Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Our dogs had a play date so we went along for the ride.

We have good friends that live on a life style block in a place called Karamu which is only a 10minute drive from our place.  They suggested we head out for a visit and take our dogs.  We don't need to be asked twice!

The short drive out in the countryside is always lovely.  There are paddocks with hay bailed ready to be stored, others are planted in maize, and others are looking a little brown from the sunshine.  But this countryside is gently rolling hills of farm land and always changing due to seasons and activities.

The roads are great, you get long straight parts and then windy bits, all to make it interesting.  Our friends neighbours have a couple of Alpaca, I had to take a photo of the white one, it needs braces on its teeth, or do they all look like this??  Funny bugger.

The views from our friends  place are spectacular, just big wide open spaces of the great outdoors.  They are looking after a relatives gorgeous Golden Retriever called Charlie, and they have a big red Labrador called Gus, so with our two finally out of the car it was all on for some very serious bottom sniffing.

Their house and gardens are just gorgeous.

They have a huge as deck where we sat and drank tea/coffee and ate doughnuts!!

Gerber, Day lilies, and Calla Lilies to name but a few of the lovely things Roz has planted in her gardens.  All edged with huge rocks, winding paths and garden art.

 Huge pots planted up live on the deck where there was plenty of room for four dogs to chill out.

This is my lovely friend Roz with Charlie, she mosaiced the loo and her son made the witch hat when he was small.

 I love the view out the kitchen window, and doing the dishes wouldn't be a chore when you can gaze at the beauty outside.  The wall of hearts and the wall of plates are two of Roz's collections.  She made the mosaic rooster and a friend created the jandal wearing leg which has a long but funny story attached to it.

TOF and Gary took the dogs for a walk in the paddocks.

 Oscar and Sheba had a ball running and jumping, drinking out of water troughs and then Oscar felt the urge to have a swim!!

 The cows were so dam nosy, all lined up along the fence to check us out checking them all out.

There is a sheep well it may be a ram that thinks it is a cow and hangs out with them all.

So funny, our dogs slept all the way home, totally knackered they were.

This is slightly back to front as this was taken this morning.  TOF being Irish and all loves to grow Spuds, and is somewhat disappointed with his yield so far.  Hopefully this will not mean another great Potato Famine!  While all this harvesting was in progress I found Tex rolling around in the sunshine on our deck.

I wish you all health and happiness!!

I am hoping to drag TOF kicking and screaming into town tonight to see the new year in.  I have told him there are fireworks at midnight and we can meet Sue and Joe for a drink.  Let you know tomorrow how that all pans out.

This is to all you lovely people who follow my blog, comment or not, and to those I have found friendship with.  I am thoroughly enjoying it so look out next year as I shall continue to be a blogger in blogger land!!!!

Monday, 30 December 2013

An extended morning tea

This morning I continued on my catch up with friends plan.  Unbeknown to my friend (Vicki in the dress) I had arranged another one of our friends (Karen in the pants) to visit also.  Usually when we get together there is a couple more ladies in attendance but one is back at work and lives in Auckland and the other one is away on holiday.

I met these two gorgeous women about 16 years ago when we had just moved into the house we live in now.  All of us have kids of the same age so the eldest all went to school together and the youngest all met at kindergarten.  As I mentioned there are two more to this little group.  We had an awful lot of fun being members of the Kindergarten committee where we raised lots of money and made lots of fun times and memories.  In fact the teachers suggested we have more babies so we could stay on at Kindy!!

Our morning of tea and cakes then rolled on into a lunch of wraps and wine!!  Last time we all got together with the others we ended up having a lunch that lasted for 12 hours.  Should have known really.

 We also catch up on what each others kids are up to, and of course there was another beautiful garden to hang out in.

Many a good afternoon/evening involving nibbles and booze has been spent outside at the table and chairs over the years. 

 May they continue to do so for many years to come.

How true is this??

I am hoping that the weather will be nice tomorrow so TOF and I can head out to Raglan.  We have been meaning to go but neither of us want to go to the beach in this off on rain we have been having.  Although it is warm, rain does tend to put a dampener on things!!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Playing catch up with friends

So many of my friends work full time so keeping in contact with them often is not always possible.  But at this time of the year when most work places close for two weeks and some people are home.  Not everyone has a beach house to swan off to!!  I have been catching up with some of these friends over the last few days and plan to make the most of this two week period to continue my catch up with as many of my working friends as is possible.

