Friday, April 30, 2010

ABC of Pictures - Letter M

M is for.....

Matryoshka Dolls..or as we know them Baboushka Russian Dolls.
The history of these dolls goes back at least 100 years. The first Russian nesting doll was born in 1890.
The name Matryoshka was associated with the image of a mother of a big peasant familywho was a very healthy portly figure.
These dolls are from Russia, and are made of wood. A gift to one of my girls from a friend. We have them to look after until she wants them, and love having them on display.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

1000 Awesome things..

I have to share this will you all. I have found a site called "1000 Awesome things", I subscribed to get their daily emails, and I have been really enjoying the things that they post. I usually check them before I go to work and always end up having a real chuckle.

This morning Awesome thing #518 Napping with someone else...

As soon as I read their take on this, I immediately thought about an awesome thing that happened with Emma and myself when they were here in 2009. One our "Nana and Emma"moments was when it was time for Emma to have a nap in the afternoon, she always wanted to have her nap on Nanna and Poppa's bed, and I always had to lie down with her.

 Off we would go, every afternoon, to lie down and rest. Emma would always lie down and would turn to face me and chat away. Every afternoon, without fail, I would end up asleep before she would. This particular afternoon, as per usual, I was "away with the fairies" in dreamland, all of a sudden I woke up with a start, to find this little person lying there giggling and watching me. "What's the matter Poppet", I said, "Why aren't you asleep?"
Her reply: "I can't sleep Nana, cause you're snoring, and you sound funny"

I was mortified, this is not the image I wanted Emma to have of me. I am Super Cool Nana, who dances and sings, has energy to burn. I leap buildings at a single bound, I draw with chalk on the footpath, I make the best Ham, Cheese and Mayo sandwiches in New Zealand. And to make matters worse Evette had taken photos of Emma talking to me. And here they are. I just love her little face in these photos, it's like we are sharing a big secret.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ABC of Pictures - Letter L

L is for - Leaves

This tree is at the duck pond in town. The leaves are magnificent, all lime green and yellow.
Autumn leaves at their best...I love this time of year.

Aria MacDonald..Say a prayer for this little girl

If you go to my Blog List you will find the blog for little Aria MacDonald. She and her family are New Zealanders, who are currently in the USA where she has just undergone a liver, bowel, kidney transplant.

I don't know Aria personally, but recently watched a TV programme that talked about this sweet little girls journey through life and her parents love, determination and faith and the hard work they have done to get her to a hospital where she can have life-saving surgery. Aria's family have fundraised, and done everything they can to be able to pay for her trip to the USA and her subsequent surgery.

To date, according to the last post on the blog, Aria is not doing so well. Please, spend a few moments and check out the blog , and say a prayer for Aria.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What is it with people?

I have to vent, which is something that I don't do often, and certainly not via this blog.

But..I have to ask the question...what is it with people? why are some people so mean? Were mean adults bullies when they were children ?

If you do something for someone for FREE,  for example make an item of clothing for their child, and they know that it is for FREE , do they have the right to say they don't like the style, fabric, colour choice. Do they have the right to try and get you to replace it and make another one to their liking, and when you say no, they try and force you to take payment for the replacment? 

What is that about?  I always try and see the good in people and situations, but I'm not sure how to handle the person who "won't take NO for an answer. Other than being down right I just too soft?

Monday, April 26, 2010

ABC of pictures - Letter K

K is for ....

Kiwifruit. Originally called monkey peach, around 1914 the fruit became available in New Zealand where it was known as the Chinese gooseberry. When it was planned to export the fruit to the USA the name was a problem, mainly because it did not look like other goose berrries. As a result in 1959 the decision was made to give the hairy, brown fruit another name. The name was accepted worldwide, and the Kiwifruit became a huge export product for New Zealand.

Autumn is the season for kiwifruit, and I love them.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anzac Day - 25 April 2010 - Our Remembrance Day

Today, is our day as a nation to remember those who served our nation in times of war.

For our family it is an opportunity for us to remember relatives that fought in both World War I and World War II. To remember and not forget what they have gone through to enable us to enjoy the freedom we have today.

We remember (Phil's) Grandad Dunn, who fought in both WWI and WWII. In WWI he served in the Welsh Fusiliers, and in WWII was with the Essex Regiment. This photo, was taken in 1917, he was just 19 years old. 

We remember also Phil's Dad, now 86, served in the English Merchant Navy during WWII, and how grateful we are that he is still with us today.
Pop was awarded - The British Star 1939-45, The Pacific Star, The France-Germany Star, King & Country Medal.

