Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Television.... Where would we be without television? Seriously though. Did you have a tv set while you were growing up? If not, did your neighbors or friends? If you did, what were some of the shows that were on and what were your favorites?

We had a black & white tv but we weren't allowed to watch it much. We were of course allowed to watch the news as long as we were quiet. I seem to recall we were allowed to watch The Wonderful World of Disney on a Sunday night. I also remember a program called Grizzly Adams that we were allowed to watch.

Really it wasn't until I was a teenager that we were allowed to watch tv & that was because by then we had a colour one. Jo & I were allowed to watch the old black & white one on the landing while my parents watched the colour one in the family room. I do remember watching Dukes of Hazard on the b&w tv & managing to get dad to watch it on the colour tv once & it was wonderful to see it in colour.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Holiday Job

Did you have an after school job as a teenager? What kind of job was it? What were you paid? What is your best and worst memory of the job?

I didn't have an after school job as a teenager but I did have a job in the holidays, especially the very long christmas holidays. When I was 15 dad got me a job at Pyne Gould Guinness in the mailroom. Essentially it was putting monthly statements & invoices in envelopes to send out to the clients. There was also a twice daily pick up & drop off of mail around the different departments of the building. It was actually quite fun & there is nothing better than the very first time you get a pay check. I was getting $5 an hour & I really thought I was made.

After a few years I moved from the mailroom to the accounts department & was helping out the accounts payable team. I really enjoyed the diversity of the jobs & they stood me in good stead for getting the other full time jobs that I have had. No real aspect of the job stands out as really bad or really good. It was just good to have a job & get some money.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Did you have your own car as a teenager or did you have to use the family car? What kind was it? If a family car, were you responsible to pay for the gas when you used it? How often were you allowed to use it? What restrictions, if any, were on it? If your own, did you purchase it yourself or was it a gift? How much did it cost and who paid the insurance on it?

After my bad luck with learning to drive I really didn't like driving. When I was 17 I was the head sacristan at my school. It meant that I got to help out the school vicar at the school services on a Wednesday & a Sunday morning. This meant that I had to be at school by 7am so I had to either get dropped off at school or borrow my parent's car. Sometimes I got to take the car to school, but usually I got dropped off. Because I didn't use the family car that much I didn't have to pay for petrol.

When I was about 20 my parents gave me a little white Mazda Familia to drive down to Dunedin (where I was at university). I was in charge of paying for the petrol for it but I think my parents paid the insurance on it until I moved to Wellington & had a full time job. That particular car ended up in a bit of a crash on Tinakori Rd, so I was then given another white Mazda 323. We kept that Mazda until Scott & I got married & traded it on a lovely Honda Integra. It was a sports model & gee we loved that car. It could fair fly not that we drove too fast of course LOL. Only once we really did put our foot down to see how fast it could go. It was on a long straight bit after the Rimatuka's but before Martinborough.

Unfortunately once Brent was born we found out that a 2 door car is pretty impractical for lugging car seats in & out of so we traded it in on a green Mazda 323 hatchback which we still have today.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Learning to Drive

Did you learn to drive when you were a teenager? Who taught you? If at school, what kind of driver's ed was it? If a friend or parent, where did you go to learn? What was the worse part about learning to drive?

I was first taught to drive by Challenge Driving School when I was about 15. In those days you didn't have to have a learners licence you just got taught to drive. I was doing quite well with learning from them when one day I had to pull out of a quiet road on to a really busy road with 4 lanes of traffic. My driving instructor said to me before I pulled out, "you are going to need to get up to 50km/h really quickly because this is a very busy road & people go fast." So I looked & no traffic was coming & I pulled out, I got up to 50km/h & then looked in my rear vision mirror to see a red car come hurtling at me. He was going way faster than me & just rear ended me. I was absolutely shocked, the drving instructor helped me drive the car off the road & then we had to call the police & give all the details to the police. There had been other people who saw the whole thing & said in no way was it my fault. I then went back to the driving school base & caught a bus home feeling very upset. I was the lucky one of the two of us because my driving instuctor got severe whiplash around her neck & she couldn't drive for weeks. I couldn't drive for weeks, not because I was physically hurt, but because I was too shaken & scared off what could happen next time I got in the car.

