Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

When I go out at night my husband angrily refuses to look after the kids so I get my friend to babysit them in our house.
He always says he is not a babysitter.
Our kids are four and seven.
My friend thinks he is cruel as he won’t interact the kids,  he sits on his computer playing games all night.
He goes to the gym four nights a week so I feel I should be allowed to go out once a week for a couple of hours.
What do you think?

Aunty S responds

When a mother cares for her children it is called parenting.
When a father cares for his children it is  called parenting.
Babysitting is when an outside party comes into your home to care for the children.
As he is a disinterested father you are doing the right thing by having a trusted friend babysit them.
They are safe in her care my dear so keep with the status quo.
You look after yourself and keep being a good responsible mother.


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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

I have a wonderful daughter in law and a useless son.
He divorced her when the kids were little as he couldn’t stand being tied down.
He has never visited them or asked after them.
My daughter in law has a male friend and he is so kind to her and the kids.
She recently told my daughter in confidence that he wants to marry her but she will not marry him or live with him as she is scared I will be angry with her and walk out of their lives.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
How do I tell her I would be overjoyed if she marries this man without betraying my daughter?

Aunty S responds

Take her out to lunch and out of the blue tell her how happy you are that she has found such a great man and how you will be even happier if they marry.
Try to look a little surprised when she says he has already asked her and then follow on with saying how she deserves all the happiness in the world, etc.
You are a treasure my dear.

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My brother’s wife is having an affair and he is unaware.

He works away to make money for a house deposit, she only goes home when he arrives home for the weekend, her boyfriend has already left his wife and rents an apartment where they live during the week.

I asked her why she is doing this and she said it was none of my business so do I tell him or do I let him find out the hard way?

I am so distressed by all this as I know my brother will be devastated as he really loves her.

Aunty S responds

Of course it’s your business, he is your brother!

Tell him now as there is no time to waste.

Of course he will be heartbroken but if he finds out further down the track that you were aware and didn’t tell him… betrayed he will feel…

Trust me I have seen far too many folk  sit on the fence in similar situations with shattering consequences. 

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Joys of the Common Cold

Well here we are ..the time of the year when the common cold virus is prevalent.
Even though the common cold is a dreadful virus it far better to endure than influenza.
A couple of weeks ago this dreaded common cold attacked Sam and then last Friday I succumbed.
I couldn’t lift my  head of the pillow for two days and now l resemble a hunter who has been beaten up by a bear.
I look dreadful, so dreadful.
I was forced to hang towels over all the mirrors in our home as I was starting to scare myself.

I struggled out yesterday to get some Panadeine as this is the only medication that works for me and a few essential groceries.
The only painkillers in the house were paracetamol which works for the rest of my family when on death’s door but not me.
As I struggled through Super Value, horribly embarrassed at being there, as the staff must want to throttle people like me, spreading their germs to all and sundry.
I mumbled I was a bit crook and sped like a lunatic around the shop so was out in a few minutes.
I nearly forgot Dave’s booze as he was delivering some last minute Granny Smith orders for us.
The orders came through just before we closed for the Season and they were quite happy to wait for Dave to deliver them as he comes through to Central once a month.
He gets booze this end for his trouble and cakes at the other end.
A very happy man.

I collapsed in bed when I got home.
Sam gently scolded me when he discovered I had been shopping as he had strictly told me in the morning that he would get anything I needed.
Such a good son.

It struck Ruby yesterday and today she looks like she has been beaten up by my bear but after some paracetamol she says she is ready for work albeit slowly.    Belle hasn’t succumbed yet and hopefully she won’t.
She has an amazing immune system……my dear gorgeous little Belle.
On a brighter note, whilst in bed last night, the phone went and on the end of the line was a dear old family friend.
He was having a boring night as there was nothing to watch on TV so thought a yarn with his old mate Sandra was just what the Doctor ordered.

After realising I was at death’s door, he went on to tell me, whiskey is the elixir of life and is maliciously misrepresented as it saves lives when the common cold or influenza strikes so how could it be evil!
I have heard this story hundreds of times with  a little bit more information added on each time yet I still smile at his quick wit.
Once he realised I didn’t have long for this world, he offered to drive up with a bottle.
I declined his gracious offer.
He then admitted that he may have drunk a wee bit too much for him to get behind the wheel of his car BUT could courier me up a  bottle or two the next day.
I again declined.

At sixty-three I feel I may be a bit too old to take up the joyful art of drinking booze.
But then again he is well in his eighties so he just may be drinking a longevity liquid.
I bought him a breathalyser for his last birthday which he loves.
Not that he has ever driven drunk, he would never dream of it as this is one subject that gets him angry.
He shops once every few weeks and when he decides the day, he stops drinking at 5pm the night before and only starts the car up at 2pm.
This dear man does no harm to anyone; is kind, funny, thoughtful, lonely at times, highly intelligent, doesn’t suffer fools gladly, non-judgemental, grows wonderful veggies,  and I am proud to call him my friend.

