Saturday, 19 December 2009

Oops!

The silly season is upon us, and things have gotten a little crazy here. It recently occurred to me that it had been a while since I updated my blog - over two weeks in fact... oops. Well, there's lots to tell, so I'll get started.

Running
Has been going okay - I try to get in at least three runs per week, but when the stupid winds pick up, it's kinda hard. There's nothing worse than running into a head wind, then having a big gust knock you backwards. I usually have to stop running and walk for a bit, because it's actually faster, and way easier. If it's really windy, I either cut my run short, or don't go out at all. I feel good about the fact that I can still run 5k without too much problem though. This summer certainly hasn't been the best so far, with cold days, lots of wind, a stupid amount of rain (probably more than we had in winter!!). However, I don't mind running on the occasional day we have like this:


This is Karori Park at about 9.15am - pretty awesome :-)

I alternate between the waterfront and Karori Park, just so I don't get bored. The waterfront isn't particularly accurate distance-wise - I'm guessing it's about 3.5-4 kilometres, since it takes me about 20 minutes or so. If I want to do a definite 5k run I go to the park, because the track is marked out. And it always takes me 30 minutes exactly. Seems like it's a good place to go for a 'proper' run.

Boys
They've finished school for the year, as of yesterday at 12pm. T is really enjoying school, and the boys get on well together in class and on the playground. Yesterday X moved from Kauri (the Year 0-2 class) on to Kowhai (Years 3-5). They have a special 'through the arches' ceremony for children moving up to the next class (ah, the joys of a small school). So anyway, X and the other children moving up were told to get their tote trays ready to carry through to Kowhai, and the younger children were asked to form an archway for the older kids to walk through. X when to get his tote tray, and T followed along to get his. After being told by X and a couple of the other kids that he couldn't go through and would have to stay in Kauri, he got really upset, started crying and went and hid under a table. Poor thing! Wanted to stay with his brother :-( So after a cuddle he was okay enough to watch the wee ceremony (but not participate in creating the arch, I think that would've been too much for him), and he managed to finish of the last half hour of school in reasonably high spirits. Afterwards during the car ride home, X proceeded to tell me that that was the best day of his life so far - he was really proud of the fact that he had moved on to Kowhai. Awwwwwwwwww (^_^)

This morning I caught a bit of discussion going on between them with regards to school next year:

X: I'm going to be in a different class next year T - I'll be in Kowhai and you'll be in Kauri. But we can still play together at play time.

T: Yeah, because we're friends.

How cute!! It's good to know they're only terrors when they're at home, and can act in a civilised manner when out in public :-) School together seems to be working well for them.

Laundry Lottery
Sorry, no pics. It's just been food packet after food packet after food packet, and lets be honest here, that gets a little boring!! But if I unearth something interesting, I swear you'll be the first to know :-)

Knitting
It's been going slowly, but getting there. I think I might manage to finish all the originally planned Christmas knits in time (fingers crossed). I had planned a few extras but I don't think they'll get done. Oh well... I have one project left to finish off, and I'm about 1/4 done, but knowing that I still have a week to finish it is kind of reasurring, especially since I have knitting group tomorrow afternoon, and plenty of time next week.

I have lots of stuff planned for next year as well - a pair of socks for KJ, who has been waiting ever so patiently for them, and a pair of Bella Mittens (Twilight inspired). I was given some gorgeous merino/silk yarn for a cowl in a swap, and I've been wanting to knit with it for a while, so I might get around to that. There's another couple of items I want to knit (one medium-sized, one rather large!!) that I won't go into detail about, because they're for a couple of rather special people.

Sewing
My dear sewing machine did get a couple more outings, and I no longer resent it :-) The shopping bags got finished, I completed the present I've been making my niece for about eight months on and off:


Background story: My friend KJ gave me this tivaevae block to do, because I'd mentioned that I wanted to learn needleturn applique. What better to practice on than a tivaevae block? So I got a book out of the library, learned needleturn, then had a completed block, and nothing to do with it. Since it was 'practice' I hadn't bothered to get matching thread colours, which meant they were slightly visible (and only slightly because I'd done such a good job of the needleturn, if I do say so myself!) but I wanted to make a cushion out of the block so decided to embroider around the pattern. My friend Suzy taught me how to embroider the feather stitch, which goes all the way around the outside of each of the leaves, stem and flower, then I shadow quilted around it three times, put a back on, and stuffed it. Voila, cushion!!

And I even had time to make these cute little project bags, which I gave to each of my stitching friends (and one for me of course!):




I have a large quilting project planned for next year (and probably another couple of years after that!!) but it will require a fairly decent sum of money as I have to order said project from the US, and it's HUGE, but I've been wanting to do it for a while. I won't say any more just now though, it may end up a surprise for another special someone (if I can part with it once completed). Wow, it's good to know I have so many great people in my life that I want to make things for. However I really have no idea if they actually like the stuff I make... ;-)

Spinning
Has been put on the back burner for now, but I'll definitely be getting back in to it soon. I've got my Ashford Traditional wheel out of storage - finally! - and want to get it going. It needs a little TLC (wax, oil, replacement parts, the whole nine yards!) but I'm sure she'll be fine. I still have my Pretty Lush roving from Maude&Me that I really want to spin up, so perhaps early next year...

Christmas Shopping
Is nearly all done, just a few more bits and pieces to get. I can probably do that today, which will mean minimum stress next week leading up to Christmas. I love being organised!! We're heading up to Napier next Wednesday, which will give me time to work on the desserts for after the big turkey dinner. This year I'm going with a yummy looking berry trifle and a pavlova (and Gran's coffee pudding that Deane insists on having). Last year's desserts were well received - traditional plum pudding with brandy butter, and cherry mascarpone tartlets (oh, they were gooooooood!!) so I'll try something a little different this time - hope everyone likes them :-)

Well, I probably won't get around to posting another update until 2010, so have a great holiday everyone!! See you next year :-)

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Christmas is a-comin'

Yesterday, I had my kids decorate the Christmas tree in their usual boyish fashion. It was a rare moment when the weather was shite so they were inside, the TV and XBox were off, and no computer games were in play. It was pretty quiet, and T started singing. It was so damned cute, I just had to get a video:



OK, my video-taking skills suck more than my photography skills. I'm prepared to admit that. But still - how cute? Seriously!! My gorgeous boys :-) So as you can see, our Christmas tree as looking as stylish as ever (heh heh). Soon I'll start wrapping the completed hand made pressies (and others that I'll buy over the next couple of weeks) and put them around the base, waiting for the trip up to Napier for the big day. The boys socks are done and I'm halfway through dad's socks - here's one:



I quite like how it's come up, but I have no idea if dad will actually wear them. Pity they're too big for me :-( otherwise I'd probably keep them ;-) I've started on the next one - they're fairly quick to knit since they're knit in worsted weight yarn. Can't complain about that!! I'm trying to stick to one (knitting) project at a time and get it finished before moving on to the next. Some people might be getting knitting IOU's still...

I've also got some sewing projects to finish, and a couple other bits and pieces, plus the shopping (of course!! What would Christmas be without a little shopping?) I did a bit of finance-free shopping the other day while the boys were at school - you know the kind, when you wander around the shops and pick out what you'd like to buy everyone, keep a mental note, then edit the list over the next few days while you wait for your money to miraculously appear in your bank account. It's a good way to go, and over the years I've saved myself hundreds, nay, thousands of dollars in impulse buys. I've decided what to buy Deane this year - I hope he likes it. I know he didn't like last year's yuletide gift...

Anyway, enough Christmassy fluff for now. I recently received the second batch of Ron Weasley blanket squares for the round four swap:



Aren't they cool? I'm very pleased with this lot. I've already signed up for round five (due in February) and can't wait to see what people come up with this time. It's gonna be an awesome blanket! Oh, and I don't think I ever posted a pic of my completed Felicity hat - aka my floppy hat. Here's a wee pic of T modelling it for me (and I stand by my previous lament that taking a photo of yourself is nigh on impossible):



I like it, it's comfy to wear, and it looks pretty cool on. Well, at least I think it does...

