered if I was perhaps breaching every copyright law around?!

Any ideas people?

I'm clueless......

All of my classes had this book read to them at some stage - and regardless of their age, they all loved it. When I was nanying it was a favourite too. Kinda of takes me back to afternoon naps in Kentucky. Sweet memories.

Feeling kinda stale today.




Have this urge to go out dancing tonight, but at the same time too old to hit the dancefloor.

I wonder what it would take to make me a quietly content person? Will I ever feel settled, and grow roots. I mean, after 6 years of being here what is it I'm yearning for? I know I have roots... but I feel like a plant in a pot... maybe that's a good thing. God has me ready to move at any given moment?
But I can't help wondering if it's me stoping me from being transplanted, seriously rooted? Lessons to be learnt, and sometimes I'm just slower than a turtle.

"It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got out hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone." Ephesians 1:11 the message

Let all things that have breath.....

It's been an interesting week.... everything kind of swirled together and got lost.

Yeah - hayfever tends to make my world a little on the blurry side.
I am feeling better today. Less tears and sneezing. You think I'd get used to it all by now. But it always seems to just come from out of nowhere and bite me in the preverbial bum.

Tomorrow is a holiday down here... the rest of New Zealand has to work, while we in Canterbury have our little Agricultural Show... showing off the bestest cattle, horses and sheep in the area. I'm sure there are even a few people out there doing flower arranging and cutting some lumber. :)

I shant be heading out to see it all. I much prefer the little country town A&P shows. Really getting to get down and dirty with the local town folk.

Instead, I'm going to be making my début as a portrait photographer. Yeah... not sure how that happened? My friend Jacx and her husband are heading over to see her family for Christmas, and they thought it would be great to have some decent pics to take over of his family. Plus, his little sister who was bridesmaid with me at the wedding last year just had a baby - and she'd love some pics of her too. Kind of exciting stuff... and nice to be of use.
Hopefully we can capture some moments... and not be too posed. I'm so not about portraits... I like nature and action too much. hehe. Catching people totally unaware.

On that note - I went and got a whole heap of the wedding pics printed today. So pleased with some of them. The colours are really great, and people gorgeous. :)

I'll have to get uploading them into another album -----> over there somewhere.

The wonderful landlord came round this afternoon while I was watering the garden to say he was going away for the weekend... could we please put out his trash in the morning, and check the mail. We've always said he could just dump it with our stuff, and we'd stick it out... no worries. He's a great guy, who's pretty good to us helpless females. :) Mows our lawns for us, while I'm sure he doesn't actually have any of his own. HAHA. His house is right behind ours, though we don't actually see a whole lot of him. Turns out while I was away he had a spa pool lifted over his roof, so he told me to go and use it while he was away. WOHOOO! Now that I have this wonderful little bit of info.. I'll be watching to see when he's away. hehe.

It's a beautiful stary night out there now, with an almost 3/4 moon... so I wandered down in the dark to find the spa, and then just kinda lay there. It had been a super hot day - but has cooled down a fair bit, and the water was just right. I could get used to that as a way to end my day.

I'm going to bombard him when he's back to see about doing some painting in the house. It's a cute little cottage, which is pretty cool. Two of us moved in the start of Feb,(the 3rd actually came from my last house in May) and I have to say... I just want to make it a little more homely. My room is an awesome size - but a truly GROSS colour. (Color for all you Americans) I'd call it Salmon pink... with a lighter pink .... YUK!

Now... I think I've put up with it for long enough, and while it does mean that I'm going to have to strip the wall paper on the ceiling... I'm prepared to do it!! I have visions of duck egg blue.... maybe some browns? We'll see. I'm actually waiting for ben to return so he can help me. :) He actually offered. I think he likes the colour as much as me. I'm just NOT a pink kinda girl.

Meanwhile... the bathroom could do with some work, and I'm kind of hoping to convince Ben to help there as well. I can't see the Landlord having a problem with saying yes... when I'm actually prepared to do the work, and am pretty skilled in that department. Figure that since I'm not moving now... I might as well really settle and make this place my own. I'll have to try and get some pics this weekend so you know what I'm talking about.

