Only Three days to Christmas….

Today I want to wish all my followers Seasons greetings for this festive time. I know that we all have different ways of celebrating and also different faiths but this is the time of the year for me to celebrate Christmas. Being a December baby I have always loved Christmas time, the carols, decorating the house and bringing in the Christmas tree or even putting up the fake one; the family traditions and then joy on  peoples faces as they gather with their families and friends.

This year is a little different its been harder somehow to get into the spirit of the season. My decorations are more low key as I have no family visiting this year, I am going to my sister’s for Christmas Lunch then back to my Brother’s for the evening meal.

There have also been so many momentous happenings here in New Zealand with another major earthquake shaking us badly and creating chaos and recently our Prime Minister suddenly resigning,. Internationally Donald Trump in America winning the Presidential race, Brexit in Britain and so many injustices around the world in war zones and terrorism in cities like Paris and just last night Berlin. just to name a few.Each year we ask for Peace but it never happens.

I guess that the best we can do in our small corner of the world is to share love and happiness with those close to us and  in our community  too. As a country far away from the unrest of the world we are known to be generous and supportive of those in need all over the world as well as in our own backyard. We must all lead by example and show the way  so I wish you all

Joy, Peace and Happiness this Christmas and for the coming Year.

Lynne

Thinking of my American followers and other friends

I watched the USA election results unfold and felt sad at the outcome. I know that everyone who voted, voted with their hearts and minds  in the way they wanted. But I fear for the moral compass of America now in the hands of people who seem to only consider material things as important and appear to have little regard for women, other races and the rest of the world. The “I” appears more important to them than the good of all.

So for the first time I woke up and decided to paint out my feelings onto canvas.I took an old brightly coloured early attempt and covered it up and let my feelings direct me.This is my tribute to you all, I have left some splashes of colour peaking out  as I know they will be there as the silver linings in the dark cloud.

My thoughts are with you all at this turbulent time

Lynne

Art Journalling

I have been exploring my creative side through Art Journalling over the past year and I enjoy this way of expressing myself. I now belong to several groups with members world wide and it is fun to see how each of us works on a theme and come up with totally different art.The latest group I have joined gets a new word or phrase each Friday. There is no pressure some people are right up to date I am  a little behind to due life getting busy. However I finished one this morning after working on it for a few days , then another one fell into place very quickly.   I thought you might like to see what I have been up to over January and February 2016.

Sustainable living

it is so rewarding to be able to pick fruit and vegetables fresh from my garden I feel a real sense of satisfaction. My garden is not large as a whole but I have several raised garden beds for my Veges one is right out side my kitchen window

Kitchen garden
Kitchen garden

this spring I have also had a lovely display of bulbs at my door they are in a container I picked up for free when looking for pallets

Spring welcome at front door
Spring welcome at front door

Yesterday I decided to make bread for the first time in about 35 years. From scratch as it were I don’t have a bread machine. So I used an old recipe for an easy whole meal loaf which does not require kneeding I had got the ingredients during my last grocery shop so was all prepared. How great it was to experience again the smell of yeast rising, of the bread baking and of course that first mouthful of fresh out of the oven. The anticipation rose as I waited through each process. Wow yum 🙂

Fresh homemade bread
Fresh homemade bread

Of course I still have to get the ingredients for baking and seeds for the garden etc from shops but I am enjoying my new relaxed plenty of time life style. This is my first retirement Spring so I have been watching all the birds building nests and tweeting away all the day. I spend a little time everyday in my garden and those jobs I have been putting off while I wait for warmer weather are coming closer. So must away now to my next project whatever that may be…….. Lynne

Food and taxes

Poster, "Food Guide Pyramid: A Guide to Daily Food Choices" Record Group 462 Still Pictures Identifier: 462-CNP-1 Rediscovery Identifier: 22788
Poster, “Food Guide Pyramid: A Guide to Daily Food Choices”
Record Group 462
Still Pictures Identifier: 462-CNP-1
Rediscovery Identifier: 22788

Good morning everyone. I am lucky to be nice and warm inside as outside it is vey cold wet and windy today. At least we are not snowed in like a lot of the rest of New Zealand.

I am exercised to write today because there was an item on the news last night and in the paper this morning about taxing our food! This upsets me because we are becoming such a Nana state and no one takes responsibility for what they do. The answer to everything seems to be tax it!. I have to explain to those of my followers in the rest of the world that all our food is already taxed at 15% GST  so why more? The excuse proponents use is that it worked for smokers and has dropped the numbers of smokers and saved many dollars in health so they think they should tax dairy food, eggs and meat as they have fat in them, of course salt and sugar has also been mentioned and fast food. these taxes will supposedly stop obesity and mean savings in our Health budget.

My real concern is that we need these food groups to survive ( smoking is a choice eating is not) I also know that now I am on a limited income I do not eat meat every day as I can not afford to it is already quite expensive. I do enjoy eggs as they hold all essential proteins, fats and vitamins. dairy I eat a little of but that’s because I have never liked milk even as a child. There are many people in New Zealand that are on fixed incomes or low incomes that can not afford  good quality food now like fresh vegetables fruit and meat  so imagine what taxes will do. we will have anemic people who will have no energy or strength to get up and move will that help.

I firmly believe that there are many other underlying reasons why people in the western world are becoming so obese, the highly processed food, the opportunity to get fast food, the fact that portion sizes have got bigger and bigger and the additives to food must all play a part.  I feel that there is too much emphasis on the way we look and modern social media does not help in this. The dietary businesses makes huge money from our need to get “slim” and fit in.

I think we all need less stress in our lives, less seeking of “happiness’ and instead seek contentment with our lives and getting back to the simpler ways of living. If we were all able to achieve this maybe the world would be a healthier and better place.

Neighbourliness 

Fourteen years ago I moved to my home on a small street in a country town. A little while later my neighbour popped over to say hello and also invited me to a street “get together” they were organising. What a great way to meet all my new neighbours. It was fun casual and every one contributed to the meal. Over the past years these parties have continued children have grown up , parents have got older and of course some people moved and new ones came. We usually gather in summer and then in winter so a couple of weeks ago I decided it must be time and I dropped an invitation into 6 letterboxes. 

It is always a potluck situation and as I prepared my dishes and tidied up the house ( great incentive having visitors ) I wondered how many would be available to come. I had replies from four couples and discovered one neighbour was away overseas in Cyprus ( must catch up with her when she gets back) . 

The. Night was cold but what a lovely warm atmosphere as we gathered together and caught up with everyone’s news and life happenings. You see while we always wave and say a quick hello we rarely sit and chat except at these parties. Conversation flowed back and forth , laughter and smiles as stories were related of past events. Sad stories also about pets who had passed on and elderly parents causing concern around their health. 

The best thing was that no one was tapping away on cellphones we were all talking and focussing on each other. It was so refreshing and reminded me that the art of conversation is so important. I find it so intrusive,exclusive and down right rude when people do not put their phones aside when you are talking to them or at a table enjoying a meal. This is my grouchy moment! 

Back to the party as everyone headed home they were deciding who would host the next one and let’s not leave it so long ……… I went to bed that evening in a warm contented glow.