Well, that pretty much covers all crafty projects at the moment. Both boys are at school now - T is going really well, no problems at all so far. Although I did pick them up at 1.45pm this afternoon - they skipped sports because T was really tired and I thought he'd have a meltdown if he had to walk to the park, run around for 45 minutes, and walk back to school. He's not the most energetic of children, and baulks at walking down the street!! But he slotted into class like he'd been there for ages, and I had no qualms about leaving at 9am and returning at 3pm. Granted, I checked up at about 11.30am the first day, and a couple times today (because he was so tired) but he's been doing great. One more school day left before the weekend, and then he can have a well deserved rest. Should be a pretty quiet weekend for him and Deane, as X and I will be heading up to Napier again. I'll be going to New Moon with Tans - looking forward to all the yummy shirtless young men strutting their stuff on the big screen, ooh it's gonna be good!!

After that, the drive back home on Sunday to prepare for the last two weeks of school before Christmas holidays start for the boys (last day is 18th December). Hopefully Deane's won't be far behind, and the relaxation can begin in earnest.

I'd love to experience the classic 'white Christmas' (then the traditional turkey dinner that Deane and his mother insist on will make far more sense), but nothing really beats a summer Christmas where you can laze around in the sun drinking a few cold ones, and feast on some good ol' kiwi barbeque tucker. Beach trip, anyone?

Must admit though, I like the fact that our little family unit can have the best of both worlds (minus the chilly temperatures of course). Barbeque at mum and dad's, then on to the turkey dinner with ridiculously large amounts of food and people. Who needs more than two giant meals on Christmas day, interspersed with a few alcoholic beverages? And the presents of course ;-) Bring it on!!

Monday, 30 November 2009

End of an era (a small era, but an important one)

Today was the last day of kindy for my youngest son. I was surprised that I didn't feel at all sad. I was incredibly happy in fact. Not one single tear was shed. I had a stupidly large grin on my face right throughout the little kindy-leaving ceremony.

Is there something wrong with me? You always hear mothers talking about how much they're going to miss having a littlie at home. Many mothers miss it so much, when the first batch of kids have moved on to school, they start the second batch! Sure, sometimes I see a wee baby and think they're absolutely gorgeous. I love the cute little noises they make when they're eating, when they're trying to talk to you, the little snuffles they make in their sleep. The beautiful smile you get when you walk into their room after they've woken from that sleep. Hearing them laugh. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and going to check on my boys, just because. The realisation that you love your child so much it hurts, and you couldn't imagine life without them. Watching them learn how to do things for themselves, like the buttons on a shirt, putting on their shoes. Those pesky jacket zips! Using a knife and fork. Yes, I enjoyed watching my children grow from babies to school boys, and yes, I will miss that.

But I also remember the horrible ligament pain, back pain, not being able to get comfortable for months, sleep deprivation, mastitis, screaming tired sick or hungry babies, nappy rash, teething, temper tantrums, poos and wees, the milky power chuck across the room when they've got a big air bubble in their tummy (and the clean up that ensues), not knowing what's making them cry and having no way of figuring it out because they can't tell you what's wrong. A continuously damp chest because my milk supply never knew how to turn off!! The list goes on, and to be honest, I'm kinda glad it's over!

I'm really excited about having them both at school. It will be interesting to see how they interact together and with others at school, especially since they'll be in the same class for the next few weeks until everything winds down for the year. Next year they'll be in separate classes and that'll be a whole new experience again. I wonder what homework time will be like? Fingers crossed it will go well!

Well I must head out into the horrid, totally not summery weather to the local fish and chip shop to get dinner. Gotta love it when your children prefer takeaways to home cooked meals for their birthday dinner - minimum effort :-)

There will however be chocolate birthday cake for dessert, so I did do something at least.

One more sleep and my wee boy is off to school with his brother. I can't wait, and neither can they.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The in-between

This week is in between X's 7th birthday, and T's 5th birthday. One celebration is over, and another is yet to arrive. X's birthday was a fairly quiet affair - presents in the morning before school, treats for his classmates at the end of the school day, a friend staying over on the weekend, and a pretty boring looking round birthday cake with some writing and some coloured chocolate drops scattered about on the top. He seems to be okay with it.

Once that was all over, I asked T who he would like to invite to his birthday party, since he was turning five and it was a rather important event. He said "just X". What, no kindy kids? "No". Oh well, I guess T's fifth birthday will also be a fairly quiet affair. Less stress for me I suppose, but it just seems... not quite right somehow. We've decided to head up to Napier for the weekend, as he seemed rather keen on seeing nanny, poppy, nana and the cousins, so I guess that will do. I'll fit a birthday cake in there somewhere! It is now less than a week until he starts school and I don't know who is more excited. Probably me. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be a blubbering mess at the kindy farewell though. Possibly also the first day of school. Note to self: take some tissues!!

It occurred to me recently that I've become one of those overly emotional women who cries at everything. I'd never considered myself much of a 'girly' girl - I played cricket as a child, loved to help dad outside with building, brickwork, mixing concrete, lifting heavy objects, the usual tomboy stuff. Wonder what happened? I find myself crying, not only at actual weddings of people I know and love, but weddings of fictional characters on TV!! I was watching a NZ Post ad the other night, and got all teary-eyed. (Ended up sending a text message to Deane lamenting the fact that I have 'stupid irrational female emotions'). I'm quietly searching for the perfect handbag, have a new interest in shoes, occasionally wear makeup (makeup for Pete's sake!!) - did I grow up somewhere between 25 and 30? That's the only explanation I can come up with... The thought that I could be walking around some day soon wearing a dress with a pair of strappy heels, makeup and a handbag!! What is the world coming to?

There was a time when my wardrobe consisted of jeans, track pants, t-shirts and sweatshirts, and my only footwear was a pair of Doc Marten boots (minus the laces). I don't think I even owned makeup of any description, nor did I have anything resembling a skirt. Now, I have four dresses and three skirts, and at least one pair of girly strappy heels that have sparkly diamantes on them. Don't get me wrong, I practically live in jeans still, but now they're usually teamed with a nice top or cardigan. I hardly ever wear t-shirts any more. Amazed? I am!

Anyway, moving on (this post is starting to get a little disturbing). My running is going fairly okay - I'm alternating between Karori Park and the waterfront. Unfortunately I've put on about four kilos in the last month, and I'm pretty sure that's because I've been eating stupidly large amounts of not-quite-so-healthy food. I'd better stop eating so much crap, and get stuck into the fruit and veges. Set a good example for the children and all that. And continue running of course. Now that we're coming in to summer, and T will soon be at school all day with X, I might add a bit of swimming into the mix as well. Ahh, the convenience of the local swimming pool being just a few doors up the street!

I'm onto the last of six pairs of socks for the boys, so I'll be able to get on to all the other Christmas presents I was planning to make this year. I'm still not sure if I'll get them all done - some friends and family may be receiving IOU's this holiday season!! Knitting seems to go faster when you have a view like this:


My little knitting group meets every second Sunday at the Wellington Botanic Gardens. This is the view from outside the cafe (Lady Norwood Rose Gardens). Bliss on a lovely warm sunny day.

Soon it will be the 5th December. This may have no relevance to your average person, but this is the date I will be attending the New Moon movie in Napier with my bestest friend in the whole wide world - can't wait!!! I downloaded the soundtrack a little while ago. At first I wasn't terribly impressed, but the more I listen to it, the more I like it. It really grows on you! It's great for running to. I'd like the Twilight soundtrack as well, which I really enjoy. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get my hands on a downloadable version of it yet - I'll keep working on it.

Things are winding up for the year - had the last PTA meeting for 2009 this morning (held at the same venue as my knitting group - great place for a meeting!!), tonight is my last kindy meeting (ever!!). Wednesday night will be the last Quilters Guild Committee meeting for the year. Next Monday is T's last day of kindy (eep!), Tuesday I have my last work meeting for 2009. 10th December is the final Guild meeting for the year, and the 18th is the last day of school. So much to do in between now and Christmas! Tempus fugit...