For now... it's after pumpkin time. And busy day tomorrow.

Is anyone else out there a fan of bedtime stories??? I can't think of a better way to drift off to sleep, then to have someone read to me. Totally relaxes me, and dare I say it - I don't think that there are many things that can do that. Not that I'm so highly strung, just always thinking.

People often laugh at me when I say I'll read to them.... and it's often kids stories that I pick out. When I was driving around the States and Canada with B we would read the BFG by Roald Dahl. Was always the perfect ending to the day. But then... that's just me. haha

Anyway... let me know, and what your favourite bed time story would be. I'm curious.

On that note.... one of my other favourites. A must for everyone to go out and read at some stage.

It's actually a Dr Seuss, but it was published after he died, and so the art work was done by a couple... oils, which I think are pretty cool! My Many Colored Days.

I'd love to type it all out - but you really need the pictures to go with... so I'll leave that for another day. :)

Toodles noodles.

Be well, and blessed

grand entrance?

I had to laugh when I saw this.... some would say - The perfect use for Jags?!
I'm not convinced, but it looked like such a 'grand' entrance. :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

not mine....

My hayfever is going to drive me insane. I can't stop the tears from streaming down my face. Now, when I wipe the tears away, it actually hurts - so I let them run down my cheeks, and can't actually be bothered caring about what the strangers think. It's kind of fitting for the mood.


Tonight I'm going to cheat. Yep... using someone elses words instead.

Hoping that the sun will shine warmly on your face today.

High Country Weather

Alone we are born
And die alone;
Yet see the red-gold cirrus
Over the snow-mountain shine

Upon the upland road
Ride easy, stranger:
Surrender to the sky
Your heart of anger.

~ James K. Baxter

Monday, November 07, 2005


You know how prayer is answered, and you know it's all for the best.....

but you are still gutted!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take." Proverbs 3:5,6

Sounds as though Wellington is not going to be a happening thing. I don't think it registered when I first heard... and while it didn't come straight from my boss, I can understand why the company would go the way that they are. (kind of!?) There is still some angst going on inside me at the idea of being down here until May, and being in this job... and still not knowing the answers as to where I'm supposed to be going.

Was just talking about Faith to Ains.... how when we are right with God, and we ask him about an area of our lives, our faith is so little that we'll ask, and he'll reveal the first part of the plan... you know.... "I want you to stay where you are." and we sit back and go... "ok, but then what God? What happens after I stay here, and how long are we talking?" We want to know His full plan before we agree and submit to Him. How crazy is that?!
Why is it that my faith is so little that I can't just go.... "OK... if you say so."

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.
Matthew 6:33

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. The you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13

Feeling rather silly.

So, the adventure really does start here, as I realise I am meant to be exactly where I am until I get the next move from God. hehehe.... must mean that it's going to be Canada - right! ;)


Sunday, November 06, 2005


Would somebody please, please, please tell me why I can't post using Opera these days??!



You got to cry without weeping
Talk without speaking
Scream without raising your voice

U2 ~ running to stand still

After yesterday's antics, I've been running on low all day. You know the whole coming down from a high space. I guess it's what my friend Julie would call - me and my "deep funks".

Managed to make it to church on time. Kind of bizarre that when I was talking to Jacx yesterday she actually asked if she would see me there today? Am I really falling that far off the tracks? Yes.. i wonder what people are thinking.
I'm not sure that I'm worried, but I do wonder.

Church was good though. Was more a worship service, and after talking to Can yesterday about not being in the band any more.... I think I've managed to walk away from that knowing that it really was the right thing. I've enjoyed being part of the congregation, and not worrying about remembering the words, but rather focusing on what I am singing... getting totally lost in what I'm feeling. I'm not saying that being part of the team meant that it was all concert like - cause that's not it at all... but you do have more responsibilities, and you are on the front line.... and right now, (whether it's selfish?) I'm just enjoying being part of the crowd. Soaking it all up from my little space next to who ever I can find. :)

So, the deep funk day.