Today I visited my friend Rose who just happens to be a very passionate gardener so I got my camera out!!  My eldest and her youngest went to school together, but their friendship went by the by when they went to different high schools.  But us mums kept our friendship going, so it was really nice to have a cuppa in her beautiful garden this afternoon.  The thing I like about my friends is that no matter how much time goes by we can just pick up where we left off as if it was just the other day that we last saw each other.  These days everyone is busy but it is important to take the time to keep friendships alive, well that is how I feel anyway.  And I am the sort of person (like my dad was) that enjoys catching up with old friends and acquaintances from all walks of life.

Tomorrow I have a play date with another one of these friends.
This one has the very best sense of humor!!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Holiday life is in full swing everywhere.

Even all our pets seem to know it is vacay time, and they are so loving having us home all day with them.  If TOF sneaks off for a Nana nap he has company in the form of two dogs and a cat!!

Tex is fully qualified and certified in the art of R & R (rest and relaxation) and would prefer not to be disturbed.

We have finally finished eating all the leftovers from "that" day.  In fact we found ourselves eating Lemon Meringue Pie for dinner and things like that.  But that is what this time of the year is all about.  No rules, on holiday!!

I have been driving past this awesome new Art work for weeks now and finally got around to taking a photo today when heading to visit a friend.  It is on an outside wall and even featured in our local paper a few days ago.  I like an artist that can slap some paint on a wall and create something as fabulous as this, beats tagging any day.

I arrived with a basket of small lemons for my friend to preserve and some flowers from my garden and came home with my basket containing apricots and plums from her lovely garden.

 Aggies, who doesn't like a good old fashioned Aggy (Agapanthus).

 And my favourite of all Hydrangeas.  What a selection!  Might have to take my secateurs one day.

Lead light and Lavender coloured flowers.

 These flowers remind me of my old Nana's garden, especially the lemon one.

So it is just me and TOF at home for a week as Jak has gone to R & V (Rhythm and Vines) concert and basically party hard for five days.  Hope his new cast on his arm is still in one piece when he gets home.  But while he is away we have food in the fridge, loo paper in the loo, and none of his crap spread around the house!!  Woohoo!!! 

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Happy 25th of December!!

Last night Jak and I decided we needed to go  looking at Festive lights so we nagged TOF until he agreed to be our driver.  The 3 of us and the dogs piled into the car and we set off on what TOF called "the top ten festive light ups in the Tron".  He was in good form and provided us with a humorous commentary while out driving us around the lit up streets.

In Hamilton we have a Mormon Temple in fact I think it may be the biggest one in the southern hemisphere.  Anyway every December they go all out and totally decorate the Temple gardens with zillions of lights of course in a very religious theme.  This year loads of the houses out there were done up too.

After the Temple we did a drive down the main drag of the Tron to people watch as you do and have a look at the huge decorated tree in Garden place. Then we headed to Harrowfield where the houses in this posh little area go all out, almost competitive.  My favourite lights of the evening would have to be the "TRAFFIC LIGHTS"!! They were everywhere!! TOF wasn't keen on stopping so some of the photos get that special festive blurred look to them which it is possibly better to view them after a few drinks where they will then appear quite normal!!

Now moving on to todays efforts.  TOF and I had a lovely breakfast of poached eggs from our girls and grilled streaky bacon.  We mooched about doing diddle squat for most of the morning which was really nice.  Jak and I then went and picked up Max for a spot of lunch.  We had croissants with ham and cheese in them, Sultana cake and Russian fudge, the delights made by  TOF yesterday, bless his little cotton sox.  There was a bit of beer that got drank and then I requested a photo session, you know a lovely family photo, one worthy of sharing, a memory of the day, us all together relaxed and happy. 

 Easier said than done!!

Finally we ended up with one that could be loosely called a "good family photo".

Seriously it will do, and how fabulous does the blue hydrangea look??!!

Me and TOF sharing a moment or two.

Anyway, with a nice wee leg of farm fresh lamb in the oven we chilled out for the afternoon.  Next thing it was time to have dinner.  TOF loves doing a roast so we had the lamb, some veg and roast spuds and gravy.  Nothing over the top in this house, more than satisfying and a rather pleasant little feed.

This was followed with the rest of the treats TOF threw together yesterday.  His Lemon Meringue Pie is world famous in our house.  He even makes his own pastry, curd from our lemons and the meringue from our eggs.  I feel seriously FULL!!!  Oh and I picked a nice old bunch of my perfumed Sweet Peas for the table. YES people, I cleared the table and we used it for the real purpose of a dining room table. I know!!!  Quite frankly we're in shock.

Now we are all in reclined positions waiting for the food to filter down through our bodies.  

Well that is what today is all about isn't it?

