Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Activity & Saturday Rugby on Friday.

8am wake up this morning for the Primary Easter Activity.
Tashy did crafts.

Here's Hubba. I didn't even dress her this morning it was too early to even dress myself properly.

Our station was cupcake decorating.


Tashy's crafts.


Nessa's cupcake.


Three-Eyed mini-Jeston.

Great morning. Glad it's over and done with.
Tried to sleep some more but no one would let me so we waited around for 2pm and headed off to Central Hawkes Bay for rugby.

Once again I forgot my compact flash for my camera. Lucky I was able to borrow the MAC photographers camera (Thanks Brenda!). This allowed her to sit in the stands with the MAC supporters. My approach this year was just to shoot tackles, hits, tries and forms. The previous years I've shot the entire game in increments of 30 seconds. This shot my shutter eventually and I had to get it replaced. I came out with 99 photos today on Brenda's camera (a 550D). 79 were usable.
Here's Jeston going in for a try.

The end of the game. Cousin Everard and brother Jeston.

My thoughts on this weeks game.
32-30 to MAC. It's a team they should have beat with a score off the Richter, but errors they made through-out the game stopped that from happening. Again, I'm going to complain about the management/coaches. There are 3 coaches (now), I only hear one of them talking to their team. I have no faith in the coaches (yet) .. but I have faith in the team.
At the moment the team is all physique, no mentality. I think who coaches will make the difference.
Overall, good game, but there is alot of room for improvement. I hear their training/fitness has gone from 2  days a week to 3 days a week. I reiterate, nothing wrong with their physique ... they're in top shape. In saying that, they came together better than pre-season and I think the 22 were the right choice.

Sleep in tomorrow.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

This week.

Straightened Hubba's hair last Sunday for church. It had begun to curl again within an hour. Still having a war with the binky, but she's off bottles, finally, and that was only because they were looking and smelling gross and I refuse to buy more for her to lose. (Note to The Livians: Don't give in to those big brown eyes when she asks for a bottle!).

FHE at Mums Monday. We talked about our stall at the community markets Easter Monday. These two were on crack that night. Didn't realize how much I look like my brother until I looked at this photo.

Thanks Aunty Ness for the Easter Eggs!

Now let me tell you about this guy. The HB Online Garage page had an ad for a free billy-goat and since The Farmers love animals, I got the details for them to pick it up. He's a fighter. He scarred Batman for life when he mistook him for a nanny goat. Then he mistook one of the tennis poles on my grandmothers court for a nanny goat and violated it. We've labeled him a weirdo and have offered him to anyone in the community who wants him.

The chickens he got, that looked like they'd had a dose of chemotherapy, are laying eggs! A happy chicken lays eggs. A sad chicken loses feathers.
Yeah, I just made that up.

Tis the season.
Tashy and I went to buy out the stall. First of the season feijoas. I didn't want to give away my secret location, but Tashy is family and more of an avid feijoa lover than I.

The Hawkes Bay people deserve some real chorizo.
It needs to marinate in all the spices for 2 days before it's ready for consumption.

I'm going Mexican food as part of our family stall at the markets day. I'll start the pinto beans tomorrow as those take 2 days in a crock pot to perfect.
8am tomorrow I have a Primary activity at the chapel.
Everyone knows I'm not alive before 10am most days.
*shakes head*.
A full holiday weekend.
MAC's first game tomorrow against CHB.
The only good news from MAC this week is that 3 family members made the 22.
...and 3 of the managements family members also made the 22 and coincidentally, began going to training.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

About zebras and anacondas.

Had a weird dream lastnight. It started off with my family heading down to the chapel, which is a 5 minute walk away, for an activity. Walking out to my car I saw weird tubes in the sky in a pattern as far as the eye could see. Only I thought it was weird, everyone else didn't seem worried.

In my dream, the drive to the chapel took us down the 405 freeway in CA. My mum drove and we almost crashed twice because she was texting, which isn't far from the truth when it comes to her driving. We got to the chapel and by that time the tubes had flags on them and their very own space ship, which didn't look too out of this world.

Entering the chapel was when things started to happen outside. Someone, or something, began bordering up the windows of the chapel from the outside and doors were locked on the inside. Once that was done, the whole chapel, with everyone in it, was lifted with the earth under it (think the City of Enoch) and flown somewhere.

I peeked out the windows and saw people flying next to us, assisting almost. I looked for you, but I couldn't find you. Everyone was wearing Jedi cloaks .. maroon and white.

The entire chapel was set down in a community with fully furnished houses that each of us were led to.

The dream got weird after that and involved zebras and anacondas.