I got to talk to Julie today. I've missed her and our talks alot while I've been away. It had been over a month since we last chatted online. Just goes to show how quickly time is zooming. I can't believe we're already into the second week of November now. Which reminds me I need to get brithday presents posted tomorrow!!

MAN, i get sidetracked so easily.

She;s just plodding along with her papers, hopefully enjoying the change of scenes. She never had much to say about school, or the people's she's meeting. I know she's missing all things familiar, and maybe just trying to get over the fact that it is all new to her. I love the fact that she did move, and didn't try to stay with all things familiar. Maybe that will stay with me, and help to keep me brave when it comes time for me to make up my mind! I want to be brave and just jump.... but I also want to be wise. haha. Oxymoron?

Answers would be nicer.

You know the whole... God, wouldn't you like to take up sky writing... you could even make it so that I'm the only one who can read it, and you could pull my hair while I'm walking along so that I have to look up and notice it! haha.

My head is a jumble of thoughts... and whenever I start to type something it just turns to mush.

Maybe that's it... right now... I just feel like a mess.

I don't know how to fix it?


That would be the only way to describe the last 8 hours.... and perhaps.... WOHOOOO!!!

Andy had sent me a txt earlier in the week to say that he was planning a night on the beach with a bonfire for Guy Fawkes. I wasn't sure that I'd be up to it when I got home, but certainly sounded right up my alley.

So today.... the phone call comes through to say slight change in plans... but all good. I cruise round there this afternoon, and we head to the grocery store for supplies. Cause you know you need supplies when your heading out in the boat. :)

We get to the harbour, load up the boat, and take off. WHAT A RIDE!!!
Serious swells.... and Can and I got so wet in the back.... though I think Mike and Andy got a fair bit of water thrown at them too. We even managed to get airborn once. Hillarious, and exhilarating!

We finally got to our little bay.... had to share it for a little while - but not long enough to matter. We dropped off everything and warmed up before heading out again to try skiining, and the knee board.

More carnage than you could imagine... and way too much laughing!

Mike was hillarious.... had to catch him on video.... crashing around. I had a go... but realised afterwards that having the wet suit on just made it way too hard to get up on my knees. So, I zoomed around... and the guys did their best to try and get me off the board. Funny, painfull, and more water up your nose than you would ever want!

We got the bonfire going after all that fun.... huge roaring fire, which was actually way too hot for a while there! Had a scrummy dinner, and then even roasted marshmallows. Extravagent and brilliant!
It actually started to rain... gentle drops.... which we tried to ignore. I just wanted quite ready to come home.... still... we had to push the boat back into the water, as the tide suddenly vanished, without us noticing. hahaha.... but we managed, loaded everything up and headed for home. Got home at midnight!

It was a fantastic afternoon. Great people to hang out with... awesome conversation! Just so appreciated having a small group, and being able to talk about the more intimate things going on for us at the moment. I've missed being able to do that with friends. The joys of being away for work on my own I guess!

So, considering I had thought that I should really stay home and clean my room.... I'm so glad I went!!

Better go and get rid of this salt!

You have achieved success if you have lived well, laughed often and loved much!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Canadian to the core.....

I'm not even sure how I justify that statement? hehe

Here goes....

I was born in Calgary, Alberta 1976, and lived there until Oct 1985, when my parents decided to end their 15 year honeymoon and return to New Zealand with their 4 children and 2 newly acquired horses purchased specially for the departure. Yes, most successful honeymoon I've heard of! hehehe.

