Friday, August 15, 2014


This morning I weighed 10 kg or 22.5 pounds more than last September. Most of that gain has been in the last three months as I stressed over selling my mother's beach front house. Many days I felt as though I was in the middle of a nightmare. Hurt feelings abound.

In the end a potential sale fell through. Now we have some remedial work to get a Council Certificate of Compliance .... something which should have been done as soon as the building was completed back in 2000. Naturally this is not quite straightforward and again we are dealing with multiple opinions about how to go through the process of getting the items, mostly minor, ticked off to the satisfaction of the council inspector. I want to opt out of this process but realistically there is no way I can do this. Sometimes it's a pain to be needed.

In the meantime we have been to Christchurch for two weeks with our son and his wife. We are delighted, over the moon ecstatic, because they are having our first grandchild. Well, second really, the first one died at nine weeks gestation. It's great news and we look forward to a safe birth somewhere around New Year.

I'm still trying to get my head around my food/health thing. Yesterday was our first day home and somehow I only had one coffee instead of the 6-8 I had been creeping up to. That meant I drank a lot more water in the form of a tea infusion. My weight dropped by around 2 kg/4.5 pounds in one day. Just shows how bloated I had become.

Today I'll be coffee free. I also would like to be sugar free but I'm about to have coconut porridge and somehow it needs a little sweetener. Maybe I'll try some stevia before I resort to sugar. We are only home for a week before we go house sitting for friends but that's only for a week this time. I hope to have established my eating/health plan sufficiently to get me through that week.

I finished a gift quilt recently and am starting another for my sister. She had her 70th birthday early this year. I reckon I can get it finished before Christmas.

That's about it for now. See you soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


I hope you enjoy it. It was a fun thing to do.

Click here to listen.

 I tuned in with great trepidation. Would I sound like an idiot? Would the sound quality be acceptable in my ears? Would I be so nervous that I used my 'posh,' more English sounding voice? Would the Bells Palsy, which has affected my vocal chords, make me sound like a quavery old lady?

All my fears were for naught. 

John and I have just listened and agree that it went well. I thank Jimmy Moore and 
Dietitian Cassie for making it so easy. I lost nearly all my nervousness. This was my first time using Skype so pretty special for me. Chalk up another technology learning curve.

The shocker is, as always, seeing my photo on the Livin La Vi
da blog.. Even after 2.5 years with Bells Palsy my face dismays me.

I felt it was a great privilege to be on the show. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014



A few months ago I did something bold, bold for me that is. I contacteDietitian Cassie to go on the podcast show Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends. Link here. I was very surprised when I received a reply email inviting me to participate with dates in May. All I needed to do was open a Skype account with a username and get some headphones. I had to get help from my daughter to set up the SkyPe account ..... another bit of technology learned. Then Dietitian Cassie's team worked out the time change between Minnesota and New Zealand. I was too excited to sleep, finally falling asleep in the early hours of the morning. What with that, the daylight saving changes and my wonky arithmetic I missed my date by nearly two hours. I thought that was it until I received another mail suggesting dates in June. I think they were intrigued that anyone my age would be interested in being on the show. 

Today was the day. We set our alarms and I went to bed extra early. Last time I had been too excited to sleep. This time I woke at midnight but went back to sleep and woke again at 3.30 am. That was good enough for me as the alarms were set for 4 am. I had time to make coffee, keto coffee with coconut oil, coconut cream and real NZ thick cream. I then found some Southern Gospel singing I could join in with to wake up my voice. I was ready. Not long after 4 am came the messages through Skype to make sure I was here and ask a few questions. 

A few minutes before the scheduled recording time the call came through and sound checks were made. Apparently my headphones, which are new, messed things up so they had to be disconnected and I was good to go. It will be interesting to see how the sound is. I am very conscious of my speech these days. Bells Palsy has affected my ability to pronounce certain letters unless I hold my hand to my face in a particular way. It has also affected my vocal chords so that I often sound quavery, like a very old lady. I won't know how I soununtil this podcast is released on the website.

The other guest was Ben, a fitness trainer an paleo nutrition expert from Ireland. He has begun working with Alzheimers sufferers. I'like to know more about his work there.

Cassie and Jimmy make things so easy. It was like a chat with friends which is exactly how they describe it too. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My nervousness even disappeared. Now I am looking forward to Jimmy Moore's visit to New Zealand even more than previously. I must make sure I can be there.

I'll post the link when the show comes up. 

Friday, May 30, 2014


As you can see I am not here today.

You can find me here

Thursday, May 29, 2014



I really am surprised that it's only 6 weeks since I last posted here. I put everything on hold to sew. It seems that I may have worked off the early burst of single minded passion. I'm still spending more time sewing than anything else but I'm beginning to wake up the other interests in my life.

My weight is slowly, ever so slowly, coming back down. Today I weigh in at 84.1 kg/185.5 lbs. This is still higher than the start of the year but I did see that number touch on 87 kg once or twice. My level of exercise or movement is almost ZERO. My sleep patterns are much better. The things which add more stress than I need continue and I have some really bad times when I need to consciously work at getting my emotions into a healthy, (bearable), state again.