Sadly there are those who call him “the old drunk”.

Shame on them.




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Time for a Laugh

Okay… we all need a laugh or inspiration….














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Ask Aunty S

Dear Aunty S

My four year old daughter doesn’t talk, wets her pants and the bed, is very nervous.
Up until two weeks ago she was cared for in our home by a close friend who is experienced in childcare.
As we work long hours we thought it best to have in-house childcare and our close friend applied for the job.
I arranged for our daughter to be tested by a Specialist and he found nothing wrong with her which seemed strange so we set up a spy camera in our house never expecting on seeing anything amiss.
After the first day of surveillance, we sacked our friend as all we saw was her being on the phone all day or playing games on it. She constantly told our daughter to “shut up and watch TV” and when it came to snacks and lunch, she threw the food at her. She never once spoke to her. She invited her friends over during that one day and their kids treated our daughter appallingly.  She was cowering in the corner, as she was so frightened.  I still cry thinking about it.
I have quit my job and am trying to repair the damage done to her.
The guilt we feel is horrendous.
How do I build up her shattered confidence as I am struggling with what to do?

Aunty S responds

You extracted your daughter from the care of this vile woman the minute you found out what she was up to so to me you are a wonderful compassionate mother.
As you live in close proximity to a huge park and the beach, buy an age appropriate Bird Identification book and a pair of child binoculars and go  bird-watching.

Collect shells, build sand castles, swim, laugh, have picnic lunches.
Go shopping together.
Interact with her on a continual basis.
Tell her she is a wonderful daughter and how much you love her.
Talk about your ex-friend. Ask her how she feels about her now.  Is she frightened of her?
If she is, tell her she never has to see her again.

Validate how she feels….she has every right to be angry, hurt, sad, worried, frightened.
Make her feel special….buy a kids joke book and tell jokes…sing together.

Don’t force other kids on her…she needs to have her confidence built up first before she can feel comfortable with others.
Embrace everyday with a passion.
Talk and read to her on a continuous basis.

She has been conditioned to watching TV alone so make sure this never happens again. Always sit down and watch it together. It will be a great opportunity to bond.
Read age appropriate books to her off and on during the day…..make the books come alive with wit and laughter, and read to her overnight before she nods off.
As your husband enjoys fishing, buy a rod for you and your daughter as well and make fishing a family outing whenever possible.

Don’t worry; her confidence will be built up by the time she goes to school.

I am only a click away.

Garden photos – Spring of 2017

During the winter months I had grandiose plans of completing many of my unfinished projects which included the pile of decoupage artwork sitting on my desk gathering dust, editing hundreds of Aunty S letters for public posting, and of course writing my blog, which had to be put on the back burner due to other commitments.

Life just got in the way!
Anyhow I am back and here are some photos of my garden taken taken over the past couple of months.
We live in paradise here on the Orchard. Some folk love an ocean or lake view from their home…..not us……it’s all about a having a home in a garden setting.
And by the way I enjoy receiving my Aunty S correspondence and even though I have been negligent in editing and posting online, I have and always will reply personally.
Editing ensures your privacy is kept intact.



























































Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My flatmate is a slob and I want him to move out but his name is on the lease with mine so I am stuck with him for the next two years.
How do I make him clean up after himself?

Aunty S responds

You both have well paying jobs so the answer is easy.
Hire a cleaner to come in on Mondays and Fridays.
There is plenty to select from in your area so start dialling.


Dear Aunty S

I was a widow for a couple of years and remarried a few months ago but  am desperately unhappy.
Loneliness was the reason I chose this man as he was so attentive and kind but it was an act as he is vulgar and lazy.
I moved into his house and he has been putting pressure on me to sell mine and do his up.
He yells at me all the time, criticises my cooking and is just horrible.
He says he will go for half my house and money if I leave.
His house isn’t worth much so I know he will want half my money and house.
We are already sleeping apart and all I want to do is go home but my son says I’ll embarrass myself if I don’t give this marriage a go.
My daughters want me to leave and will help me do so.
I never rented my house so I can walk back in.
I left a beautiful home and gardens and I miss them so much.
I feel like such an old fool.
What do you think I should do?

Aunty S responds

Don’t stay another minute my darling.
Ring your girls and get out of there as soon as you can. You haver been married for five minutes so he has no legal claim on your house or money.
This sounds like a bullying tactic to make you stay.
A letter from your Lawyer will put paid to this nonsense.
Hold your head up high and don’t look back.
Your son is being a silly boy but  I am sure he will calm down in time.
Time for you to take charge of your life.
Join a club or a group in your town,  I checked them out and have sent you a list.
Hire a local gardener to tidy up your garden and get your life back to how it used to be.
Keep in touch.