I had been to New Zealand once when I was 3 to be introduced to the family and beaches. Alas, I didn't remember any of it. Both sets of grand parents had been over to visit us, but I only remembered Grannies visit. She was there when I accidently took the handbrake off and ended up in the neighbours backyard with my brother in the car with me... and the consequential events of the smack and being sent to my room by her. Yes, I remembered granny... she was the meanie!
Nana on the other hand had been to NZ when my two youngest brothers were born, and looked after us beautifully. hehehe. I only remember her getting mad at us once, and we honestly deserved it then! (For driving the car down the hill, and the utter shock.... the yelling that came was in my young eyes brutal. hehe)

My mother; brave, crazy, insane? jumped on the plane with her 4 young children bound for LA. My father was meeting us there for our last adventure in North America - ei. Disneyland!
We had a few days there before taking off for NZ minus Dad. He was staying to pack up the house, finish work, and sort out the horses. He'd arrive in January.

YES.... I hear you. Who in their right minds would jump on a plane with 4 children all under the age of 10, and one of them being a mere 3 months old. We must have been pretty exceptional children for the thought to have even entered her head. Failing that.... absolute desperation to get back to NZ? I"m not sure which is was?

It was a good thing that I loved to fly, even back then, and that I was easily amused I guess. I had my cabage patch kid, and somehow the hours that it took to first get to Hawaii and then on to New Zealand. (Back in the good old days when you had to stop to refuel!)

I was never impressed with the idea of leaving my beloved Canada. I have no idea why the idea repulsed me so? To this day I don't quite get why it bothered me so much.

We were met at the airport by the masses....
Granparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins. All of them!

I don't actually remember a whole lot about the next month. I guess we adjusted to it all. We lived with my grandparents on their 5 acres, which meant room to roam, which was brilliant! Trees to climb, places to hide. It was great. I made a friend who lived down the road and he and I used to make huts down the road.... thinking back, I don't know why? hehehe. What is it about making huts?

Christmas was the first UHG moment. I realised that I no longer got to spend the special day with just MY family. I suddenly had to share my mother and brothers with all these other people. I didn't have a problem with sharing - but this all felt SO WRONG to me!
I guess I've dealt with it since then. Our family christmas'are pretty amazing, and incredible times!
That first one just felt rude and a horrible reality for me to face.

We eventually moved to a cool house up a hill. And I changed schools again.
As luck would have it, while they were showing Anne of Green Gables on TV, and Gilbert Blythe was terribly ill with scarlet fever, I got it too! For a young girl... you have no idea how romantic the whole notion was in my head! hehehe.
Unfortunately the timing of it all was rather...... bad?!

There were rumours flying around our class that a boy liked me. and on this particular afternoon I was really beginning to feel sick. The teacher had just left the classroom when the boy stands up and shouts that he doesn't like me!

I was away for the next 2 weeks.

Fast Forward.... 1993...... we move to Cambridge where my parents are building a house on the farm. I'm not sure whether the house has ever officially been finished. There is always something that needs to be done.

I live there until I'm 18 - after my first year at Uni where I study Film and television with Sociology. I have no idea what I want to be... having not been accepted into broadcasting school I take the year off and move out of the family house.
The year is spent dreaming of Canada....

I must have clicked my heels together all wrong.... or perhaps worn the wrong colour, because I end up in Kentucky! (1996)

I spend the next 2 1/2 years on two different horse farms just outside of Lexington, and while here learn an awful lot of life's lessons. After this time I'm really ready to head "home".

Love kind of gets in the way.

I end up in California - the Bay Area, and after exploring for a couple of weeks... getting to Yosemite, and other spots we drive to Canada in the jeep of all jeeps! Water fights at all the stops, blowing bubbles.... it was an adventure and a half.

We end up in Calgary, and I get jobs in a cafe and a restaurant, loving both of them, and meeting so many cool people.
In the end, the weather gets the better of the jeep.... and of B. I've never experienced transmission oil freezing like that again! hehe.

We make a mamoth trip non stop for the bay area in the new year. (99) I'm in the Bay Area until Sept 99 when I come home to head back to school and get married. I'd been accepted into a couple of schools, and end up down here in Christchurch.. minus the boy, knowing no one. God really had his hand on all of it.... and turned it all into something amazing.

Now... my feet are itchy...... I still dream of Canada, but realising how I need to be closer to the family now too if I'm going to be here.

and I wonder..... what legacy am I leaving behind me?

