My Father’s Wooden Toys: Enduring Love

Dad & toys 1 (640x493)

Good morning from another sunny Hastings day.

As promised I am showing of the toys that my father makes and sells at the local markets around here.  He is very popular as his work is so detailed and solid wooden toys are always in demand.

As far back as I can remember Dad was making models – I remember model planes hanging up in his workroom.  Since retirement he has taken this creativity to a new level.  First he did wood turning, making clocks and bowls and even pens.  Then when that got too much for him he turned to the scroll saw (fret saw) and makes these wooden toys.

He is meticulous with his attention to detail.  That logging truck is articulated and comes apart.  He puts side mirrors up and look at all the horns on top.

Logging truck 1 (640x416)

Logging truck (493x640)

Logging truck 4 (640x489)

Toys from the back (354x640)

This is what he wanted me to take photos of to send to Mum’s cousins in Canada.  I used his camera for that, but couldn’t resist taking my own.

Dad & toys (565x640)

In the front are some trains he made as well.

Vintage car1 (434x640)

He does paint his toys, but not very often.

Vintage car (640x375)

He loves doing these old vintage cars.

Dad's toys (640x432)

At the market on Saturday.  In the front is an alphabet train.  He can make up names – this one is Christine.

Dad's toys 2 (640x453)

Mum and Dad 1 (447x640)

This last photo is for Nancy’s challenge:

My parents have been married for 54 years – in fact they had just celebrated their 54th year last month.

They married when Mum was 18 and Dad, 21 despite much opposition from my grandmother, who predicted this marriage wouldn’t last.

Now they couldn’t live without each other.  Mum was such a domineering person who ran the household so it is very hard to see her slide into Alzheimer’s.  She refuses to see a doctor now and absolutely will not move into a smaller, safer house.  She keeps buying food that no-one eats as she forgets that they only need to feed the two of them.  So she is hoarding food in the spare bedroom. She is not ready to go into assisted living as she is still able to function ok.

Dad has had a rough year too.  He was in Wellington hospital at the beginning of the year to have stents put in and spent over 5 weeks in hospital.  Mum did cope on her own with my help for a couple of those weeks but fretted so much without Dad and Dad really missed her. So in the space of a couple of hours I had Mum packed up and on a flight down to Wellington.  Once Mum got near Dad she improved, and Dad improved too.

Then they got news that Dad was supposed to be coming back so Mum was sent back.  This time, though I stayed with Mum.  It was weird as when she first came back she was good.  Then the longer the separation from Dad, the worse she got again. It was a relief when Dad was finally transferred back up to Hawke’s Bay again. Her whole day revolved around her visit to Dad.

Since then Dad has been in and out of hospital and was really sick at one stage.  Mum coped well on her own and spent most of the day at the hospital.  She doesn’t eat or drink when left alone so Dad would share his lunch with her so he knew that she would get something to eat and drink.

I have tried several times to get different agencies in to help them.  They turned them away as they had their own routine and didn’t want to or couldn’t upset it.  Dad is determined to look after Mum on his own.  After 54 years together they need each other and support one another.  One concession they have made is to allow someone to come in once a week for an hour to clean the house.

Dad frets about what will happen with Mum without him.  I told him, not to worry as I will look after her.    Dad’s father died of a broken heart after my grandmother died.  The same thing will happen with both of them.

Having had two failed marriages myself it is nice to see the way my parents look after each other even with their problems.  I have witnessed so many touching moments between them, when one is sick. To me, that is enduring love.

Thanks for visiting.



Travel Theme: A Birds Eye view of Cape Kidnappers

Above (640x485)

For this week Ailsa has gone for above, showing photos looking down from above your image.

Travel theme: Above

Trawling through my archives I found this photo of a lone seagull above looking over towards Cape Kidnappers where there is a large gannet colony

The headland was named after an attempt by local Māori to abduct the servant of a member of Captain Cook‘s crew aboard HMSEndeavour, during a landfall there on 15 October 1769. The crew member was Tiata, a Tahitian accompanying Cook’s interpreterTupaia. Cook’s journal states that Tiata was in the water near Endeavour when a Māori fishing boat pulled alongside and dragged him aboard. Sailors from Endeavour′s deck immediately opened fire on the fishing boat, killing two Māori and wounding a third.[1]Tiata promptly jumped overboard and swam back to Endeavour, while the remaining Māori paddled their craft back to shore. A 4-pounder cannon was fired after them from Endeavour′s quarterdeck, but the Māori boat was soon out of range.[1] Cook described the cape as having steep white cliffs on either side, with two large rocks resembling hay stacks near the headland.[1]

Important Bird Area

The cape has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because it is a breeding site for over 3000 pairs ofAustralasian Gannets.[2]

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Daily Post: Converge

Converge (506x640)

Good morning from sunny cool Hastings day.

Yesterday I had to go and help my father sell his wooden toys at a market in Napier so here is my post today.  I will post photos tomorrow of his work.  He is very talented and does well selling his toys.  My mother is not really helpful with money but enjoys meeting people, even if she says the same thing 20 times in an hour.  But she is proud of what Dad does and that is what counts.

So the Daily Post prompt is converge.

This week, explore the ways lines and shapes can converge in interesting ways through photography. You can take the theme in a literal or an abstract direction, as you see fit — from a photo of a byroad merging into a busy highway to an image of an airport terminal where people from all over the world form hectic, ephemeral communities.

 I decided to use nature to show how these native fern leaves converge at the top.

What’s That? The Sun..?

Converging on South Molton Street


WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge Converge

View to the Buffers

WPC: Converge

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Thanksgiving (640x477)

I want to wish all my American blogging friends a Happy Thanksgiving.

I want to thank you for all your support over this year.  It hasn’t been an easy year for me but your support has really lifted me up.  I am really grateful to everyone.