We've had my mother's house on the market now for 18 months. It's two and a half years since Mum died and the house is in a Family Trust. My sister and I lent money, part of our inheritance from our father who died 40 years ago, to the Trust. We cannot realise this until the house is sold and of course there will also be some benefit from out mother's estate. Our future is on hold until this matter is settled. Currently we have our first offer under discussion. It's not at all what we think the property is worth and means we will have about $50,000 less to work with than we expected. That's a lot of money and means a complete mental adjustment. It also means we may lose the sale as we try to negotiate.
We have struggled with mortgage payments for the last 7 or so years. That was not in our plan. We also live in a small town that was not part of our plan. My sister and I are over the waiting to sort out our futures. Patience does not come readily to me. Sewing has been an unexpected God-send. I quietly sew, sometimes listening to podcasts or music or a decent programme on TV. My focus on mixing colours and patterns is a wonderfully creative distraction.
Until I can get my head around writing more often I will keep only one blog going. If you want to keep up with our life you can follow me here I will try to keep it up to date and fun to read.

As an aside..... my keyboard is acting up. Until I get it fixed the 'd' only works because I cut and paste and I must do a lot of proof reading because other letters sometimes stick. It all takes too much time that can be better spent sewing.


Thursday, March 20, 2014


The top of my knee rug is finished. It's far from perfect and I'm happy about that. This was made up from things I looked at on-line and liked and from some things in my head. There was no pattern and I was not careful enough about making each block the same size so it's definitely skew whiff. Now that it's all together I can see things I could have done better. That's OK too because this is for me and it's a whole big learning curve. Plus there is no way I am going to unpick hand stitching. I'm hoping the quilting will disguise some of the imperfections. This is really a memory quilt of our trip to Hawaii last year. We stopped for lunch at Waimea and accidentally walked past a quilt shop. I could not pass up the opportunity to accidentally walk in. There was no way I was walking out without buying some fabric to remember this day.

I'm putting it away until I am able to go shopping in a city because I need backing fabric and batting. Next job is to work on the top for our other D-I-L

One thing about this addiction to quilting.... I don't have time to eat and when I do I don't waste time snacking because then I'd need to wash my hands.

Maybe I'll be able to sleep in tomorrow. I've been getting up between 5 and 6 am eager to get started again.

Now I can catch up with reading blogs too. Happy Days!

Sunday, March 16, 2014


This post was written a few days ago so I have updated it this morning.

Very funny!

For what I have been up to this past week or three pop over to Growing Older Gracefully. Should have the finished article ready to photograph and gift wrap soon. Done and delivered

Yesterday, now last Sunday, we went to Te Aroha where my sister celebrated her 70th birthday. Lots of family. Lots of very good food. We went to Bosson House, an older house, set in attractive grounds making it feel quite rural. The owners run a catering business doing all their own cooking and it is Delicious. The menu was 100% gluten free except for the bread and the birthday cake which was made by my niece and her children. The most delicious of all was a chocolate cake with ganache. It was made by blitzing whole oranges, from their own tree, and adding in the eggs and almond flour etc. I think the oranges were cooked in boiling water first. We were served delicious canapes on either tiny homemade crackers, or on potato based tiny squares. The main course consisted of thick sliced ham, bacon rolls, two of the yummiest leafy salads with various added extras, egg and potato salad plus the bread rolls and butter. The dessert was the afore-mentioned chocolate cake cut into 2 in squares and tiny meringues topped with whipped cream and a blueberry. Everything looked delicious and perfectly presented. The bacon rolls were a big hit too. Bacon was wrapped around chicken with a cream cheese centre. They were served cold and totally perfect. I was very impressed.

We left home about 10 am and it was after 6 pm when we got back so quite a long day and we were pretty tired when we got in. I had felt slightly unwell all day and the travelling added to it but otherwise totally enjoyable. We sat outside in the  garden most of the time. Shady trees kept us out of the hot sun. Right now it's raining so I think we were lucky with the weather.

We are hoping it will be a nice day for tomorrow's fishing trip. We have to be up before the birds. Our son and his wife are here on holiday from Christchurch. They have booked us to go fishing on the Muscle Barge, a working boat, which has been retired from it's original purpose. We have to hit the road about 6.15 am. The sun is not even coming close to the horizon that early. Sunrise here is about 7.05 am tomorrow. I need to pack some picnic food and my special keto coffee in a flask, as we won't be home again until after mid-day and I won't be eating breakfast before we leave.

My keto coffee consists of freshly brewed coffee with coconut oil, coconut cream/milk and thick cream whisked until the top has a nice froth. It's time I had a break from morning coffee but not when we have so many things going on.

Since writing this we have spent time with our son and his wife, on holiday here from Christchurch. I have caught the patchwork quilt bug. How on earth can I find time to do all the things I think are important. There are just not enough hours in a day, a week, a month. At least this keeps my hands busy but not so good about making time for walking. I can't wait to get out of bed in the morning to see what I am going to create today. I'm still stitching everything by hand. Perhaps I'll have to bite the spool on the sewing machine and do things faster.

Talking of hands. I could not have done this needlework before going wheat free. I am amazed by the strength that is now returning to my hands but the biggest benefit by far is being pain-free. My eyesight is sometimes a challenge but now that I can blink thanks to the tiny weight in my upper eyelid I can bear any discomfort an blurriness without the old frustration kicking in. I have an appointment with the optometrist next week so will be interesting to hear his verdict.