Starting Over Feels Like…

Stephanie has set up a mini SFS group to “dummy run” from November thru to January. Yay for the re-start. Now to be disciplined; October was a month of oh-I-can’t-buy-next-year-must-get-it-all-now and that isn’t sustainable in anyone’s life (craft, chocolate or whatever – do drinkers freak out before Dry July? Curious minds want to know).

After a nasty fall last week I’m starting over with exercise. I did walk to the Domain on Friday (just over 4km, so easy; Si & Biebs are now reffing a weekly tournament there in addition to Watchman Tag on Wednesday); we did the stairs on Saturday & the little ones and I walked OTH on Sunday. Last night I walked from work to Patiki; about 6.3km & then tonight is #BBM bootcamp. My summer routine will be about feeling strong.

I am not starting over with Jenny Craig however. I simply can’t continue to work those sums into the budget but I achieved what I wanted to. My portion size is mostly under control; I try to eat 5-6 times a day & I eat a lot healthier than I did. I’m certainly not eating chocolate every day (sorry for the sales crash, Whittakers) I’ve lost nearly 10 kilos and I don’t get headaches daily, even tho I stopped taking that medicine about 2 months ago. I’m counting all this as a win.

What can you start over to give you that “woo hoo” feeling?

PS – don’t forget to enter my giveaway over in Flosstube! Link in a previous post.

Feeling Good

It was the first long weekend of the “summer” for us down here in NZ. The forecast wasn’t too crash hot but who cares? Three days away from the desk beckoned…

And it stayed that way. I thought about work late last night & decided that hey, I’m capable of getting heaps done today, so why break into family time when I really don’t need to? So we snuggled down (as much as one can with a sulky teen) & relaxed. I’m so relaxed right now that I have “losted” my work key and sat in my car until (work) Z appeared this morning! It worked out well as I remembered my alarm code & he couldn’t remember his.

Screenshot_20161022-160919.pngSaturday started with boot camp, like it has for the last few weeks. I am enjoying this start to my weekend. We did the other steps at Trusts this weekend for a change; terraces to bear climb (or reverse bear) or run down, steps to run up, ab work on the dock in the sun, listening to the water rush by. I still don’t like being in photos but there is a huge difference between 8 weeks ago and now. I have cheekbones! That’s Loren, Si & myself, with #masetheace above us. Si keeps telling himself (and us!) that he was the rose. Huh.

In the afternoon I surprised the kids with the Lego exhibit that was on at Trusts. I won over cynic Teen 1 AND 2, not bad for seven bucks a head! We probably spent a couple of hours there; didn’t buy anything but I am lusting after both the Disney castle and Hogwarts – I have earmarked part of my bonus on a family holiday, part towards a canopy for the new ute and now part for a Lego castle. I am earning it, I may as well be frivolous with part of it! Mase dug into his pile of Lego on Monday and created a robot – he asks that you note the “glasses” it is holding.

We also went to Waiwera to soak out the stresses. Biebs stayed home so Lou came; Mase and (regular) Z went down the lazy river, had cannon fights and so on; I got very annoyed at a bunch of 15yo boys who had a go-pro, took over the relax pool and talked (loudly) about boners, shaming fat girls & so on. If any one of them had a gf I’d be very surprised – what little sh*ts. Grateful I don’t see my teens in this mode (altho I am very sure they have a sh*t mode too).

img_20161023_133618Sunday was devoted to Grandma’s house. Two sets of steps are replaced; the gardens are pruned/chopped/weeded, lawns sorted. Hard to believe these were puny $2 buxus that I put in 12-13 years ago. That hedge is as high as my waist now.

Monday started at Bethells dunes with Chris & Loren (Paige & her fam were late). For all the time I’ve spend at the beach, I’d never gone into the dune side. Chris had planned a three-step exercise for us and OUCH my calves were cramping very quickly! However apart from the reverse bear crawls up the slope (no-one managed that) & the two-feet-together-jump-up (only Si managed that) & the body drops (I struggle with those as my wrist goes too far, so I sub out) – I managed to complete a set. Si, Loren & Bran were well into their second set at the end of 20. Then we did a final set as nine – Paige had appeared by then – & I think the kids beat us adults hands down. Next time I’ll bring the board to go down the dunes! 20161024_085847.jpg

The rest of the day was devoted to relaxing (we watched Peter Kay’s Tour that wasn’t a Tour vid, totally recommend & I was in stitches for good portions of it and its fairly clean), getting ready for the week ahead (I prep Si’s & my breakfast cereals, snacks & so on for the whole week on Sundays now as a kick-start & did a lot for the kids also), and speaking of stitches, I got in some time on Andie’s round robin. It was a bit awkward as her stitching is the opposite to mine (/// then \\\) and had forgotten that I could turn it 90 degrees to get the same result and use my method. You can tell I clicked yesterday as the progress was so much more! Doh.

