Monday, December 6, 2010

keeping Christmas simple

It has been interesting to note that alot of you are keeping this christmas decorating to something simple and sometimes less is more......i wonder if its because life at this time of year gets so busy that we want some control and peace in our own homes and this simplicity at this overwhelming time of year is what does it for us..

What are the values regarding the christmas season.......Peace, sharing, giving, relaxation, parties, beautiful gifts given and received and a warm and welcoming home.......

Christmas is the season of ........ some of us will be marking the birth of Jesus, some will be giving thanks for the true gifts of Christmas as beautifully told in the Christmas Story.......

Unconditional love, selflessness, trust, faith, forgiveness, wholeness, second chances, comfort, joy, peace, reassurance, rejoicing, generosity, compassion, charity, wonder, acceptance and courage.
Lets experience Christmas not as a deadline but as a season , one of friendship, family, gratitude and giving, reflecting and learning, celebrating and rejoicing, slowing down and mostly LOVE.......

Wherever you are in the world I wish you a season of surprises that will delight you, laughter that is shared, happiness that grows and memories to keep..........

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cabbages and Roses Giveaway

If you don't know about these fabrics then you are truly missing out on something beautiful and timeless......there is an amazing giveaway of these fabrics on the following four blogs.....please check it out and take time to view these blogs as they are very inspiration and worth a stop by......


Monday, November 1, 2010

Darkness and light

From darkness comes light which forms beautiful shadows and dances off trees forever shining its beauty.....time has a way of slipping by without even noticing it has gone.......and this oak tree shown here so bare is now a thing of wonder again because nature now it is spring tells the tree it is time to come to leaf and it has had the first leaves that were a vivid lime green........they have grown more each day silently until they have turned dark green and flutter in the breeze and sing wind songs to me........

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows, there is the root of the root and the bud of the bud, and the sky of the sky of a tree called life, which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide, and this is the wonder thats keeping the stars apart. I carry your heart, i carry it in my cumings

Monday, August 2, 2010

White flowers

Sometimes i just have to have flowers in the house and my favourite are the white ones as i love the contrast between the white and the green.......i brought these beautiful flowers called stock because not only do they look good but they smell divine!!

I also like that they keep growing once put in water and that the buds continue to open out so the perfume is even stronger....

To me walking into a room with flowers gives you a real lift, like the room is instantly brighter and it affects your mood whenever you see them.....there is something so special about flowers and in another life i think i would have been a florist ..... to be surrounded by that beauty everyday and being able to give it away to someone must be very special indeed......

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A winters Day

Its funny how when you wake up in the morning and throw back the curtains and look at the day how it can influence how you feel, when i saw this misty fog staring right back at me i thought oh no!! we have to travel in that!......i hate the fog........but as we rounded the corner of our street i was struck by the beauty of this tree and had to stop to take a photo because in the midst of the fog was this lovely yellow and yellow means sun doesn't it?

As we continued our travels along the road we take many times now to get to the mount and to this day which was to celebrate our youngest grandsons first birthday i couldn't help but start to smile at the way the light was beginning to welcome us on our journey.....the mist rode along the top of the mountains as we too travelled on our way and the sun shone down on us casting the most amazing shadows and instantly I started to feel good about this day is like that isn't it always full of surprises and we never know what is around the corner.......

I am not afraid of tomorrow
For I have seen yesterday
And I love today

Friday, June 18, 2010

Life is precious so live each day.....

(sorry do not know where this image came from)

Sometimes we get to the end of the week and wonder where it has gone and what we have done with it.....sometimes we just have to take the time to actually live each day and enjoy it and even remember it......i wanted to share with you this poem written by a young girl in hospital with terminal cancer......


Have you ever watched children on a merry go round?
or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterflys erratic flight?
or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You better slow down
Don't dance so fast
Time is short
The music won't last

Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask "how are you" do you hear the reply?
When the day is done do you lie in your bed?
with the next hundred chores running through your head?
You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast
Time is short
The music won't last

Ever told your child "we'll do it tomorrow"
and in your haste not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die
cause you never had time to call and say "hi"?
You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast
Time is short
The music won't last

When you run so fast to get somewhere
you miss half the fun of getting there
When you worry and hurry through your day
it is like an unopened gift......thrown away
Life is not a race do take it slower
Hear the music!
Before the song is over!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Hamilton Gardens

From long hedged walk ways you reach the centre and come across these 'guards' off this area is different gardens including the English garden, the Amercian garden and the Japanese garden......all spectacular.......

