Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hamilton Gardens

Feeling sad on Monday after Jeff  had gone, I organised to have lunch with Steve (#2 son) and to then meet a friend at the Hamilton Gardens for a walk.

I love these Gardens. I love the 'rooms'. I love how there is space, but also a sense of privacy because of the way it is arranged. There are some lovely photos on the website, as well as information, but these are a few I took on Monday.

And I love how, even though life brings sadness, it also brings beautiful things into my life, and beautiful friends - thanks so much for the company, Steve and Chantal.

An End and a Beginning

Sunday 21st November was the beginning of Jeff (youngest son) and Konny's adventures in Auckland. We loaded up car, van and trailer to move their belongings into a tiny apartment in central Auckland. A great day for them, but a sad one for Mac and I - we will miss them so much. Jeff did go flatting in Hamilton for a few months, but that was close at hand, and we missed him heaps even then.

Jeff and I had a lot of time together, far more than many parents get to spend with their grown children, and I just love his company. I will miss his humour, his sense of fun, the board and card games, the majong, the music, and the wonderful discussions about Life, the Universe and Everything.

I love you Jeff

Procrastination of the Best Kind

Our wonderful weekend was over, and now I had the following weekend to dread look forward to. For the final day of my Permaculture Design Certificate course on Saturday, I had to put together my design and present it. It was all more or less done as far as content, but I had a lot to do to actually put it together. So I thought a lot about what I should be doing and panicked more than a little. Not liking the feeling of panic the obvious solution was to get head down, bum up and get on with it. However there was an alternative - procrastination.

So on Monday, having an appointment in town, I managed to find quite a few extra things to do - you know, really essential stuff like buying new pillows - and then went out again in the evening! It was the monthly meeting of HOGS. Don't panic - I haven't gone insane and joined the local Harley Davidson Motorcycle club. This HOGS is the Hamilton Organic GardenerS. Pat and Michelle talked to us, and showed a video, about how Vitamin C Can Cure and about the Coalition which is trying to make access to high-dose Vitamin C available in New Zealand hospitals.

Okay, so it's Tuesday - this has to be the day I get stuck in to my presentation. Well, maybe. Well, no, actually. Instead I went to Manurewa to the Auckland Botanical Gardens for lunch and a long walk and talk with my sister, followed by a bit of spending at Ceracell, buying bee equipment.

 If you click on the photo to make it bigger, you can see my sister, Elizabeth reflected in the window.

Wednesday. YES! Though still not finished, what with finding all kinds of 'must-dos' around the house, and heading off to marimba group in the evening.

Thursday. Have an appointment in town at 12 and another at 1.30. I managed to spend all morning doing silly chores that didn't need to be done. I could have taken my project with me to work on between appointments, but why would I want to when I could go and sit and read in the cool of the Hamilton Gardens?

Okay, so it's Friday. I haven't got a lot of options left. I'm 59 years old and I'm still behaving like I did when I was a 17 year old student in my first year at university! But whatever -

I did it!

It was so good to get it over. I'm a very good back-of-the-hall heckler, but I get so very nervous about being at the front with all eyes and ears on me. It was a great day with a varied and fascinating range of projects presented. And a very delicious lunch.

The Best Kind of Weekend

We had a wonderful weekend two weeks ago. It was the first time for a few years that we had fireworks - our cow got more and more crazy each year so we stopped but now she is gone we were able have the again. It was so nice to spend the evening with all our sons and some of our closest friends, although I did miss the friends who spent our first Guy Fawkes night with us. The Seefeldt family moved back to the USA nearly 10 years ago after spending two years in Hamilton. I miss my friend Susan so much - but thank goodness for the internet.

They were too late for the bonfire and fireworks, but my oldest son, Greg, arrived to stay a couple of nights with his new girlfriend, and with two of his children, Ti'ana (8 1/2) and Ethan (7). There were still some sparklers left for them even after the big kids had their share. As usual, we had a bunch of people stay over for the night, which is always fun - instead of that flat 'it's all over' sensation, our parties seem to drift on over the whole weekend.

The next day Greg and Maggie picked up Greg's daughter, Sam (2 1/2), and stepson, Dylan (8 1/2) and first on the agenda was a visit to the Raglan skate park so that Ethan could try out his new full size skateboard that Greg and I bought him.

 The grass really needs cutting - Sam looks so cute but there was a very real possibility of her getting lost!

 Ethan found a big kid at the skate park who helped him with a few tips. The kids at the Raglan skate park are always so friendly and patient with the little guys.

 Ti'ana mostly played on the snake board, but borrowed the scooter from Dylan for a little while.

 In the afternoon a bunch of us went for an adventure in the bush, starting at the bottom of the driveway.

 Through the trees......

and past the River Pirates' tipi.

Dylan, Ti'ana and Ethan
Past a small waterfall.

 Up a hill.....

 Why have they stopped?   Bob is keen to keep moving!

 I do so love the rimu trees in our bush.


 Ethan and Ti'ana had fun on the tyre swing while Dylan and I went to look at my beehive. Dylan is fascinated and asked many very thoughtful questions.

 The goats were slightly bemused at so much unusual activity.

 Ethan ran ahead to check for eggs in the chook run.

 Homeward bound - time for a cuppa and a rest - yeah, right!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Catching Up

It's been almost a life time since I last wrote on my blog. About three weeks ago I found a blog that I really enjoyed reading so became a 'follower' - and Joan checked out my blog and sent me an email asking how I was now. A little moment of sunshine in my day. And that's what I'm trying to live on these days - lots of little moments of sunshine. I've finally come to understand that life is a collection of moments, some good, some bad, some funny, some sad, celebration times, grieving times. I've spent so much of my life focusing on the down side of life, and wishing for the perfect life.

Since that bad time in June, I have been to a clinical psychologist and made some progress. But it is spring, the sunshine has returned, which is always a time when I feel better. So although I am not seeing the psychologist again until mid-December, I am constantly working on myself. It hasn't been easy. As well as my own inner turmoil, my eldest son has been / is going through his own personal hell (he too is making progress, and is determined to turn his world around.) I've had some physical health problems, minor, but tiring and thus a typical time when I am likely to fall down. Two of my grandchildren have moved, with their mother, to Wellington, so I won't see them so often. The two sons and their partners who have been living at home are moving out, one couple in 10 days time, the other couple 'soon'. My design project for my permaculture course is to be presented on Saturday 20 November, the day before my youngest son moves to Auckland.

So, I have to work hard every day to remind myself of the good things in my life, not something that comes easy to me, although I have been an expert at cataloguing the miseries of life. I am determined to change my attitude - but DAMN! it is hard work focusing on the positive.

However I really feel that I am making progress. Some days, like today, are harder than others, and then it's so hard to overcome the sense of sadness that can so easily lead me down the path towards the black chasm. I have to constantly talk to myself, reminding myself of the good stuff: the warm cuddle with the cat; the sunshine lighting up the spring green leaves; the cup of tea and chat with a good friend; the smile from my youngest son who is still here at this point in time. Reminding myself to live in the present, not in the past, nor in the future, just in the here and now.

It is getting better!