I think today is spending time with people you want to be with, doing what makes you happy and if that involves eating and drinking so be it.  As long as you enjoy yourself, that is the very most important thing to me.

We had a few laughs!!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Happy Birthday TOF!!

Last night my sons and some of their mates decided TOF needed to be taken to our local tavern for a few birthday drinks and I was invited as the sober driver!!

There were plenty of games of pool....

...and plenty of these got drank...

 ...and of course plenty of photos got taken.

TOF and I left the lads to it as he is now fiddyfive (rapper talk for 55) and as I pointed out to him in 10 years he can retire!!  Plus we were both ready for our hot drink and lounge chairs.  We were using Jaks car which had it's petrol light shining, and we jointly decided if it ran out of gas we would just desert it and walk home, he would have been hoping we would top up the petrol tank. 

Anyone would think it was Christmas!!

So today I finished work in the office job I do for the year, back mid January.  While I was doing the end of year thing TOF was busy in the kitchen baking!  He made a Sultana cake, some Russian Fudge and one of his all time favourites, a Lemon Meringue Pie.  Yes he is a dab hand in the kitchen and I continually tell him how fabulous he is.  I will probably slap a Pav together tomorrow so we may not be exchanging gifts, singing carols under a heavily decorated tree, but we shall be eating like the world ends on boxing day for sure.  Which it may well do with all the sweet treats for desert. We will eat dinner before hand, it aint all deserts!!

Hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow what ever you do and where ever you are.

And I wish you all happiness and send you a big old blogger hug!!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Hey Monday!! I am so ready for you.

In fact last night I even pimped an op shopped cardy and repaired an op shopped dress to wear today.

Wanna see??

Layered flower shaped pieces of felt and multi coloured bobbles all on a cropped and shortened sleeved old cardy!!

Gotta love some bobbles!!

Tex of course approved!

So I am off to work in the shop for the last time this year, that sounds so tragic.  Having some time off while Hamilton empties out and everyone invades the coastal resorts.  I like Hamilton when it empties out, so quiet and relaxing, suits me fine.  Hopefully the 5 minute to 5 people have already left town so I can shut up shop and get home at a good time.  We have TOFs 55th birthday to celebrate tonight!!!  Far more important than Christmas.

 Enjoy your day and remember:

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Road trip with TOF.

The plan was for all 4 of us to head on up to Auckland for lunch with TOFs family.  But as I suspected both lads were somewhat hung over as lads are at this particular time of the year.  So it was just TOF and I for the road.

The exciting part was there is a brand new expressway out of Hamilton now and we drove it.  The sad part is it bypasses small towns like Ngaruawahia and Taupiri, which could effect these places over time.  But it definitely makes the trip north smooth, fast and easy driving.

There is more expressway still to be built so more towns will be bypassed I guess.  We drove past the Power Station in Huntly, round a round about with big Korus painted on it, past numerous road signs, ploughed and planted fields, and Rainbows End amusement park when we got to Auckland. Which also means my google map instructions were correct.

We met up with TOFs mum, her new partner, TOFs sister and our brother in law.  We had lunch at this lovely restaurant in the Marina at Half Moon Bay.  It was a beautiful day and the meal and company was good. TOFs sisters birthday was on Friday and his is on Monday so it was a happy birthday/Christmas catch up.  Talk about kill two birds with one stone!!

As we were leaving this grandad walked past towing his grandchild in the coolest truck cart ever.  We said our goodbyes and made for the motorway and back to the Waikato, south bound we were.

Once on the motorway there was time for a selfie with my driver!!

Soon we were off the motorway and back onto the Waikato Expressway, it is all countryside and beautiful stuff at that.  At Taupiri on the mountain (small hill really) there is a Maori burial ground.  The higher up they are buried the higher up in the family standing they are.  Like the Maori Queen is buried at the top, and it is one mammoth walk when there is a funeral.  There are paddocks full of freshly cut and bailed hay, rolling hills amongst flatter paddocks, and old barns.  I really do love my Waikato countryside.

We have now safely delivered a Christmas Lily plant to both our mothers so we  can sit back and relax for the rest of summer. Phew!!

In fact we both had a nana nap on our return, as you do when you have been on a family outing.

Tomorrow is TOFs birthday so the lads and I will whip up a meal for him and hopefully a cake.  Both he and I are working until Christmas eve and then it is put up the feet and kick back and take in a whole lot of R & R!! 

Sincerely hope you have all had a great weekend and are looking forward to a Christmas of your choice.  We don't do the big extended family dribble anymore which suits this house hold well.

Now I may well have shared these festive funnies already but they are my favourites:

...especially this one!!