Below is the rose garden a beautiful open space filled with beds of all kinds of summer the aroma is the distance is the gazebo and it is under this that my daughter got married with the guests all standing on the lawn below........all her wedding photos were taken around the different areas of the gardens that they chose you can imagine the backdrops in the wedding photos are striking.

Below was where the reception was held overlooking a beautiful pond and out to trees beyond..... this is the restaurant and beside it is a cafe.......these are open to the public each day.......

The behind is the walkway and the opening where she came through to her future husband, their guests were all standing below the steps out front......a truly beautiful spot to get married.....

There are two entrances into the gardens and the feature at one is this beautiful cloth hanging......all made out of is an amazing piece and i would say very well photographed by many....

.......there is also a pond with ducks......amazing open areas of lovely and is well worth a visit to these beautiful gardens you could easily spend a day .... take a picnic to have in grounds of your choice..... and if you are wanting more information check out this website.....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

when you go down to the beach .......

For some of us it is even too cold to imagine spending time on the beach but for others it is time to do just that......for all those beach loving people who like me when walking along its shores are impelled to pick up a shell or two or three.........okay maybe a wet, sandy pocket full.....and then come home and wonder what shall i do with is the answer
I came across these instructions and thought i would share them with you all so that you could bring a bit of beach life to your place.......

All these images and instructions are taken from the website of NZ House and Garden.......from the section called Home Life.....this is a gorgeous magazine that comes out each month showing some of New Zealands beautiful homes and gardens......and i will be doing a giveaway of one of these magazines next month so watch this space...

When poet John Masefield wrote, "I must go down to the seas again, the lonely sea and the sky," his wandering spirit yearned for a life on the ocean waves and completely overlooked the joy to be found on the sandy shores.
Collecting shells is one of lifes purest pleasures and going on shell hunts at the beach is a childhood pursuit that has brought happiness to generation after generation. But where once you may have washed your haul of beach bits in a bucket of sea water then transferred them to a glass container, usually destined for display in the bathroom, there are many more elegant ways to use these gifts from the sea, the decorative possibilities of the humble shell are endless, and now we are going to make sand candles...

You will need: Sand, a child sized bucketful will do, shells, 500g wax pellets (for a candle 9cm in diameter x 10cm high, available from spotlight here in nz) 20cm wick, metal wick holder, twigs.

1. Wash and dry a used tin and squeeze the top to make a spout. Fill it about three quarters full with wax pellets and put it in an old pot. Pour hot water in the pot and heat it on a very low heat. Keep an eye on the wax until it has melted. Keep it warm in the water. (shown above)

2. Make a hole in the sand (use a glass or bottle if you like) Press shells into the sides of the hole quite firmly (if you wish to see the face of the shell, push the shells into the sand face first). Tie a knot in the wick and thread it through the metal wick holder. Tie the other end around a straight twig or kebab stick. Balance the stick with the wick on two forked twigs. Centre it over the middle of the hole and make sure the wick touches the bottom.... (above)

3. Slowly pour the wax into the hole, right to the top. Adjust the wick if necessary. (Above)

4. Wait at least an hour for the wax to cool and harden. When the wax is hard, pull the candle gently from the sand, loosening the sides first. Dust off any excess sand with a soft paintbrush.
Safety note:Wax is highly flammable. If it catches alight, smother it with the lid of a pot or a wet towel - not water. Sugar, baking soda or a chemical extinguisher may also be used.

