Sunday, 15 January 2017

Bringing back an old tradition and bringing home a baby!

When I was a kid, when ever our family went to Whangamata to our beach house, Dad would buy a bag of Black Ball lollies when he filled up with gas at the gas station.  He used to call them Nigger Nuts, yeah I know, not very PC but back then it was a harmless name and we thought Dad was hilarious!!  We gladly crunched and or sucked on these lollies for our journey to the beach.

Well bugger me, when me and TOF were filling up on Diesel last weekend (Friday) before we made our way to Whangamata, I spotted a bag of Black Balls.  So in honor of my Dad we have decided to bring back the tradition.  Just as good as I remembered them and enough left for my sister and the BIL (brother in law) to have some too.

TOF and the BIL had organised to go out on an afternoon/evening fish on the Te Ra, a boat that has been at Whangamata for  as long as I can remember.

TOF asked the Captain of said boat what they would be targeting, to which I jumped in and said FISH!!  

Let's just say I left not long after that.

The tree covered land you can see in the photos is what we call the Peninsular, and I have not been for a drive along that since I was a kid.  So I decided that seen as I had TOFs 4WD truck it was time to go along the road again and feast on the views that I remembered as being spectacular.

The day was warm but overcast, and still the beach at the wharf was being used by many.

Big kids did bombs off the wharf into the cool ocean, while little ones made sandcastles and played on the shore.

From there I made my way to catch up with my friend Leonie and her family.  They were all heading back to their homes the following day so this was another reason for me to get over to the beach.

Helen met me there, and after a good catch up  we went back to hers. 

We then took the slow drive along the Forestry Road on the top of the Peninsular to check out those views I remembered from my childhood.  I was so not disappointed!!!

When I was a kid it was like this!

Oh wow, it has changed!  Well the gorgeous views are still the same but it just shows now how built up my dear beach place has become.  Hey but that is progress and a sign of the times, and it is awesome that so many people get to experience what I have been able to enjoy for 50 years now.

We picked up the fishermen around 9pm, had a leisurely dinner and then we all decided to call it a night.  Apparently Clutch had gone to bed early in our room, and he stay with us on the end of the bed all night.

Saturday morning Helen and I went to visit the Gypsy Extravaganza that was in town.  Everyone else in Whangamata had decided to join us!

We wandered around twice so we could take in everything.  I mean, who would want to miss a crocheted covered ladder leading into a house truck?

Most truckers had a small dog, all well behaved and cruising like their owners. So nice to see some genuine hand made things too, like Flax animals that are native to NZ in the bottom right photo.

This little truck was perfect and I could so see me tripping around in that.  Not sure where all our animals would fit!

After the Extravaganza we had a quick visit to my nephews home. My neph is a kind sole who rescued the dog in the above right photo and has encourage her to become the most beautiful girl ever.  Just shows what a whole lot of love and a happy home can do.  Merlin the cat is a cruiser.  Shilo below and Bear above, are two lovely dogs and a credit to my neph!!

A perfect place to park your bike,
in the shade of a gorgeous Pohutukawa Tree.

I bought a very cool dress from the Gypsies and the Labradorite necklace on the left. We stopped in Waihi on our way home so I could go to Gevadi a seasonal shop that pops up at this time of the year.  I came out of there with a Clear Quartz and an Amethyst necklace.  I do like crystals.

Looks like a huge slip has happened in the Gold Mine at Waihi, I do wonder if it was due to the Earthquake last year.  One day this will be a huge man made lake, which I think will look way better than a mine.

On Monday TOF returned to work, I had one more week left.  So I ventured out to the charity shops that were finally open again.  The dress I am wearing is Italian and I found it in a little recycling shop in Frankton that I like. I actually wore it out of the shop to a lunch date with my friend Rose.
Stuff I found: silver sugar tongs that I plan to turn into a bangle, Tutti Fruitti clip on earings, Mini Haha and Hiawhatha (more than like spelt wrong) Orange jacket, multi short skirt with fishtail, gorgeous cobalt blue embroidered in gold sleeveless top.  I also found  some shorts and long pants but they are so hard to photograph.

