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Hibernation

My last post was August 2 and then nothing since.

Why?

I just haven’t had the drive.

I don’t know why.  I have certainly thought about it but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write.

If it’s any concolation I havent been able to sleep either . . . for over a month . . . I am now officially exhausted.

Its got nothing to do with my husband’s accident as it had pretty much started before then.  I am dissatisfied with everything. I am finding fault in things that I usually find pleasure in.

Maybe its the winter blues? Maybe I just need a holiday.

I’ve put myself on vitamins and am making sure I exercise but nothings helping.  I just feel blah.

Any suggestions at this stage would be most welcome.

 

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A Week Off And Some Sleep In’s

It’s currently the school holidays here and the arrival of my (step)daughters from Stratford.

As Stratford is 4.5 hours from between our homes, and the girls are 16 & 18 now, we don’t get to see them all that often.  Due to work commitments and other work related events, I have not managed to take time off when the girls are up in at least 5, probably longer, years.  Natalie likes to get home every holiday but Veronica usually only comes up once or twice if we are lucky each year.  This year I managed a whole 4 days with them, in a row even 😀 I had to work the Monday but I got the rest of the week off.

Tuesday was a crappy ‘catch up on the weekday stuff’ day and along with my darling husband we caught up on all the things that you can’t do on a weekend.  The door guy came round and measured for our new door.  Excessively way happier than we should be about this.  Because we live so near the beach in a coastal town our wooden front door has gradually died over the past few years.  All the wood that takes the brunt of the coastal blows has warped, bowed and dropped and now it groans like an 80-year-old getting up off the floor when you open it (no sneaking into our house at night) and you can see daylight through the panels from the hallway.  Obviously this is not an easy fix as we have a unusally sized door and it needs to be specially made.  Door guy came round for the measure and quote so hopefully we will have a lovely powder-coated white aluminium front door with no groans nor daylight very soon.

Also got the cat to the vets for WOF and had internet guy around to fix the mess that was our non-wifi ultra-fibre wi-fi that spent more time not working than it ever did working. This last bit resulted in 3 very happy girls who can now Runescape, YouTube and stream Anime in the sanctity of their bedrooms whenever they want without swearing and getting their grumpies on.

Darling husband was back at work on Weds so it was me and the girls.  The weather was utter shite as it often is at this time of year so we ran around the back of Papamoa until we finally found the worlds best, at least as far as the bay is concerned, Second-hand bookshop.  I lost the girls in there in the first 10 minutes.  We were there at least an hour.

There are books everywhere in here! You literally have to turn sideways to get down some parts of the aisle and I love the place! Nat and I are seriously going back again next time and pretty much every time after that 😀

After that we hit the supermarket and by then it was lunchtime so we headed home for pizza, movies and the fire for the afternoon. It was too miserable out to be of much fun and we all had new books 😀

The weather cleared a bit in the arvo so we went to the beach, me with my book 😉

Thursday saw darling husband again with the day off so we headed over to Rotorua for what was an even more horrible weather day than the previous one.  Plan A was dashed with the powers that be shutting the Zorb range so the girls couldn’t roll around in giant inflated clear plastic balls like people shaped hamsters.  That will have to become next times event.  We then came up with plan B and went in search of other touristy events to partake in.  We found ourselves at the Paradise Valley Zoo where the animals were also displeased about the weather.  It rained the whole time and was rather chilly but we had fun playing with the critters 🙂

From there we got caught in sudden snow and high tailed it too Carl’s Jr for lunch and coffee where I Facebooked them to turn the heating on because we were sitting in the restaurant blowing ‘smoke’ rings at each other and I couldn’t feel my feet Sooooooooooo coooooooooold.  The maze we then attempted to go to was also shut due to weather so we gave up and went home hahaha 🙂 The fire was lovely and we had hot veggie soup for dinner so all was well with the world.

Friday saw dearest husband back at work and me dashing the kids down to the bus at 7am for their journey home.  Bus was about 10 minutes late but we weren’t worried even though it was as cold as a polar bears proverbial.  That was, we weren’t worried until the bus driver pulled up and hopped out asking ‘Do you want the bad news first or the bad news first?’ and promptly informed us that weather had caused major road closures and unless we only wanted to go to Taupo we weren’t going anywhere.  So we piled back in the car and headed back to the warm. Mental note: next time check internet before rushing out the house dressed as Nanok of the North.