I hope you enjoy making these candles, there many more ways to use shells just by using your imagination.......Frame them, make a necklace, attach to edges of cords for curtains, jug or sugar bowl covers can have a circle of shells and they make charming votive candle holders......and if like my daughters the shells with the hollow centre became very fashionable rings!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010


I hope everyone had a wonderful mothers day and received a beautiful bunch of flowers from someone who lights up their life...... ( i do not know this child but love the look on her face, her joy in giving)
Being a mother myself has been one of the most amazing things i have ever done.......i loved watching my girls grow up into the wonderful young adults they are today...... because of how they were raised they are now passing those values onto their own children......
I felt honoured when the friends of my girls who have now become parents themselves have asked my husband and i how we raised our girls because they want to be able to do it the same for their own kids.....and someone who said they saw us playing with our children and heard the joy and the laughter decided that was how he was going to be with his own don't get me wrong it wasn't all perfect.....but i can honestly say with my hand on my heart it was pretty close to it!!!!

When our girls lived at home we always had their friends around and i suppose if i had to list one thing that made them who they are today i would say it is because of this......we invited their friends to our home.....often feed them, gave them a bed, often we would take large groups out and take them places and always treated them like they were important and what they had to say was important..... my husband is like a big kid himself so they always had a good time and plenty of laughs because he also helped make it fun.....
One of the boyfriends used to regularly cook us sunday night dinner he had his special dish which we loved and encouraged him.....when his parents asked him why he didn't cook for them he said you just don't praise and say how good it is the way they do........

On a recent mothers day i wrote to my daughters each a letter telling them how much it meant to me to be their mother and i gave each of them a gift voucher for beauty treatment so they could pamper themselves.....
Ever since they were born i kept a notebook of how i felt and what we did and how they did funny little things that made me smile.......they are 30 and 32 now!!! is all still on bits of paper and one day i hope to write it all out for them so they can share it with their own children...

Blogging i think has brought all us mothers together because we get each other!!! we know what its like to have our children to nurture them and teach them values and most importantly love them.....we have all come together no matter what age, where we live or what we do because when it all boils down to it it is that one word that connects us all so we understand each other like no one else can......

The hardest part for me as a mother was once they left youngest actually before my eldest.....i cried many tears that day and the phone bill was quite large but in the end i trusted her to do what was right and knew that i had to let go sometime......
I sobbed all the way to my eldest daughters new flat when she moved out and managed to wipe away the tears and put a smile on my face when we arrived.....i was lucky that they were both close so did get to visit.....i don't know how mothers cope when their children move away to somewhere , a town a city a country where they can't visit you may have guessed we are a very close family and i am proud to say my daughters are my friends as well as me being their mother......

When my daughter left with her partner on her overseas trips and to live sometime in those countries will that was when it hit home just how far away she would be......oh those times were very, very hard but they returned safe and sound.......i wrote her this poem to send her on her way....

Another trip was looming
But my heart did not understand
It wanted to keep you here
safe and sound
And not have you go off
To other lands

The places were so far away
And so different than before
Cultures, money issues and even
what was law
I know its hard, i should let you go
But a mothers bond is strong
I do want to see you learn and grow
Of the life you want to know

Your silent calls i have always heard
I know when you are about
It comes to me in a whisper
Then we both pick up the phone and shout
How did you know i was thinking of you
Me too is what we would say

There is a bond that connects us
It started long ago
When inside me i would talk to you
My face all proud and aglow
I talked of my dreams for you
And wanted you to know
That wherever life took you
With you, my love would go

I will wave you off with happy smiles
The tears inside i will hide
I will count the days for your safe return
To give me peace of mind
My thoughts will watch over you
My love will surround you tight
I will walk quietly beside you
Until you come home
and everything is alright

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Rain Has Come

It has finally rained here in my little corner of the world, good hearty rain that is gobbled up quickly by the dry earth so it doesn't have time to run to the edges, and already i can see a difference, the tired dry plants have lifted their faces high again with renewed life waiting patiently now for the new rain, sure that it will come and come it has...

Now when the sun comes it is not so harsh having finally realized the damage it is doing to nature, asking forgiveness of plant life and only shining in places where it is truly needed and only for a certain length of time now well aware that it doesn't need to be so fierce, it disappears more quickly from our view and the clouds come to give them some shade, the birds sing and the cicadas sing the loudest just to let the world know everything is alright now.....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

History Of The Old Church (also see previous entry)

On 28 February 1858 Father Euloge Reignier a french missionary priest came to live at the Meeanee propety he had purchased for the Society of Mary in 1856. He was accompanied by two brothers of the Society of Mary who shared his missionary work, Brothers Basil and John. They brought their house with them from Pakowhai and quickly assembled it on the property. This house became their accommodation and was used as the first church.

