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Tui Song

And so, this morning, for the first time in a year and a half, I was woken up not by screaming and jumping kids, not by the sound of a piano being practiced or a drum kit being pounded on. Or even by the sound of the landlord’s car leaving for work.  This morning was different. There was the gentle light of the new morning sun, the distant cockle-doodle-doo of a neighbor’s rooster, and the jingle-belled walking motorboat alarm clock of one of the new kittens.

 

So let me back up a bit and explain how all of this has come to be.  My partner (now fiance!) E’s parents live predominantly in Taiwan.  But they like to come to new Zealand on their holidays. And they wish to retire down here.  And so they not too long ago purchased their dream retirement home up on the bluffs looking out over Lucas Creek.

 

The only downside for them is, they are not retired yet! And they won’t be for some time!  So they needed somebody to stay in the house and keep an eye on it for them while they are in Taiwan.  And this is where we come in.  So for the next four years or so, we will be living in this ginormous house for the year, and only sharing it with others when his parents come for visits, holidays, or conferences.

 

Pretty sweet, yeah?  It’s a 5 bedroom house with 3.5 baths, a rumpus room, two car garage, extensive gardens (well extensive by my standards), surrounded by native bush and looking out over some amazing views.  We can see parts of Albany, Lucas Creek, and the Waitakeres.  And off in the far distance I am still able to see the Sky Tower peeking out above the tree line.

 

Last night was our first night sleeping here, and the nighttime views were just as amazing.  Off in the distance you could see the glow of the Sky Tower, with the white fuzzy haze of the light pollution of the CBD all around it.  And then the sparkling orange lights of all the street lamps littering that part of the shore, like a thousand and ten stationery fireflies.  The moon barely glowing on the Creek, and even with all that civilization seemingly so very close, there was still enough darkness to look up into the sky and count the stars, to cuddle on the top balcony and feel the wind and listen to the hoot owl in the night.

 

And then to lay down on our mattress (we were too tired to be bothered putting the bed together yet) and listen to the absolute silence of the house.  The large echoing house. and the gentle sound of the wind chimes that hang just outside of our bedroom window. I don’t think I ever had a more peaceful night’s sleep.

 

Of course that was disturbed at 6am by the walking alarm clocks. Because we live out in the bush, E’s mom has decide that mice might be a problem.  And as such, we need cats. So we have two cats. They are ginger stripes and so cute! One of them is 5 months, the other is 4 months.  Their names are Happy and Lucky, although I could not at this instance tell you which is which.  We seem to be referring to them as “Cat 1” or “Red Cat” and “Cat 2” or “Blue Cat”, due to their size, age, and the color of their collars.

 

Blue cat was the one who came and woke me up this morning.  With his jingle bells around his neck (so that he can scare off any native birds that he might decide to hunt), and his walking motorboat of a purr.  I have never met a cat with such a loud purr who is able to sustain that purr while moving. But he is!

 

So this is just a taste of what is going on!  I think there might be a new section added to the blog called “Tales of May” all about living with E’s mom for the next few months and how our different language skills may come to play.  But I’ll have to think about that one still.  In the meantime, I will give you this picture, and say to you, “Good Morning, World”

 

MIA

I know, right? It’s been forever.

 

Well, there really hasn’t been much happening to me.  I’ve been applying for jobs, being rejected from jobs, and doing housework.  I’ve planted a pot garden, though. And I successfully made some pumpernickel bread. 

 

But really, that’s about the extent of my adventures.  I’ve really just been enjoying being home with E, or having dinner with friends.  Life is not all that outrageous or amazing, but it’s been good.  So very good.

 

I suppose I could show you pictures of my garden, or my pumpernickel.  Or maybe even my Crochet projects that I’ve been working on.  But really, at the moment, I’m just so content to just sit out on the porch with a book, watch the wind tip over the laundry, and enjoy the rays of sunshine, I just can’t be bothered to lay all the projects out and take the photos.

 

I think Autumn anywhere is a favorite season for me, but down here?  It’s absolutely stunning!

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,800 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Blogroll!

I don’t usually do this, but I think I might just start.

 

I’m still getting used to this whole new world of blogging.  My first blog was on blogger at least 6 or 7 years ago, back when they really were nothing more than online diaries for those of us that just absolutely failed at writing in a real diary.  It seems that I have remained stuck in that thought process and have not yet moved on into this whole new world of blogging where every blog is one thing and every post revolves around a central theme.  I’m a little confused on that whole situation.

 

Just like I’m confused with blogrolls and just what they are, and posts linking to other people’s blogs and things, but here we go.   Gonna try something new and exciting!

