Saturday, October 30, 2010

Made in Dagenham

Yesterday my hubby and I went to see this film.

Made in Dagenham is a British film directed by Nigel Cole. The film stars Sally Hawkins (as Rita), Miranda Richardson, Rosamund Pike and Jaime Winstone. The film's theme song, with lyrics by Billy Bragg, is performed by Sandie Shaw, herself a former Dagenham Ford worker.

The film is a dramatisation of the 1968 Ford sewing machinists strike at the Ford Dagenham assembly plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination and the desire for equal pay. The walkout was instrumental in the Equal Pay Act 1970. The women did not actually work at the Dagenham assembly plant but a mile or so away on the other side of the rail tracks at the River Plant (a collection of sheds) on Sammy Williams land near Dagenham Dock Station. The Halewood-based women also joined the strike.

It tells the real life story of the 1968 strike by women workers demanding equal pay at the Ford car plant in Dagenham, a working class town east of London in the United Kingdom. Factory worker Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins) emerges as a leader for the female plant workers in a campaign to win them equal pay with their male counterparts.
That may not sound like the most entertaining premise for a film, but Made in Dagenham is full of warmth, humanity, humour and genuine drama. 

One part in the film which was really a key phrase to it all was when Rita and her husband were talking when the strike was at its peak. She was on her way to a big unionists meeting.
He said that she was lucky in that he didn't drink a lot or gamble; he didn't hit her or the kids etc etc
She said "That's just it "
"It shouldn't be a privileged, It should be a right"
And that was the whole reason as to why she was doing what she was doing.


It was a good film although not really entertaining.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Buttons

Today has been a funny sort of day.
It was very quiet at work and I am feeling a little lazy. Actually more just slowing down a bit and pottering.

A bit of weeding here, some filing there, that sort of thing.

On Monday I got a box of clothes given to me (well I was able to choose them myself) from a freinds' mum's wardrobe as they were cleaning it out after her passing, a few weeks ago.
Of course I am one for always putting things out if you get new things in. Now these are not new clothes just new to me.
I sorted some clothes that needed to go as they are stained or wearing thin. They are not really any use to anyone else so they will go in the clothing bin, but before they go I snip off all the buttons.

It's always handy to have some for when I have knitted something or a button needs sewing on somewhere.
As a child I use to play with the buttons in my granny's and mothers button tins and it was great fun sorting them into piles of the same sort of colours sizes etc. I have sorted my buttons into little plastic bags so my grandchildren wouldn't have as much fun with mine but the idea of keeping them has certainly come from my grandmother.
Maybe I need to not be so organized so they can experience that fun too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Get the most from your make up

I have been an Avon lady off and on over the years and during that time I have picked up a lot of hints.

One that I thought everyone knew was a way to make sure you get everything out of a tube of cream etc.
Always stand it on its lid if you can.
Once you think you have squeezed out all its 'stuff' cut the end off about two inches or 5 cms down.

pic 1
pic 2










Always use the product from the cut off piece first then slide this over the rest of the tube and use it as the lid. (pic 1)
As you use the product on the insides of the tube and can no long reach it, cut off a strip and put the "lid" back on. (pic 2)
You will be amazed at how much more you can get from you tube. It sill dry out quicker so use it quickly.

How many times have you come to the end of your lips stick and thrown it away.
Do you know how much further into the tube the lipstick goes?
Always use a lip bush and you will have weeks more of lippy.

Keep you make up in a dark place not out on the dressing table.

Use brushes rather than sponge applicators and wash them regularly and they will last you for years.

Nail polish will not go as lumpy if you keep it in the fridge.

One product you must not keep for ages is mascara. Thank about how close to your eye that gets and never share it with anyone.

Sunblock has a expiry date but you can still use it as an after sun body moisturiser so don't just biff it.

If some one has a shampoo, shower gel, bubble bath or cleaners they don't like pop a squeeze of it in the toilet brush holder (if its a bowl type holder) and you will always have a clean smell when you clean the toilet!!

If you have perfumes in bottles that are no spray ones that people don't like, eg aftershaves or free samples, pop them in air fresheners that are plug ins or for the car.

If I remember any more I'll add them

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Playlist - Heartstrings

My Mixpod which is a selection of songs I have added to an Ipod on here can be managed by turning on, off or the volume up or down. Check here for more details

The Mercy Project
The eighth song is another from the CD The Mercy Project which is a fund raiser as mentioned here

Heartstrings is a song about a girl putting her child up for adoption and it has meant a lot to me in that very close friends, and now connected to our family, have adopted two children before they were able to have one of their own.

