Monday, July 30, 2012


Zak Zak fallen asleep eating sushi.
 A few months ago I went along to my favourite sushi bar. It had become a weekly institution. Okay, okay...sometimes I went more than once a week. I was worried when a new road cut down my traveling by car time from 8 minutes, right down to about 4, but a little self control helped me keep it to a reasonable frequency during the week. My toddler and son both enjoy the salmon rolls, so I tell my self, it's a treat for them too.

Any hoo, our town has a lots of sushi bars (Seriously I think we have the highest per capita for the population...Im sure!) but I had settled on this one place. The people were nice (Korean instead of Japanese though...I worked this out one day when I tried out my 3rd Form Japanese on them..."KONICHIWA"...blank look back.). The  sushi rolls were consistent and tasty. They had a good system and there was always ample free parking.

I had become accustomed to the nice people there. Sometimes they would sneak one of the boys a little crumbed prawn or something. And so I was a little taken a back when the teller told me in her broken English that they were "finishing their business". And Im not proud of what came out of my mouth next...."What do you mean you are finishing!? How can you do this to ME?!" (Yes...I did!) "Some  new owners will be here from tomorrow."... NEW?!. I paid and walked away sad faced. "All the best for the future" The lady behind me says after she had payed. Oh yeah...geez Im selfish! Thinking about me.  So...I take change personally sometimes.

So I went back to see the new owners...suss them out really. I  found ways of critiquing their sushi..."its not how the old owners made it..." and generally avoided the place by trying new places.
But today I went back. And you know what? It looks amazing. They have changed the decor a bit...and I like it. They have added new products to their range, which I tried today. The new girl is even nicer then the last people. She has a friendly face, and she is pretty quick with her telling skills. And...I have found the yummiest new thing. A banana and chocolate spring roll, dusted with icing sugar. Oh dear the hips really don't need that one!

So today I'm deciding that most change is good. That Change happens whether you want it or not. That change is beyond your control almost all of the time...unless you are the one making the change. That our job is just to roll with it...or figure out a way to change it for the better instead.

“Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.” ~Robert C. Gallagher

Sunday, July 22, 2012

An Ode To Hannah

When I was  a young toddler with a new born younger brother, a stranger knocked at the door. She was a tall older lady in her sixties spreading the Good News. My mother was a lonely new immigrant with a newborn son that would not stop screaming, despite her best efforts. A listening ear was just what my mother needed. Mother did not convert to the Gospel this woman talked about as she was a devote Hindu, but it was nice to know someone cared.

Fast forward a few years and others came into mothers life. Neighbors, acquaintances, even her GP all professed to speak of the Good News of a God she did not know. After being invited to see a  visiting Healing Evangelist Mother decided that church was where she needed to be on Sundays...along with the rest of the family. I was seven.

In the meantime the old lady who spread the Good News by knocking on doors moved to another town an hours drive away. Her name was Hannah. Mother was excited to tell the old lady about her new conversion to the same faith she had once shared with her. Our visits became more frequent as we got to know her and we were allowed to call her "Nana". She already had Grandchildren of her own but didn't mind a couple more.

In the August school  holidays of 1989, I spent my first days away from my family with Hannah and her husband Charlie. I was eight years old. They lived in a small two bedroom cottage painted orange. It was high on a hill on an isolated farm with a few beef stock. 
Hannah was severely disabled by Rheumatoid Arthritis. Her fingers were bent and her she walked very slowly because her knees hurt so much. In fact, all of joints hurt. She found basic tasks very tricky to do, opening a jar for example. So I volunteered to do things and she patiently taught me. Things I was not allowed to try at home such as bake a chocolate cake and make dinner.  I learned to vacuum properly, wash clothes by hand with a "wash board" and she also taught me to knit. Uncle Charlie took me out on the farm to feed the stock some hay.

Over the next few years I continued to stay with her in the holidays and continued to learn new things. I was mowing their lawns at the age of 9. "Just make sure you don't pull it backwards and get your feet chopped, dear..." Okay...I thought and off I went. I remember chopping wood that same year, and then her teaching me how to get the fire going in their old pot belly fire.