Thank you so much for visiting and liking my blog this year.  It means a lot.


Floral Friday: African Violets

African violet 1 (640x473)

Good morning from another warm/hot Hastings day.

This is confusing I know, but we are now into Friday while those in America are celebrating Thanksgiving.

I am trying to learn a little more about the flowers I photograph.  I don’t have a green thumb and am totally ignorant about anything with petals.

These african violets were shot at the plant house at Cornwall Park.  They are gorgeous and so many different colours and types.

They will always remind me of my mother as she has had them as house plants for many years.

So here is some info from Wikipedia:

Saintpaulias, commonly known as African violets, are a genus of 6–20 species of herbaceous perennial flowering plants in the familyGesneriaceae, native to Tanzania and adjacent southeastern Kenya in eastern tropical Africa. Typically the African violet is a common household indoor plant but can also be an outdoor plant. Several of the species and subspecies are endangered, and many more are threatened, due to their native cloud forest habitats being cleared for agriculture. Saintpaulia Ionantha has been classed as Near Threatened.

Saintpaulias, which grow from 6–15 cm tall, can be anywhere from 6–30 cm wide. The leaves are rounded to oval, 2.5–8.5 cm long with a 2–10 cm petiole, finely hairy, and have a fleshy texture. The flowers are 2–3 cm in diameter, with a five-lobed velvety corolla (“petals”), and grow in clusters of 3–10 or more on slender stalks called peduncles. Wild species can have violet, purple, pale blue, or whiteflowers.[citation needed]


Plants can be classified as one of several sizes based on its above-ground diameter. Although the size per category is not set in stone, these are a general guideline.[1][2]

  • Micro: less than 3 inches
  • Super-mini: 3 to 4 inches
  • Mini: between 4 to 6 inches
  • Semi-mini: between 6 to 8-10 inches
  • Standard: between 8-10 to 12-16 inches
  • Large/Giant: over 12-16 inches

The plants get their common name “African violet” from their superficial resemblance to true violets (Viola, family Violaceae).

The genus is named after Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire (1860–1910), the district commissioner of Tanga province who discovered the plant in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in Africa in 1892 and sent seeds back to his father, an amateur botanist in Germany. Two British plant enthusiasts, Sir John Kirk and Reverend W.E. Taylor, had earlier collected and submitted specimens to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in 1884 and 1887 respectively, but the quality of specimens was insufficient to permit scientific description at that time. The genus Saintpaulia, and original species S. ionantha, were scientifically described by H. Wendland in 1893.[6]

There. I have learnt something new today.

A couple more photos.

African violet 2 (640x473)

African violet. (640x473)

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Cee’s Fun Fotos: Joints

Art Deco joints

This is my entry for Cee’s challenge:

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Joints and/or Things You Enjoy

I love this Art Deco bronze.  It originally belonged to my parents and last year they gave it to me.  Every time I went to visit them I always admired it.

I chose this photo for several reasons:

1. I love Art Deco and participating in the Art Deco activities in February over in Napier as well as here in Hastings.

2. Look at all her joints – knee, ankles, elbow and shoulders.

3. I love taking photos, but also the editing.  This has been edited with GIMP and Photoscape.

Creativity and Connectivity

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Joints




One Word Photo Challenge: Lemon

Lemons 2 (640x477)

Good morning from a cooler and grey Hastings day.  Yesterday we reached the promised 30 degree heat and it was not pleasant at all working in my mother’s garden.  I had not realised just how much she has let it go.  The weeds were nearly as tall as me.  At least we worked in the patio in the shade.  My son has to go over again to do some more.  In the heat it is best to do it in small doses.

Me? I had a photographic assignment for my father inside.  One day I will post some of his work that he does.  Then of course I spent some time going around their garden taking photos.  Not to mention an update of Missy and Abbey, their pets.

Anyway Jennifer has asked us for lemon photos.

One Word Photo Challenge: Lemon

So I went out and found these lemons hanging over the fence.  It was windy which made taking photos a challenge.

lemons (497x640)

Then I found this flower at my parents.  My mother couldn’t remember the name of it.

lemon 3 (497x640)

lemon 4 (640x477)


One Word Photo Challenge: Lemon

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Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge: A model cat

IMG_0634 (640x466)g

Good morning from a warm muggy Wednesday here in Hastings.

Yesterday we reached 27 degrees celsius – don’t ask what that is in fahrenheit but it was hot and muggy.  Today it is expected to get to 30 degrees celsius.  Just as my children and I will be going to my parents to clear up their garden which is our Christmas present to them.  They have everything they need, and anyway I can’t afford to buy much so a working bee is always a good thing.  We did this last year as well.  I will be hunting Abbey and Missy for more photos for this challenge.

This beauty lived on a corner property and always looked out for me when I walked past.  This particular day it just sat on a small shed and just posed and posed.  I took a lot of photos that day.

IMG_0635 (640x466)

IMG_0633 (640x466)


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One Four Challenge: Week 4

On four challenge (640x579)

Welcome to this new challenge by Robyn at Captivate Me

At her blog you will find out more about participating in this challenge.  It is about having fun with editing.  Which I most certainly do.

This first image is from Week 1.

Snapseed edit (640x466)

Week 2 was edited in Snapseed.

Photoshop express edit 1.4 (640x466)

Week 3 was edited in Photoshop Express with the carmine filter.

Distressed FX edit (640x466)

And for my final edit I went to Distressed FX to give it some warmer tones.

And here is the original image:

On four challenge (640x470)

As you can see it has changed a fair bit from the original.

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.”

Neil Gaiman

Here are some of the other great works of art to check out.

I have tried to add a poll so we will see if I am successful.


Thanks for visiting.


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