Mum then took over for a while on the quiet back roads of Lincoln, just getting me to drive up & down the road. Eventually I did go back to Challenge Driving school & got a different instructor & passed my licence.

To this day I still hate cars driving up behind me to fast & the only accidents I have been in are when I get rear ended, lukily it hasn't been often, but once was when I had the children in the back, & that of course freeked me out again. People don't seem to realise thast cars aren't indestructable & really they can be very powerful killing machines in the hands of the wrong people.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Family update

Well it has been a while since I have done a family update.

The exciting parts have been on the 12th June Brent finally lost his first tooth. He was 7 years 6 months & 1 day old, pretty amazing that it was so close to 7 1/2 years. It had been loose for quite some time so he was very pleased that it finally came out. Talk about a tiny tooth, the 10cent peice is the smallest peice of currency that NZ has now & measures about 2 cm in diameter. Take a look at this photo.

He then decided that he would take it to school, luckily we managed to talk him out of that, because I really think that he would have lost it. Instead he put it in a tooth pillow that nana gave him.

He was a very lucky boy & the tooth fairy visited that night & left him $1 for that tiny little tooth. So here is what he looks like now.

As you can see he already had another tooth growing up behind the tooth that came out. There is another one back there too, so I am expecting another tooth to come out next month.

More Brent news is that we were very surprised & thrilled to learn that he has been graded at swimming & will be moving out of the sharks class & will be a tigershark next term. He really does move through the water really nicely & will be a fast swimmer once he has got the whole freestyle breathing thing down pat.

On to James. He & I had a folk dancing evening on 14th June. He was very excited about it in the lead up to the night & the class spent a lot of time learning the dances. I think there must have been about 10 different dances that the boys learnt how to do. James had told me that I was to dress up & wear a skirt, unfortunately it was a very cold night so I went dressed up in trousers instead.

It was a wonderful night, & it was nice that some of the dances were different from when Brent & I went, there was still the bird dance though.

Tomorrow it is mufti day at school & the boys have to go as a storybook character. I have a pinocchio & a puss in boots very excited about it.

Next week is the last week of term & includes parent/teacher/boy interviews as well as a coffee morning for me on Thursday.

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

No worries

10. What is something you wish you never had to worry about again?

I think it would be nice not to have to worry about money ever again. It would be nice to have enough to be able to have a very comfortable retirement. One that could include a few months overseas each year (especially in the NZ winter) while Scott & I are still capable of it. Then enough to cover any medical expenses we incur as we get older.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Superhero Power

9. What superhero powers would you like to have?

I would love to be like Tabitha on Bewitched. That was the suburban housewife who had a trick up her sleeve. She could wriggle her nose & get things done in seconds. That would be an awesome thing to be able to do. I think I would use it most on housework. I could drop the boys off at school, do my exercise & then wriggle my nose & all the housework would be done, leaving me time to do the gardening or scrap or maybe read in the sun. Sometimes I think gardening would be nice if I could wriggle my nose, but sometimes I really do like to just get outside & weed, plant & look after the garden.

I know that Tabitha wasn't a superhero but really I don't think I would want to be like batman, or spiderman & even wonder woman doesn't seem to have a great power that I would find useful. Interesting how "superheroes" don't really have a super power applicable to real life. Maybe the real superheroes are just those ordinary everyday people who you pass in the streets. Maybe we are all superheros even if it is just in our on lifes & we can only see it in others & not in ourselves.

I think my mother is a superhero. She has no amazing powers as such but she is determined, strong & has endless love for her children & grandchildren. I think she is stronger than she realises & I admire her courage & the way she has adapted to the huge changes in her life over the last few years. I love you mum!

Monday, June 18, 2007

More Layouts

I have had a productive weekend scrapping wise. Soccer was cancelled on Saturday so that really freed up my weekend. I know it is only the whole of saturday morning that soccer takes up, but really it is amazing what other things I could be doing in that time.

