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.