Our chapel will become the place of assembly should an emergency or disaster occur here and we're required to evacuate. I don't know that everyone in the community will go there, because despite we're an all LDS community, not everyone is currently practising. The impression I got is that there needs to be a ward storage house inside the chapel. In the event that we need to head to the chapel and all our belongings and store cupboards are destroyed by probing aliens, there needs to be a back up. Flight kits are for this purpose, but despite our chapel being 5 minutes away, it can become quite inconvenient to carry 24 cans of spaghetti that far.

.. and that friends, was my weird dream.

Easter Markets.

Our community is having a markets day on Easter Monday. I decided to go with Mexican food. Everyone here is use to fish n chips and McDonalds and the one-hit-wonder Mexican Restaurant that was in The Bay, Holy Guacamole, lasted all 6 months before it became a Muffin Break Breakfast bar. It's bad marketing when you serve lamb and mint tacos and right across the street is a Turkish restaurant infamous for their Lamb Iskenders with mint sauce. Do your home work next time .. besides, mint sauce on a taco is about as bad as boiled eggs in a boil up.

I keep telling Tyler that if I win the lotto I'm opening a Mexican Restaurant where the old Warehouse was .. with a Mariachi band and everything! I didn't know how much I missed the waltz+accordion sounds that made up Mexican music until I walked through Pak n Save tonight and heard E I Po by Prince Tui Teka.

My favourite Mexican song by Pepe Aguilar.

First time I heard it we were sitting in Que Rico in Palmdale, CA waiting for our burritos. That day I had just received the news that Immigration was kicking me out of the country for not getting paper work in on time. When the song came on and I asked you what it meant, it was like it was meant to be.

Me vas a extrañar.
"You're going to miss me".
How perfect right?

3 days later I received another letter saying, "So sorry, we got your paper work. Welcome to the United States of America! Here's your green card".

I'm glad I never ever ever have to deal with the Immigration service of any country ever again .. unless I decide to make a US Citizen out of Hubba.

Me vas a extrañar.
Para siempre.

Monday, March 25, 2013


The worst part about easter is the reminder that 2 weeks later, term 1 ends and school holidays begin.

School holidays = circus.

This year is going too fast.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Renal Technician

Browsing through jobs on offer in The Bay from bed this morning, my stomach moved into my mouth when I saw this listed and as much as I want to do it, because its what we had talked about all last year, I'm so so nervous. It's an answer to a prayer I prayed for last year.

Rob is the contact. It's that easy.

Update 1:37am.
Got out of bed and emailed Rob.
I'm quite emotional about this.
It felt right to email him and at least ask for more information.
My attitude that the health system here failed you remains, but again, this feels like an answer to a prayer whispered early last year.

Miss you much.

I started to feel it creeping up on me during the evening.
It's strange how quickly you spiral after doing so well.
It's just an unpleasant reminder that today marks 4 months without you.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rugby Saturday

I typically take near 200 photos at a rugby game.
Today I took 22 .. and 4 of them were of the kids playing around behind us.
I have no faith in this years team (yet). Again, one coach circled the field and said jack-all, and the other is - so say the backs - trying to teach the team old tricks. We conform when new techniques are hatched, it hasn't been 1995 for nearly 20 years. These guys aren't talking to eachother, at all.
Come on.

This guys Dad is coach.
Neither he or his brothers go to training (so far).
If you don't go to training, you don't get a game.
That's the rule anyway.

Brother on the wing - not his normal position or code.
He's a center .. in league.

Carlos & Darrell.

They beat Marist 15 - 10. That's not a good score because Marist had a cabbage team. With that kind of margin, there were no winners.

I'm sorry, but last years coach needs to come back and show these fools how it's done. First game of the season next Friday against CHB.
... I'm still shaking my head.

Super Rugby:
Crusaders vs the new team tonight, Kings who hail from Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Crusaders got this.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Excuse her lisp, but she really is fantastic singing "Clarry's song".

"The day we met, frozen I held my breath"

"All of my doubts suddenly goes away somehow .. One step closer, I have died every day waiting for you. Darling don't be afraid I have loved you ..."
Excuse the iPod quality video.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 117

Spent the day at Mums with the ever growing farm Jeston began.
Here's Hubba with Storm.

Our pet monkey Nganz.

The Rabbit, who is very tiny, Spiderman.

Tyler's 3rd car in less than 1 year and it's easily the worst one out of the 3 she's had.


Both are being trained to be pig hunting dogs.
My brother was born a farmer. Rural life suits him.
We'll welcome 4 chickens into the zoo tomorrow.

Not pictured, Batman the goat and Floyd II the budgie.

Tender mercies.

I like dreaming and because of the medication I take that has a hyptnotic effect, I always dream. Very rarely are you in my dream and I try to remember as much as I can because I utilise

In last nights dream you had gone somewhere suddenly, much like real life, but death wasn't the feeling I got. You had just gone somewhere - back to the USA for work? I tried calling you on your old US cellphone number, but there was never an answer. I decided to write to you in a book and send the book to you. I wrote a paragraph asking where you were, if you were ok and if there was anything I could do to get you back here with me, because I need you.

