Monday, April 13, 2020

Adapting to our new normal: social distancing

A few weeks ago I saw someone on Instagram use the term "social distancing".
I think it was the first time I heard the term.
Now it is just part of our language, the same as living in our bubble
and washing our hands.

We have been living in our bubble for two and a half weeks now.
I don't mind at all the staying home part.
After all we had just moved house and it's been amazing to sort the house out
and get the vegetable garden underway.

But it is hard not to be able to hug anyone. 
To not be able to hang out with your friends and family,
have dinner together or catch up for a drink.

The child of mine formerly known as the Resident Teen is living in someone else's bubble.
He seems happy there and I think he is adjusting to having to be home all the time
(I think there are a few trips to the local dairy)
As a kid who is very comfortable hanging out on the streets with his friends,
this is a big adjustment.

Every single day, Annie and I have lit a tea light candle for him.
It burns for about three hours wherever we are,
sometimes in the kitchen and sometimes in the living room.

It's just a way for us to hold him in our hearts. 
To say a prayer for protection for him
and for him to make good choices as he goes about his day.

It makes us feel connected to him in a time when we can't just message him
and invite him for a feed of Mcdonalds.

He made the candle holder at school a few years ago.
It has the words "she laughs without fear of the future" engraved by him on the side.
Seems very appropriate.

We used one of our special advent candles from Christmas for Easter Sunday.
That burnt for a lot longer.

Even when the lockdown level goes down to three,
i feel like social distancing is going to be part of our lives for a while to come.

But as long as we all get out of this alive,
then we are doing the right thing.

Stay safe friends xox

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Adapting to a new normal: getting outside!

 Today we slept in, stayed in bed late and just generally couldn't be bothered. But you know, in the usual scheme of things we would still have to go off to work and school. Today we basically swapped our night pjs for day pjs (aka the comfiest clothes we own) and then went outside to sit on our verandah and have a hot drink and listen to Miriam read from C S Lewis.

With no desire to go inside and do our jobs, I told Annie she could have a day off school work and instead we filled our pots with flowers from Awapuni Nurseries (with some emergency potting mix that someone kindly dropped off for us).

Annie took her precious strawberry plants out of this old pot and planted them in the garden and we filled that with flowers too. We had four mixed bundles from Awapuni Nurseries and we filled every pot that we had. Once they reopen for purchasing, I fully plan to get more flowers from them.

 I'm so so so glad that the last weekend before lockdown that I hired a rotary hoe and with a lot of help from our neighbour rotary hoed the whole front garden. If we hadn't done that, we would not have been able to get this garden going.

The first lot of seedlings that I brought are already doing well. We have lots of parsley, celery, silverbeet and chives in the garden and we have 25 kale waiting to be planted (Annie is going to plant them in the shape of her name). We have 8 bundles of veges coming this week in the very last shipment from Awapuni nurseries to the South Island (so glad I ordered those).

I have to say that just being outside in the garden made us feel heaps better. I also feel better knowing that I'm working on our food security. I wish I could have done it sooner, but hey we only just moved in here really.

And then we did actually get all the laundry hung out just before dinner and all of the dishes washed and a decent dinner cooked. Now we sitting in front of the fire watching tv and tomorrow is another day. 

Can I just say though, even if you don't have a garden, just being outside in the sunshine does make you feel better. For what it's worth, I recommend it. 

Love to you all xoxoxox

Monday, March 30, 2020

Adapting to a new normal: finding a rhythm!

 I'm sure everyone is managing this weird situation differently but here in Whare iti, we are finding our rhythm. We tried a pyjama day on Sunday, but it didn't really suit us. We are finding shape to our days in a fairly relaxed but productive way. We wrote out a bit of a time table but it's very flexible.

 But there are some definite markers to our days. We get dressed by 9 am every day and take a photo of ourselves for Instagram. That's just a fun thing that makes us feel better about the day and gets us set up well for the rest of the day. Turns out, we just don't feel like ourselves in our pjs!

There's some maths (we are currently practicing the times tables), some drawing. A listen to Miriam read from C.S. Lewis. There's handwork, drawing and reading. And of course there's chores.

Our little old cottage is full of draughts (we knew it would be). But because we cannot hang all the curtains it's probably a bit colder than we expected. Anyway, Annie is in charge of bringing in firewood and is learning to light the fire. Good life skills I think to be kept warm.

