Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Thundies at Heart Felt!

You must go and visit Heart Felt and enter Jannelle's most fantastical competition to win Thundies for your lovely children! Thundies are AWESOME.  

Quick, go there now! 


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's Better to be Together!

Have a read of Stella's post here - then join the facebook group here! 

I can't believe most hospitals still make new Dads go home, leaving exhausted and overwhelmed new Mums to figure everything out alone. Thank goodness that isn't the case where we live, but the other DHBs really need to get on board. 

Thank you!! xx

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mud, Glorious Mud!

Fabulous things to do on warm afternoons number one:

Dig up one small boys 'garden' (more like a sandpit, but with dirt rather than sand), pour in a few buckets full of water (saved from the shower, for conservation purposes!), mix with a shovel, splash about to your hearts' content. Oh yeah. 

Yes, wearing a pretty dress even though I'm ankle deep in mud. I figure why have them if I'm not going to wear them - and it's not like we don't have a washing machine! 


Mmmm, ice blocks!

I Love Fruit Tea. It makes the loveliest cold drink, and it makes spectacular ice blocks that don't have any sugar in them, so don't make a huge sticky mess. So wonderful! So yummy! Today's ice block is made from Healtheries grape and pomegranate tea :) 

I plan on doing a little foraging about in my garden and seeing which herbs might make for a lovely iceblock. I'm thinking some kind of ginger beer & mint mix could be super tasty...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How To Be An Artist

I love this. My sister used to have it on a poster when we were kids, then I borrowed a couple of books from my lovely friend, Megan, by the same lady (who goes by the name of Sark). The books (Succulent Wild Woman & A Creative Companion) are just fabulous. They're an invitation to live a rich succulent life. Just what we all need! :)


Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Gorgeous Website for your Thursday morning...

I was rummaging through a drawer this morning & found this gorgeous little picture buried under a mountain of phone bills. 

I printed it out forever ago (in August of 09 really, but that feels like a whole other life now!), from a gorgeous website filled with beautiful things, all for free. 

The lovely lady who runs the website sums it up best - (the project is..) to help art lovers feed their souls with art in these difficult economic times and to help artists promote their work. How cool is that. 

Have a peek, print out some pretty pictures, stick them to your walls, use them to decorate the front cover of your journal, if you're a clever artist type maybe email them & see about submitting a piece!

Go and visit the website here - it will make you smile :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Summer Loveliness.

Gorgeous Garlic. A little small this year, we'll need to dig some sand into the soil for next season's crop...

Juicy Watermelon. Oh Yeah. 

A nap in the beach shelter (on the lawn) with Jarvis & Ernie.

Minor maintenance on the camping chairs!

Ernie riding in the mei-tai as he & Jarvis take a ride on the bike. (Thank you to our wonderful friend Remy for letting Jarvis have his old bike!!)

Meadows of long grass & dandelions. 

Sword fighting with Daddy at the beach. (Loving the beach at 8am. Nobody else is there & the sun isn't too hot! Jarvis has just hiffed his hat away, I'm about to go and rescue it from the sea in this shot!)

The Wiggles Boat. Magic. 

Hairstyle by Drinking Chocolate. A whole container of the powder applied to the hair results in the most gorgeous fluff! 

Extreme Water Conservation!

Witness our current method of showering! Much to our total horror, we're out of water. In our house we treat water very respectfully indeed (in the five years we've lived here this is only the second water-less incident, the first being on our wedding day, not long after we'd shifted in...). Unfortunately we haven't been quite respectful enough (and the sky hasn't presented us with a whole lot of precipitation of late). 

The showering arrangement is pretty cunning, and actually makes me feel guilty for my usual three minute showers (we do really try to be careful with the water round here!). If I did this all the time, perhaps we wouldn't have run out of water at all. It's a return to my former life in Korea, where we all visited public bath houses a whole lot. 

You leave your modesty (and all of your clothing...they're segregated, just in case you had some crazy images in your head!!) in your locker, pull up a little stool (in this case, a bucket), a little bucket to put water in, and your scrubbing glove, then with the water in your bucket. some soap & your scrubbing glove you wash yourself, then have a quick rinse. 

All in all I can do it using about 4 litres :) And that's including collecting the water I use to rinse myself off with (then using that to fill the toilet cistern...). Unfortunately I don't have the lovely soak in a hot pool which follows at a public bath house, but it's a pretty effective way to make the most of the water you have. 

So it seems I've come upon a New Year's Resolution by way of water shortage - 
Be More Careful With Water. 

When I was teaching, I did a project on water with my class. We learned that of the water in the world, 97.5% is salt water (so no good for drinking), so only 2.5% is fresh. Of that 2.5%, almost 70% is frozen in Antarctica & Greenland. Most of what remains is trapped inside the earth, as soil moisture, or deep aquifers. Less than 1% of the world's total water (.007% or so) is accessible for direct human use. And this isn't taking into account water supplies that are polluted. Pretty scary, huh. 

What's even more scary is that until I had to learn to live with only rainwater tanks, I'd never really thought about water at all! I know that even if we live on town supply again sometime in the future, I'll be looking at it in quite a different way. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Part Two...

This piece appeared in the paper today.The volume of rubbish left behind at this year's Camping Ground/Rubbish Dump surpassed other years by 50%. This is going to continue driving me nuts...Grrrrr. 


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Camping Chairs.

Warning: Completely Crazy Rant to follow. 

