Wednesday, March 26, 2008


It started out so well. Our trip down was great – quick – smooth – no traffic snarls. We had a great day looking around the Capital. Lunch at Parliament House, visited the National Museum and the Mint. Checked in to the gas station just to make sure the water was OK – it was down a bit so we filled the radiator and for good measure put some product in which was supposed to stop leaks. At this point I should mention that the radiator had been ‘leaking a bit' in the previous few days but a bit more water added and it seemed OK.

All went well and about 6pm we pulled in to the gas station off the tollway to get petrol. Checked the water again – all OK. A quick cup of coffee and we set off about 6.30pm. By now it was dusk, sprinkling with rain, and the evening darkness was closing in quickly. We were looking forward to reaching home to have something to eat.

We’d traveled exactly 34kms from our last stop when the car started to make strange noises. The thermometer (or instrument which tells how hot the car is running) zoomed up to ‘hot’ and before a few more metres, the motor cut out. We were still about 100kms away from home.

Well there wasn’t much we could do – in pouring rain and darkness! I said a prayer asking God to keep us safe while we were in this situation we had no real control over. Thank goodness for mobile phones though. We called our roadside assistance – (thank goodness for membership too)! A serviceman would be sent out within the hour.

A short while later, the mobile phone rang. It was roadside assistance base. Would we walk to the nearest emergency phone on the tollway and report in our breakdown? At this time we had no idea where we were located – except for the 34kms from the last gas station and this call would give our actual location. The men grabbed umbrellas and jackets and one began the walk to the emergency phone and the other to see if a place locator could be seen.

Break-down reported to the operator – no place name located however, but we were informed we were about 8 kms from the nearest township. Now our situation had been reported, we could expect a tow truck within in the hour. By now it was pouring with rain and looking more and more like we might be there for a good while. Phoned our son who lived about 90 minutes drive away, who said he’d come down to get us. We had friends visiting from Canada with us and didn’t want them to be any more uncomfortable than necessary.

We began to sit it out – traffic zooming past us at 100kms or so an hour. Each time a truck passed, the car would be rocked from side to side. By now it was 8.30pm and the need to find a bathroom fairly soon was inevitable! Eventually two of us absolutely had to venture into the shrubs alongside the road – need I say more – raining and all, it was somewhat of a relief! A van had pulled up a short distance from us - also broken down - this poor young man had only purchased his vehicle a few days previously and this was the second time he had been in strife with the mechanical state of it. Now he was also waiting for a tow truck.

Eventually the tow truck arrived and hitched the car on the back. We all piled up into it’s generous cabin and within a few minutes we were arriving at the place where our car was to be left.

It was now 9.30pm in a tiny town it seemed we were going to be hungry for a while longer but decided to take a walk through the town while we waited for our son to arrive. When we spotted a little pizza shop still open, we realized how hungry we were. We were not disappointed! With full tummies we made our way back to the service station to find our son had already arrived. It was only a few minutes later that we were back on the road on our way home arriving about midnight.

An exciting day? – Yes. A late night? - Yes. But a memorable day – in more ways than one. Despite it all, it’s situations like that which we file away in our memories and remember them, not because of the good time we had together, but because of the unpleasant parts that happened. We arrived home and we were kept safe, despite the experience – and yes, we will make sure the car is in good running condition before we venture out on another day trip – especially if we have overseas guests with us!

The footnote is that the car is not going to be ready for a week and it’s going to have it’s head gasket and radiator repaired at a cost of $2,900.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blogger's Catchup

Things have been quite busy here since Christmas. At the end of January I went to Auckland for a week for a visit with Mum. The time went very quickly as there were things to do for her but we did manage to buy a new bed and a new electric chair which puts her in a standing position from being seated - a great help in older age!

On arriving back, I spent time redecorating our spare bedroom. It was wallpapered when we bought the place 15 yrs ago and probably had been done a while before that as it had become discoloured and dowdy. We stripped it all and painted it in cream. We had a friend from the UK who stayed last week and a couple from Vancouver coming next week so it's continuing to be a busy month for us.

Last week a builder came to repair our kitchen skylight which had water damage after all the storms we've had. Water started pouring down it in Dec during the first big hail storm we had and just continued to get worse with each storm ending up with water in the ceiling, light fitting etc. (a bit hard to see in the above pic). He took out the existing skylight which was a box type with an opening window at the top and replaced it with a fixed one half the size. Part of the ceiling had to be replaced as water was bubbling it out plus repainting. Got the painting finished on Friday and when we were out Friday night there was another of these dreadful storms with inches of water - when we got home the kitchen was awash again. Apparently one of the tiles had not been placed correctly! Now we're almost back to square one. He came back Sat afternoon and fixed the tile in to place but now the ceiling is all stained again where the water leaked and dripped. Tomorrow he comes back to replace the damaged ceiling.

I had my blood count done about a month ago and the result shows my cholesterol is too high for me so the Dr wants me to lower it and lose some weight - I know that needs to be done - so I'm thinking about the low carb diet - it's fairly rigid. Presently I'm just really trying to watch what I eat and cut back size of meals etc.

Well that's about it from me - I have been pretty busy recently and hadn't had time to put anything down in this journal so I guess those who read it occasionally will now be caught up with all of my comings and goings.

Till next time - Blessings!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


My sampler that is! I really have been pretty slack in the cross stitch area of late but I am also a bit disillusioned with this piece as well. I was so enthusiastic at first to get it started – I loved the pattern and the colours – but I find the Water Color thread so heavy to pull through on the return part of the stitch that it’s become a rather laborious task. I just wish I had tried a piece first in these threads to get a feel of them. If I had, I probably wouldn’t have used them on this larger piece but would have chosen matching threads in cotton floss.

Oh well, too late for that now – I either finish it – or leave it as is – then nothing would be achieved. It probably will look OK finished and framed but at the rate I’m going, it may be a long time before that happens. Meantime, I’m occupying my time with scrapbooking, much smaller cross stitch projects and re-decorating in one of our bedrooms. Not sure which is the most tedious – probably I’d have to say stripping the wallpaper. But somehow I think the redecorating will be finished far sooner than the sampler!