At this point we came to the rather slow realisation that the girls had come up during the worst winter storm in 16 years so we laughed (at least me and Nat did, Ron was in a sulk because she wanted to see her boyfriend) and drank coffee.

As Ron was now channelling her inner feral mongoose and about as much fun as a soggy toast Nat and I decided to head for the hills, literally, and went for a hike up the Mount.  Nat had never actually been up it and although it was cold and threatening rain we decided to seize the fear and do it anyway 🙂

You can’t tell by the photo but it was getting a bit spitty. 15 minutes later we were at the bottom and soaking wet so we made a pit stop into a cafe for hot chocolate and chai latte’s and very sympathetic coffee makers 🙂 We were not the first, nor the last, of the soggy mountain climbers for the day.

Arrival back at home for hot showers found our feral mongoose not terribly improved in temperament so once we were warm and dry we headed back out again and off to the local art gallery.  Nat loved the carvings and enjoyed herself 🙂 I love art so was in my element.

We then stopped at a cafe for lunch before heading home and chilling for the remainder of the day 🙂

That day is truly going to be one of my favourite memories.  Nat and I had a fantastic day hanging out and laughing and just enjoying.  We talked about assort’s and I have to say that our baby, our 16-year-old youngest, has grown to be a delightful young lady and an absolute joy to be with.

Roads opened and the heavens sung and they managed to get home Saturday morning 🙂

It was still bloody cold though

Ka Kete Ano xx

 

 

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Cast On, Bind Off

After all the frantic stitching to finish Tash & Kids I have neglected my knitting projects and have been feeling guilty for it.  How to counteract that? Getting knitting of course 😀

Now bear in mind that I am teaching myself to knit and as I really need to concentrate on anything that is more than a standard knit a line or purl a line, it’s rather slow going with frequent unravellings so my output is somewhat minimal compared to those who actually know what they are doing. This means that my output is not what others would achieve but I am ecstatic because its huge for me 😀 AND this was only a weekends work.

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First up we have a Reverse Stocking Stitch Stripe Square. A nice, easy little stitch that cost me no frustration or rude words although if you look closely you can see that I have accidentally added an extra line into a couple of rows.  I didn’t notice until well above them so at this stage they can stay there.  I may add it to the pile of re-do’s that I am accumulating for after I have stitched them all, but it’s not hugely noticeable so I may just call it ‘artistic license’ and leave it at that.

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Next we have Step Stitch Square which totally freaked me out and near caused me to wet myself when I saw the pattern but surprisingly I found it a doddle and really enjoyed the process 🙂

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Third up was the Stocking Stitch with Garter Stitch Stripe Square which I have to say is one of the ugliest things I have made for a while

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And last, but not least, we have a Basketweave Square which I am relieved to say, is not as ugly as the one above it.

All the knitting for the weekend went great with only a few minor hiccups so I am stocked to have made that much progress.  I do have to admit that it is mostly due to Dry July. Because I can’t have a wine I’m knitting lol

So that’s this weeks miniscule round-up.

Ka Kete Ano xx

 

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Getting Rugged Up

Sitting on the floor in front of the fire is the rug that I started at the beginning of the year.  Can anyone else believe that it is nearly June already! The rug is for in front of the fireplace to protect the carpet.

At least that’s what I tell people.  The rug is really just because I always wanted to make one so I am giving it a go 😉

Winter is fast approaching with jerseys being worn every day and nobody but surfies in thermal suits even considering the water as a play ground.  In saying that I went for a walk along the winters edge last weekend and it’s still surprisingly warm.  Not enough to convince me to go swimming but enough to paddle your feeties in.

I digress.

With winter rearing its chilly little head I can tell you that the heat pump is now on low level 24/7 and we are definitely only a weekend or 2 from our first fire.  As we have the heat pumps we only use the fire for the cosy factor on weekends. This means that I really ought to crack on with the rug and try to get it finished so the fat furry fellas have somewhere to sit in front of the fireplace 🙂

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I’m getting into the swing of things and its making good progress 🙂 Heading towards the halfway mark this week . . . hopefully.  Super swamped at work again this week so my evenings are tending to look more like napping on the couch than crafting the night away.