There have been struggles for them as with a lot of adoptions and so my heart goes out to them with the words of this song as they learn to let go.

The song is sung by two Christian singers, Lisa Bevill and Erin O'Donnell, as is with most of the artists on this CD.

Heartstrings
Lisa Bevill


My child inside I love you
I’m asking through the tears
That God will grant me wisdom
Way beyond my years
Because your life is precious
And the best for you’s in store
I pulled upon my heartstrings
Until they finally tore

Chorus:
And I prayed and I cried
And because I love you so I’m letting go
To trust the One I know for sure
I’ll place you in the Father’s hands
Erin O'Donnell
The only one who’ll ever love you more

You were the Miracle we prayed for
That we could not have had ourselves
You brought us joy and happiness
And a love we’d never felt
How we cherished every moment
Then we looked up and you were grown
Never knew this day would come so soon
Oh how the years have flown

Chorus:
A photo in the video
And we laughed and we cried
And how it hurts us so to let you go
So much life for you in store
We’ll place you in the Father’s hands
The only One who’ll ever love you more

Bridge:
And the hardest part of living
Is giving back what we’ve been given
Each gift from God is only yours and mine
For a time

Chorus:
So we laugh and we cry
And the hardest part of life is letting go
To trust the One we know for sure
He’ll hold us safely in His hands
Cause no one else will ever love us more.
He’ll hold us safely in His hands
Cause no one else will ever love us more.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Roses

Its a lovely day today and so I did some hand washing of woollens using my home-made wash.
When I have finished this I use the washing water to kill the aphids on my rose bushes.
Even if there are no signs of the aphids I still toss the water over the branches to help stop the bugs coming in the first place.
Wool was water
Protecting the rose bushes


As I did this, I noticed what I thought was my first rose for the season.
But then as I checked my other bushes I realised there were more
With the weather finally warming up I was able to take a good walk around the garden and see the colour.





God's world is beautiful.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tirau Community Board

I can now officially say that I am a member of the Tirau Community Board.
Back in August I was asked if I would stand for one of the four positions as most of the last board were leaving. After some consideration and talk with hubby I decided to stand. Little did I know that only four people stood for the four seats so we were all duly appointed.

Tirau Community Board (four positions) ALL ELECTED - no voting was required
MARTELLETTI Nora
POOLE Geoffrey
SPINLEY Heather
VAN LENT Fiona


The Tirau Community Board is part of the South Waikato District Council and elections for local body councils were this October in New Zealand for the next three year term.
Last night we attended the inaugural Council meeting where, along with the Mayor and council members, we were sworn in to the new positions for the next three years.
Opening address and prayer by Peter Hall
The meeting started at:
7pm                       Kaumatua Jack Simmonds said a mihi/welcome
                              The Waiata Group – one song
      Kaumatua Jack Simmonds will say a karakia/blessing
      Waiata Group – one song
                              Mayor Neil Sinclair - 
                                           Reply to group from Raukawa inc Kaumatua
                              Waiata Group – one song
                              David Hall                            Swearing in Mayor
                              Mayor                                  Swearing in Councillors
                              Mayor                                  Swearing in TCB
Reading the Tirau Community Board Declaration
Signing the Declaration
There were two brief meetings to elect the deputy mayor and a vice Chairperson for the board (Me!!) and the meetings closed with a karakia/blessing and a light supper so as to chat with each other.
Closing blessing by the Raukawa Group
All in all a good night, with the start of something new and exciting in my life.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Family Caregiver Support Group

Once a month I go to a family caregiver support group in our area that gives support to those who have a family member who suffers from a mental illness.

The meetings are in the early afternoon and we have a light lunch that is provided. We share the goings on in our families over the last month (or more if we haven't been for awhile) and support and encourage each other. It is strictly confidential what we share and there are rules as to how we should respond to each other.
There is a care worker there that can offer much more from being a mediator, support person, offering help in many areas like finance, information etc and there are books and DVDs to borrow. There are also camps and other outings provided if we wish to join in.

Last month we were given a new booklet put out by the Mental Health Commission.

'When someone you care about has mental health or addiction problems - A guide for family, whanau * and freinds.'

You can actually down load it from here or to order a hard copy email info@mhc.govt.nz or call (04) 474 8900. (New Zealand)
One of the sites they mention is Kites a website with lots of support and downloads for those with a mental illness and/or family members.

On page 16 of the booklet above there are some very good points titled.

Caring for your own well-being
  • Be proactive about self care.
  • Wherever possible, maintain familiar daily routines.
  • Decide what refreshes you - and do it regularly.
  • Celebrate the good stuff.
  • Ask yourselves how you are managing as a family, whanau *.
  • Give yourselves permission to seek support where needed.
It was encouraging to read the booklet and to be reminded the importance of theses points not just for me to remember, but for the family so that I can be all I want to be for them.