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Summer's on the way - finally

Today has been a lovely day. Granted, it's not as warm as my home town, but I'm okay with that. I never liked being too hot anyway. Reasons why today has been so good:

1. It's X's 7th birthday

2. I heard a classic conversation between two manly men this morning while wandering through town. It went a little bit like this (please note, it's very hard to spell the typical manly grunt of approval, so just imagine one whenever you see 'ungh'):

Man #1: So I bought myself a new barbeque for summer on the weekend.
Man #2: Oh yeah? How big is it?
Man #1: Six burner
Man #2: ungh. Stainless steel?
Man #1: yep
Man #2: ungh. Hooded?
Man #1: yep
Man #2: ungh.
Man #1: yep. Even got a rotisserie. Bought it from Mitre 10. They've got blah blah blah blah...

From here on it got a little more indepth (although I'm not sure exactly how much more in depth you can get, I mean, it's a freaking barbeque!!) but they crossed the road and I couldn't hear the rest of the blokey exchange. No great loss.

3. When I got back from town, the second instalment of the Needle Food sock club had arrived via courier:


Pretty isn't it? The yarn colour is called 'Picnic in the Rain'. I rather like it. There's also a couple of Buzz Bars (well, one now), a cappuccino sachet, gorgeous stitch markers, a notepad, pen and highlighter. Awesome :-)

4. After picking T up from kindy, we headed to the beach for an hour or so.




5. T has another school visit tomorrow at 10.30am. Looking forward to it.

6. X wants McDonalds for dinner tonight. I'm cool with that, only because it means I don't have to cook ;-)

7. Only two more days until New Moon comes out at the movies. Although I'll have to wait to see it. Oh well, I can always console myself by watching Twilight instead. (For the eighth time...)

8. It's supposed to rain tonight. I love rain.

9. I have a veritable treasure trove of goodies for this week's Laundry Lottery:


The usual suspects of course, food packaging. I know this paints a rather ugly picture of my childrens' diet, but I swear they eat fruit and vegetables - they just don't come in packets!! The extras are a small rock, pieces of orange and blue chalk from the school tennis court next door, and a pair of Deane's cufflinks. Exciting huh? ;-)

10. I'm finally managing to get a bit of knitting time in - I've nearly finished my Felicity hat, and I'm up to the heels in X's first pair of Christmas socks.

Well, better go do some housework, all this lazing around enjoying the good weather can't last all day!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Bwaaaaaahahahahaaaa

I just had to share something that happened last night, simply because it's so hilarious.

My youngest son, T, has got into the habit of sneaking into our bed once we've put him to bed for the night. It's not a problem, we just move him later. Anyway, last night I had the ladies round for our fortnightly stitching group and once they'd left I decided to head to bed for a bit of reading. First, I had to move T.

So I went into the bedroom, picked up his toy panda, and blue blankie. Then I picked up T, who snuggled into my shoulder still fast asleep. On the way to his room he let out an absolute ripper of a fart! I barely contained my laughter long enough to slip him quietly and gently into his own bed. I then proceeded to run to my own room where I collapsed into a heap of giggles. It was just so adorably funny and cute, in a gross kind of way. He didn't wake himself up of course, but oh, the hilarity! Anyway, on with my day...

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Yay, it's over! On with life

Phew! I finished all my sewing in time! All 70 hearts done in time to take to school on Thursday afternoon, costumes finished in time for the weekend Christmas party in Auckland. I ended up sewing on the domes, not Deane (no surprises there!) Although I did have a bit of an 'oops' moment. I'd marked out exactly where to sew the 12 domes, and did one side, put it on Deane and marked where the other half of these 12 domes would need to be placed in order for the robe to close properly. I then proceeded to sew them on (while watching Twilight - Deane didn't say anything about it, maybe he was just happy he didn't have to do it). My 'oops' moment came when I'd finished sewing on the other halves, and went to try it on Deane, only to find that I'd sewn the other halves on backwards, so the domes couldn't close. So what did that mean? I had to take them all off and do it again :-( Oh well, that allowed me to watch pretty much the whole movie without interruption. I think Deane felt sorry for me so he let me watch the rest of it in peace, before we went to bed for the night. My dear sewing machine is all packed away again, and who knows when it will have it's next outing?

Mum arrived at around 2pm on Friday afternoon, so we all went to pick up X from school. Called in to the supermarket to get a chicken for dinner, home to bung it in the oven, and sat around for a lazy afternoon. That night, mum and I watched a movie - can you guess what it was??? Yep, Twilight again! Mum hadn't seen it, so of course I had to make her watch it :-) Oddly, Deane still didn't say anything...

Saturday morning dawned with fairly decent weather so I headed off for an early morning run along the waterfront, and was back before 7.30am. Quick shower and boys ready, before the special effects makeup lady came to do Deane's Voldemort makeup for the party at 9.30am. Here are some progress pics for you:



All done just in time for the taxi to pick us up at 12.30pm to take us to the airport. Yes, Deane had to fly to Auckland looking like that (in muggle clothing of course) - it was hilarious!! Oh, the looks we got!! And several (hundred) more while we wandered around Queen Street in central Auckland getting last minute bits and pieces, and some dinner before getting dressed and heading to the party which started at 7.30pm. Lots of photo opportunities with random strangers walking down the street. Here are a couple of pics of us - please bear in mind we took these at about midnight after we'd got back to the hotel, so I look like crap and can't strike a pose to save my life:


::How is it that you can look perfectly fine in real life, but absolute shite in a photo? I don't get it!::

The party was pretty awesome, held at The Civic in Auckland. There were six separate bar areas - a King's Room where you could get 'beheaded' or 'knighted', a Children's Story Room where you could sit on toadstools with the white rabbit downing shots, a Rock & Roll room where (oddly enough) you could have a game of table tennis, a 60's dance room, and a couple of others that I didn't really see. The costumes were varied, ranging from punk, Ginger Spice, a telephone box, Thomas the Tank Engine, British Guard, royalty, Alice in Wonderland, and war heroes, to Ali G, Vyvyan from the Young Ones, polo players, Essex nightclubbers, Lewis Hamilton and Andy from Little Britain.

We wandered back to the hotel around midnight because I was wiped. Deane removed all the makeup and went out again, getting back to the hotel about 4am. I happily went to bed and straight to sleep. The next morning I enjoyed the view for a couple of hours:



Then woke Deane up so we could check out and scoff ridiculously large amounts of yummy breakfast before the shuttle arrived to take us back to the airport. We arrived home at about 12.30pm with a large box of Dunkin' Donuts in tow (mmmmmmm, donuts...) mum went home, and we went to watch the Wellington Phoenix play Perth at the Westpac Stadium. It was a 1-1 draw. I've never actually been to a football game before, and must say it was rather entertaining. I gather the standard chants I heard from the crowd were gleaned from the Brits - things like "All we want is a decent referee" sung to the tune of Yellow Submarine, "Who are ya?" yelled over and over while pointing at the grounds, "The referee's a wanker"... you get the idea. Of course that's just my assumption. Footy crowds are definitely more vocal than rugby crowds in any case ;-) Oh yeah, and the kids got their faces painted, coincidentally, by the same lady that did Deane's makeup the day before:


Guess the popular superhero of the day ;-)

T had his first school visit on Monday, which I think went fairly well. X has finally found his Nintendo DS (it's been missing for about four months!!). I've started reading An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, and am yet to finish that third pair of socks for T. All in good time... (but hopefully before Christmas! Better get cracking).

How was your weekend?

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Is it over yet?

This is what I have woken up to every morning for the past two weeks:


I love my sewing machine dearly, I really do, but by God am I sick of it right now! It took me a week to sew my wizards robe for the Vodafone Christmas party this weekend - that was done last week - all 12 metres of fabric hacked and slashed to create something I'm mildly proud of, although it could certainly do with improvement (not that I'm going to do any more alterations, I've done enough already!). When I was nearly finished, Deane informed me that I would have to make his costume too. So back to Spotlight we trotted, purchasing another insanely large amount of fabric, the choice of which took forever thanks to Deane's indecision on exactly what he wanted (boys whining the whole time of course - they finally ended up entertaining themselves for the last ten minutes pretending to be bolts of fabric on a shelf, waiting for unsuspecting customers to come along and buy them). That took me almost another week. I'm nearly done, just have to sew a hundred million domes onto one of the robes - yes, one of them. He required two! Urgh :-/ Anyway, pictures of these wonderful creations will just have to wait until after this weekend - hopefully we'll get some good shots of us in full garb at the bash, which I will upload into my next post.