You have seen my kiwijack layout, which I just love. I felt so inspired by Vicky's layout & then being able to do my own jack fairly easily just led me to feel even more creative.

Ok so this one is a simple layout with paper tearing. It is about our day out in the snow last year. Most of this was created at ScrapCamp earlier this year but I felt it needed some embellishments so I embellished it a little.

This one was supposed to have been a sketch challenge on ScrapTown. I started off fine but then I changed it a bit. The papers all came from

This is actually paper from the May kit.

I tried doing a digi tutorial on paper curling but i haven't got it to work yet so there is another layout in the poipeline once I get around to doing it.

I hope that I can continue this creative kick for a while because I was really enjoying. What a shame it is now Monday & life has to start up again.

Buzzing away

8. What is something you'd like to do that you're not allowed?

What I would really like to do is just buzz away somewhere, it doesn't even have to be to another country, just me & take a break. It is not that Scott says "you are not allowed", it is just that really it wouldn't work. I would have babysitting issues for after school until about 5:30pm each day. Then of course the big thing that really holds me back is the thought of the house when I got back. I imagine the laundry would be out the door, because Scott wouldn't have had a chance to do it. The place would be more of a tip than it is now because there is no way Scott would have time to clean the place up each day. Just the thought of it makes me shake in my boots. Right now, with the boys so young it is not possible for me to buzz off for a week, as much as I might like to. I would like to show them that I am not a piece of furniture & I do do a lot for them. I will have to wait my turn on that count.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Kiwi ScrapJack!

Four wonderful scrappers have set up a New Zealand scrapjack blog. Take a look at it here

I've completed a digital layout for the jackup. Nearly all the elements are from the Chick a Doodle Doo page kit by Linda Rechtin at

Friday, June 15, 2007

Time, if I only had time

7. If you had an extra day each month that no one else had, what would you do with it?

I would like to think that I would spend it cleaning up around the house but I probably wouldn't. I would probably spend it just the way I do now, doing a little bit of housework, a little bit of creative work, a little bit of exercise.

It would be nice to spend a day being pampered, a massage, a facial, that sort of thing but I really don't think I would relax because I would still be thinking about all the stuff that had to be done in the house or garden. That's the problem with spending that amount of time on myself, I feel like there are things that need to be done that aren't being done. That's why everyday I do little bits of everything & I sometimes feel that it really doesn't amount to much. Sometimes it is just as well Scott doesn't walk into the house & ask "What have you done today?" Because really there isn't much to show off when you just do little bits each day.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

3 things that make me happy

6. What are three things you need in order to be happy?

Another tough question.

#1 Scott. He gives me love, friendship, a different way of thinking about things than I do, companionship & he knows how to make me laugh. Just being with him makes me happy. I can't wait until October when just he & I will go on the Tahitian cruise. We really haven't gone travelling to another country (other than Australia) together in quite some time. The last time was in 1997 when we went to England & Paris, & that was a lot of fun. Admittedly this time we are doing it in more style & we can keep our bags in one place & not have to lug them around with us all the time.

#2 My children. I know I have days when I feel like I could quite happily leave them on the side of the road & walk away but I would really miss their smiles, their laughter & their funny little jokes (james' don't make any sense yet, but brent is definitely starting to get it.) I love it when James runs into my arms after school, it really makes me feel like I am not the horrible mum that I think I am. I love being able to see the world through their eyes it makes me happy to be alive when they show me the little bits & peices they have found, & their fascination with things.

#3 My computer with an internet connection. I am amazingly bereft when I can't log into the internet & catch up with my "virtual friends" at least once a day. The internet has let me make friends in countries all over the world in a way that penpals never did. It really is amazing how upset I am when I can't log on to the internet first thing in the morning. It really annoys me & seems to ruin the rest of my day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Too young?

5. What is something you feel too young to do?

What a tough question. I have been giving it a lot of thought & of course the first thing that springs to mind is that I am too young to die.