Tag starts this week; Si and Biebs are refereeing at two tournaments a week this summer, on Wednesday and Fridays. Then boot camp is Thursday (I want to start adding Tuesday to my schedule); next Monday sees the start of Tag…our weeks are filing up as Monday swim classes started last week. The next few months are going to be an exercise in balance; but only 15 sleeps until the US Elections (I do not envy your selection), 29 until Thanksgiving (the tradition I think I would adopt) and 60 sleeps until Christmas! So that’s 55 until I’m on holiday…

 

Harvest Moon WIPocalypse

Mase took these photos last night, as we headed down the North Western motorway to pick up Dad. A cell phone can’t capture the sheer size and the colour – no wonder the American Indians & Maori (among others) called this a Harvest Moon.

My September has been all about my round robin prep. This was a love/hate relationship for sure and I AM NEVER USING DMC SATINS AGAIN. Until next time. However I am finished with the frames & thinking that they do look amazing – even if I had to dig in my ORT jar to finish the top leg of the last 20 or so stitches! Playing thread chicken is not as fun as you might think.

I’ve also finalised my layout, and the lovely Elizabeth has come to my rescue and has ordered Bluebeard’s Princess mermaid for me (www.stitchnz.co.nz) so while I may have to post the intended portion on the FB group, I will have it in time for someone else to stitch. Just not Mel in Australia – but there’s four others for her to choose from. My start is the Queen Mermaid – but I’m thinking about adapting her “purse” to either a treasure box (Atlantis-type) or a shell, like this one I found on Pinterest:

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I am looking forward to Christmas 2017 when I should get this one back! First posting isn’t for 3 weeks, so Queenie will be done by then.

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Question of the Month

Tell us a story about the journey you took through one of your completed pieces.

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This is one of my favourites – the first I completed and had framed intending to keep! Which was a Big Deal, as it marked 10 years of stitching history. This is Bran’s birth sampler, the Alma Lynne Noah’s Ark Collector. I still have the chart…but I can’t find it in online stores, sorry, so it must be OOP.

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It’s the first that I re-charted portions on – I added personalisation to include Bran’s name, DOB. I used Kreinik for the first time (the lightning bolt) and I gave myself permission to stop angsting over those French knots. Beads all the way! This hangs in our hallway and even at 16, B still appreciates it. There’s true love for you!

Why, helloooo out there!

I’ve been too quiet here – a lot is on my mind. THREE days until RC leaves work & I formally take on her role. I am now thinking that I was very stupid indeed! Never mind, I’ll get thru it. At least the other side of my role is steadily decreasing; July delivery errors were down another 18% YOY. This is good. This is bonus material. This is potentially (if I win the argument) a family trip to Hawaii.

IMG_20160808_070629Anyways, the “new me” plan took a few steps forward, a step back, step forward again. I was massively annoyed two weeks ago to find I’d put on 500g, then last week I’d lost 1.2kg; I worked my a$$ off last week (walking over 45km!) and lost 400g. Huh. I had expected that I would climb over the 5kg mark, but I’m still 300g shy. Next week!

I am posting morning pictures for Rochelle (@stitchynerd) on IG as my morning swim accountability plan. So if you see a lot of semi-sunrise, that’s why. This is thru the car window, looking north from the base to the North Shore area.

On Saturday I took advantage of Bran’s assignment at Cornwall Park and had some alone time walking around One Tree Hill. I used to run this when I was at high school.

TOP: I love the architecture of the trees; I’m always wanting a cupola; the view from half-way up (where the buses have to stop).

MID: Looking south in a gap at the archery club; the replacements for the “one tree” & noting that usually you’d see the city & harbour beyond that; Sir John Logan Campbell’s memorial with the Maori warrior.

BASE: a map of the park (I walked the orange roads then the climb to the summit); the tulips, daffs & crocuses were out; the rain had died down by the time I got to the bottom again!IMG_20160806_102613.jpg

Sunday I took Mase and Zac to Cascades Kauri, the regional park near Bethells Beach – Z’s choice. Next Sunday it’s hopefully KiteKite Falls.

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I don’t ever remember seeing the water level this high; normally you can see the base of the measure. 3M is huge for this stream! And isn’t Z cute, climbing & exploring? He doesn’t like photos right now, so this is something awesome.