We remember, that on my side of the family, my father and my Uncle Mick who immigrated to New Zealand from the then Jugoslavia, left behind their younger brother Ivan, and their mother.  My Uncle Ivan's name appears on the memorial in the town of Drvenik. My father gave me a memorial book, before he passed away, with the listing against the towns name that says, (rough translation) Ivan Antin Pervan 1925-1943 (18yrs old) Dalmatinske Brigade.

I cannot imagine how my Grandmother must have felt to have her youngest son killed by the Germans, and her other two sons and husband across the other side of the world. Her grief must have been immense.

Today, at the memorial service in our small town of Waiuku it was great to see the hundreds of people young and old who came to pay their respects.

Shadow Shot Sunday - Anzac Day ( Australia New Zealand Army Corp)

SToday, here in New Zealand and in Australia it is Anzac Day, our nations day to remember the men and women who have fought in wars both past and present and who will not be coming home. Those men and women who fought, and still fight, so that we can have the freedom that we so often take for granted.

My SSS photos were taken at the Memorial Service held here in Waiuku. Every year the service gets bigger and bigger.

The empty seats waiting for the Veterans to arrive, soon to be filled with men and women with memories of events most of us could not comprehend.

A glimpse of one of the wreaths casting a shadow on the memorial steps.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

ABC of pictures - Letter J

J is for....

Junk drawer. I have no idea, after already cleaning this drawer out, why I have kept some of the things that are in here. Two lipsticks circa 1980, one is the most hideous matte pink, and the other bright red. The fan is a fabric one I have no idea where it came from, but I think I may have bought it
when we were in Malayasia in 1994. There is a toy dog that Emma was given on a trip to McDonalds,when she was here, a Mickey Mouse key ring, a craft punch, heart christmas decoration, buttons and baubles. I'm sure that if I looked in this drawer in another few months it will be be filled with more treasures.

How does your junk drawer compare with mine?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday 23 April 2010 - Poppy Day


 This cross was placed at the Remembrance Day Service in England last year for Phil's Grandfather who served in both World War I and World War II.

                          "In Flanders fields the poppies blow
                          Between the crosses, row on row,
                          That mark our place; and in the sky
                          The larks, still bravely singing, fly
                          Scarce heard amid the guns below.

                         We are the Dead. Short days ago
                         We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
                         Loved and were loved, and now we lie
                         In Flanders fields.
                        Take up our quarrel with the foe:
                        To you from failing hands we throw
                        The torch; be yours to hold it high.
                        If 'ye break faith with us who die
                        We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
                        In Flanders fields" written by John McCrae, May 1915

Here in New Zealand this verse is on our minds when Poppy Day arrives. Our RSA (Returned Services Association) sells these fabric poppies the Friday before ANZAC Day on 25 April.  ANZAC Day is our day as a nation to remember those who died in battles so that we can live the life that we enjoy today. I will blog on Sunday about our local Waiuku, Anzac Day Service and what it means to our family.

ABC of pictures - Letter I

I is for images..

Images from our garden this Summer, I love white roses, these are known as Wedding Day and the other flowers are Day Lillies another favourite of mine. I took this in the evening when we had finished watering.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

ABC of pictures - Letter H

H is for .....

 This is the logo of the "other woman" in my husband's life. She has two wheels, a gold body and is fast on her feet.  He loves his Blackbird CBR1100XX. It is an old school super bike (so he tells me) and I can tell you that it does go very fast. They go to work and home together every day, and I don't mind one little bit.

Lucca chilling out on Poppa's bike (poppa is hiding behind the bike holding Lucca up). Taken in the (NZ) Summer of 2009. Every morning at 7am Lucca and Emma would watch and wait for Poppa to get ready to go to work, so that they could wave him off to work. It was the highlight of Phils day, he loved that they would get excited when they heard the bike being warmed up, he would drive down the driveway and wave to them as he left.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ABC of Pictures - Letter G

G is for Grandchildren

Nothing can compare to the change that happens to you when you discover that you are to become a grandparent. Life takes on a whole new meaning, a new chapter of your life commences . Our grandchildren live on the other side of the world in Salt Lake City, Utah. Although they live so far away, we have been able to go to visit them, and have them come and spend time with us here in New Zealand. Weekly skype calls are a must for them and us, and we have a wonderful relationship with them.

Emma,  Nana & Poppa's special girl. She has personality plus, and we have so much fun with her on Skype, dancing and singing and talking about all the things that she enjoys. Sleeping Beauty,Cinderella,Tinkerbell, Barbie Dolls. She is a wonderful wee girl, the apple of our eye.