Dear Aunty S

My son’s wife doesn’t bake and hardly ever cooks a meal.  She hints that she’d like me to do it as I live next door.   I ignore the hints.
My son works hard and ends up having to cook at night most nights.
How do I make him realise she is just being lazy as she has a job which isn’t that physical.
My son misses my baking and meals so I am worried about him.

Aunty S responds

Why don’t you take her up on her hints and bake for them and how about making meals for them as well.
You could make a one dish meal which could be reheated or make a meat and veggie option which could be plated up and frozen if need be or popped in their fridge for reheating when they get home.
A friend of mine does this for her son and daughter-in-law as they both work.
She is paid enough to cover the groceries and power and thoroughly enjoys helping her boy.
A lot of folk don’t like baking and cooking, I have found  a lot of the time it has nothing to do with being lazy.
Your daughter-in-law will be the mother of your future grandchildren so this gesture may help build a strong bond between you.


Dear Aunty S

My new boyfriend’s sister doesn’t like me and only invites my boyfriend to her parties.
He always insists on taking me which annoys her as she never speaks to me.
He is oblivious to all this.
Should I tell him?

Aunty S responds

I wouldn’t mention it my dear.
His sister is either a control freak or a sister who knows her brother has been hurt before so is not warming to you until she sees you are worthy of him.
Once she sees you are definitely making him happy she will probably warm to you.
Give it a month and if this hasn’t happened, write in again and I’ll give you Plan B.

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November 9

Another year knocked off.

Sixty-two today.

No changes to my body as of yet but am expecting another wrinkle or two around the eyes or possibly the neck over the next couple of days but am prepared for it; Nivea Crème is at the ready!

During old age many folk shrink but I am prepared for this body change as well; I bought some high boots a couple of weeks ago which I now wear with pride everyday and to my surprise they are really comfy.

And to think I had surmised I would have to suffer for style.


There is a slight issue with getting out of them at the end of the day, but thankfully someone is always on hand to assist me with the extraction.

Fortunately for me getting into them is an actual breeze!


These old age changes, I call,
“What the hell is going to happen next?”


On a serious note, I have never worried about the aging process, as many of the folk whom I have loved or cared for, have left Planet Earth which makes me sad, especially on Birthdays and Anniversaries.


My 25th Wedding Anniversary was yesterday so every year I have two memory filled days, one after another, to contend with which can be a wee bit difficult at times.

Every year I tell myself I will cope better this time round, but of course, I am proved wrong.

Memories can either make you happy or sad or both.

In my case, both emotions kick in.

My 62nd Birthday was celebrated in Queenstown on Monday; before my memory packed days; with my lovely family.

We laughed and smiled all day.

Everyday I count my blessings.


Here is a selection of photos taken over the past couple of weeks of my garden, West Coast and Queenstown.

And my wonderful family, Sam, Ruby & Aunty Belle

























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12 August

My stance on bullying is well known so imagine my surprise when I received the following.

After checking the validity, I decided to post it but understand before you read it; it is a very raw condensed account of a bully’s life so if you have been a victim/target of a bully you may find it a bit distressing.


Dear Sandra

I was a Sophomore when I became a bully and thirty-nine when I quit, after an epiphany when my son, a Senior, targeted another student and bullied him mercilessly to the brink of suicide.

Fortunately another boy, who had been off school for a month, on his first day back, challenged my son in front of the class as common sense told him it was a pack of lies.

This boy took the matter to the Principal, Head Teacher and the School Counselor and within minutes of them talking to my son later that day, he crumpled and tearfully admitted what he had done.

Due to the severity of the bullying, the Police were brought in and before charges were laid, he was expelled from school.

My son was very fortunate to have been challenged and to his credit, his tears were genuine, as the reality of what he had done had sunk in.


My tears were only ever crocodile ones, always at the ready to manipulate a situation.

My years of bullying began when one evening I decided to skip my homework so the next day when I was asked to produce it, I burst into tears and blubbered how an older boy had thrown my homework out the school bus window, while telling me I would get a hiding if I told on him.

The Teacher was outraged and hauled the boy out of his class, and marched him into ours, demanding he apologized to me.

He refused and tried to tell how I was lying but it fell on deaf ears. The Teacher then sent him to the Principal.


This incident started me on the road to becoming a bully; a gullible teacher believing me without checking facts and as I had always sat behind the driver, a quick check with him would have seen my story fall apart.


By the time I left High School I was an accomplished bully, I was well skilled in choosing the most gullible to manipulate; they were my lackeys ready to spread whatever I told them.

Isolating my victims with lies and innuendo was how I would gain the control.

There is a misconception that victims of bullies are weak, none of mine were.

Throughout the years I manipulated the firing of co-workers, destroyed marriages, destroyed my own brother’s marriage by telling him a story how his wife had come on to me, the list goes on for miles.

Shortly after my son was expelled, we moved to another State as our town was not forgiving of what my son had done.

It’s been eight years since my life changed for the better but I will live with the shame of my actions and that of my son’s for the rest of my life.

Keep exposing bullies Sandra, you may save a life or lives.