She continued to get more disabled by her arthritis and I continued to help do things for her like help shower her, wash her hair, scrub her back and other tasks that now I think back on and wonder if a 9-12year old should have been doing. Its probably why I became a nurse.

But the most valuable thing Hannah my 'Nana' taught me was about Jesus. She loved to share about the bible and I was a willing sponge. I loved all that came out of her mouth. She constantly verbalised verses about God healing her arthritis. And I agreed with her prayers believing for her miracle.

In the year of 1993 her husband Charlie died of a heart attack. He was younger than her and so it was  quite a surprise that out of the two of them he died first. She managed to stay in her home with carers for a while, but it soon became inevitable that she needed to move in with her daughter living further away from us. And so my farm holidays ended. I saw her infrequently over the years, and was saddened to learn that she had passed away and I hadn't been made aware, missing her funeral.

A couple of days a go I restarted knitting. As an eight year old I was pretty bad at it, never really making anything. While I have been knitting, I have been  reflecting on Hannah and how she randomly came in to my life, but helped set my life on a completely different course. I thank her for teaching me all those life skills, setting me up to be a good nurse and most importantly teaching me to know Jesus. I have no doubt that Jesus has given Hannah some new knees and she is dancing in Heaven right now.

An Ode to Hannah my adopted Nana.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekend of Possibilities

This month we celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. I had booked tickets to see the Flight of the Conchords a few months ago and it conveniently fell the week after our anniversary. I have been a bit scratchy the last few months so a nice romantic weekend away was what we really needed. Some much needed reconnection time. I planned a weekend away to the big city and we called it the "Weekend of Possibilities", doing stuff that we don't get to do these days with three kids in tow. I had  planned a few things and left room for spontaneous plans too.

Highlights were:
 Stopping in at the Kaiwaka Odd Socks Cafe and scoring this burger for $3.50

Shooting stuff. I sucked at this...but it was fun giving it ago.

My first time go carting...The guys past me several times...but fun none the less.

We checked into our downtown apartment, which apparently used to be in Auckland's red light district...oops. 26 floors up gave us a great view over the harbour...or the heebie jeebies when we looked down.

I scored us a Grab One deal to Mikano in Auckland. A 6 course degustation menu for half price.

We walked to the Vector arena and was thoroughly entertained by the the Flight of Conchords. The were such a laugh.
 On Saturday morning hubby did the Powerade challenge while I enjoyed a sleep in. He ran 9km along the waterfront and did a respectable time of 45 minutes. Well done piyar. Somebody is finding it a little difficult to walk a few days later though!

Hubbies Brunch
Saturday afternoon I went on the hunt for some Macarons.  I drove to Newmarket especially to find some from this chick. I felt no shame in asking for one of each flavour...11 in all! Don't worry I shared some with hubby.

On Saturday night we went out to Simon Gault's Euro restaurant. was pretty upmarket alright. I left the camera at home as I didn't want to look like a couple of yokels. Really nice food that's nice to do once in a loooong while.

After that we braved walking in the city at night to the Comedy Bar. I had booked tickets to see Ben Hurley..who ended up being sick. A comedy bar is definitely not for the faint hearted. A lot of swearing and gross you have to take the good with the bad. And unfortunately we got placed in the front row...literally spiting distance from the the comedians, and of course they ripped into us. Hubby told them that we were from out of town and had left the kids at home...and he thought that was hilarious...making it sound like we had left them literally at home to fend for them selves! We had a good laugh but probably wouldn't do it again.

I kept saying to hubby as we walked back to the apartment..."look at us walking through Queens Street on a Saturday hip are we!" Of course when you have to point it out like that...its are NOT hip any more ;)

We had a great time on our Weekend of Possibilities, doing the two things we as couple most enjoying doing together: EATING and LAUGHING.  Must do it again sometime. Right back to reality and maybe a diet!