Thursday, January 28, 2016

Some things change, some things stay the same



2015 brought a lot of change into our lives, but these lilies have been with us a number of years and they consistently bear flowers as the plants continue to thrive in spite of being repotted and relocated a number of times.

One of the big changes in our lives this year was welcoming WWOOFERS (wwoofinternational.org) into our lives.  Our property is what we call a double section and requires a fair amount of maintenance. By hosting volunteer workers from different parts of the world and getting them to help maintain our property in exchange for accommodation and meals a whole new world of interest and friendship has opened up for us.

So far we have hosted young people from Switzerland, England, France, Sweden, USA, Japan, Germany and Austria.  It has been a truly delightful cultural exchange for us as we have shared our lives with people from all these different nationalities. You could say this is a permanent change in our lives as we continue to receive requests to come and help.

2015 was they year of our big trip overseas, still much talked about with so many happy memories for us to reflect on, the people we saw and the places we visited.  We would like to think we could do it all over again but that remains to be seen.

Another unexpected and very welcome change in our lives in 2015 was that our sister and her husband have come to live as close neighbors.
Their house sits directly opposite the entrance to our driveway so there is a lot of interaction between the two households. It is working well for all of us.

The things that stay the same and anchor us are all good but we welcome the changes that make our lives more interesting and different as well.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Who, me?


Cats gave a way of looking so innocent. 

We have a couple of towel racks near our front door which we use to display quilts. 

In moments of madness our cats will run through the house and pull them to the floor. 

On this occasion the not only pulled the quilt down but thought it a suitable place for a nap. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Quilts for Cats


Our cats continue to fascinate us as they move around our home looking for the purrfect place to sleep. 

Simba, above, has made himsel at home on the quilt on my bed for an afternoon nap. 

Hershey, below, just happened to find a quilt to his liking as well in our lounge room. 


Friday, November 13, 2015

Did we get back to sewing yet?


Did we get back to doing some sewing after our extended holiday?

The answer is yes, but it did take a while. 

We have been making mug rugs to give as gifts to overseas visitors. 


We also made a batch of business/loyalty card holders for a friend who needed them for a women's retreat. 


Linda popped a nursery theme panel on to her quilting machine to get back in the groove. This gave me the opportunity to see if I could still do magic binding. Not a problem. Nice to see a bit a stitching happening again in our world. 



Thursday, October 29, 2015

House sitting

When we decided to go overseas for 81 days one of the things we needed to consider was our home and two cats.

At the same time we were considering our options to do some house sitting in England to extend our stay.

We found a website that suited,
https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/

There is a subscription fee and you need to be prepared to have a police check done so we did this and then posted about ourselves and started to follow postings about house sitting opportunities.

Others who were looking for house sitting opportunities soon spotted us and it wasn't long before we had quite a number of requests in our in box.

One couple stood out from all the rest and so we got in touch with Bill and Raewyn.  From their profile we could see  that they were very experienced in house sitting and, very much in our favour, they lived just a couple of hours drive away from us.

We were able to organise to meet them and the fact that they were available and willing to stay in our home for us through the winter months was just wonderful.

Departure day came and it was so reassuring to be able to leave our home in their capable hands.

Bill and Raewyn bonded with our two loveable pets and took great care of them.  Simba had to be taken to the vets for two separate incidents during our absence and this was all par for the course for our very capable house sitters.

Unexpected plumbing repairs were also required on a couple of occasions and Bill's plumbing background enabled these to be fixed without any great expense.

They took great care of our home as well as applying lots of loving tender care to our garden.  Bill got brassicas going for us so that spring vegetables were well on the way on our return and Raewyn planted out lots of lovely flowers in our pots so that there was a lovely touch of colour for us on our return.

The household pantry seemed to be very well stocked and we kept coming across lovely little surprises in the food department for quite some time.

Based on this experience we would certainly look at house sitting options again.

We still keep in touch with Raewyn and Bill.  They are in demand and have assignments going into next year.  Their assignments have taken them to various parts of the world as well as New Zealand and we would highly recommend them to others.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The things of home


As much as we loved our time away we did miss our cats, Simba (the light coloured one) and Hershey (the chocolate coloured one).

Linda thought they might have forgotten who we were but they were right there to welcome us home. 

We were very thankful that they had bonded well with our house sitters in our absence and they certainly looked very fit and healthy from their time together. 

We do enjoy having these special pets as part of our lives here in Taupo. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Travel Worn and Weary


It has been more than a month since we returned from our travels.

Plenty of time to rest up and get back into some sort of home life routine.

Happy memories and a very travel worn itinerary to remind us of them.

Because we were being so frugal about carrying any excess weight I did not even take a notebook with me.

I did take this three page itinerary that I had compiled so that we could keep a check on where we next needed to be.  As it turned out it also became very useful for taking notes on the reverse of destinations and shopping lists, so our itinerary became a little travel worn and weary but a happy reminder or days gone by.