 

I have just found this blog, From Scratch Club.  And just going through a few of their posts, I am in love with these women!.. The most recent post was up on Freshly pressed and it was the cranberry, maple, ginger preserves my god I want to lick my screen!  From there on, it was inevitable. I got sucked into the posts and am still going through them like a mad woman.  Including the recipes/instructions for how to make your own body scrubs!

 

I am in love with this! And I am sure that I will keep reading through their posts and stealing… borrowing their ideas to show off down here in Kiwiland!

 

So who else do I read on a regular basis? Well, that depends entirely on my mood!  And who has something written.   I absolutely adore Dionne over at Try Anything Once, her stories are outstanding, her drive is an inspiration, and her photos are phenomenal.  Also, her daughter Taylor is quite amazing. 

 

I have started getting into a bit of a writing circle what with Nanowrimo being this month, and through that I have met some darling young ladies who are rather fascinating to follow.  Fee, over at The Land of Man-Eating PIxies is an energetic young woman with possibly far too much caffeine, but a brilliant and bright outlook on life.  And then her friend, Sarah (who is apparently called Fishy) over at Comfy Sweaters, Writing, and Fish.  They are both lovely girls and up and coming writers.  Look out world, these girls are going to tear things down!

 

And of course, there is the blog of a school friend of mine.  We met when we were both nine or ten, I can’t remember, when she moved in next door.  We made fudge together from my American Girl’s Cookbook, when we were little and we went to school together.  Now, We’ve both hit a stride and time in our lives when everything is up and running and going in a good direction for us.  It has been fantastic to read her blog, follow her on her races, and catch up on everything that is happening in our lives, even though we’re hemispheres apart.  So here is to Andrea, over at Run, Eat, Date, Sleep.  It’s mainly because of her inspiration and success and encouragement that I am on the path that I’m on towards being a healthier me.  Also, it’s all her fault that I’ve got a 6k walk coming up in two weeks. All her fault. 

 

I read other blogs too on occasion, but these are the ones that I go back to every time that I see something new, and every time that I want something different.  Just a few of the people out there in the world that help me be me.  I hope you enjoy their blogs, and I hope you take something away from this all. 

 

More about my general life and the happenings there in next time! But for now, This is it!

Some Thoughts

it’s been a while hasn’t it. yes, yes it has. So what have I been up to? Well I’ve been working on my novel for nanowrimo of course.

Last night i hit 35,000 words written in this years novel, and I’m hoping to be finished by this weekend with the full 50k.

If you’re not sure about nanowrimo, or what it is, or what the big deal is, there are links over there —> to help guide you along the way to enlightenment.

Other than sitting and writing an overage of about 5,000 words a day, nothing much has really been happening. I am at a standstill until I can get my visa paperwork turned in and find out my next status. Then, i can move on from there. I’m not sure to what, but I will find something.

Some other thoughts:

It’s been two years since he said that he loved me. It’s been two years since he stumbled to recover after that slip up. it’s been two years since he said it again, with more confidence. It’s been two years since I said it back. It’s been two years since that night of giggling and crying. It’s been two years since we realized what the other meant. It’s been two years.

And every day, in every way, I thank everything that I can think of, God, Fate, Lady Luck, Destiny, and Donald Duck. every day I think everything with every part of me that I found you, and that you chose me.

It wasn’t supposed to happen, I shouldn’t have fallen in love. It wasn’t supposed to happen, I was going to be myself for a while. But you came along with your funny face, your not so funny jokes, and your oh so brilliant brain and swept me from my feet. I tried to resist, but the pull of fate has been just too much.

I am blessed, I am lucky, and I know that I am loved.

So thank you, my heart, for two years of happiness. For two years of joy, frustration, and two years of love. Thank you for everything you are, and everything you have helped me to be. For two years of us, and looking forward to many many more.

I love you.

The Plan

So, tomorrow, well midnight tonight, starts nanowrimo down here in this corner of the world. Just about 12 hours from now and the month of tap tap tapping on my keyboard commences.

So what am I doing on this day of freedom before the literary slave drive in my mind kicks into overgear and I can’t stop the creativity from flowing out even though I want to?

I’ll probably be spending as little time on my computer as possible. Saving up the wrists and things.

I’ll be lamenting the fact that I can’t order tea from the englishteastore.com and so be unable to enjoy that which has become my noveling obsession. Their “Buckingham Palace Garden Party” tea blend. Oh what an addictive tea. Earl Grey and Jasmine. I have not quite found anything close to it down here, and that is saddening for me. But I shall endeavor to move forward without the elixir of creativity!

I won’t be doing anything for Halloween, as I just won’t. And for the first time, I won’t be starting to write exactly at midnight. I’ve gotten too old to stay up that late. So my day tomorrow will start with a healthy breakfast of Cheerios (if E leaves me any), a big mug of Twining’s New Zealand Breakfast Tea (very tasty!), and my keyboard. And a blank piece of electronic paper.

