Heart hurting sunny days

As I sit here inside the shop, keeping an eye on the weather outside and hoping for it not to rain, at least until after 3 this afternoon so that the blankets I have hang up this morning can be taken inside, I have an immense feeling of despair. I have been feeling like this for most of the week. The weather today, for most of it, has been splendorous. It is warm (20 degrees C is warm for New Zealand), the sun is shining, and apart from the clouds rolling in, the sky is crisp. Most days when the weather looks like today, I am in a cheerful mood, enjoying every minute of my day. But today I feel like crying.

This morning, in the kitchen baking with the kitchen windows wide open, over-looking our lush green back yard, letting the fresh spring air in and having the sunrays dancing on the dining room carpet, I found myself thinking how wonderful it would be if I could stay home. How much there is for me to do at home, how much has been neglected since I started working 55 hour weeks. I would have opened every window and sliding door to get a proper breeze throughout the house and let the magpies’ singing fill the house. I would have sorted, scrubbed, played my music, ironed (and I do NOT like ironing) and washed the delicate mountain of clothes.

Yes it my choice to have these working hours as we get our new part-time staff member on her feet. As a small family business we do what we can to help each other out. And obviously the additional income helps a lot towards our (first in 10 years) family holiday next year. It has only been 3 1/2 months but it feels like a life time!

Today I miss my friends. My lavender companion. Our house. Our dogs. Our random and spontaneous braais. Sitting outside in the shade with our kids when they were babies and toddlers, playing, laughing. I miss the connection with my family. Having Wimpy breakfasts with my sister. Secret Santa with our home group. Our church.

To have these memories are an absolute blessing, but today they hurt my heart.

Day 159 8 June – sweet sixteen

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My gorgeous niece turned 16 today!! Honestly, where has the time gone? This photo was taken at my wedding in 2003. She was one of our flower girls and was such a precious poppet. Clearly the day was too big for such a little person.

Sweet 16

Rosy cheeks baby girl,

sunflower headband and carefree giggles,

you crept in my heart ever so gently.

Soft blush cheeks teenage girl,

nail polish, fishnet stockings and boyfriend kisses,

you are finding your place in the world.

Day 156 5 June – family

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My sister made the most of her time here with us by taking the kids out for a morning shopping spree. It is that quality time that no material gift could replace.

My sister and I have a close bond with each other’s children. My sister is 4 years my senior and got married and had babies in her early twenties. I was still a university student and when she had her first daughter, I stepped in (almost as a surrogate mother) for the times when my sister needed some t.l.c and when she returned to work I looked after my niece several days a week.

When her second daughter arrived 16 months after baby #1, I was there more than I can count. I loved watching both the girls grow up and discover the world. They were a handful together, but they surely were a whole bundle of love.

By the time I had my first daughter my sister was so excited to finally become an aunty and while I was on maternity leave we spend many a day shopping, talking, having tea treats, taking the kids out and just enjoying each other’s company. I think we both knew that this time will not only fly pass in a blink of an eye but we may not have these opportunities soon as life tends to throw us all curve balls.

We both had 1 more child each (both boys), so when these monkeys get together, it is a wild-roller-coaster-fun-challenging-memory making occasion…even if 3 of them are now teenagers.

I love being an aunty!

Day 154 3 June – cheers

It is the LONG weekend, celebrating Queens Birthday. And what best way to spend it than having my sister come for a visit! And as per our family tradition dad took us all out to dinner at the Five Stags in Whitford. It is your typical steakhouse and has a lot of personality. And the food and drinks are top notch, although this time we did wait a very long time for our main meals. We did however receive 5 complimentary drink vouchers as an apology for the delay.

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Cheers to the long weekend!

Day 147 27 May – gone fishing

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My family discovered a new bonding activity…fishing. Although it is not the best time of year to sit outside for hours on end by the waters, they decided to give it a go.

My son received a fishing reel for free. He was SO excited as he had always wanted to try fishing. Today was the first time they went fishing and all three of them used the one reel, taking turns.  There is a lovely spot out at Kawakawa Bay. They were on the pier for several hours and I was certainly impressed that my son was interested enough to not start complaining  or wanting to go home. They only arrived early evening, with new memories and stories to tell.

I do not share their excitement for this activity but am grateful for the time they get to spend, away from technology and indoors cave living/.

Day 134 14 May – mother’s day dessert

Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the amazing mommies out there!