Lucca, our special boy, Nana &Poppa's pride and joy. He is a lover of Thomas the Tank Engine, and all things mechanical. Love it when we are on Skype and he blows us kisses. Lucca adores his Poppa, and when he sees us on Skype, he is most excited when Poppa appears. The feeling is of course mutual.

These photos were taken by Evette.

ABC of pictures - Letter F

F -  is for Faces  


These are my very special and wonderful " in-laws", Joy and Phil Dunn, married for 53 years, and still full of fun. The faces of the older generation, every line on their face a story of life's experiences.... always there for us when we need them..    


the face of pure joy, relieved that he has finished the 35 lap Motocross race without falling off. First time back on his bike in six months. Stephen, son, brother, uncle. He was very happy to be back on his bike again...

 last but not least, the face that is so ugly you just have to love it. Our Boxer, Beau, with his under-bite jaw, and sloppy chops. Sadly no longer with us, but always our "Oopie Choopie"

Faces be they old or young, happy or sad every one with a story to tell.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ABC of pictures - Letter E

E is for- Elephants

Taken at the Auckland Zoo a few years ago, Burma and Kashin in their exercise area. Sadly, Kashin is no longer here, she passed away in August, 2009. A star at the zoo, missed by the keepers and the public, but missed the most by Burma . They were inseparable.

They were both always happy to say" hello" to the public. Burma is still at the zoo.

Kashin arrived at Auckland Zoo in 1972, aged four, and came from Thailand

Monday, April 19, 2010

ABC of pictures - Letter D

D is for daughters...


Beautiful, creative, independant, loving, supportive, funny, witty....  My wonderful daughters, my friends.

"Chance made you my daughter                       
Love made you my friend"
Author Unknown

"What the daughter does, the mother did"
Jewish Proverb

ABC pf pictures - Letter C

C   is for Church.

I love old buildings, with their weathered look and history..These shots are of the Wesley Methodist church here in Waiuku. Built in the 1800's, it sits on a hill overlooking the town and the harbour.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - West Coast Beach

Today seemed like a good day to go to the beach, and take some shots for SSS.  This beach is 10 minutes from our home.

Huge piece of driftwood, it was really smooth and multi -coloured. The sand at this beach is black
Strappy, beautiful clump of seaweed.

Love this shot of the fence, shows the wire and also shows the kink in the wood. If you look down the beach you can see a shadow of a girl on her horse.

An ABC of pictures - Letter B

The letter B...Birds at the beach

Taken at Karioitahi Beach 10 minute drive from our house. A west coast surf beach, popular place for surfing and fishing.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

An ABC of pictures - Letter A

       This is the challenge put out by my daughter Evette, The idea of the challenge is to encourage the participant to take pictures with a purpose in mind. In this case the letters of the alphabet posted in alphabetical order
    A - is for Angels

     Some of my small collection. These are my favourites, given to me by Evette and Jared. They are carved out of willow, and they take pride of place on the little shelf by our fireplace.

  And of course I could not leave these three out

Friday, April 16, 2010

Will you make me chicken soup????

The call that is made by my children whenever they are sick. I have no idea how it started, but it still happens even now when they are all grown-up. From when they were little through their teenage years it was the call that brought hot lemon drinks, tissues, Vicks , and lots of cuddles.These days it is a call for "sympathy" and where possible a "mum hug"

This week it has been my turn, I started feeling out of sorts early in the week, and on Thursday I left work early with a runny nose, sore throat and a killer headache. My call for "Chicken Soup" was sent out to my three children.And true to form the sympathy was abundant, but as they live so far away (eldest daughter on the other side of the world in Salt Lake City, and the younger daughter, and son an hour and half drive away from us) I knew it was up to me to provide my own remedies. Here they are, the helpers who are doing their individual jobs and helping to get me on the road to recovery

Tissues the first "port of call" for a runny nose

An absolute must for any head cold, Manuka Honey , these are snap packs that you open and drink the honey straight from the pack, or mix in with your favourite tea

and of course you just have to drink your tea out of your favourite mug, in my case one of two I got when we visited Universal Studios a few years ago

All of this combined with bed rest and some Panadol , for the headache , will hopefully have me up and about in no time..

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You know that it's Autumn ...

When the leaves are changing colour all around you

Daylight saving has finished, it's 5.30pm, and when you get home from work the sun is setting lower in
the sky and before you know where you are it is dark

And you definitely know it's Autumn when the family cat decides that it's time to come inside and "hunker" down on her favourite blanket. This is Tammy cat: aka Tim Tam: aka Missy Moo

Or drape herself over the sofa. Winter is on the way, there is a cold blast making it's way from the Antarctic. Time to get the firewood in..

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