So anyway, that's three items complete (all black, I'm getting kind of sick of black now too, but don't worry I'm sure it will pass). What I'm sewing now is 70 little fabric hearts, which will be turned into little beany bags - one for each student at X's school. That's taken me the last three days. Here's the pile, almost complete:


Doesn't look like much, but there's 60 hearts there. I still have 10 to do, which are sitting on the floor waiting to be completed:


I should have them finished by the time I go to pick X up from school this afternoon. They will be passed on to the remaining PTA members for filling and finishing. They need to be finished by next Monday, when the older school children head off to camp. It's a lovely idea and ordinarily I wouldn't mind making them, but in conjunction with the other sewing projects in the last fortnight and the limited amount of time available to complete them all, I didn't have time to enjoy any of it really. Sewing is supposed to be fun and relaxing, but I found it stressful and frustrating. Another half hour though, and it will all be over (except for those gazillion domes still to be sewn on - Deane offered to help with that... should be interesting!)

Just to be clear, and so you understand why this sewing is such an issue, all I have done besides this sewing is some cooking, washing and running the boys to and from kindy and school. Oh, and a little TV watching and reading whenever my back gave in to all the crawling around and sitting on the floor. Literally nothing else, just sewing allllllllll day!! I haven't had time for any knitting at all. That list of Christmas knits is not getting any smaller!! Hopefully by the week's end, I will be able to get back into more of a routine which involves normal every day stuff like actual housework (you should see this place, it's a tip!!) and some knitting time. No more sewing until next year I think (except for the rest of those shopping bags I was going to make for Christmas, darn it!)

So there's no knitting finished objects to show in this post :-( I'm still half done on that third pair of socks for T. I'll finish them next week for sure, then I can move on to other pairs. Yay! And maybe for a little variation, a hat or some wrist warmers for me :-)

As mentioned before, I have managed to get some washing done, so here is a couple of weeks worth of Laundry Lottery winnings:


Just the standard food wrappers/packets, and a random piece of maths equipment, presumably picked up at school at some point and forgotten about.

So what else has been happening? Not much... I officially resigned as Minute taker for the school Board of Trustees. Oddly though, I don't really feel any sense of relief. There's only one kindy Committee meeting left for the year, so perhaps I'll feel a little better once that's over. Although as far as I know, they still haven't found a replacement, so that could be a bit of a problem...

Only PTA and Guild Committee left, and work. Doesn't sound like much, but over the last month or so it's felt like a lot more. My brain appears to be returning to normal (or at least as normal as my brain can be). In other words, I'm not forgetting absolutely everything like I was a couple of weeks ago. Maybe all that sewing has had something to do with it - basic, monotonous, repetitive tasks? Hmmm...

Less than two weeks until X turns seven, and less than a month until T turns five. Must get on to organising something for these important events! X not so much, but T deserves a celebration - he's going to be five!!! Wow :-)

I've managed to keep up with my running too, which is going fairly okay. I'm no longer driving out to Karori Park for my runs, I've joined the posers that run along the waterfront ;^) a) I'm no longer embarrassed about my lack of fitness and inability to run for any length of time (because now I am reasonably fit, and I can run for a decent amount of time), b) it's much closer to home, and c) the view is nicer. Although yesterday's run was cut short, because it was blowing a gale. I kept getting blown sideways, or had to stop and walk because the headwind was too strong and walking was actually faster. I kept getting hit with seaspray as well, and in the end I just gave up. I still ran for about 20 minutes though, so it wasn't all bad. The weather is getting warmer so I'm now in running shorts instead of baggy trackpants. I hope I'm not blinding people with the almost transparent whiteness of my legs, which haven't had a tan since early high school :-)

I've nearly finished the book for book group, The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty. On the front cover is a quote by New Woman (presumably a magazine) that reads "This is one of those beautiful books you're going to nag your friends to read" -- not so much. Sure it's an okay book, but nothing spectacular. Although to be fair I still have about 1/4 left to go, maybe it'll have a really good ending...

I'm horribly behind on the Ravelry Harry Potter RAL - I have about six or eight chapters of Chamber of Secrets to catch up on. Although it looks as though everyone's lost interest, as nobody appears to be participating in any discussion on these chapters, so no biggie. I'll get around to it eventually. X and I have two chapters left of Deathly Hallows before we've finished the entire series, I'm pretty sure X can't wait until it's over - I don't know how much he actually listens to the story. Oh well, it gave me an excuse to read the books again! Once I've finished Deathly Hallows and The Memory of Running, I'll start on An Echo in the Bone, the latest Diana Gabaldon that is sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. Can't wait! It's been a while since I finished A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I always recommend these books to people - they're really good. Hmm, after that it must be about time for another Terry Pratchett... ahh, so many books to read, so little time!

So to end this post on a slightly brighter note, here is my list of "Things To Look Forward To" (in no particular order):

1. Vodafone Christmas Party - which involves flights to and from Auckland, leaving the boys behind in Wellington with my mum. A whole evening and morning kid-free!

2. The New Moon movie, due out on 19th November (squeeeee)

3. X's 7th birthday

4. T's 5th birthday - and possibly starting school (maybe next year???)

5. Trip to Napier in early December to visit my bestie Tans and go to New Moon together

6. Returning to knitting - finally!!

7. Christmas

8. The last book group meeting of the year - book group is always a laugh-fest

9. End of year Christmas parties (other than Vodafone)

10. Lots of good books yet to be read (and some good books re-read just because)

11. 2010

12. Sleep - lots of sleep

13. Warmer weather

14. Christmas food!!! I love food, especially Christmas food. I think it requires it's own mention, completely aside from Christmas in general

15. Lots of beautiful things to see every day, like the sparrow that decided to visit me in the lounge this morning (and poo on my dining table), pretty flowers that the Board of Trustees gave to the PTA members to say thanks (currently sitting on my coffee table), little lizards on the footpath, gorgeous blue skies that go on forever, my desktop wallpaper with the topless picture of Jacob Black from Twilight (mmmmmmm - yummy)... the list goes on.

Have a good week :-)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Don't you hate that?

When your morning seems to be going smoothly and you have your day pretty well planned out, then something goes and screws it up. This morning I got out of bed and wandered into the lounge to find Deane had cooked breakfast. Bonus. So I sat down and ate, then got dressed in my new running shorts and various other clothing items, finished getting the boys ready and headed out the door. Once they'd been dropped off I drove to my usual running spot, Karori Park. About a third of the way around my first kilometre (of five) I get a call from the school advising that X had fallen and hurt his arm, had gone all pale and was still sobbing quietly half an hour after the accident. They were concerned that he had fractured it and wanted me to pick him up and take him to the doctors to be checked. Well there goes my run! Finished the one kilometre, walked back to the car and drove to school. (Apparently it's becoming a necessary part of life for me - I mentioned to Deane that I only got to run 1k instead of 5k, and he said "I know, you told me four times already!" - strange that I would be so bummed out about not being able to go for a run, I thought I still hated it...)

Deane had organised an appointment at the doctors for 10.45am so we fluffed around for a bit before heading off. I had to cancel my 10.30am appointment for work, and it turns out I'd forgotten a PTA meeting that was being held at 8.45am at school - oops! Went to the docs, they thought it needed to be x-rayed so referred us to the emergency department at the hospital. I had to pick T up from kindy so he wouldn't be left stranded there at 12.30pm, since the hospital is often not as efficient as you would hope. Turns out X has not got a fracture that they can see, but the little extra bone in the elbow that children usually develop by the age of three does not appear to be there. Whether he had one and it pinged off when he hit his elbow, or whether he just hasn't developed the extra bone yet the doctor wasn't really sure. They stuck his arm in a cuff/sling thingee, organised a follow up with the fracture clinic for a week to 10 days from now, and sent us home. Good thing I picked T up beforehand, we got out of the hospital at 12.45pm.

