Restoration 101 – 6 – final recollections

In my previous post we did a quick tour of our house.  Now I’ll just clarify a few more quirky features (again copied and pasted from my email updates back in 2012) 

Each entrance to the stairs has a door – a sliding glass (oval) door with an ornate glass door knob (could be worth a bit on Trademe when we’re ready to replace the doors with solid ones!); the bathroom basin actually protrudes down into the pantry;  there are two hemispherical glass windows – a trademark of the architect, well-known local (recently deceased) Peter Beaven. Both of these windows we have covered on the inside cos they really are so ugly, but they can be seen from the outside. There are unusual spaces & cupboards here and there, black exposed beams and lovely rimu paneling above one’s head in the lounge. 

Rimu panelling and black beams in downstairs lounge/entranceway.
Rimu panelling and black beams in downstairs lounge/entranceway.

And to continue…

 So far, as I said, windows have been replaced (with temporary second-hand ones) or glass. We will eventually replace them all with double-glazed windows that match to protect us from the snow!  

Temporary windows installed in living area. Yes, they are upside down - it's a man thing!
Temporary windows installed in living area. Yes, they are upside down – it’s a man thing!
This photo shows end window to be replaced, walls strengthened with ply, beams and panels on ceiling and pink/purple/red window on the right.
This photo shows end window to be replaced; walls strengthened with ply; beams and panels on ceiling, and circular window on the right.

Actually, we plan to add a deck extending from the lounge but that will happen after the new kitchen, bathroom, re-gibbing, re-vamp downstairs,………. The lounge walls have been strengthened with ply under the gib & I’m looking at getting that finished (plastered & painted) sooner rather than later so I have somewhere to relax that appears to be “normal”! Jim & Caleb installed a handbasin in the downstairs bathroom-cum-laundry this weekend – one smallish task out of the way. The plan is to work three Saturdays (Sunday is a day of rest at my insistence!) and have the fourth one off, though I’m yet to see if I can hold the man to this!

And here endeth my email accounts so I will now have to resort to my hand-written diaries. As we progress you will see that changes to plans did occur – the first being that we decided to keep the glass doors.  These have been re-hung but there was really no need to replace them and they remain a feature of quirkiness – minus the glass handles!

So, until next time…



Today is Day 29 of my “30 day challenge”… and I’m about to fulfil Day 23… not too bad, I think!  I have spent the last couple of hours, give or take 30 minutes here and there, sifting through blogs and forums and blogging sites and goodness what on this marvellous world-wide-web!  Oh, the information is endless, overwhelming and totally mind-boggling! But my challenge today is to “write a blog post on a subject that is similar to what another blogger in your niche has already written about.” Sounded so easy but with information overload it is not!  And then what happens… doubt creeps in…

Can I do this?

Should I be spending my time doing this?

Is this really worth writing?

Is this really worth reading?

Does this even make sense?

Is this whole exercise a total waste of time?

And so on…

So what shall I do about it?  ( I realise that most writers share these thoughts often during their writing pursuits … this is encouraging!)

So… I will keep writing … Why?…

Because I love to write!

Because I do believe I have something to share!

Because I do want to encourage, inspire and uplift people!

Because I believe God has given me this desire and encouraged me to use it!

Because I have been encouraged by others to write also!

So I will continue; I will write;  I do believe God will find me my audience; and one day I will author, not only a few blog posts, but a book… or two or three!

And, guess what? I have just completed today’s challenge…

Whatever it is that you believe God has put on your heart to do, keep at it until God says “Stop”.

I love this scripture:

Matthew 21:21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 

Believe in yourself but, more importantly, believe what God has planted in you!

Blueberry muffins – no added sugar

No need to add any butter to these – they are very moist and oozing blueberries!  I used frozen blueberries but you could use fresh or even try another berry. For the liquid I used apple pulp (fresh) but I’m sure any pulped fruit or juice would be great.  IMG_4231


  • 2 cups flour (white, wholemeal or mixed)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 200gms blueberries
  • 1/4 cup good quality oil
  • 1/2 cup fruit pulp or juice
  • 1/4 cup non-fat yoghurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg

Sift flour & baking powder twice. Add blueberries and coat well with flour. Mix together oil, pulp/juice, yoghurt, vanilla & egg. Make a well in centre of flour and pour in half the mixture. Gently combine without squashing blueberries.  Add remaining mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon into lightly-oiled muffin tray.  Cook at 175 (deg C) for 23 – 30 minutes. Makes 14 small or 10 larger muffins.

Restoration 101 – 5 – recollections still

Back to my email diary …

Prior to these windows going in we had plywood over the gap which, of course, made the room rather dark & dismal.

Temporary windows in sunroom.
Temporary windows in sunroom.

The second-hand windows are now in place on the western wall of the sunroom/dining room – wow! What a difference! So much light! The afternoon sun streams in – it will be a hot-house in the summer! And the view is lovely – trees with their spring foliage. Actually, we have many trees around the section – cherry blossoms that literally sprung to life the weekend we moved in and a couple of kowhai looking radiant. I am yet to see if tui frequent the trees but do hope so.

They do! And the other birdlife is so sweet to hear on a summer morning 🙂

Cherry blossom from sunroom window.
Cherry blossom from sunroom window.


But we’ll move back to the spiral staircase and up half a dozen steps to the second bathroom. The toilet is tucked behind the door to the left and to the right is the sunken bath with metal “guard rail” and large bench space with handbasin – unusual and ugly! 

This photo was taken before we moved in – the mixer had been removed from the wall by the previous owner so we showered downstairs until hubby fitted a new one.

Sunken bath.
Sunken bath.
Top of staircase looking into bathroom.
Top of staircase looking into bathroom.


