Wednesday, 30 December 2015

December 30th Minnie's Double

On today's walk we chanced upon Minnie's double. Her owner was sitting in her car in the park with a friend when we came ambling along. She called out to me and asked if she could let her dog out. At first I expected some big huge monster to jump out of the vehicle, but I was surprised to find (excepting a different colour) a Minnie double!

It blew us both away how alike our dogs were, even down to their tails and faces. The only difference being colour as mentioned, and age - with a good 10 years of age between them. Minnie obviously holds her age well

Allow me to introduce Sassy...................

December 29th These Are The Days In My 'Hood

With an increase in temperatures (finally) upon us, and a lighter workload due to the holiday week, walks with Minnie have been occurring in the morning as opposed to the usual after lunch walk. Being a holiday week, there are more people out and about and when I got home, I actually realised what an interesting neighbourhood we have.

First off around the corner there was the house that I used to think resembled a creepy ghost house. Windows were never opened, and no inhabitants were ever spotted The elderly resident must have passed away, as there are now young people there. Windows are still closed (and it is a very hot day), but there are now cars parked on the property and I received a friendly wave from a young man mowing the lawns.

Further down the road to the newly painted house - a lovely grey and very similar colour scheme to ours - but the house is younger by a good 60 years. I managed to pass on my appreciation as to how good the house looked to the lady of the house, who was cleaning her windows. In return I received an appreciative thank you and best wishes for the New Year.

We couldn't go past Monty's abode (Minnie's canine boyfriend) without having a chat to Margaret and Selwyn, and catching up on their news, whilst Minnie and Monty smelt each others bums and were happy to see each other and chew the fat over what had happened in their lives since they last met.

Down the road from there and a hello to the Sri Lankan family, who were out front working on a fishing net! Mum was nowhere to be seen and I have had a couple of chats with her. They have only been in residence for 12 months and have planted a lovely garden and the house has been painted and spruced up since they moved in.

On to the Park, and half way along the green walkway is where an awesome big fat Ginger cat lives. I haven't seen him for a while - and today his captive owner was out front. I found out big Ginge is actually 13 years old and his name is Aranui.  He resides in the house with 4 other cats, and she is worried as there appears to be kittens on the way. Note to self... Crazy Cat Lady owns Big Ginge, but is nice to talk to.

On to our street... two little kids freewheeling their bikes down the hill - which to them was really big and steep (try our driveway kids and you will think again!).  They were waiting for their family who were out walking, to catch up. When they did I saw they had 2 vicious pit bulls with them. Fortunately they were on leashes, otherwise they would have enjoyed Minnie for breakfast. Or Minnie could have turned into a dastardly Ninja Dog and had them for breakfast - after all she is Super Dog in disguise.

Home and up the driveway (puff puff)... only to be advised by She Whom Is Suspect in the head and is a neighbour that there must be tomcats on the loose in the neighbourhood, as her chicken, which has just recovered from escaping and being kidnapped by another neighbour, has now been attacked by a tomcat.  The chicken may be near death and this is a great tragedy, but I was advised it was nothing some Manuka Honey couldn't fix.

Forget These Are The Days Of Our Lives... This is These Are The Days In My 'Hood!

Monday, 28 December 2015

December 28th Many Hands Make Light Work

Not only do many hands make light work, but they also lighten the workload!  How I wish we had his help to pack up Xmas decorations every year.  It took us 2 days instead of the usual 4 to 5, and everything was dismantled, packed and put away.

This photo shows only a portion of the decorations - these are the ones that go up into our very small - and yes it is very small, roof space, and they run the length of the kitchen. Johnny is in total shock as to how much there actually is once it all comes down. 

That's it for another year (or maybe two years).

Sunday, 27 December 2015

December 25th to 27th Xmas and a Remiss Blogger

I have had no time for blogging over the last three days. With Xmas dinner being held here, it was a fairly full on day.  But we made sure we had a group photo from the day. It was a damned good day and made even more special to be able to share it not only with my family, but to have George's family here, all the way from Romania. The thought was strange to them however to be dining outside - this was definitely a first for them

 Moving on to Boxing Day.December 26th. We were supposed to be a hive of activity and packing up Xmas lights and decorations. However the previous day's activities caught up with us and it ended up being a day with very little effort and lots of snoozes.