* whānau (noun) extended family, family group, a familiar term of address to a number of people - in the modern context the term is sometimes used to include friends who may not have any kinship ties to other members.
http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz/

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chocolate and Banana Cup Cakes

This is another recipe to use up old bananas.

1 ¾ cups self-raising flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
90 grams butter, diced
½ cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
250 grams bananas (about 1 large or 2 small )
4 dtsp golden syrup (40 mls)
50g (1/4 cup) chocolate bits. (what ever sort you like)

Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.
Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
I actually do this with my big mixer.
Stir in the sugar.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs together with the golden syrup (warm the syrup for a bit).
Peel and mash the banana(s) and stir into the egg mixture.
Stir the liquids into the flour mixture until it is smooth but not over mixed.
Fold in the chocolate.
Spoon into 12 well greased muffin tins.
Bake for 25 minutes at 180ºC until golden brown.
Leave to cool in the tins for 3 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Once they are cold you can ice them.
I use about
2 tablespoons of butter,
2 tablespoons of hot water.
Melt together and add a dessert spoon of cocoa.
Blend well and add enough icing sugar to make a creamy spreadable icing.
Ice the cup cakes thickly and top with a white chocolate button.
You could decorate any way you like.
Maybe make a vanilla butter icing and top with a dark chocolate button.
Or do both as a contrast!
These will only last a day or so once iced as the icing will “melt” into the cakes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

And the Oscar goes to...

Yesterday Harry and I went to a dears freinds 60th birthday party.She is a person who loves to party and with a gift of friendship loves to have people around.
She had a themed party of a night at the Oscars.
The invitation said

"Come and walk the red carpet with me, 
as I celebrate my 60th Birthday 
with a night of fun and dancing!
Search you wardrobe or the local opshop 
for the most glitzy, over-the-top Oscars outfit you can find."

So with the help of a few others we did.
Harry's outfit was all from his wardrobe except the glittery grey hat (The $2 Shop) and my dress was a friends daughters ball gown, the shoes, fur jacket and beads were mine and the feather boa was from a bag of 'dress-ups'


A night of fun, laughter and dancing was had with light refreshments being served through out the night.
Every now and again the dancing was interrupted by the announcement of Oscar winners.
The fourth category was

"Best female actress in a leading role"
  • "For her outstanding role as a dedicated office worker with a devotion to, above and beyond the call of duty; her computer"
  • This award goes to...Fiona ... for her role in "Facebook 9 to 5"

Best Female Actress in a Leading Role
All I can say, is I hope I thanked all I was supposed to!!!
If I had known this was going to happen I would have prepared a script. I know, I know, its the excuse they all make but I would have made up a short funny reply and thank you speech. It just got me on the surprise but a whole lot of fun.

It was a truly lovely evening and we realised we just don't, as mainly church friends, have enough good times even if for no reason at all.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Gift From God

I have been struggling with my eyesight.
When I was about three I had operations on the inside of my eyes where the muscles were shifted around to help a squint. I also have poor focus and have three different lens for different distances. I am finding that even reading small print is hard. I have been to the doctor and asked for a referral to an eye specialist and received a letter from the hospital today that I am on the waiting list but it will be about 6 months before I will be seen.

A couple of months ago a bible was left in a pew. It is brand new and really quite beautiful as its cover is leather and zips up to form a case around it.
I have advertised it in the church notices and via email and the vicar has announced its find in church.
No one has claimed or or said they had lost a bible and it has sat on the office counter for a few months now.

I had a busy day yesterday with errands etc and was feeling really tired so I prayed the Jabez prayer focusing on God helping me in my work.

As I was about to finish for the day and the Vicar was leaving the office he picked up the bible and said "Has no-one claimed this bible?"
"No", I replied.
"Do you want it?" he asked.
"I do love the big print and the cover is beautiful" I responded.
"Well you take it" he said," and if anyone asks we'll just buy another one".
I thanked him and felt so blessed. I have looked at it numerous times and thought "How come no-one has missed it"

The Bible zipped up
Now I am wondering if someone just bought it and left it there.
Why else would a brand new bible with no name or bookmarks inside it would be left behind and the person who bought it not miss it?Maybe God told someone to do just that as He knew who was going to have it.
All I know is that I am very thankful and feel it is a gift from God. It was like He knows how hard I work in the office and that I sometimes struggle to read the small print of my bible. He wanted to bless me for what I do and I felt like He was saying "I see what you do".
That day I finished on time too with everything done.