I've been making us tasty and health meals. So many meals. With us home all the time, there's no let up. And no popping down to the shops for something you forgot. My top tip so far is to substitute milk power for milk in everything except hot drinks. It's working great for us.

The old cell phone has become a lifeline. Most days, Chrissy and I spend a good chunk of time doing our chores while we chat to each other. Turns out when you are home all day, there's a lot more chores, who knew?? Sheesh. How did we ever have time to go to work??

Annie, Chrissy and I are addicted to watching Bon Appetit on YouTube. Tonights soup in the slow cooker is a direct result of watching Clare make Chicken Soup. It's great to be inspired to make different things in a time when cooking could Very Quickly become a drudgery!! Already I cannot wait to eat hot chips from the local Fish and Chip shop with some Watties Tomato Sauce.

Right I'm just off to stir the orange skin from our daily orange that I'm trying to turn into candied peel for our future hot cross buns, take the dry laundry off the line and then hopefully a quick walk of the dog before we finish making our soup for dinner. I'm absolutely loving having time to run my household properly!

How ever you are filling your days, I hope it's going smoothly for you and that you find some kind of rhythm. Love to you all xoxox

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Adapting to a new normal: living in our bubble!

Last night I was searching through the blog of my friend Stella for a photo of her that I remembered from the past. As I scrolled back through all the pages, I was reminded of all the good things about blogging and inspired to pick up my camera again and start writing! I've missed the regular arranging the words on the page and reflecting on things. It seemed fortuitous in these strange days to maybe dust off my old blog and start writing again.

Like a lot of you, we are in complete lockdown here. Annie and I are in a bubble with our two cats and Kenny the terrier. For now Annie and I have been using our time to unpack and organise our things. Room by room, we have cleaned, got rid of rubbish, unpacked the boxes, hung pictures and arranged furniture. It's so lovely to walk around our house now and see it all organised.

We have lots of resources to keep us busy while we are in lockdown. Annie got a whole pile of books out of the school library and rescued her handwork from school. While we were unpacking, we also found her pompom, her patchwork, some paints and some extra knitting.

 I'm sure we will get tired of being in our bubble, but for now we are warm and cosy; we have lots of things to do and we are enjoying each other's company. We are also finally catching up on Australian Masterchef (which finished months ago!)

Today is Sunday and we have declared it a rest day. We are still in our pjs at 3.30 in the afternoon. Annie has sorted the very last box of her things that needed unpacking and I have been practicing with a weaving loom. We are grateful for flannelette pyjamas, a kettle that boils on the fire and a lent-to-us TV that we can enjoy our shows on.

How are you going where you are?? 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Loving Adam {adventures in dating}

Almost two years ago I matched with a guy on a dating app who told me his name was Adam Watson. For 18 months we were seeing each other in a pretty low key way. I was busy and he was busy and we didn't see each other often, but we talked or messaged every day and we didn't see other people.

Adam was everything I thought I wanted in a guy, but he was busy and there was something about him that I knew he was hiding. My guess was that maybe he still lived on the property of his ex wife. Sometimes that happens. I fully believed what he said, because I could often verify it. Anyway I knew he was not being completely honest but I didn't know what about and I didn't pry much because I wasn't ready for a full on relationship anyway. I always knew that he wasn't a forever guy, in that he was never going to change from his workaholic ways, but I loved him and he loved me and I decided to worry about the details later.

But then one day I got a phone call from his wife, the one he told me he was divorced from for four years. Lets just say that didn't go well. I also heard from his son (he was actually nice) who explained that not only was Adam not called Adam, he had a wife and a girl friend and maybe some other women as well on the side. I heard from his daughter, she was not nice, I hung up on her. I don't think I'm the baddie in this story.

I've spoken to his girlfriend (let's call her Sarah) several times and I really like her. She's a lovely person and she sounds just like me. In an other life, we would be friends.

Let's just say that these revelations were an absolute shock to me. It was far beyond the scope of anything I could possibly have imagined. It was devastating. Of course Adam Watson wasn't his real name. Even that was a lie. His lies were so many and so detailed, I don't know how he kept track of them. He's one smart guy, shame he uses it to manipulate vulnerable women.