This morning I saw something which made me mad. Perhaps even more than mad, it made me feel a bit sick, and really disappointed in humanity. And all of these horrible feelings sprung from some camping chairs.

Hundreds (maybe thousands?) of camping chairs to be more specific. 

This week sees the population of our Small City increase by half, with an influx of Enthusiastic Party People coming to see in the New Year. Which is great - it's good for the local economy, the 20 000 or so visitors are having a good time (grouchy people like me who can't be bothered with the once a year traffic jam caused by the queue to the McD's drive through just stay out of the city!), happiness, festivity & all. 

Anyhow, come January 1st the majority of our guests pack up & leave, the petrol stations taking over from where McDonalds left off, with traffic jams as people fill up for the long & windy road out of here (although, as we noted, some don't make it all the way out of town before stopping for a compulsory 'vomit on the side of the road' stop!). 

Maybe 'Pack up & Leave' is a little ambiguous...this morning as we were going to our fave playground, we came into town past the camping ground where 13 000 or so visitors have spent the last few days. The first thing we saw as we approached, was a mountain of camping chairs (like the one above!) the size of a stack of cars - maybe three long & two or three high. A mountain of camping chairs? Really? And they hadn't finished collecting all of the camping chairs - there were still hundreds (literally hundreds) scattered around the abandoned camp sites.

When people leave this particular camping ground, they don't pack up like you would if you were in a normal camping ground, or out in the wilderness somewhere. The old saying 'Take only photographs, leave only footprints' ? These folks don't even take their tents, let alone their rubbish. Or their camping chairs. 

I couldn't find a good spot to take a photo, or you would see what I mean. There are loads of rubbish bins on the reserve (it's usually a sports field), but what remains after the people have gone home is a space where their tent obviously stood (unless they're part of the extremely peculiar group who don't even bother to take that home), surrounded by beer cans, v cans, random rubbish, sausage wrappers, McDonalds rubbish, cigarette name it, it's there. Random pieces of clothing, towels, and those bloody camping chairs (excuse the language...). 

When I was in the Large Red Shop the other day, I saw a stack of camping chairs right in the middle of the store, for maybe $10 each. Not the flashest chairs, but they'd sure last more than one or two days use. 

What on earth has the world come to if we're buying a chair (or a few thousand chairs) to use for a few days, then ditching it in a camping ground. Where are all of those chairs going to go? I don't think the (amazingly awesome) groups who fund raise by cleaning up the disaster area are going to sit there dismantling the chairs & sorting them into metal, plastic & fabric to attempt to recycle them. And as for a tent? How many people in the world would give anything to have a dry place to shelter, or a chair? 

Anyhow, what it all comes down to is my total mortification that people think it's okay to stay somewhere, trash it completely, leave untold amounts of rubbish behind instead of putting it in the bin (or even near the bin, if it's full!), and leave tents & chairs behind, to be thrown into landfill. It sucks. I could go on forever about putting things in landfill & how stupid it is, and how we need to take personal responsibility for this earth we live on, but I have a feeling I'm preaching to the choir. I don't imagine the tent & chair & trash abandoners are among my followers. 

I don't know if the fabulous cleaning up people are reading either - but I want to say how great it was to see families trekking down towards the mess, gumboots on, ready to make our city look like it did before. Thank you, cleaning up people. When we were down at the beach our little family did a little part, and cleared up broken glass, and stray cans & bottles from the sand dunes - hopefully that's one less little kid going to get a cut foot this week. 

Anyhow, next time you're thinking of chucking out a functional camping chair, imagine that mountain. Perhaps there's something else you could do with it instead.

Rant over :) Have a most wonderful day! 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

I'm back! We've actually been back from our Christmas adventures a few days, but my lovely husband has just gone back to work, so I figured between watching Marie Antoinette on telly I'd catch up with my Christmas blogging :) 

We went to my Bec & Cairn's place in Hawke's Bay for Christmas (my sis & her husband), and the first thing Jarvis noticed upon arrival, aside from the puppy, was the strawberry patch. Witness Jarvis being trapped by the bird netting...

Not being a quitter, he did find his way into the berries and decimated the crop...Fortunately he realised the green ones didn't taste quite so good, and left almost all of them. 

Other object of Jarvis's desire - Remy the Dog. Small, cute, friendly, perfect. In his best Christmas attire. 

Christmas Kai - Bec & I preparing for the beginning of our feasting. The Most AMAZING hot chocolate in the world. Ridiculously good. Especially when you dunk pain au chocolate into it. (I can't find a NZ website for it, but we get it at Vetro)

After Nana & Uncle Mike arrived, gifts came out. Gifts in our family are about thoughtfulness & love, an exchange of treasures that you know will make someone smile & feel special. Bec made me the most fabulous dress (there'll be a Wardrobe Whatever-day-it-is special coming up soon)! Jarvis was treated to a selection of his most favourite things in the world...Here he is with his new little friend in a mini mei tai I made (as he opened the wrapping, he proclaimed his new friend to be called Ernie!), riding on his fabulous tractor (thank you, one day sales!). 

Ernie riding in the 'barrow' - so much easier to manoeuvre than Daddy's full sized one - thank you Nana!

GORGEOUS easel as created by Aunty Bec & Uncle Cairn - blackboard on one side, clips for paper on the other. Absolutely awesome, and getting a lot of use already! Shane's using it here to draw the family tree of assorted berries ;) 

And now for Feasting!

To Be Continued :)