Lastly, I saw a post on Kerry’s Love Those Hands at Home that made me laugh. Click here to go read! You will smile (unless you support the Wigged Wonder. If you do, just remember I can’t vote in this election & this is purely my opinion – but he’s a nasty small minded bigot. Nuff said).

Enjoy your week – and thanks for reading so far!

EDIT: Si just sent me this. NZAAC is the unit he was part of. Aww.

NZAAC

Current Favs

IMG_20160702_090214We had an amazingly beautiful, clear weekend here in Auckland. On Saturday, most council grounds were closed, so we only had to get to Si’s line (that game was on TV, and certain people (coughmeaswellcough) have taken delight in commenting), B’s line and Zac’s school rugby game. I did a lot of driving tho and not much walking.

This is from the top of Metcalfe hill – I thought the fog looked like an ethereal wave taking over the city. That’s Rangitoto on the left; you’d usually be able to make out the Harbour Bridge in the middle – not today!

Sunday after chores I chose to head out to Bethells Beach – still my all-time favourite place. The tide was all the way out, so we explored rock pools and the caves.

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It was surprisingly busy (even tho it looks empty in the shots) with full carparks – so probably a few hundred people there.

And my week was alright too – making the decision to put myself first above work has meant that I’ve already made a difference. I’m trying to get out for longer at lunchtime but as I do generally walk with someone else that can be a compromise. But Monday I could only manage 4 lengths – today was 10. I’m getting there.

 

WIP Wednesday

Confession: I have no stitching to show you. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Despite what I thought, I didn’t have the urge to stitch while we drove nor any downtime, so London looks exactly the same as it did last Wednesday.

But what I do have to show you is my favourite part of the trip. Despite family being all over the South Island, I’d never been to Moeraki and I leant (just a little) on Simon to stop.

Love it. In a lot of ways it reminded me of my Bethells, windswept and open (just more crowded). It was a good recharge-the-soul spot. I was told as a child that these were the floats on Maui’s fishing nets, but the below legend makes far more sense. In any case, I’ll be back.

This was written about them in 1966:

MOERAKI BOULDERS

The Moeraki Boulders are situated on Koekohe Beach at a place named Kumara, midway between Hampden and Moeraki townships in North Otago. Access to them is gained by a small one-way side road, 1 mile north along the main road from Hillgrove railway station. The boulders are grey-coloured septarian concretions, which have been eroded out by wave action from the cliffs of soft, black mudstone that back the beach. In places, partially exposed concretions can be seen in the cliffs. They originally formed on the sea floor when the mudstone was accumulating during the early Tertiary period some 60 million years ago. The largest concretions are traversed by cracks, filled by yellow calcite. In some the upper part is worn away; only a shell remains, looking like discarded segments of orange peel. The concretions weigh several tons and are up to 12 ft in circumference. Similar concretions are known on the north-facing foreshore of Shag Point, some 12 miles further south, but these are derived from older (upper Cretaceous) mudstone.

According to Maori legend, the origin of the boulders dates from the loss of the Arai-te-uru, one of the large sailing canoes that came from distant Hawaiki. On her quest south for the precious greenstone, the canoe was wrecked near Shag Point (Matakaea). The reef which today extends seawards is the canoe’s petrified hull, while close by, in the shape of a prominent rock, stands the petrified body of her commander. Strewn along the beach are the boulders which represent the eel baskets, calabashes, and kumaras washed ashore from the wreck. The name Moeraki (Moerangi) means “drowsy day”.

by Alexander Russell Mutch, B.SC., A.O.S.M., New Zealand Geological Survey, Dunedin.

So there’s a row, then a few separated out and more emerging from the cliffs. The outer surface really does look like concrete, but they are so different on the inside. I took a shot of Si next to the row – that one on his far right is the far left in the top shot. These things are massive (he’s 6ft).

Yep, I’m going back.

 

WIP Wednesday

Today’s WIP are brought to you with a bit of bitterness on my tongue. I won’t go into this too much, as I am not out here for sympathy, but I am choosing to walk away (click away?) from a FB group. I will miss some aspects of the community but it’s healthier for me (& less drama for others) if I just leave. So that’s what I’ve done. This way I can forgive & then forget without the constant reminder that someone let me down then broke my trust in them.

Keely's choice; Angels from XS Crazy 2012

Keely’s choice; Angels from XS Crazy 2012

Anyways, let’s get onto the good stuff. This is where I left Keely’s piece at last week. Since then I have completed most of the Angel’s skirt, her wings (blah to DMC metallic) and some of the presents that are on the bottom left. I forgot to take a more up-to-date shot (even on Instagram) so next week’s will look much more complete. I won’t be posting it this week tho, which gives Kathryn a bit more breathing space.