Up another half dozen steps and into our lofty bedroom – another quirky room, complete with seven windows, the biggest of which really does have an awesome view as you’ll see in the photo. The wardrobe is really bad so that’ll be re-vamped and, as mentioned before, we are yet to get a bed that is able to be carried up the staircase.  

Our view from bedroom.
Our view from bedroom.

This room is definitely the warmest in the house as there is even a fan hanging from the lofty ceiling.  

The carpet in this room is fine but we will probably replace it anyway to keep it uniform with the rest of the house.

Looking back, it was such a blessing to move in in spring, though we did have our cold moments as you’ll read in the next post…

On blogging… joggin’ along…

IMG_2497 I’m feeling very positive this morning 🙂 It’s the first day of daylight saving here in NZ; my cherry blossom is flowering and yesterday I sifted through about 5 days of my ’30-day challenge’ and made the decision that I actually didn’t want to do some of the tasks! So I may not make the money just yet but I do have my boundaries or limits to what I will do.  I realise I enjoy writing, love it when one of you tells me you’ve read my blog/s, and like to respond at times to some other blogs.  Yesterday a young woman (Kelsee727) from Ohio, USA responded to one of my blogs – how exciting was that!! She & I are poles apart in many ways (location, age, backgrounds) but how wonderful that we can “chat” and encourage each other! The world is indeed a small place!

But, back to blogging on… I lay awake last night thinking of the positive things to this new hobby… no, occupation… no, career… no, assignment… yes, that sounds about right… assignment … something I need to conquer!

So the positive things:

  1. I get to write each day about topics I like to write about.
  2. I get to record my thoughts in a way that may, in some way, bless or benefit others.
  3. I get to learn new things that others generously share on line.
  4. I get to meet other like-minded folk on line.
  5. I may eventually make some money from doing these things 🙂

I did read a couple of blogs yesterday where the bloggers are actually tired of blogging. Yes, I can understand that that may come upon me, too, but as a “newbie”, I’ll continue to focus on the positive and tap these keys.

But right now, I’d better go and help hubby as he sounds like he’s pulling the house down (see Renovation 101 blogs).

And then it’s on to Day 21 of my “challenge” and I am to enter some discussion forums – that sounds like something I can do…

Don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle.

Let’s celebrate!

I am still giggling to myself… my wonderful hubby does remember my birthday… and he can’t forget Christmas Day… but beyond that – “special” days are just not uploaded into his memory bank!!  I bet many of you can identify!!

Yesterday was one of the “special” days in our calendar. I must admit I have forgotten it in the past, on the day, but I do know the actual date which is more than I can say for wonderful hubby! So yesterday I decided that, seeing I am now a “kept woman” and have time at home each day, I would surprise said hubby on his arrival home after a week at work.


I went to the supermarket to buy a few little treats that I know he enjoys and set them on the table that he sees when he walks up the stairs to the living area. I just happened to have a photo handy taken at our wedding 16 years previously so that sat in front of the flowers I bought that I knew he would have bought if he’d remembered!

Well, I should have had the camera handy – the look on his face was priceless! He had totally forgotten our  wedding anniversary! But he was so delighted and chuffed at my thoughtfulness…

Now my point in sharing this with you is to encourage you to overcome any disappointments you may have in life (e.g. forgotten anniversaries) by reversing the pleasure and bringing a blessing or some joy to another person.  There is so much sadness and grief around us in the world today that we need to celebrate the little things – not add small grudges to our account. And if you don’t have anything to “celebrate” just bring a blessing to someone for no real reason at all – I guarantee you will be equally blessed!

 “While we are living in the present, we must celebrate life every day, knowing that we are becoming history with every work, every action, every deed.” (Mattie Stepanek – peace advocate & motional speaker)

Blessings indeed!

Do you remember that old song “Count your many blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done” (see below)? When I sit in my bed enjoying my breakfast (oh yes, confession time here – I bring my breakfast to bed to eat because the view is wonderful, and why shouldn’t I?) and look at that view I can’t help but count my blessings.  Oh, no, things haven’t always gone smoothly for me in my life’s journey – has anyone travelled a path that is free from bumps and potholes? But His blessings throughout my journey are paramount and surely worth counting!

Yesterday I wrote a couple of short blogs on my family history.  I am one of the “older generation” now – I have one aunt left in this world. And when I look at my forefathers and mothers and read into their history it becomes obvious that they have passed on a wonderful Christian heritage. I believe that it is largely due to this heritage that I can count my blessings.

Rainbow over Redcliffs
Rainbow over Redcliffs

Another song just came to my mind, “I can see clearly now” – so I listened to it (isn’t YouTube wonderful for some things!). What great words :
I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
bright (bright) sunshiny day.

Oh, yes I can make it now the pain is gone.
All of the bad feelings have disappeared.
Here is that rainbow I’ve been praying for.
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
bright (bright) sunshiny day.

(ooh…) Look all around, there’s nothing but blue skies.
Look straight ahead, there’s nothing but blue skies.

If you are going through a time when you don’t feel the blessings are flowing, stop and count. Yes, I know this is easy for me to say as I sit and look at the at the sea with clouds rolling by overhead, but my journey to this view was not easy in many ways. And even as I have sat and enjoyed the view I have had times when I have had to remind myself to “count my blessings.”

When we fly in a plane we rise above the clouds to blue sky; when the clouds roll away we know there is blue sky… if you are going through a time of testing or trial at present look for the rainbow and count your blessings – know that there is blue sky above the clouds and take a leaf from my mother’s book – on a cloudy day she would always look for that patch of blue sky & believe that it would spread!

Blue skies over Lake Tekapo
Blue skies over Lake Tekapo

Count Your Blessings

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. 

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

A thought for you to consider today: My thoughts are filled with positivity and my life is plentiful with prosperity.