Their congregation grew , they needed a church so in November 1862 tenders were called for the erection of a church adjoining the residence of Rev E. Reignier. December 1863 Bishop Philip Viard from Wellington blessed and opened the church of St Mary of the Assumption at Meeanee. The cost was 348 pounds and it measured 36ft by 15ft. Despite frequent flooding of the nearby Tutaekuri River the mission prospered as the Brothers managed their farm of 326 acres as well as assisting Friar Reignier with their missionary duties.

Suzanne Aubert a french woman who wanted to do missionary work with the Maori people arrived in Meeanee in 1871. She played the church harmonium, trained the choir, decorated the church and became well known in the area for her nursing skills and later was the founder of the Order of the Sisters of Our Lady of compassion. She worked at Meeanee until 1883. There are books written about her and the work she did.

A large boarding and day school was built on the side of the church in`1872. In October 1874 the church was enlarged cutting it in two and a transpet placed between. The entrance was moved around to the east of the new section it cost 626 pounds.

A large new residence for the priests and brothers was built in 1880 which was later converted to become a seminary for the training of priests and because of repeated floods was moved the the Greenmeadows hill in 1910 where it still functions today as the Mission Estate Winery.

In 1892 it was enlarged again lengthened to 75ft by 46ft. The old sanctuary became the vestry and the nave was enlarged to 50ft by 37ft and 30ft high. It was divided from the aisles by pillars of rimu with arches filled with ornamental traceries. The gallery for the choir was completely new, the building was over six times larger than the former church.

There were attractive gardens, grape vines, crops, fruit trees and farm land. The Seminary had 23 students. There was a swimming pool, an observatory, a flourishing school, a new brothers house, and the church raised by 21 inches on new piles to escape the flood waters.

In 1910 the leaders of the Society decided to shift the entire complex to Greenmeadows, only the church and schools were left, many locals and priests were unhappy.
It continued as a much loved parish for many years with a new villa style 10 roomed presbytery being added as accommodation for the priests in 1913. The school ruined by years of flood waters was demolished and a new school opened in Guppy road in 1926.

In 1970 it was becoming too small for the growing population a new church built in Osier Road opened in 1972. The church was reconsecrated in 1972 eventually it was sold to a group of Napier businessmen who in turn sold it to its present owner who converted it to a restaurant and wedding venue, the former presbytery converted to boutique accommodation.
Many people have lived, worshipped, celebrated and worked on this unique property.

The Old Church

The Old Church in the Hawkes Bay has been converted into an amazing restaurant that i have been to a couple of times and the food is just as good as the setting. The menu is printed on vellum with a great selection of food to tempt you...

You enter into the grounds down a long tree lined driveway i imagine that these trees are many years old they are very stately and very beautiful.

The entrance to the church just to the left of the picture you can see an old house which i believe was where the priests or brothers i think they were know as has now been converted into a very upmarket B&B

The wonderful old door at the entrance..... i am sure many people have stepped through this door both in its life as a church and as a restaurant.

What greets you once you step is very elegant with lots of gilded gold, beautiful ornate mirrors and a cabinet which tells the history of the church...

There are tables and chairs of different sizes and proportions......sitting at these large backed chairs is a feeling i imagine a bit like Alice in Wonderland when she fell through the rabbit hole and arrived in this strange new world!

In the centre is the most amazing chandelier i have ever seen in my life, its size is so enormous and i am sure they would have had some sort of crane just to lift it into place... standing underneath it and looking up through it is breathtaking!

Another view showing the interior you will see if you look closely that not only are there high backed chairs but also red velvet ones as well..... personally i like the high backed one because they give you a sense of wonderment....

Another view of that glorious chandelier... it is hard to see just how enormous it really is... anyone visiting the Hawkes Bay should take the time to go to this restaurant.... as well as dining inside there is also a conservatory, which you will be able to see off to the side in the first photo and on summer days an outside area with table chairs and umbrellas......your visit if you will excuse the pun will be heavenly!!!