After the epic stitching marathons that occurred trying to get Tash & Kids finished I’m a little jaded with stitching right now.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to stitch, just that I want to play with other things for a little while.  I did get a couple of hundred stitches done over the week but nothing major.

Start of week / End of week

I had cousins everywhere over the weekend so this was the grand sum of my achievements.

I’m thinking the rug is probably going to be the priority for the next couple of weeks as the clutter from too many unfinished projects is driving me a little crackers.  I tidy things when I am working on projects but I don’t put them away.  I have found that if they are away they remain away so leaving them out works better.  However this does mean I have 1 knitting basket with Blanket #1 in it beside the TV, 1 knitting box with Blanket #2 in it under the secretary, 1 shopping basket with Diamond Painting kit in it on one side of the fireplace, neatly folded rug kit on other side of the fireplace and last but not least 1 x dinner tray with Warm My Heart cross stitch stuff under the coffee table..  Things are getting a mite crowded so I need to finish some stuff 🙂

Ka Kete Ano

 

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A Bunny and a Nearly There

About a month ago I randomly started fretting about a knitting kit for a bunny that I bought around 2 years ago when I first started thinking about learning to knit.  It didn’t cost much as it was in clearance at Spotlight and it’s just been sitting in the knitting corner ever since.

Around to weeks ago I got it out and put it on the coffee table so it could stare at me everytime I went past it.

A little over a week ago I wasn’t feeling well (hungover) and couldn’t face my cross stitch so I picked it up and started knitting.

Now bear in mind that I am not very good at knitting so there has been a little bit of swearing, a fair amount of googling and a lot of ‘what the heck did I just do’s going on.

I have been enjoying it though 🙂

Randomly, all of a sudden I couldn’t put it down.  Huge drive to keep going which is kind of silly.  My youngest is 15 and we have no grandkids yet so what the heck am I going to do with it?

Then I saw a message from one of my favourite cousins saying she was heartbroken.  We messaged a bit and then she rang.

Her god-daughter had been found to have a brain tumour the week prior.  On Tuesday they got the news that its very aggressive and where it is they cannot even biopsy. Sadly our little 11-year-old is terminal.

We talked and we cried, as you can well imagine. During the talking and the crying it suddenly hit me why I need to make a bunny.  So now bunny has a home when she is finished.  Di has also asked me to make a second one for her which of course I will do.   Expect lots of bunny updates in the next few weeks.

So here’s where bunny is currently at.

All we need is 2 arms and legs and some stuffing 🙂

AND I have finally nearly finished Tash & Kids.  Only 4 rows or 3,690 stitches to go.  With Easter this weekend there is a small, be it very small, chance that she will be done this weekend but I make no promises.

My husband tells me there will be wine with bubbles in it at the end of this project

 

 

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And Another Deadline Passes

but oh well 🙂 I would have loved to have Tash and the Kids finished and away to its new home for Tash’s birthday but its just not a happening thing.  I put in a valiant effort of the past few weeks and we are now down to one more page + 400 stitches so we can nearly taste that finish but Tash’s birthday was on Sunday.  So close but not close enough.

I was going to visit her with it in a box but I had a thumping migraine so I flicked her a text and told her that there was one more page to go on her surprise and she would get it next month 🙂

She asked no questions so thats got me absurdly nervous now.  What if she hates it? What if she thinks its the worst gift ever?  Worse yet, what if she hates it but hangs it up anyway because thats what you do with a gift that someone has spent a hoard of time and effort on?  I would really hate it if I found that out.  I would rather she rejected it outright that have me think she liked it :/

Only 900 stitches this past week as this week was incredibly busy.  Went to Adele concert on Thursday night and then took the girls to 21 Pilots on Saturday night.  As both concerts were in Auckland its was 2 nights where we didn’t get in before 2am.  Very hanging eyeballs were occuring on Sunday in our home and I got a stupid migraine.  Haven’t had one for a while so I suppose I am not surprised.