I wanna leave a legacy. how will they remember me? did I choose to love? did I point to you enough to make a mark on things? I wanna leave an offering!

So... I'm leaving it to God. I've made enough wacky choices to last me.... I can rest in the fact that he has it all sorted.

next adventure... please....thanks! :)

To Be Continued.

Friday, November 04, 2005

back.... at last

Got home from "South" to run off to a meeting for this concert. I've gone and postponed it all until Feb. Slacker, I know!

Anyway.... the week away was all fairly un-eventful. The weekend before the week... WOWEEEEE!
It was a gorgeous day... perfect weather... didn't rain, but overcast, so should be great pics. Mine weren't fabulous, but I was kind of distracted by alot of other things. Decided it really was better to catch up with people than hide the whole night behind the camera. Seems I did find my outgoing side... at least a littlebit.

Kirtin was gorgeous, and Dave... besides looking super handsome, he gave the greatest speach. All grown up.

He and Tamati came out to the farm for dinner on Friday night, which was super special, and what I really wanted. Our last dinner as a family..... though Alex ended up elsewhere. The boy is abit absent minded some days. It was great to catch up, and just hang out for a little while. The next day wasn't too much of a mad rush, though I was given the job of running into town, getting calf milk powder, picking up J&J from the airport, and grabbing the asparagus for the next day. Yeah... the joys.
Dad just joked the whole time saying that surely I knew not to expect a holiday whenever I was up there!

I only got to have a little time with my baby - She had to have some hoof extenssions put on, and I was away while that was all happening, but I gave her a good scratch before the farrier got there to do it all. She's much freindlier now... and loves being scratched. Love song is still the sweetest thing though.... not nearly as pushy as Tui gets some days. So, I didn't get my ride in!
Next time? I'm heading up for Christmas. Still waiting to hear about the job thing, but pretty much need to book my tickets now for that. Was just master minding how my brothers and I should maybe paint the house for mum and dad over while I'm up there?! Think that would be a pretty awesome present. Will have to talk to them about that one. If we could have two weekends, we'd get it all done... and would be good bonding time too. :) hehehe. Cunning, I know!

On that note... I'm off to go snore. More sleepless nights this trip... and have a sore throat thing going on.

Hopefully everyone has had beautiful weeks!
I look forward to catching up on it all tomorrow.

Arohanui. xx

The whole Whanau. Posted by Picasa

Mr and Mrs..... Posted by Picasa

ok.. bad pic, but it's this or nothing! Me, Dave, Alex and Tamati before running off to the church. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 27, 2005

homeward bound....

Almost finished packing.... and it's almost pumpkin time here. ARHG. I went out for dinner with Ains tonight... since she'll be left her on her own while both Jackie and I are away. Figured it would be nice to hang out for abit. Alas, I've still got work to finish. I guess it's a good thing I've got a few hours to kill in Nelson where I can plod away with it there.

Got home and realised I had to go and pick up something for my dad, and then still plant some seedlings so they had a better chance of surviving while I was away. Very silly planting tomato plants in the dark. Hopfully they'll all still be alive when I get home, and then I can move them if I have to. I know, not very organised of me.
(silly cj!)

I have no idea if I've got everything that I need. Keep feeling as though I'm forgetting something quite important. Not a good feeling. I think it's more because I've got lots of "things" that I need to take up - presents. More than it's clothes. Finally figured out what I'll wear... OH... must pack hairdryer. See, all the little things! hehe.

So... shall leave you all to it. Will return with bundles of pics to torture you all with. Prepare yourselves!

This one suits today.....

"How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon.
December is here before it's June.
My goodness how the time has flown.
How did it get to be so late so soon?" Dr Seuss ~ wisdom at it's best.

Here you have it - my "North" trip in Black, and my "South" Trip in Red. South involves way more driving. Friday is from Arrowtown, just outside of Queenstown, all the way home thru Wanaka, Cromwell, and up thru Lake Tekapo. Awesome Scenery though! Posted by Picasa