Another thing that I feel I am too young for is for my body to be giving up defying gravity. I really feel that in the last 6 months my body seems to have decided it is time to give in fighting gravity & just go with it. Why now? I am not that old surely, I'm only 37, that's not old. But if I stop & think about it in 10 years time I will be approaching 50 what a truely scarey thought. I used to think that 40 was old but now that I am nearly there it seems too young to leave my children with no mother & too young for my body to begin sagging.

I suppose time is catching up with me & I now have to go with this new state of affairs. I have to accept that no matter how much I go to the gym, how much exercise I do my body will never look like it did 10 or 11 years ago when it was a truely fine form. It was toned & taught & it defied gravity. It's sad to think that really there was only a few months when I was really happy with the state my body was in back then, & I really didn't appreciate it. It took a heck of a lot of hard work & discipline to get there, but even if I were to do the same thing today, I really don't think my body will ever get back to that shape.

This year seems to be calling on me to accept some personal changes & I have to find a way to change my thinking towards my body. I have to start loving me, no matter what I look like & no matter how much gravity pulls on my body & middle age starts adding a band of fat that never was there before.

Am I too young to be thinking like this? No, this is a lesson that I should have learnt a long time ago. Be thankful for what you have because nothing is ever constant, life is about change, embrace it!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The secret to a long life?

4. What are the secrets to a longer, healthier life?

Good question. The doctors say moderation, everything in moderation. I think there has to be a bit more to it than that. I think there also has to be a stress reduction part in the mix somewhere too.

I think the key is to exercise, eat in moderation, find something you enjoy & do it to help destress & then I think there must be an element of quiet contemplation, smelling the roses or spiritual contemplation whatever works for you. Something that gets you to centre yourself for a few minutes each day to just relax your body & mind.

3 Wishes

3. What three wishes would you ask of a genie in a bottle?

Wish #1: Health for me & my family
Wish #2: To win the big prize in lotto just once (that should get me a bit of money)
Wish #3: For my family to enjoy what they have & to realise that happiness isn't necessarily linked to having "things."

Largest Collection

2. If you could own the world's largest collection of anything, what would it be?

This one really makes me think. Money would be good but it would be headline news so you would always be a target. I have started a foreign currency collection. I started saving all the little coins when I was on my OE, I had French centimes, English pennies, roubles, all sorts of loose change from my trip.

I suppose a huge collection of airpoints on every airline in the world would be good. If I could redeem them for flights it would be wonderful to go tripping around the world. Yes I think it would have to be a collection somehow related to travel.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Embracing my Life.

As part of the Blog Builder challenge at ScrapTown there are 10 questions to answer in 10 days.
Here's question #1.

What age would you like to be for the rest of your life?

I have decided after a bit of thought that there really is no particular age that I would like to be. I certainly wouldn't want to be a child again, too many restrictions & I would have to get used to the family dynamic again.

I loved my years at university (18-22) but I've been there done that & it sure is nice not having to sit exams on my birthday. I hated that part of university, especially if it was an accounting exam, ick!

I loved my selfish 20's in Wellington. I was young, only had a commitment to Scott & we weren't married anyway, so I could always leave. That was the time in my life when I was the healthiest & fittest I had ever been. I was going to the gym for hours, coming home & just blobbing. Not doing housework until teh weekend & even then it didn't seem to be too much of a chore. I had a fun job with lots of other like minded people. It was just a great time, but in the end it became as if something was missing.

We can put my 30's down to creating my own family. I was well truely pregnant for my 30th birthday & from then on my life has changed. It's a different life completely but one that I wouldn't give up either.

So I am in my late 30's looking back at my life & there is no one age & even no one stage that I would want to stay at all the rest of my life. I love change, my life is evolving, the only scary thing is looking in the mirror & noticing that I now have a middle aged spread & I'm getting grey hair. I try not to let that make me feel old instead it is the start of another part of my life, where I will have to focus on my health again & that means taking back some time to concentrate on ME.