 This arrived in the post,
I got it for TOF!!
He loves it too.

Do you LOVE my wooden Mexican head?  I got that at  a shop that I sell stuff in, and I knew it should go on my wall of THINGS.

I visited Dawn!  The amazeballs Face Totem was a commission piece which I am sure the owner will be more than happy with.
She gave me a new mug as the legs on my old one got knocked off by TOF who felt terrible about it to.  Then my talented mate Louise visited yesterday and she gave me these crocheted Toadies!  The tops are made from sari silk and they are stuffed with natural fleece.  I am pretty lucky to have such talented friends and ones that are so giving.  Love you two gals very much!!!

Even tho there are numerous bowls with clean drinking water in them on offer, Big thought sitting in the laundry tub and drinking from the tap was much more fun.

On a sunny day I moved the Bird Bath to a much sunnier spot in the garden.  Now I await the birds, but best I get Big out from under it.

My bosses gave me some Cash in an envelope on the last day of work, call it a bonus if you like!!  I bought myself a nice Sterling Silver Bangle the one next to the Watch that I bought too with the money.  Finally a watch that I can see without my glasses on!!!  I also treated myself to a Hibiscus shrub.  The rest was used on petrol and lunches when we were out day tripping the other week. At least I can show them some of the things that they financed with their generosity.

I put coloured solar lights on one of my garden arches,
they look fab!!

Speaking of FAB,
the garden was looking that way the other night!

I have been sharing my garden and swing seat with the Heir and his baby dog.  Our dogs love him and Sheba loves Stella his baby, but Oscars is taking time to warm to the new dog that visits.
The Spare has been sending me photos regularly and this so far has to be my all time favourite.  They are in London at the moment, quite a change in temperature from the Desert life for sure.  He gets home next week.


The other day I went over to Kihikihi to visit the very lovely and talented Julie. If you follow her blog you will know all about her gorgeous little shop, Thread Bear Cottage, you will know her beautiful Garden, and you will know about her love of her cats.

Well in her garden was 4 adorable little balls of fluff and their mother.  A very young mum at that.  All strays and very hungry, so of course dear Julie was feeding them and looking after them all, finding the kittens home and worrying about the young mum.

What a wonderful garden for a stray family to stop off at, don't you agree.  I love how Julie plants up things like much loved things from my childhood.

Old  suitcases and bicycles with baskets of flowers,
and one little kitten that was
slowly but surly stealing my heart.

Outside in the garden is beautiful but inside Julies home it is simply amazing, the talents are endless with this kind hearted lady. So not only did she bake me the most delicious  Raspberry and White Chocolate muffins to munch on while sipping tea and chatting, she had kittens to tempt me.

Needless to say the one that kept catching my eye came home with me.  With his extra toes, and large eyes, he melted my heart and has joined us in our home.

So meet ToeBee, my dear little Polydactyl baby.  After visiting my vet and getting him worm and flea treated, I have been told he is about 7 weeks old.

Toes for short for obvious reasons!!

The best place to sleep is anywhere on Mum!!

And Big is the best father figure a wee lad could hope for!!

ToeBee is a keeper, not a foster baby.  So my Fostering days might be over for a while, or forever, time will tell.  But at the moment I am busy with my new baby boy and loving every minute of him.  He nudges my head and purrs like mad. He is not afraid of the dogs, more they are afraid of him!!  TOF happily has ToeBee climb all over him, yes he is a KEEPER!!!

Because I am Short.



Thursday, 5 January 2017

Day Trpper!!

Happy New Year to you all!!

Hope you are all well and happy, and ready to embrace another year.