Due to knackeredness factor I was not up for stitching on Sunday so pulled out a new project that has been in my ‘to do’ pile for a while.  I’m knitting myself a bunny 😀 It’s a wee kit that I picked up from the clearance bin at Spotlight a couple of years ago and I am using it to teach myself to read a proper knitting pattern.  I’ve had a You Tube a couple of bits and unravelled the first ear piece about 3 times before I was happy with it but I think I am getting the swing of it.  So far we have 2 ears, which are 2 pieces each, and a head 🙂

I’m enjoying this 🙂 but man do I have a wee sore finger and thumb from using  my finger to guide the needle but I’m having fun again 😀

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They don’t look much but I think they are cute 😀

Ka kete ano xx

 

 

 

 

 

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One stitch at a time

Still plugging away at Tash.  Hoping for a page finish this weekend coming as I can nearly see the end 🙂 Its funny how the closer you get to finishing a long term project the slower the progress seems to be. Only managed to achieve 1220 stitches this week, was hoping for over 2000 but hey, best laid plans and all that 🙂 I have to keep reminding myself that it is summer and I work full time and have other things happening as well.  So what if a full day trawling second hand shops for an ugly shirt for a themed stag do this coming weekend and a day in the kitchen for a family dinner party on Sunday night all got in the way of my stitching.  This weekend coming is another weekend and the goal will be at least 2000 stitches and a page finish.

While trawling for ugly shirts I came up with my plan for the monthly Crafty Bitches challenge and scored a bunch of cutlery, got a cheap canvas and raided husbands paint cupboard.

Its not the best but has taught me a bit so I hope to upgrade it a bit in the coming months once I find the appropriate items 🙂

On Sunday we had a dinner party.  Everything went a bit pear shaped when I got stuck at the supermarket for over an hour as I had to keep changing the menu to fit with available products.  Had just gotten home when we got a surprise visit from my brother.  After he and his beautiful family left I climbed into the preping and by the time I finished I only had about half an hour before guest arrival, not enough time to stitch.  So I picked up my floor rug that I am building and did a bit on that.

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That was pretty much my level of achievement for the weekend.  Not as much as I would have liked but it was a great weekend regardless.  Saturday, after second hand shop trawling, we were a wee bit thirsty so stopped at a new craft beer bar for a bit of watering and some squid rings.  They had live music in the garden bar and I think this new bar could become a regular thing.  Mum and my niece for dinner on sunday with a roast vegetable salad and chicken, Pav and ice cream for desert. Also of course there was the wee walkies up the big hill in my back yard so all in all it was rather a non-stop weekend 🙂

Oh one more thing.  This isn’t strictly in keeping with today’s post as I didn’t make it but as I am not known for my ability to focus and stay on task I will share. I found this beautiful hand stitched table cloth for $10 while second hand shop trawling that I just couldn’t leave there.

 

 

 

Posted in Movies & Television, Uncategorized

Movie round up

The weekend started with a couple of hits:

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Bridget’s focus on single life and her career is interrupted when she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch … she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby’s father.  – Written by Anonymous

 

I did that awful wife thing and subjected my poor defenceless husband to a chick flick.  I think he will eventually forgive me.  I know he enjoyed as he actually laughed out loud several times and I had bought out the good snacks just in case.  Thoroughly enjoyed this 🙂 Bridget always makes me feel better about myself anyway but this just had me laughing the whole way though, even during the cringe moments 😀 The story wasn’t fantastic but it was a really fun watch 😀 4/5

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22 years after the original Jurassic Park failed, the new park (also known as Jurassic World) is open for business. After years of studying genetics the scientists on the park genetically engineer a new breed of dinosaur. When everything goes horribly wrong, will our heroes make it off the island?  

After subjecting poor defenceless husband to a chick flick I thought I had better be kind and do an adventure man friendly movie. Totally enjoyed it also 🙂 After 2 rather disappointing sequels (especially the rampaging in New York dinosaur bollocks bit from 2 which was not in the book by the way.  Book was good.) they have bought it back round and its a good watch.  Raptors became almost loveable which I didn’t see coming.  Big scary thing in the water was a just that, scary. It was a great watch 😀 4/5

Now we get to the end of the weekend and the misses.