God had helped me in my work.

Cover opened showing markings to books down the side

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Playlist - You'll Get Through This

In November 2004 I had a break down, ending up in a Mental Health ward.
Because it wasn't the ideal place for me to be in I was able to go and stay with past ministers from our church where I was looked after and ministered to as I started the journey of wellness. The wife of the minister introduced me to a CD "The Mercy Project." This is a fundaraiser CD for Mercy Ministries.
The Mercy Project

The songs are about or of encouragement for girls/women in the situations they are in that bring them to one of the homes.

I have bought the CD and played it many times. The song You'll Get Through This was one that helped me come through my low time and continually carries me through the tough times. It is sung by Martina McBride
The words to the chorus as so encouraging of Gods continual love.

You'll Get Through This

Pull the shades down on the sun
Don't want to see the morning break to another day
I don't have the strength to face
Martina McBride

Close the door and keep it shut
Lord this ache is just too much for me to take
How do I begin to pray

My way back to some kind of peace of mind
But then I hear love whispering through the darkest of times

CHORUS
You'll get through this
You'll break new ground
When you're lost within your weakness
Hope is waiting to be found
You'll get through this
No matter what it takes
I believe in you for heaven's sake
You'll get through this

Verse 2
When doubt starts tearing at
The faith deep in you don't be afraid
Just remember what I say
Nothing formed against you will succeed
As long as your hearts turn to me

CHORUS
You'll get through this
You'll break new ground
When you're lost within your weakness
Hope is waiting to be found
You'll get through this
No matter what it takes
I believe in you for heaven's sake
You'll get through this

BRIDGE
Nothing formed against ya will succeed
As long as your hearts turn to me

CHORUS
You'll get through this
You'll break new ground
When you're lost within your weakness
Hope is waiting to be found
You'll get through this
No matter what it takes
I believe in you for heaven's sake
You'll get through this

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cheese Muffins


Daniel has never been a fan of muffins as he doesn’t seem to like anything really healthy or baking with fruit in it. But these muffins have always been a pleaser so I often made them so he would have something for lunches.

2 cups grated cheese, slightly pressed down
1 ½ cups self-raising flour
½ tsp green herb stock or ordinary salt
(If you are just using salt add some chopped parsley )
1 Tbsp sugar
Pinch of cayenne pepper or black pepper if you don’t want it slightly hot (but do try it with cayenne first)
1 egg
1 cup milk

Put the first five ingredients into a bowl and toss well to combine .
Beat the egg and milk well and pour into the dry ingredients.
Fold together.
Do not over mix.
Spoon into a well greased (I use margarine on a kitchen towel to grease the tins) 12 muffin tray.
Bake at 210ºC for about 12 minutes until the muffins spring bake when pressed slightly and are just turning golden brown.
Don’t leave in the tray for too long as the cheese will get stuck to the sides of the tins and you will have difficulty getting the muffins out without breaking them apart.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ministering In My Fathers House

I pause today after what seems like not just a busy day, but a busy month.
I have been an "administrator" at three funerals at our church in the last five weeks. Our two vicars have been away for two weeks holiday, our lay minister is away while her husband is very ill in hospital, and I have been at Synod for a weekend. This all above my normal work hours in our church office and the rest of the things in my life.

This morning I had to prepare and take communion at the 8.00am service (as the three people I mentioned above are all away) and although it meant a very early rising for a Sunday morning, it means I am concentrating on God and being His servant.

I have to set up the communion cups, plates, wine and bread as well as read the service and distribute the wine. Today was the first day I have had to do all of it on my own. Although I felt I floundered a little I was told by different people that I did well and that I have become very good at it.

For the 10.00am service our team was on worship and as requested by our worship leader, I had to play guitar to lead the singing, on my own, as both the pianist and the bass player were sick/away.
That meant a practise in between both services and it also meant I had to sing, some bits on my own!
I felt I was really being thrown in the deep end but God was with me all the way and when I arrived home I felt at peace for all I had done.

Next week will be another one of many demands but I am learning to just do what I can and leave the rest, as it will all still be there another day or someone else will just get it done.

My great, great, great Grandfather was the Rev. Charles Baker a Methodist Minister and a very early missionary to New Zealand. He oversaw the building of New Zealand's first church and had a lot to do with negotiations between the Maori chief's and Governor Hobson around the Treaty of Waitangi.
He is standing in front of the thick flag pole in the traditional picture or the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The signing of The Treaty

I was reminded of the verses in the bible this morning from

1 Samuel 2:30
30 "Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that your house and your father's house would minister before me forever.' But now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. 