The March of the Elephants did commence - with some taking the long route to get home. Sometimes life is plain sailing - if the could only find their oars power

 And on to December 27th - that is today  The Santa's started lining up for boarding passes to head back home. They decided to finish off with a little musical get together

And that is Xmas 2015. I have to say from a family point of view, it rates up there as one of the best Xmas' yet. And now it is back to normal. The lounge no longer resembles a Xmas grotto and instead is an elephant hang out - so yes normal transmission has resumed.

Friday, 25 December 2015

December 24th Wishing All A Very Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.  Someone, somewhere loves you and Christmas isn't about the gifts but about acknowledging our love for each other. If we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by family and loved ones, bask in their love and let them know that you love them. You don't know how many more Christmas' you will get to share with them. So treat every occasion with them as if it is your last.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

December 23rd A Licence to Mow

When you have visitors from overseas, you soon realise the difference between cities. For instance a lawn - something practically every house in New Zealand has. If you have a lawn it needs to be cut, which means you must have a lawnmower - or pay someone to cut it for you.

To us this rates up there on the Chore Level. But for visitors - it rates up there on the Novelty Level (we won't enlighten them otherwise)

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

December 22nd Raglan By The Sea

Today we headed out to Raglan By The Sea. We thought we had better introduce the family to the Tasman Sea. It wasn't its usual blue, sparkly self but still was beautiful in its abundance.

Time to admire the Sculptures at Wainui Bay 

Introducing Johnny and Felicia to the Kiwi feed of fish and chips

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

December 21st Busy Bees

We have busy bees in the house, and whilst I feel a tad guilty I am loving it. Both George and myself are working this week, and Felicia and Johnny instead of putting their feet up, are working away. Felicia got stuck into weeding our garden for us, and Johnny decided our deck chairs needed renovating (which they woefully did, but we haven't had time to even sit on them, let alone do them up).

Monday, 21 December 2015

December 18th to 20th Family and Friends

A fairly full on weekend here with much excitement. George was beside himself as his sister Felicia and her husband Johnny were flying all the way here to New Zealand from Romania. A total time of 38 hours including transits, spent on travel. So needless to say we were following their progress every step of the way and keeping tabs on them.

Friday evening we were treated to the pleasure of having two little Princesses in the house to see our Xmas lights Ella had already been with her Mum and Dad, the week before. However this time she wanted her best friend Rebecca to share in the experience as well. We  had to bring the Princess Thrones out for them of course

Saturday was a bright and early start to get up to Auckland Airport. I was glad to be in the Arrivals area but even before Johnny and Felicia came through I was in tears at seeing families and friends reunited. Then it was our turn

Saturday evening and we were delighted to catch up with my younger sister, Lynette who was in NZ for one day before they took off on their annual holidays overseas. They called in with friends and there were paparazzi moments

On to Sunday and we didn't want to travel too far for our jet lagged visitors. So treated them to a day at the Hamilton Gardens (which won an International Best Garden Award in 2014), and a river cruise along the mighty Waikato River, which runs through Hamilton and is the longest river in NZ at 425kms.

All Aboard!

I'm Not Talking To You!

The Indian Garden

Italian Garden

Friday, 18 December 2015

December 17th We Just Need Hansel and Gretel

Look at this, look at this.  George won this beautiful Gingerbread House in a raffle at work. Guess who has always wanted a Gingerbread House, and never got around to making one. Yes me!  I am still totally over the moon and love it, love it, love it!!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

December 16th A Hypnotic Trance?

A strange occurrence with tonight's visitors. I don't know if they were in a hypnotic trance from the effects of all the Xmas lights and totally transfixed, didn't want their photo taken or maybe our company was just that bad, and they were giving us the bum's rush.

Nah to all of the above!  We have decided a Xmas tradition was necessary and as well as the nice photo, we would once again (as we did last year) take a back view photo.

So here is the annual Xmas photo of Cristina, Crae, Daphne and Joanne.

I had better include a nice photo or I may lose some friends

Finally, an apology to Daphne The lighting did not allow the best result of your Poinsettia plant unfortunately

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

December 15th This Is What Makes Xmas So Special

When we start having people call in to see our display (and us hopefully), everything becomes absolutely all about Xmas. The look on children's faces is just absolutely magical (and the look on adults faces as well).  I wish there was a way of photographing feelings! Although I couldn't encompass my feelings into one photo

Tonight we had Ruby and her Mum, Ramona, come to visit. This beautiful, and very smart little girl, made our evening. I am still totally wrapped up in warm fuzzies.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

December 14th A Boxer Double

When George lived in Romania, he had a Boxer dog, Mina, that he still misses deeply. There was no choice but to re-home her and leave her behind.