But Sarah told me that maybe he was there for me for that time and to take the good. And that really resonated with me. Adam was so encouraging to me. His good morning texts made me feel visible to someone in a time when I felt invisible in big part of my life. His faith in me, helped me to make the decision to do my masters. It wasn't all bad. It was lonely and frustrating but his absence made me do all the hard things myself and made me stronger.

After his wife rang (she confronted him too) I never spoke to him again. I prayed that I would never run into him because I could not face it. Until two nights ago when an unknown number texted me and it was him. I could not believe it. He said he was sorry, he always knows the right things to say; it's what he does. I got to say all the things I needed to say. And then say good bye. And then I blocked him. And then I texted Sarah.

I woke up the next morning and felt so much relief. Relief that I didn't get sucked into his lies again (it could have been so easy). Relief that I was able to tell him how much he hurt me. Relief that I've moved on and don't need that anymore.

I'm dating again. I've met the loveliest guy and we have been out for dinner a few times and to the movies. We actually get to do things together. I can ring him and he's not too busy to answer. He's what I didn't know I was looking for. I have hope, I refuse to not have hope. I'm so scared but I'm not going to let Adam win. I'm learning to trust again.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger right?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

New beginnings and a fresh view...

To get to my new job, I take a slightly longer route each morning so I can drive past
the filtration ponds (known locally as the "poo ponds") and see the sun rise.
Then when I turn left I can see the mountains in the distance.
I missed the mountains the most when we left Rolleston a year ago
(how was that only a year ago?)

The strangest thing though, is that you cannot see any of the city.
Just the road I am on and the mountains far away.
It's a refreshing perspective, and a reminder I value as I start every day.

This last month I have been striving to live life like that. 
Keeping my eye on the prize and trying not to focus on all the things in between.
We were mostly successful really. 
We managed to pack up our whole house,
store some of the children's precious things in the attic
and my books in the attic at work.

After all the sorting, we still did end up with a truck load of stuff, 
but we discovered that if you give all your precious possessions a ride in a truck
and pile them outside at the required destination;
that it is far far easier to get rid of them.

To say we decluttered is an understatement.

And now Annie and I have mixed our treasures together,
we have Marie Kondo'd our clothes to the enth degree
and we have played jenga with the possessions we decided to keep.

In the kitchen, Chrissy and I merged our resources together,
keeping the best of both kitchens. Making a space where we can work together
and find everything we want close to hand.

Jacob carried out a mighty mission in the garage.
The camping gear that we absolutely could not part with is now stacked up neatly.
We were not ready to part with all that yet.
We hope to have some more camping adventures in the next few years.

And now here we all are, blending our lives together.
It's so lovely to be able to work together
and the household is running so smoothly so far.
Even all our pets are getting on at this point, long may it continue.

I think as long as we keep our eyes on the big picture
and don't focus on the little things that may annoy us in time,
we will all be able to live happily together until life
moves us on to another stage.

But first, rest and recovery and some catching up of study!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Encouragement Project

Recently I have been lucky enough to be part of the encouragement project
which is being trialed by my friend Abraham.

Abraham does these photos on Instagram and it always
makes me happy to see them.

(By the way Abraham is married to the fabulous Rhiannon
who makes the dresses I wear. Between them they are
a beautiful pair of amazingly talented creative
humble people.)

Anyway back to the encouragement project.
As part of the project, we had to tell Abraham what our goals
are that we were working towards.

Now I am have a pretty stressful year, as it turns out
and both of the times I have been part of the trial,
have been extra extra stressful for some reason.

I absolutely loved getting the texts from Abraham in the morning,
it make my heart warm to know that someone 
cared enough to send me a text. 

I learned a whole lot about myself through the project.
I learned that I am pretty motivated actually and I already
work consistently at my goals.

But what I really needed was encouragement
to be able to acknowledge to myself that I was doing great.
To keep going and to not be discouraged.

This last time I don't think I meet my goals,
but I did a whole lot of other things that were all vital in moving forward.
The texts from Abraham were a huge encouragement
to keep going, to not give up and, most importantly
to take a moment to acknowledge that actually I'm doing great.

For me the encouragement project is a success.
When Abraham runs the program for real, I will be signing up,
you can't really put a value on having someone
remind you that moving forward is not easy
but absolutely worth it.