Now the rest of my day is disorganised, and I'll have to drag the kids to the supermarket later to get something for dinner. I had planned to go by myself after my 10.30am meeting, before picking T up from kindy. Meh. I hate taking the kids to the supermarket! Maybe we could have soup and toast for dinner...

On a brighter note, I'm halfway through the third pair of socks for T for Christmas, which leaves the three for X to do. I haven't got much knitting done lately because I've been trying to sew up a set of wizards robes for the Vodafone Christmas party next weekend. I bought a pattern and 12.4 metres of fabric, which is how much I needed according to the pattern (I wanted a different colour lining inside so had to buy double the fabric). According to the measurements on the pattern directions, I needed to make a small size robe. Following the directions exactly I made the small size robe, which turned out to be big enough to fit Deane, who is way bigger than me!! So there are currently some serious moderations going on!! A dress-maker I am not, so I really hope all this slashing and hacking I'm doing will turn out okay in the end - I'll keep you posted. What really annoys me is that after spending $120 on the fabric, I'm only actually using about a third of it - the rest is 'wastage'. Now I know why I don't make my own clothes!!

We had a lovely long weekend for Labour Weekend, heading up to Napier on Saturday afternoon after T finished swimming, and heading back to Wellington Monday afternoon. The weather in Napier was gorgeous as usual, the kids enjoyed playing outside on grass (something they don't really get to do here) and I got to see my bestest friend Tania again - and she was kind enough to let me watch Twilight (again!!) and happily drooled alongside me over the prettiness that is Edward Cullen, and to a slightly lesser extent, Jacob Black. We're both looking forward with great expectation to the release of New Moon (19th November!!!!) and are trying to organise a weekend trip for me to Napier, so we can go together. Obsess, obsess, obsess...

I forgot to mention in my last post the lovely package I got in the mail for the first instalment of the Needle Food Sock Club #2, so here is a pic now:


It's specially dyed to celebrate (is that the right word?? Seems a little morbid) Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Michelle kindly donated $2 on behalf of each sock club member - how sweet! Now what to make with it? Bears a little more thinking...

X's 7th birthday is fast approaching, and hot on it's heels is T's 5th birthday. It has only recently occurred to me, and I haven't organised anything yet. Urgh, must get on to that. I think I'm going to have to drop some Committee commitments, (heh heh, that sounds funny!) - I seem to be doing too many things. I keep forgetting all the stuff I have to do! But which to drop? We're probably moving soon anyway so it wouldn't make much difference I suppose, but I'm still going to feel stink about it :-/ Kindy's nearly done, I think I only have one meeting left (in November) so that's one down, I think perhaps BoT (I'm not actually on the Board, I only do the Minutes). PTA I'll stick with, there's only four of us!! And Guild I'll carry on with for now, it's starting to get a little hairy there at the moment. Sigh - now to figure out how to give them the bad news... (jeez, makes me sound a bit egotistical doesn't it? Like, "oh my God, they'll be lost without me!" I know they'll be fine and will find a replacement, I just hate letting people down).

So anyway just to recap, much like this post, my day has become a bit of a mess. I should probably go now and send those PTA Minutes I keep forgetting about - I edited them this morning (finally - the meeting was last Tuesday!), but I forgot to actually send them. I'd forget my head if it wasn't screwed on...

Please excuse my pointless ramblings, I'll be going now

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Yay Me!!!

I ran five kilometres in 30 minutes today! Woot!! I have officially completed my running programme goal - to run for a full 30 minutes. The next step was supposed to be to run 5k, but I've done that too - awesome! Now I know I can happily go for a run for half an hour, anywhere, anytime (within reason of course, we don't want too many hills!!) I repeat, yay me!

Moving on... I have also finished my Sexy Vesty, and I luuuurve it :-) Pictures taken by X, hence the blurry quality:



And of course T had to get into the pic (he's such a cutie!):



Michelle (of Needle Food) tells me that colour was a one off, and that's all there was of it, so it's totally unique - how cool is that? Unfortunately though, that's about all the knitting I've been able to accomplish so far this month, mostly due to the fact that I spent an entire week reading the Twilight series. After I'd read the first book (over about three days) I devoured the next three in the space of about five days or so. Deane wasn't terribly impressed, and the housework suffered severely, but I finished the books on Monday, the house is recovering, and Deane got over it :-) Can't wait for the new movie to come out - 19th November I believe. Ooh, it's gonna be good!! Luckily for me (not so much for Deane) we have the Twilight movie on the terrabyte drive, so I can watch it whenever - awesome! btw, for those who partake in Twilighty goodness, after much deliberation I have decided I'm cheering for Team Edward ;-) Although Team Jacob comes a very close runner up.

Anyway, the boys are back at school and kindy, so Laundry Lottery has recommenced - here's this weeks 'winnings':



Not much excitement there, just the usual suspects - empty food packets, and a business card thrown in for good measure, courtesy of Deane.

Well, I must away, off to Spotlight to buy 12.5 metres of fabric to make a wizard's robe for the Vodafone birthday bash in a couple of weeks...

Monday, 12 October 2009

It's been awhile...

so there's lots to update you on. Where to start??? Here we go:

Running - ha ha, what running? I only managed to go for three runs last week. It was supposed to be run 11 minutes, walk one minute, x 3. On Monday it was more like run 11 minutes, walk one minute, run eight minutes and give up because it was pouring with rain, I was saturated, my hands were frozen into ice cubes, and my earphone thingees kept falling out. Ordinarily that wouldn't be a problem and I'd just put them back in, but my hands wouldn't work. The wind was really strong and it was like torture so I cut it super short and went home for a hot shower. Tuesday the weather was shite, so I didn't go for a run. Wednesday was better, but my run only consisted of two runs of 11 minutes - the third 11 minute block didn't eventuate because a) my bestest friend of all time Tania was at my place (more about that later) and b) my ankles were almost audibly screaming at me, and c) there were heaps of City Council workers planting, digging etc etc and I was feeling extra self-concious. Thursday was a rest day (poor ankles) and Friday the weather was shite again. Managed to get a run in on Saturday but it was only 15 minutes long - I was in Napier and had already run around in a circle, and didn't feel like running around it again. I know what you're thinking, "excuses, excuses". Yep, I've got plenty!! Today I haven't been because there's just too much to do - first day back at school/kindy, and I still have to unpack from our trip to Napier, not to mention catch up on all my online stuff and thank everyone for their birthday wishes (of which there are plenty!).

Knitting - has been pretty slow this week, hardly anything done at all. I have however managed to crochet (almost) four squares, what was left to do on the Ron Weasley blanket swap before needing to send them away. Due to time constraints the last three blocks are plain single coloured crochet, simply because it's much quicker to do. Hope nobody minds...



I managed to get quite a bit done on my 'Sexy Vesty', but haven't picked it up since last Monday, so hopefully I'll be able to do a bit more on it this week. It's actually starting to look like a vest now, but I still have to finish the back, and do the ribbing around the armholes and neck (that's going to be a lot of stitches to pick up!) - can't wait to be able to wear it! Hope it fits...


Pretty though, isn't it? (btw - just tried it on, and so far, so good!!)

Haven't started any more socks yet, I want to finish the vest first. Hopefully soon.

Reading - finished Memoirs of a Geisha - it's a good read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Rather enlightening. I'm still reading Deathly Hallows to Xavier - we're up to chapter 30 now, so we're getting close to the end. I have five chapters to read of Chamber of Secrets to catch up with the discussion thread on Ravelry. Audio book perhaps? While I finish my vest...

I started reading Twilight on Friday (I think) and finished it at 11pm last night - LOVE. IT. What's that now... obsession #8? #9? Ah, I lose track... Watched the Twilight movie with Tania on Wednesday night, and instantly wanted to watch it again. I started to, and watched up to the apple scene in the cafeteria (one of my favourite bits!) and then had to admit defeat and go to bed. I was up alone, well past midnight, and still had to get up early in the morning :-( Deane's often out at work nights, so I guess there's still plenty of opportunity to watch it again ;^) Now I have to read New Moon before the movie is released :-) This may actually be possible thanks to my bestest buddy Tania, who kindly bought me the entire series for my 30th birthday while she was here. Bestest friend EVAR!!