Today I visited our Dog Groomer, Adrienne.  She is off work for 3 months at least (anyone know a good dog groomer we can use temporarily), due to smashing her leg in not one but three places. She spent days in hospital and is obviously immobile, so I paid her a visit. Minnie stayed home as I thought the thought of an excited dog, seeing Adrienne in entirely different circumstances, too risky

Let me introduce Bonnie to you, a Boxer owned by Adrienne. Bonnie would not come in the room as she is nervous of strangers. So I spoke to her from a distance, and then eventually she came up to me and offered her paw She didn't like being patted on the head, but loved having her chin stroked, and would keep lifting her paw to shake hands with me.

Returning to the subject of Mina,  I have seen photos of her and was pleased to see that Bonnie looks like an exact double. I had to take a photo to show George in the evening, and you can imagine his delighted reaction!

Monday, 14 December 2015

December 12th - 13th Candy Canes and a Budding Picasso

This weekend was home based. On Saturday we were joined by family for dinner, so the granddaughters could get to see the Xmas light display, with the oldest staying the night, which is just as well as she helped me cope with the large wave of visitors. I was that busy I didn't get a chance to take any photos.

Before everyone arrived however, I did manage to snap a photo of how Havana artfully arranged the candy canes. My previous display was just a large dropped pile - so this was a vast improvement.

Sunday dawned and Havana decided the focus should be on Elephants. We have a budding artist in the family - one elephant was traced and the other was drawn free hand. No need to say which is my favourite

Saturday, 12 December 2015

December 11th A-Maize-ing and Amazing!!

During the day I was treated to an a-maize-ing day.  Fields galore in the country are filled with Maize, as farmers grow stock feed

And the Three Wise Men may not be around to see our Xmas lights, but we had the finest substitute and had three wise children instead!

Friday, 11 December 2015

December 10th Walks With Minnie

Today was our 10th Wedding Anniversary. However that doesn't mean the household Diva gets ignored. She still requires her walks.

Today we encountered a natural bridge (ok a collapsed flax flower across the path)

The Agapanthus are coming into flower. As much as I hate these plants - extremely hard to get rid of and self propagating to the nth degree, the flowers are quite pretty, especially when they start opening. However you will never, ever find these anywhere on our little section of earth

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

December 7th A Room With A View

Today I thought I would share with you my view each evening, as I sit and watch TV (or entertain guests of course) in the build up to Xmas

The above is the nice version of the background to the photo. The reality of the photo is that I finally had my feet up, it was late in the evening, and I thought Holy Mother Beatrice, I haven't taken a photo today!

Monday, 7 December 2015

December 5th and 6th Arm Wrestling Champs and A Xmas Party

Saturday Evening we were treated to a visitor we did not expect. Little Olly advised us that he was the World Arm Wrestling Champ George of course had to test this assertion, and whilst it was touch and go there for a while, little Olly did win - not once but twice. I don't think we will discuss this any further (for the sake of someone's pride)

Sunday dawned, and it was time to travel up to Orakei, Auckland for Fine Travel's Xmas party get together. Whilst the weather gods were fine to us, the health gods weren't. Daniel, the Manager, who organised everything was unable to attend due to ill health striking down his entire family. A hasty change of venue eventuated. However one could not scoff at the view that resulted and seeing one of the Celebrity Ships in Port, in the distance.

Time for Secret Santa, and everyone waited with much anticipation. We were advised with this particular Secret Santa that the next person whose name was drawn, could claim your gift That is if they preferred it to theirs.  I think I may have gone a tad overboard threatening anyone who tried to take my liquer truffles and Xmas fruit mince tarts - both absolute favourites. You always have one person who spoils the game don't you - and today it was me!!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

December 4th More Visitors From a Faraway Land

I may have to do a mileage check to see who has travelled the furthest to see our Xmas light display - or realistically been in NZ coincidentally for Xmas.

Tonight's visitors are Marius' parents, who are here visiting for the Summer months from Romania.