I had been out up a big hill a couple of times and needed to spend some quality time with my deadline project and stay out of the sun for a bit.  So curtains were closed and A/C was on and it was ghost movie time.  I got these off a must watch ghost movie list.  I will never trust a list online again . . .

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A mother and father and their three teen-age children move to a new home that was the scene of a “personal tragedy”. The son meets a mysterious neighbor girl and together they experiment with an old radio they find in the attic, that can be used to communicate with the dead. Something is unleashed that brings new horror.

It was drivel and bollocks.  The staticy radio was meh in the scare factor and movie nearly put me to sleep.  I did laundry without pausing the movie while hanging it out.  This should tell you something. 2/5

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In 1977, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to London, England, where single mother Peggy Hodgson believes that something evil is in her home. When Peggy’s youngest daughter starts showing signs of demonic possession, Ed and Lorraine attempt to help the besieged girl, only to find themselves targeted by the malicious spirits.

Not a bad watch but not great.  Had some good scary moments.  I struggled with the storyline because I know the story.  Have the book even.  They kind of stayed true to it up until the end.  The end was complete fabrication and Ed & Lorraine were never that involved.  They only ever stopped by for a few minutes one weekend and never really witnessed anything.  When you are portraying a story as based on fact I get that there will be some artistic licence but when it reaches that far past what actually happened then I’m sorry it shouldn’t be portrayed as a true story at all.  Just me I guess but it irks me lol 😀  All that aside it was not a bad watch 🙂 3/5

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For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors, that seem to be only a few steps behind. Written by Jose Tamayo

I appear to be in the minority on this as its rated medium high on most websites but I found it to be so bad that I couldn’t watch to the end and switched it off.  I made it 3/4 of the way through and just couldn’t do it. 1/5

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A brother and sister move into an old seaside house they find abandoned for many years on the English coast. Their original enchantment with the house diminishes as they hear stories of the previous owners and meet their daughter (now a young woman) who now lives as a neighbor with her grandfather. Also heard are unexplained sounds during the night. It becomes obvious that the house is haunted. The reasons for the haunting and how they relate to the daughter whom the brother is falling in love with, prove to be a complex mystery. As they are compelled to solve it, the supernatural activity at the house increases to a frightening level. Written by Russell West <ruswest@primenet.com>

This was released in 1944, black and white and I loved it 😀 It was fun for an afternoon movie.  Scare factor was completely missing but I can imagine that it would have had them in its day.  In today’s more blood soak and cgi scary times it was more of a romance than a horror but still well worth a watch. Such a great movie 😀 4.5/5

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Wanting to escape city life for the countryside, New Yorkers Cooper Tilson (Quaid), his wife Leah (Stone) and their two children move into a dilapidated old mansion still filled with the possessions of the previous family. Turning it into their dream house soon becomes a living nightmare when the previous owner (Dorff) shows up, and a series of terrifying incidents lead them on a spine-tingling search for clues to the estate’s dark and lurid past… Written by Gavin Nelson

I want the house! Such a beautiful old building.  That was about the best part of the movie, the house.  I’m not sure how this made it on to a ghost movie list as it was a thriller with no supernatural stuff at all.  With Stone and Quaid, along with a very young Kristen Stewart, heading the cast I was expecting a lot more but I found it to be rather trite and unbelievable.  Good premise but the actual script let it down. 3/5

All movie synopsis courtesy of IMDb

 

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Patience

My family has been a broken and fractured thing in the past.  Not the family I grew but the family I came from. My parents divorce, lies, deceit, selfishness and anger have all played their part in my past.  It was very obvious from a young age that my parents did not like each other terribly much and us kids often felt it keenly and on occasion bore the brunt of it.  Growing up felt tough.  They divorced when I was 15.  This did not make things better.  They went from disliking each other to despising each other fairly quickly and the family fractured apart completely. There were a whole host of reasons for this but that is their story to tell, not mine.

Then my brother died.