And from that magic brew, I shall create another piece of the puzzle that is Ahlterra, and one day use these pieces to form and create a world and a story that will captivate the minds and hearts of millions of fans!

Or, just get it out of my head finally.

To those of you having Halloween, Have fun! Enjoy! And to Those of us getting ready to write….

Heads down, fingers moving, we can do this.

Donation Station

Not as much fun as Shining Time Station, but just as important!

Nanowrimo is here! And it’s time for me to start begging for money. I know I know, I don’t usually do this, but The Office of Letters and Light (OLL) is a fantastic organization that has been spending the last lots of years doing good things for writing education across the US.

They sponsor NanoWrimo and Script Frenzy, and they do a Young Writer’s Program that goes into schools across the country, and across the globe, to help get kids interested in language and writing. This is a hugely important cause, being able to communicate your ideas through language is immensely important for people of all ages, and the younger we learn how to do that, the more successful in life we can become.

So please, donate to this cause, sponsor me through this link, and for every $50 that gets donated, I will add another 5k to my total wordgoal.

Make me write for it. Make me work. Help me make this world just that much more colorful with the sound of words.

http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?is_new=1&fcid=146401

who am I?

I started thinking about this recently, like yesterday, and I realized, I have no idea anymore.

I mean, I thought I knew who I was. But that was before I strapped on my shoes and went for a walk to the store.

Wait what? I walked to the store? Who the hell is this person?

Me, Sarah, would have just jumped into the car and driven to the store. got what she needed, put it in the car and driven back home.

Nope, I walked to the store, got what I needed, tossed it into my reusable shopping bag, and then walked home. And then today, I decided I wanted sushi for lunch. So, I strapped on the shoes, tossed on the coat and walked to the sushi place, and then walked back.

So my question becomes, who am I?

The Me that I knew back in the states would never do this, ‘walking’ thing. And then follow it up by going to the gym. The US Me would never have even thought about maybe attempting rock climbing. The US Me went everywhere in her car, even if it was only a mile away.

The Kiwi Me? Well the Kiwi Me for the first part says ‘only a mile’ as if that’s not a big deal anymore. The Kiwi Me eats chinese cabbage and wasabi. The Kiwi Me is thinking of ways to talk to pretty much everywhere. The Kiwi Me has entered into a 6k walk and is damned sure that she will not only complete it, but she will do so in a good amount of time. The Kiwi Me is excited to go out for nature walks, to see new things that the US Me would have been uncertain about. The Kiwi Me is starting to come around to the idea of rock climbing. And conquering fears. The Kiwi Me likes to drink water! And hasn’t had a can of soda in months!

I’m not sure who this Kiwi Me is, but I Like her. and I think that my Kiwi Me and I are going to get very friendly as time goes on.

Damn Straight.

Nano

Oh. My. God. It’s Almost October! It’s Almost October! I’m not even close to being prepared for Nano! which granted starts in november, but what can you do? Can never start thinking about this too early!

ok, so I can, at times I freak myself out how early I think about it. But I was sitting in the cafe this morning (oh doesn’t that sound so metro of me?) enjoying my breakfast and my pot of Earl grey (forgot to ask them what brand they were using, it was delicious!) and suddenly, the brain started working.

Thank goodness i had a little notebook with me! My brain started answering questions about Ahlterra that I didn’t even know I was asking! And I wrote it all down! I have begun to think for November! Hooray!

now if I could just read my handwriting….

I LIke To Move It

Well. I did it. I joined a gym.

I guess I should say that we joined a gym.

We are signed up for a 6 month contract at a gym that is up the hill from our house. It’s about a twenty minute walk (for me) to get there, which the guys at the gym said is a great warm up. Then 10 minutes on cardio, and then 3 circuits on 6 weight machines with 15 reps each, plus bench sit-ups of 10 reps each, then back to 15 minutes of cardio.

Tonight was my second night through the program, and I picked up some Biggest Loser music this afternoon to help me power through. Let me tell you. I am feeling the work out, but it’s a good pain. My instep on my right foot is hurting a bit, but the trainer said that it would happen and to try switching to a different elliptical. My left calf is tight as all hell, but that’s been that way since yesterday’s workout. I am getting a bit of a pain in my neck, not sure what that’s from. Might have to talk to the trainer about that on Saturday.

Ee joined too. They’ve got him doing some treadmill and then he’s down into the weight room to lift some weights and put some muscle on his scrawny self.

All in all, so far, it’s been a good experience. Of course I’ve only been going for 2 days, but it’s still a start. And a good feeling. I’m doing something to help myself and goddamn if I’m going to let myself out of it. Getting myself to this point was the hard part. Getting myself into the gym and onto the machines was the hurdle.

Like hell I’m gonna let myself fall off.