Tomorrow we will have been on holiday for two weeks.  TOF returns to work on Monday the 9th and I have another week of holiday left, and I am sure I will happily spend the time pottering about.  We do not go away for a holiday we do Day Trips which suits us fine.  With our lads no longer at home or at school we are no longer tied to having to be away when EVERYONE else is.  So doing the odd day trip is our preference at this time of the year.  Apart from that, I have been catching up with friends in a very leisurely way, and it has been brilliant.

One of those catch ups was with these two gorgeous friends of mine, Denise and Vicki.  I met these two when our babies were at Kindergarten so about 18 or so years now.  Every time I get together with them I have the very best time.  This photo was taken at about 10:30am a couple of days after Christmas so we were toasting that with some rather yummy bubbles.  As you do!!  Vicki's daughter made us lunch, which was followed with a sour cream cake and later on with more refreshments we had ANOTHER cake!!  I think I got home in time for my dinner - tis a sign of time well spent don't you agree?

Even tho' I am on  holiday I am still doing my weekly Airport job, so you could say I am having a working holiday, or not.  Saves my boss having to leave his family of four kids to do it and I have the time.  Anyway, I have driven past this vision for so many weeks and I finally had time to stop long enough to take a photo of a Farmers obvious good humor.  It is either Hay or Silage, but being a townie and all I can neither confirm or deny which it is.  It makes me smile every time I drive past.

I also drive past this gorgeous trio.  The big lad on the left enjoyed a scratch in between his horns.  Off to the Airport I continued and performed my duties and then I headed back homeward bound.

But I got side tracked as I often do by the sight of some calves in a flowery paddock.  Then I decided I should stop in and visit my potter friend Dawn as I was after all in her neck of the woods!

Her man had made me a ring out of an old teaspoon.  I had cut it to length and he then made it ring shaped for me as per my instructions.  PERFECTION!!  I then made the spoon head part into a necklace adding a sterling silver faerie to it and a long chain.  Needless to say I am now on the hunt for more old silver cutlery. 

I want to make something like this next, a bracelet using two handles.  This is actually my friend Vicki's daughters, but I am inspired.  Google jewellery made from spoons and be prepared to be blown away!!

After a lovely catch up with Dawn I began my little drive home again.  Apparently the Bunnies out her way are 'Breeding like Rabbits', and I was lucky enough to see some babies frolicking on the road side.

Such a shame that things this cute are considered a PEST!!  But there are gazillions of these fluff bums running around on the farmland out that way, all destined to get culled soon.

TOF and I were dropping the Spare at a friends place (he was off to a three day music festival) out in Hinuera, which is not far from Matamata, which is not far from the Hobbition film set. TOF isn't the slightest bit interested in going to Hobbiton so I suggested we go to the Information Centre in Matamata, which is the next best thing and FREE.

OMG it was so good,
and now I just know I NEED to visit the film set.

So we sat in the Hobbit seat in the middle of the main drag like Tourists!!  Well when in Rome and all that.

One of my Christmas presents from TOF was the Gnome planter so I got some potted colour to go in it.  Then when I placed it in the garden I discovered my Pineapple plant, not an actual Pineapple Plant, just has the name, was starting to flower.

We did another day trip over to Mount Maunganui but stopped on the Kaimai Range to soak up the view.  The plan was to catch up with some friends of ours that have a holiday home over there.

We met our friends on the beach.  Perfect Summers day with wispy clouds and Sea gulls having the time of their life in the light breeze.

The beach was glorious down where they were, uncrowded and dog friendly (top photo).  Where the hill is in that photo is the Mount itself, the most popular and crowded part of this stretch of golden sand.  The bottom photo is of Pilot Bay which is around the back of the beach in the Harbor, and a gorgeous spot.

The Mount is a busy thriving place, with mega mansions and apartment blocks of pure luxury. Tug boats were tied up at the wharf and TOF agreed to a selfie in the sunshine.  We left the Mount and headed to Katikati an area known for growing things like Kiwi Fruit.  We stopped at a cafe for some lunch before continuing on with our day trip.