And they look so pretty on my bookshelf, next to my other favourite books:


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, booooooooooooooks...

And speaking of books, I also managed to get a copy of Diana Gabaldon's latest book in the Claire/Jamie saga - An Echo in the Bone. Can't wait to read that!! Ooh, lots to do!

Miscellaneous - so anyway, as you may know, Sunday was my 30th birthday. Ugh. On the up side however, Deane took X up to Napier on Tuesday last week to stay with his cousins, and T went to stay at a friend's house. Deane came home with a surprise in the form of (you guessed it!) Tania. Needless to say I was overjoyed - haven't seen her for ages! So that night we went to the movies to watch Year One, which was quite a funny movie. I wouldn't say 'rolling on the floor' funny, but pretty good. We had quite a few laughs. On Wednesday we went shopping during the day and visited the City Gallery, and watched Angels and Demons and Twilight in the evening. Thursday was a pretty lazy day (more shopping involved), and I took her to the Quilters Guild meeting that evening. It turned out to be quite a good meeting with yummy cake, free fabric (it was the Guild's 19th birthday) and a lady came to talk about button collecting. She was quite funny and it was surprisingly interesting and informative. She has an amazing collection. Friday we pottered around (as mentioned before, the weather was shite) and once Deane finished work we headed up to Napier. Saturday was full of visiting family etc etc, Saturday night we went to see Fame - meh. The dancing/singing/musical talent was good, but the storyline sucked. I'd recommend waiting for the DVD. Sunday involved lots of blobbing around reading Twilight, and we headed home late afternoon (with lots more reading during the car trip). On arrival I found a surprise package sitting in the letterbox containing this:


Can you believe it?? I'm totally spoilt! This was from a group of ladies on Ravelry in the Harry Potter Crafters group, who took pity on me because my swap package was delayed two months. Aren't they just amazing?!? There's lots of lovely soaps in there which smell divine, yummy chocolates, gorgeous stitch markers, my very own owl, snitch, mini witches hat and wand, lots of scrummy yarn, a neat project bag, washcloth, afghan square, bookmarks and some wool wash. I was totally blown away. And it came with the coolest letter, which said:

Dearest Kreachr

It has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of International Post Owls that your package has been delayed for an unusual amount of time. Upon further inquiry into this matter we discovered that your little brown owl seems to have been found exhausted by the weight of your parcel on the floor of the International Border Owlery.

We have decided to enclose your little owl inside the package in order for him to recover from his international flight.

This particular owl seems very familiar, as if he might be related to the famous Ron Weasley's owl, Pig, who has also been known to be overcome with exhaustion while delivering large post items. Please forgive the delay in your post.

We, at the Ministry of International Post Owls, strive to do our best for the wizarding community.

Good day!


How awesome is that?!? There are some amazingly lovely people out there, and I'd love to meet them some day.

So all up, it's been a pretty damn good week. I got a pretty necklace from mum and dad. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get a decent picture of it, but can tell you it's really lovely :-) I got to spend time with family and friends, relax, and do the minimum amount of housework. I guess birthdays aren't all bad. This year was pretty good - maybe I should turn 30 more often! Now to carry on with life, and try to enjoy my 30's...

Friday, 2 October 2009

Wow, is it really October already?

This year is zooming by so fast, you can hardly see it. We're nearly halfway through the school holidays, and so far there haven't been any major upsets or injuries - fingers crossed! We've spent most of the time inside, because classic New Zealand weather knows when it's holidays, and decides to bring on the rain. We have had some sunshine, but my boys are mutants and prefer indoors to out. That could possibly be my fault, as I'm a bit of a cave dweller... my interests seem to all be indoor pursuits, except for my latest exercise kick, running. Which is still ticking along okay, nearly finished week six of the running programme - soon I'll be doing that half hour run!! (Theoretically anyway - we'll see). I've got what I guess you could call a 'running injury' - my left leg/ankle doesn't seem to like the pounding it's getting. Walking is fine, but running is a whole other ball game. I'll have to see how it goes.

Laundry Lottery has been disappointing this week, no winnings at all - I guess this is due to the fact that X isn't at school, eating little snack packs of food on the playground and shoving the packet into his pocket (which is clearly better than throwing it on the ground, but not as good as putting it in a rubbish bin). All Deane's washing bar the undergarments are lying on the floor on his side of the bedroom, so I'd imagine there's all sorts of goodies lurking in his pockets over there! But darned if I'm going to pick up all his clothes for him, the washing basket is in the corner! Seriously!! You'd think he could figure it out for himself...

Knitting is going well (due to all that inside time!) - I've finished another pair of socks for my OWL - so that's two pairs for T done, one left to go for him, then on to X's three pairs. The Christmas presents are starting to pile up which is good. I've FINALLY cast on the vest I've been wanting to make for ages with my yummy Needle Food yarn I bought at the last Craft 2.0:



I'll keep you updated with progress pics! This is fitting into the new class assignments for the HPKCHC on Ravelry, it'll be for Divination. I've got several other ideas for classes as well, which I'll post on here as and when I start them. Another project I'll be casting on soon is a pair of socks for dad - he mentioned he wanted a pair last time we were visiting, so I'll make him some for Christmas. This fits in perfectly for Charms, and with another group challenge on Ravelry - Sock Knitters Anonymous. One of the October challenges is to knit a pair of men's socks. Sweet! I love when things work out well. I've done six of the required 10 squares for the Ron Weasley blanket swap and I've only got four more to do, which will quite possibly be crochet, due to the class assignment for Transfiguration (alter a knitting pattern into crochet or vice versa). Not sure if it'll work out yet, so I'll give it a go soon and see what happens.

I spun up the Ofelia roving I got from maude&me, and managed a pretty messy chain ply (that will need some serious practice!!). It came out about a chunky weight, 149g and 114 metres:


I called it Chunky Bug, because the green colours remind me of insects - I don't really know why... Not sure what I'm going to make with it yet, possibly a pair of wrist warmers.

I've received a couple of my birthday presents early - the set of Hiya Hiya interchangeable circular needles I've mentioned before which I love!! These are absolutely bloody fantastic :-) And the new cellphone I knew I was getting from Deane (no surprises there). The joys of having a hubby working in telecommunications! Although I have to say it was a bit of a surprise when I found out how much the phone retails for - it's a $1,500 phone!! Better look after this one!! Good thing I like it too - it's great for running, as the earphone thingees are designed specifically for it, I can listen to my favourite radio station (or any music I want, if I get round to downloading it, or - hmmm, maybe Harry Potter audio books...). It has an 8 megapixel camera which is pretty decent. I get my emails straight to my phone now as well. It's got GPS, and you can download a running programme that tracks your running route and the total distance so you know how far you've gone - may come in handy later! Basically it's got all the bells and whistles (as it should for that bloody price!). The funny thing is, Deane didn't even know how much it cost - he just asked his friend to order in the best phone available with (insert functions here) and that's what he came up with. Bonus for me :-)

I'm rather enjoying reading Memoirs of a Geisha, although I'm only up to chapter nine (about quarter of the way through). I'm trying to get it read fairly quickly, because I've got another book out from the library that is due back in about three weeks that I really want to read. Now don't laugh, but I've decided to read the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. Hey, I told you not to laugh!! Yes, I've finally succumbed to the madness, and jumped on the bandwagon. Although I've been told it's not as good as Harry Potter (not surprising), it should be a good read.

Anyway, better get moving and make lunch for myself and the boys (and continue knitting of course!) Still haven't done that vacuuming... (don't worry mum, the washing's done, the house is tidy, the beds are made, and the bathroom is clean - I just hate vacuuming).

Monday, 28 September 2009

Back on track!

I feel better this week already, compared to mid last week. Here's why:

Running - after my little hiccup on Friday, I felt really bad about it. So I was determined to do better, and completed the full run on Saturday. Today was the start of week six, which is run nine minutes, walk two minutes, repeated three times. So I'm actually running for a full 27 minutes now!! The real test I guess will be in week eight, when I'm supposed to run without any walking breaks in between... I found this morning that my legs were sore, but I wasn't nearly as out of breath. The walking breaks were more to give my legs a rest. Hopefully I'll be able to continue this running programme without any further hitches and possibly even come to enjoy my daily run (heh heh heh).