All I ever want is:

  • to have a sleep in (I wake up SUPER early so to be in bed anytime after 7am is a winner in my eyes)
  • breakfast in bed and by that I do mean a warm cooked meal, more specifically eggs benedict
  • flowers, any flowers!

I do appreciate any gifts from my family but it certainly isn’t what is important to me. Being with them, relaxing and enjoying a ‘day off’ is what me heart yearns for.

Today I was able to lie in bed for some time before being asked to join my husband and the kids in the dining room. Spread across the dining room table were presents, lots of them! None of them wrapped, no surprises there. From a large white porcelain container to keep the flour in, to a new re-usable piping bag with nozzles from Jamie Oliver, to a ramekin set with blow torch (a hint that they want me to make more crème brulee), to a blue canvas print with a love quote on it…oh and chocolates, how can I forget about the chocolates. I felt so spoiled! These were all such thoughtful and practical gifts. I was overwhelmed by their generosity!

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The afternoon was spend with my parents, where I was able to spoil my mom with gifts and a home baked dessert. Mom loves a baked pudding so I made a Feijoa & Apple Crumble as that is what I know how do to best.

 

Day 126 6 May – Nala

 

No, not the lioness from The Lion King, but worthy of the name none the less. Nala is my good friend’s dog. She is a rescue, a pit-bull cross and an absolute darling. My friend and her 2 boys were looking for a new family member after they lost their beloved family dog a few years ago. Unfortunately the laws in New Zealand now prohibits pit bull dogs to be adopted due to their ‘violent’ nature. My friend was very fortunate to have met Nala at a time when these laws were still in discussion. Nala came from a harsh background where she received no human interaction, was kept outside and probably seen as a guard dog. She is anything but! She is the first to meet you at the door with kisses galore. She is still young and is learning, but she believes that all visitors are there for her entertainment. She LOVES her belly rubs and is very active. My friend takes her on walks twice a day. She is highly inquisitive and wants to make friends with anything and everything that moves. She is the type of dog I yearn for.

I for one am an advid supporter of rescued dogs. If you find the best suitable dog for you and your family they honestly make the best pets. They have so much love to give and thrive on attention. They often require additional training and patience but they are absolutely worth it. It is as if they are thankful for the opportunity to receive a second (sometimes multiple) chance of a loving home.

*Nala is sometimes listed as being a feminine name of African origin and meaning “beloved”*

Day 125 5 May – companionship

I have a previous post on our lovable pet Bella. She is a hand-raised cockatiel but acts just like one of the humans occupying the house.

We have had some really cold autumn evenings the past week so we moved her into our room at night where it is warm and cosy. During the day she is on her own in a huge cage in the dining room, with no one to talk to or listen to her so it is no wonder that the minute we walk into the house she starts calling. She doesn’t really like other birds as such as she is petrified by anything that flies by the window but she does react when she ‘hears’ them particularly other cockatiels.

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Today my daughter played Bella some YouTube clips of male cockatiels singing and/or calling and she responded. We can’t tell whether her response is from interest or distress but she replies the same way when she hears my husband.

Now all my son wants is to get a boy cockatiel so that they can have babies…oh dear!

Day 85 26 March – bella

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Our only pet (if you don’t count our only surviving chicken as one), is a hand-raised cockatiel named Bella. We bought Bella approximately 6 years ago when she was merely a few months old. She is our first pet since we immigrated. Well kinda. My daughter did get a goldfish for her 5th birthday from my sister, but Goldie lived a full 6 months before she went to goldfish heaven. We gave her a full burial and service as per my daughter’s request.

Bella adores my husband. I have never seen a bird bond with a human as much as she does with him. Growing up my mom always had canaries and budgies, but apart from singing and/or screeching all day long, they were not tame and never came out of their cage. So seeing Bella be almost human-like is such a treat. She’s in her cage during the night and when we are not home, but other than that she is out. She owns the living areas, the large coach is her private grooming facility and the cushions her bed. We all know when my husband comes home because the minute she hears his car door open she starts chirping, LOUDLY. And when he walks in, she comes running (literally) to greet him. When he moves, she moves. When he eats, she eats. She is very curious and when she hears a potato chip bag crinkle or popcorn being munched, she comes over to steal some. She also hides from anything that moves outdoors, usually behind the dining room table legs.

She is so very special to us all, and we couldn’t imagine our household without her.