I’m waiting on the international Mira RR to get to me still but I had to get back into something that was my own for a little bit.

progress as at 9th Sept

progress as at 9th Sept

The rugby world cup has started and so I pulled out Persephone while the AB’s played Argentina (very) early Monday morning. I got two cranes done then, and a half plus the ribbon done while supervising homework later than day. I love working with the silks of the Waterlillies – this is the first piece I’ve used them in, as they are quite expensive down here and previously I’ve always subbed them with the DMC. I’ve now got the frame around the top done so it will be all about filling in this last section of “wallpaper” this week. I can’t wait to start back-stitching to define her face but that beading should wait until the end. It’s heavy already given that I stitch “in hand” & I don’t think I should add to that weight yet!

Let’s see if that thought lasts until Christmas, hmm?!

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progress as at 22nd Sept

Steptember Update – the writing on the wall

This has been a week of up and down – the lack of a walking partner & some work pressure on Thursday/Friday meant that I didn’t hit the target those days – but I made up for it on other days. Physically I feel really good – this morning I woke for the first time at 3, it’s now 8 & I’ve been up for over three hours but I don’t feel hungover like I normally would. Can’t wait until it is light enough to walk early – roll on daylight savings!

  • Tuesday – 14696 steps or 8.2k
  • Wednesday – 11676 steps or 6.6k
  • Thursday – 8655 steps or 4.3k
  • Friday – 6468 steps or 3K
  • Saturday – 11879 steps or 5.7k
  • Sunday – 14616 steps or 7.5k
  • Monday – 14264 steps or 8k
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sculpture at the wharf

Sunday we went around the bomb point at Hobsonville Point development. When Si’s dad transferred to the RNZAF, this is where he was based. His writing is still on the wall! I also love the structure of the sculpture. Function and form.

looking back to the storehouses

looking back to the storehouses

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front of a storehouse

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Gordon’s writing on the wall

You Can Quote Me – Exhibition Drive walk

As always, YCQM reflects some portion of my One Little Word for 2015, Serenity. This week it was about re-charging myself, body and soul, ready for the new working week.

exhibition drive mapYesterday we combined family time (sans B, who spent the weekend at his friend’s new home & told me this morning (by phone thankfully) that his clothes really need washing and they are really, really ripe due to helping carry a dead sheep – oh yay!) with Father’s Day, Steptember and my love for the Ignite shoes that Puma gave us last week. Zac found a walk in the Ranges book that I brought Si a few years ago (it’s here: https://www.paperplus.co.nz/book/walking-the-waitakere-ranges-9781869664268 or you can google search individual walks) and we drove over the hills to Titirangi.

Because Si has his knee strapped up, we parked at the Shaw Road carpark, which is roughly halfway along the walk (the red marker). We walked towards Titirangi, turned around then completed the walk.

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Exhibition Drive is now closed off, but it used to be part of the road from Titirangi village, over the Waitakeres to Swanson. It’s now been replaced by Scenic Drive, but a few driveways still come off it. But because it was a road, it’s wide enough & smooth enough for running, pushchairs, wheelchairs and cycling. There are a few parts when you can see the old road base poking thru but it’s very safe for the whole family.

The road follows the old tramway, which was set up to transport parts of the pipeline that used to bring water down from the hills. The cast iron pipes are visible for most of the walk; they were forged in England in 1912, shipped to Auckland port, railed to New Lynn, horse & dray to Titirangi village then the horse-drawn tram finished the journey to the site.

20150906_135504At Jacobson’s Tunnel (length 527m, all by hand!!) you can still see part of the tram tracks. There are valves along the pipeline that the kids had to play with, either for removing caught air or isolating water at that part of the pipeline. It’s OK – these sections aren’t in use!

20150906_125322One of the felled trees on the path – Zac & Mase look like midgets! We couldn’t count all the rings.

20150906_140502And the view at the end over the Manukau Heads. Gorgeous.

New Beginnings

We have a theme in our family right now.  New.

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The SIL moves into her new house this weekend. Currently we are here feeding the out going vendors cat + fish and I’m watching the city fade from view as the rain moves up towards the Waitakeres.

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Zac is taken with China,  the seal point Burmese. She’s lovely,  nearly 18. China is staying for three months too.

I have negotiated a new job,  well in time add my current contact is maternity leave and I have no idea if she will return. Security is worthwhile.

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And creatively,  I’ve been back doing Project Life. Last night I caught up with seven pages so June to August is done. Let’s not mention 2013!