Life is about change, some big, some small, some whack you over the head & some just slowly creep up. I love that my life is evolving & through it all I am finding out who I truely am. I would never find that out if I just stayed one age for the rest of my life.

My refuge

As a child did you have your own bedroom or did you have to share? What was it like? Did you spend a lot of time playing in there or was it reserved for sleeping?

I was very lucky & didn't have to share my bedroom with my sister. Probably just as well because it was my refuge. I liked just being in there quietly reading or playing with my dolls.

At our bach we used to share a small room but eventually we got to have separate rooms there too.

We did share a tent when we went on holiday to Wanaka.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Holiday Travel

You are between 5 and 10. You are going on vacation (or moving). What form of transportation was used to get there? Did it take long? And what did you do to entertain yourself while traveling?

We went on holiday every year down to Wanaka for a couple of weeks. We would pack up the boat (as I got older, that became one of the things I would help with) & then the car & then head of for the 5 to 6 hour car ride to Wanaka. It was the middle of summer & stifling hot. There was no air conditioning or climate control in those days but winding down the windows. Of course then you had the problem of that horrible reverberation thing that seems to happen when certain windows are down & other are up. It was a long car ride. There were no seatbelts in the back seats so my sister & I would constantly be fighting about who had what on who's side of the car. I don't know how my parents put up with it. I know that we listened to dad's cassettes of country music & sang along to the songs. We did have our christmas presents to amuse us some of the way, Father Christmas always seemed to know that we would need them LOL. There was usually a dot to dot, word find or colouring in book. Sometimes we would play I Spy or the number plate game where we tried to be the first person to get from A - Z off car number plates.

In those days the trip to Wanaka nearly always had a stop at Lindis Pass, not for the toilet or for sightseeing, but for roadworks. They took what seemed like years to complete the road through the Lindis Pass. I remember the road was a gravel one way road & one year as we were going along we met a car, that must have left the other end late, going the other way. There was barely anywhere to move plus we were towing a boat behind us, I was very frightened as i thought we would be going over the bank.

Another year on our trip down to Tekapo our boat trailer got a puncture almost in the middle of nowhere. It was all farmland, I was dying for the toilet, the next town, Fairlie, was a good 3/4 of an hour away & we were stuck with a puncture. While Dad looked at the damamge mum suggested I go in a field however there were cows in the field so there was no way I was going in there. Somehow it all ended up that we got to Tekapo & had the latest recorded "Francis lunch". Francis lunch time has been known to be as late as 2:30pm but this one beat that. At 4pm we finally had lunch. I must have been starving or maybe I had a whole lot of wine drops left that I ate.

All my holiday memories are of travelling to Wanaka in a hot car towing a boat for a very long time.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Exercise leaving a smile on the face?

Tell about something that made you smile yesterday or today.

I have come back from the gym with a smile on my face because for 2 straight weeks in a row I have kept up my exercise routine. I am really pleased although a step on the scale says I have gained 1kg. However I will not let that get me down because surely if I am converting fat to muscle it's got to be good for me. What made me smile earlier in the week is Scott agreeing with me that my waist is looking more defined. Then again I sometimes wonder if he says that just so I don't feel bad after working so hard. I am getting fitter becaise I can now run for 24 minutes non stop that's a huge change from when I started & I could only run for 12 minutes.

I just love my swimming though, yesterday I swam for 1.5km & felt really fantastic so I think next week I might try for 2kms. I am really stoked today because I was able to do my full set of military presses 4 times. I have really worked hard at trying to being able to do my 4 set of 12 reps. I didn't used to have a problem at Jellie Park but this new gym has a way heavier bar bell. At Jellie park I was doing the barbell + 4kg, now at thgis new place I can only do the barbell, still today I have finally cracked pushing it for the 4 sets.

Next week the exercise routine will be broken a bit because of the public holiday on Monday but I am still hoping to get to the gym twice, swimming once & one jog.

Go me for sticking at it, boo to the scales for sticking at the same weight but one day dear scales there will be a shock & you will have to drop.