Next stop was Athenree to visit my cousin Annette (right of me) as she and her hubby live in this slice of paradise.  Her sister Suzanne (left of me) was out from Australia so it was super nice to catch up with her as well. These two ladies are real gems and our catch up was a good one.  Next time I go over I shall stay as Annette has a couple of very inviting guest rooms.

Not only is my cousins home lovely, which just happens to back onto a harbor with beautiful views, but the garden is beautiful too.

We took a drive through Waihi Beach but drove up the hill to the RSA car park to take photos.  The entire coast must have been bathed in Sunshine that day, with pale blue sky and dark inviting sea, many a kiwi holiday maker was out enjoying what our little country has to offer!!

I love the drive home from the East coast across the Hauraki Plains when I am a passenger, the scenery is for ever changing.

TOF on the other hand while busy being the driver was admiring the scenery in front of him, a pretty nice fishing boat that we were following!!

Next thing you know it was the LAST DAY of 2016, New Years Eve!!  We were invited out to our friends place in Raglan, so our next day trip was to the West Coast.  We watched a NYE Parade in the main street before heading to a Cambodian Restaurant for dinner.  Little old Raglan was humming with holiday makers, just like the East Coast.  Us Kiwis love our beaches that is for sure.

As the night sky fell we wandered back to our friends house for drinks, nibbles and chatter.  This is the view from one of their decks over town.

We saw in the New Year to the sound of Fireworks!!  I do love a good Firework Display and this one did not disappoint. 

So what did you do on New Years Eve?  I am surprised we were still awake.  It was 1am when I drove us back to Hamilton.

On the 3rd day of this year I was at Auckland International Airport waving my baby boy off as he and his girlfriend were flying off on a brief overseas holiday.  Her mum Amanda and I get on super well so I went with her to drop our kids off.  They were heading to Hong Kong with a connecting flight (with the girlfriends dad piloting the plane) to Qatar. They are going to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Switzerland, London, and Amsterdam.  Such fun times for them, with a request from me for plenty of photos!!

It was only about 8:30am when we left the Airport so we mums decided to go check out Butterfly Creek.  Only the cafe was open at that time which was perfect for a bacon and egg breakfast!!

With breakfast done we felt we may as well check out the Butterflies!  And they were beautiful.  So many colourful Butterflies in various sizes that occasionally would land on your head!

There was also pretty little birds, what sort I do not know (HELP Goody your Danny will know) flitting about, and some little Monkeys in a large cage.

In another part there were these two large Crocs that I felt incredibly sorry for.  This is the closest I will ever get to these magnificent creatures which I think would be best left in the wild.

There was also a variety of Lizards on show,
lets just call them all 'Lizzy'.

I had a Dinosaur encounter outside as we were leaving.

We ventured into Auckland City where I admired this bit or art on a meter box.  Lots of boutique shopping everywhere, not a Charity shop to be found, not that we were actually looking.  But we got adventurous and made our way over the Harbor Bridge to a FANTASTIC place.

Junk and Disorderly!!

A brilliant second hand shop we had both heard about, full to the brim with GOODIES!!!  I wanted the huge Lotus Flower seat for my garden, but 1. the car was too small and 2. Amanda said NO!!

I could have spent hours there, and I know I need to go back.  The only down side was the price tickets, big city pricing for sure.  But I guess if you look hard enough a bargain would be found, and if you are like me, if I really like something I can part with money to have it. But I really have to LOVE IT.

This is the view of Auckland City as we drove onto the Harbour bridge heading back to the motorway for home, Hamilton, my nice smaller sized city.

Apart from Day Tripping and visiting there has been a lot of rest and relaxation.  Oh and throwing food at Sheba trying to get a humorous action shot!!

So we have all welcomed another year, let's give it our best shot.  Be happy, be well, be kind and most of all take this year by it's short and curlies and make the very most of every minute it gives you. Enjoy life my friends, we only get to do this once!!