Knitting - I finished the monster that is X's Gryffindor scarf last night. Even added the fringe to the ends! Didn't get to bed until after midnight, but it's done :-) It measures a total of 220cm (without fringe). It took me exactly three months - started 27th June, finished 27th September. All 50,310 stitches (not including cast on and bind off). Phew!! I think it will be near impossible to get a decent pic of it laid out straight, so I took one last night kind of bunched up on the floor:


I'm glad it's finished, now I can pack it away for Christmas.

I've also done another block and a bit for the Ron Weasley blanket swap, and should get more done over the next couple of days while I wait for the 1st October, and the new homework assignments for the HPKCHC. I may also get some more socks started for my OWL.

Spinning - yes, I've finally started spinning my Ofelia fibre, and hopefully will have it done in time to submit it for DADA before the end of September. I may give chain plying a go with this one too.

I was very fortunate to get a special surprise in the mail over the weekend - as my swap package for the Harry Potter Crafter's June swap was so late, some of the lovely ladies in the group felt I deserved a special care package, and sent me this:


The wee dementor is the cutest thing ever!! Unfortunately some bath bombs got confiscated because they had pink peppercorns on them (and yet they let the ones with the rose buds through - go figure!) but oh well. Mmmm, tea! And that chocolate turtle was super yummy! They were really sweet to send this package, and I certainly wasn't expecting it. It made my day :-)

On Saturday Deane and I spent the afternoon in Martinborough visiting the wineries, sampling their wares and having a spot of lunch with friends. It was a nice relaxing day, topped off with a murder mystery evening 'Death by Chocolate'. This was run by Whodunnit Events, and was quite a good evening, well put together. And the chocolates were fantastic! I was rather surprised to find that my favourite chocolate was an interesting combination of balsamic and honey. They were supplied by Bohemein Fresh Chocolates - I recommend you try them if you happen to be in the Wellington area. We were able to have this lovely Saturday because Deane's mother came down from Napier for a visit and looked after the boys for the afternoon, and a friend looked after them in the evening while we all went to the murder mystery event. Great day :-)

Laundry Lottery - I did manage to get some washing done over the weekend as well (luckily - it's pouring down now!!) and so have some 'winnings' to share:


First up we have some empty chippie packets and another business card...


And secondly, an asthma inhaler, Deane's credit card, a Pinky snack bar wrapper, a petrol receipt, and a card from the murder mystery evening. Not a bad haul I guess :-)

This morning I received another package in the mail (I love getting parcels!!) - it was for the Australia/New Zealand Swappers food swap. I have to say I was rather impressed with the contents - I was totally spoiled:


Can you believe it??? Caramello Koalas, biscuits, snacks for the kids, Vegemite, lollies, hot chocolate mix (yum!), a cute Aussie washcloth, Australian coasters, Australian Breakfast tea bags, trail bars, Sipahh straws and macadamia nuts. I'm looking forward to enjoying and sharing these in the next few weeks!

So, time to carry on with my day, quietly plodding away at various projects inside while the weather deteriorates outside. The boys are happy playing XBox (when are they not?). I think the vacuuming can wait until tomorrow...

Friday, 25 September 2009

I cheated :-(

Yes, that's right, I cheated!! I'm sure you're now wondering what exactly I cheated on, so I'll tell you - this morning's run. I was supposed to run 3 x 8 minutes, but only managed two lots of eight. I'M TIRED!!!! Yay for fitness and being healthy and all that, but I've been completely wiped for the last couple of weeks, feeling like I need to go to bed at 7.30pm. I haven't actually done that (except one night I did go to bed at 8.30pm), but I'm guessing all this exercise is starting to catch up with me. By the time dinner rolls around, I'm knackered. I eat dinner, feel like shite (tummy playing up at the moment too) and just want to go to bed. So yes, today I cheated on my run. I still have another run to fit in this week (possibly tomorrow morning) so I'll see how I go. If it becomes too much I may have to eek it back a bit, and plateau at the 3 x eight minutes for a while. I'll keep you posted...

May I just say, that all these people who've been saying that after a few weeks you'll start to feel really good, and exercising will get those endorphins flowing making you feel happy and all that - where are my endorphins??? Do you think perhaps they've gone on holiday, and forgot to tell me? I still hate running!

Knitting has slowed somewhat also. I have finished the first pair of socks (of six) for my OWL - Christmas pressies for the boys. T's first pair is a little on the short side (eg: ankle socks) because I think I'm going to run out of yarn if I do normal sized ones. I may run out of yarn anyway, and have to use random bits of leftovers for his third pair, which could be rather interesting! X's scarf is nearly done, I'm on the 13th repeat of 14, and I think there's only about 54 rounds left to knit, or thereabouts. After that is the fringing, and then it can be hidden away for Christmas. Phew, can't wait till it's done! It would be closer to done now if I'd had the energy to knit last night, but lying on the couch was about all I could manage. So sorry everyone, no pics of FO's today :-(

Laundry lottery has been a little disappointing this week, so far only one business card from Deane's pocket, which isn't really worth photographing...

Last day of school and kindy today, X is having Hell's Pizza for lunch, T is (thankfully) at kindy for the last day (he had yesterday off too). School holidays officially start at 3pm - yay.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Ummm... dunno

Why do I need a title for my post? I can't think of one, I don't think it's important, so I haven't really got one for today. Ok? Ok. Moving on!

Running - is harder again this week (no, really?) - week five now. Eight minutes running, two minutes walking. I was quite surprised I managed it yesterday actually. Hang on, there seems to be a running theme here (no pun intended) - every week I surprise myself by managing to stick to the programme. Perhaps I should just shut up and get on with it!!

Although I have to say last week didn't go quite to plan, I missed my run on Thursday because I got stuck doing kindy paperwork and sorting out some issues. Which meant I had to go for a run on Saturday. Surprisingly I was actually more concerned about getting my four runs in that week than I was about it eating in to my weekend. Anyway, I now know there's another reason why I don't want to go running on the weekend - the hard core runners are at Karori Park on the weekends!! When I got there, there was a group of three guys running at quite a pace around the track. They were joined by several other guys as I was doing my warm up - they continued to run (rather fast!) around and around the track. They would've done about 20k to my 5. They'd finished just before I did. I thought that was it, they'd stopped and were standing around talking about how one guy thought they were 'off the pace' etc etc. I figured they'd talk a bit more and then go their separate ways. No!! That was their warm up!!! Off they went, running down the street together! Must be marathon runners...

Laundry Lottery - my first 'winnings'!! They consist of four empty Wheelies packets, a snack bag, a 'Kids go Free' sticker and a foot calculator. Bear in mind this was one load of kids washing - I usually get business cards from Deane.



Knitting - has been going well. I finished my 'Sooper Sekrit' project, and have passed it on to the special recipient just this morning :-) Although, me being one of those forget-your-head-if-it-wasn't-screwed-on kinda people, I forgot to take the accompanying letter with me to hand over as well, so here it is:

Dear Margaret

Please accept this shawl as a token of my appreciation of your friendship over the last 18 months. I picked the roving especially for you, because it was called Wellington's Wednesdays. This is why:

* Wellington Wednesdays are when we get together to craft and chat, which I always find inspiring, as you've always got a fantastic project on the go, every time something different. You organised the first group, and continue to be the centre stone for every Wellington Wednesday.

* It was a Wellington Wednesday when I first saw you knitting socks, which got me interested.

* It was a Wellington Wednesday when you taught me how to knit socks for myself. This sparked my love of knitting again, which eventually grew into my love of spinning.

* It was a Wellington Wednesday when you brought me your mother's spinning wheel to try out, enabling me to continue and improve.

I've really enjoyed spending time with you and others in our group, and am forever awed and amazed by your talent, wealth of knowledge, and seemingly endless amount of crafting supplies. We'll be here for a little while longer, but I know we'll be leaving Wellington some time soon, and I'm going to miss you.