If you've seen The Lake with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, it was a little like that. The message I got back from you was that you were sorry, that you never meant to leave suddenly and that you are always with me. Always.

It's the same message you gave my sister the morning of the 25th.

Sister drove straight down from Auckland the day of the 24th. Since we had you in the lounge of my parents place, I decided to sleep in the lounge right by the coffin and sister joined me on the couch on the other side of the coffin. It was a night where we both kept waking up because the lights kept dimming.

Sister woke up during the night and happened to look over to where I was. To her surprise, there you were sitting at the foot of your coffin, watching me sleep. She told me it scared her and she hid under the blankets and peeked out again to still see you there.

You called her what only you have ever called her. Mrs. Armstrong. In the morning she told me you told her to tell me you were sorry, that you were happy and that you will always be with me. I needed to hear that and prehaps she needed to experience it and not me.

I have to admit. Most nights I lay in bed awake waiting for you to appear, but I know you have better things to do and I know that even though we discussed 'visiting eachother', it would scare the hell out of me.

Eventually you figure out it's a dream when you see yourself in the mirror and you're Alicia Keys.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Reading & Music.

It's raining today.
We've been home all day.

Figured out the other day that I can't concentrate when reading a book unless there's music blaring in my ears and I'm currently reading 2 books.

Since Richie McCaws book is all about rugby games and the build up to the ultimate RWC 2011 win, hearing Cee-Lo Greens "Forget you" in my ears during a downer game fits nicely.

But there's something wrong when King Benjamin is talking to his people in Mosiah where he announces his son as the next king of Zarahemla AND Lady Gaga's "Telephone" match up nicely.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Much needed rain waltzed into the Bay today. It's not going to be enough to do anything good for anyone unless it downpours all night and all day tomorrow. The tomatillos popped up this year from Jan 2012s seedlings. I think they're confused because by the time they're ready to pick and be useful, they'll have frost bite.
The storm system that bypassed us and moved over Havelock North.

Ngawi and Hubba at Family Home Evening tonight.


This game was awesome.
Ball in a long sock wrapped around your waist .. you pretty much play hockey with your hips and it's hard not to use inappropriate words even at family home evening. I recommend everyone play it with their family.

Happy Anniversary to Sister & Joel who got hitched 7 years ago.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of when Poppa died. 10 years.
Miss my SG.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pre-Season game.

Towing my camera and lens across a field only to find I forgot my compact flash card. No photos today, but it's ok .. it was a boring game apart from a nice dummy pass by the local South African and a try.

MAC lost 17 - 20 and that score isn't bad.

My only complaint is .. there are too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Perhaps if the team stopped telling eachother what to do and work together, it would not have been a loss. Lucky these next few games are tests and don't count towards the final tally, but if it's any indication of the season ahead, they're going to need Jesus.

As for the manangement.
One wasn't there and the other did circles around the field not saying much as he passed our half.
Early days.

The opposing team was Guildfords home team. After his stand down he's been welcomed back into the open arms of the Crusaders, who play tonight. The loss could have been worse had he been playing today. He's a fantastic drunk, but he's an even better rugby player (especially when running with Dagg).

Saturday in March.

Still miss you every day. You're on my mind always and my emotions play bi-polar ping pong all the time depending on what I’m doing. Yesterday I had to pick Tyler up from her date in town and it was dark and the baby had opted to stay with Ngawi.

The drive alone bought back the memory of the drive to the hospital the morning you passed and how I begged “Please, not yet” the whole way to the hospital. It was the longest trip I’d ever taken.

I hated the reminder of it lastnight.

Pre-season game this afternoon.
MAC vs Tech.
We'll see how the new management pans out.
Going by training sessions and player reports, my faith is still on platform 9 3/4 waiting to board.
They came 7th on the tables last year of 10.
If it all falls apart this year, Hello Havelock.

Friday, March 15, 2013


With the girls.
Rome started school last week. I asked her yesterday if she falls asleep in class and if she does, where does she sleep. She responded that she just sleeps on the floor in her classroom. Larell starts school up in Auckland next week. Ngawi in June (good luck to that teacher) and Zion in September.

It's a great day in The Bay today. The weather is doing it's magic by rounding up summer and welcoming autumn. A good day for laundry and that's how we'll spend our day in Rural Hawkes Bay.

That rhymed.
I should be a rapper.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Greetings from Earth.

Watching TV tonight I came across the latest Warehouse commercial where they advised, "Spend less on what you need so you can spend more on what you want". That's the most stupidest thing I've heard all week and I thought nothing could top my brothers billy goat they got this week and named Batman.