Psalm 101:6
6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.

God has a plan and He is continuing the work He began, not just in me, but in my whole family from generations gone by.

The Communion Table after the service

All Scripture is from (New International Version)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Climber Stumps Council

Well that's the title of the news item as shown on Television New Zealand on September the 17th.

Tree Climber Stumps Council
Hawera council is perplexed about how someone managed to scale a 30 metre tree and cap it with a road cone.
The addition to the century-old Norfolk Pine in the Taranaki town's park was first noticed last weekend, drawing both amused and shocked reactions.
"I can't believe that they even got up there to be quite honest," said Dave Bruce from South Taranaki district council.
"It's a dangerous thing for somebody to do. Up at that extreme of the tree it's very weak, there's no real structure there," he added.
With nobody at the council prepared to climb the tree and fears the cost of removal could reach into the thousands of dollars, arborists from New Plymouth were called in to help.
The council now plans to prune the tree's lower branches in a bid to prevent the situation from happening again.


http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/tree-climber-stumps-council-3784112/video?vid=3784126
So I can tell you that is not so odd.
We have a naive tree down the road and it too has a cone at the top.

And I can tell you I know how it got up there and 'he' has no intention in going up to retrieve it as he considers it quite a feat to be savoured.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Peanut Caramel Crunch

This is a recipe I obtained from a good friend of mine’s Mum, and although it uses a lot of butter, it is quite a nice, sweet slice. You have to be careful not to over cook it or it will be crumbly.

150gr Butter
1 Tbsp Golden Syrup
½ cup Sugar
1 cup Coconut
1 cup Flour
1 cup Cornflakes
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ cup Peanuts

In a large pot melt the butter and golden syrup then add the sugar and remove from the heat.
Stir in the other ingredients and press into a sandwich roll tin smoothing the top.
Baking at 180ºC for 15 minutes until just golden but don’t over cook.
Ice with caramel icing (below) while hot then cut into slices when cold.
Icing:
Melt 2 Tbsp of butter and 1 Tbsp golden syrup. Add 1 cup of icing sugar and mix well.
Spread over hot slice then allow it to cool.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Online Friends

For quite a few years now I have been part of an Australian forum for the magazine Notebook:.
Both the magazine and the forum have changed quite a lot from their beginnings in September 2005, and the people on the forum have come and gone.
But I have made many friends I would never had if I hadn't been a part of it all.
Over the years we have had Kris Kringles that I have been a part of or helped organise.
Just recently we had a tea towel exchange where you purchased a tea towel from your area and posted it to someone who had been chosen for you.
They then had to guess who it was from.
I received mine today and was able to work out who mine was from.


It has come from Perth in Western Australia.
I really like it as it is a thick cotton and I know it will last for ages, just as remembering the lady who gave it to me will be, every time I use it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Booties to Match

In a previous post about the blessings of Grandchildren, I showed you a babies jacket and matching beanie I had made.

Our second daughter Jennifer and her hubby, are expecting their first child and our third Grandchild, so I gave them the little set I had knitted.

She thought it would be nice to have the little booties to match so I have knitted them up.
They are all of a pixie theme with little pointy parts, on the hat and a slight turn up in the toes.
The green and white stripe enables it to suit either a boy or girl.

They have chosen not to find out what sex it will be until the birth, which I tend to agree with.
The joy after all that hard work is the surprise of finding out if it is a son or daughter.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Synod

This weekend I have been an observer at The Anglican Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki Synod.
One of the ladies who was going to go had her husband admitted to hospital on the Friday, so I went in her place. Because I had not been booked with papers delivered for me to study, I was labelled 'Observer'
What an interesting experience.
There were a lot of bills to be passed and last years minutes and financial reports tabled etc like an AGM but there were also interesting 'workshops' that you could choose to go to and discuss the implementing of them for the Diocese to take on board.
What a privilege to part of the foundations of new happenings.
I went to one on Mental Health issues within the church and its members.
I am discovering that I am more and more inclined to enjoy this area of administration.

But beyond or the formal procedures and meetings we were hosted at Southwell School and its was a truly lovely place to be.
All Hallows Chapel

The food was amazing and the settings at the tables like a wedding feast. In fact there was so much food and left overs I really think there must have been a lot of people who just didn't come or those who organised it thought we would all be big eaters!
On Saturday night we had a small ordination service in the All Hallows Chapel which must be a real blessing to the school.
 
I especially enjoyed the flowers for the occasion.
And Monarch Butterfly's in the trees.
 All in all I have to wonder why so many cringe at the thought of going to a weekend like this. I for one will be putting up my hand for next year.