100% New Zealand merino, 216 metres, 137g of 2 ply sport weight hand spun yarn. Knit into the Sunday Market Shawl (no relevance at all sorry). I hope you like blue!




X's Gryffindor scarf is nearing completion - I'm up to the 12th repeat of 14. So far it's 178cm long. I think it'll be big enough... Here's a pic of it all bundled up in a blob:



I got my much wanted, very useful, absolutely beautiful Hiya Hiya interchangeable circular needle set recently, an early birthday present (because I ordered it!!). This has enabled me to get started on my OWL project, six pairs of socks for the boys for Christmas. I would've been able to do this without the needle set of course, but I wanted to learn how to do two socks at a time using magic loop. It's surprisingly easy:


This a pair of T's socks in the making - I apologise for the hideous yarn, but he picked it!! As you can see, I haven't quite finished this pair, but I'm past the tricky parts and just have the leg and cuff to do on them (not looking forward to the ribbing, but oh well).

I made another two squares for the Ron Weasley blanket square swap over the weekend:



Very Gryffindorish don't you think? I still have another six to make before 15th October. I'm sure I can manage it :-)

I also finished my Herbology dishcloth (although it's not actually knitting, but crochet):


I kinda like it :-)

Soon I'm going to start that Sexy Vesty and the Felicity hat I've been wanting to make for a while - the other benefit of now having my circular needle set. It's brilliant that set - it has the right size needle tips for socks, and the Gryffindor scarf, and all the sizes I need for the vest and the hat!! Awesome :-) Thank you Needle Food for stocking them - you rock!!

Spinning - still haven't done any, maybe this week...

Family - Deane's still whinging about his hand (men!!), and T's still home from kindy. He's much better, but has a phlegmy cough that I don't think the kindy teachers would like to have shared around at mat time. Although that's where he got it from in the first place. X has (sort of) stopped complaining about having to go to karate, and is kind of enjoying it again. Hopefully he can go for his orange stripe next month, maybe that'll boost him up a bit.

As for me, meetings are over for the month so I can relax a bit, work is ticking along okay, book group last night was hilarious as always and this month's book is something I've been wanting to read for a while - Memoirs of a Geisha. Next week is school holidays! sigh At least the weather is improving, so we can go to the park without freezing to death :-)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Random Updates

Well it's been several days since I last posted here, and I felt the need to post something, but wasn't quite sure what...

Running - Is going okay, although I'm now halfway through week four, and starting to wonder why I decided to do this... 20 minutes of running and 20 minutes of walking, totalling five kilometres, four times a week. I think this is the most running I've ever done in my life. Ever. Next week is going to be harder again! This week the running is in five minute bursts. Next week it's eight minutes, with two minutes walking in between. AM I CRAZY???

Knitting - Has been going well - all slow boring stuff at the moment. The 'Super Sekrit Project' is growing, although I'm not sure if it will be to my liking by the time I'm finished. Will I dislike it enough to frog it? Who knows...

X's Gryffindor scarf is coming along slowly. I'm up to the 10th trapped bar repeat (of 14) so I'm on the home stretch so to speak. My Ron Weasley blanket squares are growing very slowly - I started the third one on the weekend, and have got about 1/4 of the way through it. I think I'll finish the Secret Project first, then carry on with these. Although I still have to get started on my OWL (six pairs of socks for the boys), which is going to be yet another boring knitting endeavour. Why have I picked all boring plain knitting? Odd... I finished Deane's 'man socks' which was the only slightly-more-exciting-than-just-plain-knit-and-purl project:

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Please excuse the shite photo, Deane was in a hurry to leave for Napier when I took it.

Oh yeah, I also made this slouchy beret out of my handspun:
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The pattern is free on Ravelry, called the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret

I started a crochet dishcloth, just for something different, and have got about a 1/4 of the way through that too. It's weird looking around my lounge - there's all these partly finished projects lying around all over the place, taunting me. I really should finish some of them!

Spinning - I'm going to start spinning Ofelia some time this week (I think). I'm going to use it as a Defence Against the Dark Arts homework assignment for the HPKCHC. The homework is supposed to be something you 'fought' over summer (although in NZ we've just come out of winter, so I'll pretend). I'm thinking something along the lines of a giant praying mantis that I squashed and raked up, then spun the remains into yarn. The bright green lends itself well to a nutcase ridiculous story like that, don't you think? (Yes I know, I've lost the plot!! At least I'm aware of it)

Family - are good. Deane's having some issues with his hand, which still hasn't healed after his little skiing accident, although the facial bruising has gone. He's going to physio to help it along the road to recovery - hopefully he'll stop whinging about it soon ;-)

The boys are good. T is getting a cold though I think :-( School holidays in a week and a half - AGAIN. Seriously, where did the time go?? Oh no, I just thought, how am I going to get my running in? (possible excuse to get out of it? Or should I just stop being such a lazy cow and get Deane to look after them?)

No current news on the job front for Deane, still waiting to hear back about a couple of possibilities - I hate waiting.

Blogs - I've added quite a few to my reading list lately. There are some really awesome, creative, talented, interesting people out there (most of whom I've never met, and probably never will). It's fun to read a bit about what's going on in other people's lives, the stuff they make, the food they enjoy and want to share with others. There was this fabulous idea I came across today on somebody's blog (found it through Ravelry - she's a fellow Hufflepuff) - she calls it Laundry Lottery. I think it'll be a great way for me to remember to empty the boys' pockets before washing their clothes. I've washed far too many cellphones, empty food packets, red crayons (which also went through the dryer - the clothes were ruined!!) etc. It's a long standing argument between Deane and I - who's responsibility is it to empty pockets? Deane's, before he puts the clothes in the washing basket? Or mine, before I put the clothes in the machine? So anyway, keep an eye out, because soon I'll be adding pics of my 'winnings' from Laundry Lottery! :-) I challenge any fellow bloggers out there to jump on the bandwagon!!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Oh, how I love getting mail :-)

On Monday, my parcel from Canada finally arrived!!! It was posted by Jo (in Canada, obviously) on the 2nd July. Monday was the 7th September. TWO MONTHS that took. Crazy! Anyway, it was fun to open and see all the goodies individually wrapped in tissue paper. Unfortunately, there were two mugs but one got broken. However, the one that didn't get broken was my favourite colour, so is now my favourite mug. Yay. Behold, the lovely goodies below:

Harry Potter Crafters June Swap

The boys devoured the maple candy lollipops as soon as they got home, and have chewed through about half of their Mike & Ike candy as well (for us New Zealanders, they're just like jelly beans). I've eaten all the 'Moose Poo' (just like scorched almonds - yum!) and I've made a mug cosy for the coffee mug, out of my first handspun yarn (yay, I found something to do with it! Now it's all gone...)

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The purple squooshy looking yarn in the pic is a 50/50 merino silk blend and it is gorgeous!!! It's having fun hanging out with my skein of Malabrigo lace weight yarn, they're getting to know each other, snobbing all the lesser, slightly lower quality yarns. Although they keep eyeing up my Needle Food, thinking about going over and chatting - we'll see what transpires there...

Anyway, yesterday (Thursday) I received some roving I'd ordered in the mail too. It's so pretty (imagine comical fluttering eyelashes here).

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This is Pretty Lush, 148g of 100% New Zealand polwarth

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and this is Ofelia, 154g of 100% New Zealand merino

I also got another colour, but won't put a pic up because it's destined for a special home, and I'd hate to ruin the surprise. ;-P

I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with these once I've spun them up, but they'll probably end up as scarves or shawls. Deane says I have enough scarves already, but you may recall scarves are one of my current obsessions, so I say you can never have too many scarves.

On a side note - I've completed an entire 20 kilometres this week!! Half of it was actually running!! I'm surprising myself. And it feels good to be able to say I've done a decent amount of exercise, and have actually earned the time sitting on my backside spinning or knitting. And the house hasn't been too messy this week (although don't look now!!) I might actually tidy up a bit before going to pick T up from kindy, just so I can sit around for the rest of the afternoon spinning up the special 'sooper sekrit' yarn for my 'sooper sekrit' recipient, who doesn't know who they are (hence the 'sooper sekrit' thing). Wow, I'm such a dork...