Then lastnight there were lights in the skies over Hawkes Bay.

It's funny that despite the great technology we have in cameras and HD Camcorders, we still manage to get pictures that make you think twice. Dunno why it was hovering over Flaxmere of all places .. did their google maps not tell them the promised land was 5ks south-west in PA?

Then theres our baby cooking.
We'll call her (please-please-please-fingers-crossed) LC - obviously!
Sister will roast her till mid September.

She's number 16 .. but I did see a preying mantis on Tuesday and the only one I can think of is Michelle.
Only time will tell.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

An overshare.

Hubba completed a transaction in the potty. Success!! (Número dos).

Totally would have taken a photo if it wasn't so gross.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Christine Part II & Dialysis.

Regarding this post.

Two Christines were in hospital that week. A Mary-Christine, who had passed a few days earlier, and the actual Christine. After questioning a friend who worked in the hospital, she confirmed that Christine Doole was in the room across the hall, which is seperated by the ward reception area, from yours and was the Christine who visited you that night because she mentioned to you she had a sore foot and said friend mentioned her foot problems too.

Although taken back by her visit, I know you enjoyed it and what you two discussed was something you needed to hear.

I gasped when I saw her obituary in the newspaper last week, but what made it even more emotional was that you got her for your birthday. 7th here is the 6th in the US.
A technicality.

I hope she bought you cake.
I hope you get to teach her what we know to be true.

Re: Dialysis.
I've heard news of a few dialysis buddies of yours. One got a kidney transplant and one had his fistula installed. He is on haemo until he qualifies for a transplant.

I wish you met Kath's husband Mike. His Mum passed a few weeks ago and had only been on haemo for 2 weeks.

The Ballantyne House dialysis unit looks fantastic. It's still not complete.

Playing with smoke.

These are the kind of things you do on a boring Monday.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Back in August on our anniversary, I posted the following status on Facebook (I know, I hate to love FB too).

So when Tyler gave me Richie McCaws book for my birthday, a book I'd been wanting since Christmas but was too expensive, I was one happy birthday guy.

Switched covers this morning before I went to church. Replaced the cover with 'Temples of the Lord', which fit perfectly. I planned to read it during church, but I was too busy. Did the same thing a few years ago with Deathly Hallows and said Avada Kedavra instead of Amen after a prayer.

I've always enjoyed rugby. Aunty Marva was a rugby nut, but since having to pay $40 per game (pay-per-view) during the 2003 and 2007 RWC, I learned to love it. I had to justify that much money spent per game somehow.

I'm in a few chapters of the book, but the second chapter in particular, The Wrong Picture, talked about the All Blacks game against France during the 2007 quarter-finals. They totally lost the game because of a cabbage ref and a forward pass that went unnoticed, but there's a paragraph in that chapter that took my breath away as I read it because it summed up, in one paragraph, the emotion that is a rugby game.

"That's our game. That's what we resolve to do. Impose our style. Keep the ball, hurt them, don't let them breathe, be relentless, take their resolve away from them, find out whether they really want to be out there with us for every second of these last 40 minutes, being stretched, compressed, shunted, battered, pummelled, having their lungs seared, their bodies bruised, their confidence overrun with rats of doubt in the face of our indomitable desire to beat them"

Unfortunately, Richie took a sabbatical for 6 months and his Super Rugby team the Crusaders are feeling it because they suck this year. In chapter 4, Big Sky, he talks about his love for flying and details the perfect atmospheric conditions to go gliding.  

"But if you fall into the cold sea air coming off the west coast, you won't get enough height to get home". 

The Crusaders have been basking in that cold sea air for the last 4 weeks. Dude needs to come back and remind his team of how and why he won RWC 2011.  

Could also be Guildfords absence, but that's his own fault.

All is well.

There's nothing like a little drama in your life that gives you a gentle reminder to suck it up and push along.

It was time.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Birth Day.

It started off ok.
It ended like crap .. either way, I'm 34 25.

We had dinner at my Mums .. 11 of our 15 kids were there driving me bongos.
My sister came down from Auckland with her crew.
Two of three brothers already live here ..
.. that equals 11 kids of 15.
Look at hubba at the end (right) .. she's the cutest of them all. 

If the birthday Santa were real, I would have wished for 220k to buy back our families old home section that went up for sale yesterday. It's been out of the family for years .. it's time to come back.

Lotto night tomorrow.
I told my Mum that if I ever win lotto, I'm moving this house to her back doorstep so we can be neighbors for life.

Miss you this year.
If theres any a good time to have you here, it's right now.
I understand there will be alot of these moments and I'll hate each one equally.

Summer part 2

Nessa envisioned this shoot with my nephew Ellis. They pulled it all together very well. Hubs was supposed to be in it, but got stage fright...