This made what was already a terrible family environment far worse.  Tolerances from the past become intolerable from the now and the family fractured apart even further, something that I would have thought impossible until it happened. I had already reached the point of little to no contact with my father and now there was a distance growing between my mother and I, and because of that there was limited contact with my remaining brother, sister and step brother and step sister.

My brother left behind a wife and 2 very young children.  His wife blocked us from ever seeing them again and within a month had changed their last name to her maiden name.  I can understand why she did this.  She needed to protect herself.  There was a whole host of things that lead up to my brother taking his own life and her side of that story is not a pleasant one.  I can imagine that she lives with terrible guilt at times and fear that the children will find out what happened.  Her solution was to remove us from their lives.

I have always believed that you should not allow your feelings about a person guide anyone else’s opinion.  Due to this I would allow my father access to my daughter whenever he wanted even though we weren’t talking.  Over the course of the next 10 years this shared love of my daughter has healed what seemed an impossible chasm.  It was slow progress but we are now 20 years in the future and I am my daddies princess and we are close.  He pops into work all the time with home baked treats for me and the staff as well as little treasures that he finds when his trawling second hand shops.

My relationship with my mother remains fractured.  This is due to a whole host of things but mostly due to us just being very different people.  I am working on this.  I realise that it is I that have distanced myself in a lot of ways and I am working on this.

Over the past 5 years my extended family and I have worked at bridging the gaps.  I now have a lot of contact with my brother and email my sister regularly.  I will go and visit her one day but as she is a rather expensive plane ride away this is a future thing.

My cousins and I are back in touch and we are close.  They came to my daughters 21st.

Its amazing what the joint love of one precious wee soul, my amazing daughter, can do to bring a family back together.

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Us, brother, sisters, cousins all with our partners at baby girls (crouching in front) 21st

But we are all still missing something vital.  My brothers daughters.

I made contact with my oldest niece when she was 16.  This lasted a week and her mother found out and told her that if she didn’t cease contact that she would be disowned and thrown out of the house.  It was my fault.  I told the beautiful girl to be honest with her mother that she was talking to me.  I didn’t want secrets.  After the epic melt down beautiful niece emailed me and told me what had happened.  I told her that as much as it wasn’t fair that she had to listen to her mother and to come and find me again when she was ready.

I have had to wait another 8 years but last month she contacted my daughter via good old Facebook.  We gave her space but last week I added her myself and we started messaging.  She has been told that we were the ones that removed contact.  She figured this might be incorrect after we spoke when she was 16.  Smart kid 🙂 I sent her photo’s from my fathers house showing her pictures on the wall of her up until the age of 3. She rang almost immediately and got to talk to her granddad for the first time in 21 years.

She knows almost nothing of her father.  She has almost nothing of her fathers.  Her mother has attempted to wipe all memory of him from her world.  I have told beautiful niece that she can ask me anything that she wants about her dad, anything at all, except for the major stuff about the ending.  I have told her that it is her mothers story and her mothers journey and I can’t, or won’t, impact on that.

Somebody told me I should tell beautiful niece everything but I don’t agree.  My brothers death has caused enough pain and heartache.  It has to end now.  Beautiful niece is now 24 years old and I am 45.  That means that we have a lot of happy memories to look forward to and to make for the future AND I get to talk about how wonderful my brother was to somebody new who wishes to have known him.  Its time to look forward not back.

We are having lunch together this Saturday.  For the first time in 21 years I get to hug my beautiful niece.

I knew she would come back.  Patience really is a virtue xx

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One thing at a time

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This week was a wee bit more up in the air than I thought so not much was achieved.  Gained about 600 stitches but that is all.  I have decided that I really need to concentrate on this and little else until it is completed.  I really need it do be done.  Have completed nearly 200 stitches for this week already

Oh but I set up a new Facebook group yesterday  along with my sister in law.  Its called Crafty Bitches Monthly Challenge and the premise behind this is that we have to make something for our home each month.  We are then going to have a gathering of the local people at my house and have a show and tell over Sangria’s on the last weekend of each month.  The group with have monthly albums so that our overseas’s friends can be a prat of this as well 🙂 So far there are 7 of us hahahaha 🙂  Its a public group if anyone is interested in joining us 🙂