Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mysterious Box


DH came home the other day and instead of coming directly into the kitchen to the fridge (like normal) he went down to the garage. I wondered what he was doing but thought he might have some work tools to unload. Instead he comes and sheepishly says, "There is a parcel in the spare room. Don't open it. I tried to find a safe place in the garage for it but couldn't, so it's up here. It's your birthday present."

Knock me over with a feather! My birthday isn't until July so he has been super efficient! I had been teasing him about remembering it and obviously he has taken it to heart.

The brown paper is too opaque and I can't see what's inside it. RATS!

(I have my suspicions though. Do you think a red Kitchen Aid cake mixer is about the right size? I hope so.)

Apparently he has informed all our families what it is because it has been known for me to get duplicate presents. Which is why I have 2 wheel barrows.

Friday, May 25, 2007

20+ Questions

DS constantly asks questions right now. Some of them are tricky.

What do Pukekos say? Waaark! Pip!
Why do pukekos have beaks? Because they need them to eat.
What's that truck carrying? What's that truck got? (Have to make up answers for this one sometimes).
What do pukekos eat? seeds, grass, weed and stuff
Is your roof open? Huh?
What's Nan doing? ummm... I have no idea. Having a cup of tea.
Why is Daddy at work? To earn money so we can eat food and live in a house.
What's on that man's face? Shhhhhhhhhhhhh... whiskers

And the million dollar question at present is "Where is Toby?" He's been put somewhere and I have no idea where he is. Luckily it isn't Trevor who is missing else there really would be serious wailing happening.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Had a look through my spice cupboard the other day in order to see what needed topping up. I impressed myself with the range I've got!
Check out this list:
Star anise (whole)
Baharat (home made)
ground chillies
ground cardamom
dried marjarom
curry powder
dill seeds
dried sage
sambar powder (home made)
juniper berries
gr. black pepper
white pepper (whole)
fenugreek seeds
mixed spice
brown mustard seeds
black peppercorns (whole)
caraway seeds
dry mango powder
poppy seeds
chinese 5 spice
lemon pepper
cinnamon quills
kalonji seeds (nigella seeds)
smoked paprika (hot & sweet)
ground turmeric
celery seeds
gr. coriander
gr. cayenne
anardana powder
gr. nutmeg
whole nutmeg
gr. cumin
gr. cinnamon
cumin seeds
prickly ash/Sichuan pepper
dried oregano
dried tarragon
dried galangal
gr. ginger
dried chillies (birds eye)
cloves (whole)
vanilla pods
all spice
coriander seeds
panch phoran
sesame seeds
fennel seeds
cardamon (whole)
ras el hanout (home made)
rose water
garlic powder
brown cardamon pods

no wonder I'm running out of space in the cupboard! And yes, I have used all on that list. Some more than others naturally. I find spices and their history fascinating.

BTW: Thank you for your comments the other day when I was feeling a bit stink. I do appreciate it! Much better now. The trouble with the mini-pill is I get PMS every other week complete with chocolate cravings... gonna do something about that!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Book Sale for Charity

Random House (the publisher) is going to have a book sale in Auckland on
Sunday 20th May
12-14 Poland Rd, Glenfield

A large selection of books priced from $1 - fiction, non-fiction, children's, gardening, self-help, art books and many more.

Proceeds to Literacy Aotearoa.

Swap Pins

I'm hoping to get to SENZ07 next week (probably on Friday). Can't do any classes because of DD but I still like to go along.

So I've made some swap pins on the off chance there is somebody who will want to swap with me! Apparently the recommended amount is 50 but there is no way I could imagine needing so many so I've made 10. I figure I'm not a famous scrapper or blogger so there won't be that many people who'll recognise me or want mine. Just being realistic.

If you're going to SENZ and see me there please do say hello (and you can have one). I'm not an extrovert person despite how I appear on this blog; I'm actually pretty shy but if I recognise you I will make an effort to say hello.

I'm having a mediocre day today. Feeling like I don't excel in anything. An average scrapper, a good-enough mum/wife, average crafter. I probably was a good reference librarian but only an okay web librarian. Just one of those days I suppose. Need a hug from hubby or something.

Monday, May 14, 2007

He's baaaaaaaaaaack

Well he's been back a week actually. Dh that is. From the States.
He took the grand sum total of TWO photos. Can you believe it!? This man does photography as a hobby. Okay, okay he was training and all but mate... go all that way and take 2 photos after buying a 2 gig memory card for my little digi-cam.

This is one of them. The rental car he drove. Whoopdedoo. The other one is of him beside it.

When we were talking about the trip he said casually.. "Oh, and I saw the Google and Yahoo headquarters and stuff." Well - I would have been interested in photos of that!


Boy card

A friend just had a baby boy so I made this card.
The quote reads:
Little boys' pockets hold magical things,
Earthworms, apple cores, a mess of string,
But this treasure is nothing,
To the wealth one finds,
In little boys' hearts, and little boys' minds.

I made a pocket out of some bits of denim and the quote plus goodies are tucked inside it.

Birthday Book

I decided to make myself a birthday book because I'm always scrabbling around in my old diaries trying to transfer the dates to my calendar in the kitchen. I'm hoping this will save me the trouble.

I can add to it easily too.

First Smiles

The only layout I've managed these last crazy two-three weeks.


The latest Dr D! My sister graduated with her PhD recently. Her thesis was on Herodotus and what it means to be "mad". Her subject area is Ancient Greek language.

I admire her tenacity to stick to her studies and get her doctorate. Especially since it is in an area that most people can't understand or relate to because it's not vocational. I can tell you she is heartily sick of people telling her "It's all Greek to me."

Time was you could study what you were interested in at University and still be assured of a job at the end of it. Now, you are mostly driven into doing something with a clear vocational end to it. Most people choose something that can be achieved quickly and with as little financial pain as possible - which is why NZ doesn't have enough engineers or midwives for example.

I also admire her for staying home in NZ while doing her PhD. It would be easier for her to find a job if she had gone overseas and studied because the opportunities are greater in terms of networking and getting to know people who might employ you. She made the sacrifice to stay home because my other sister was suicidal at the time, and she felt it would be better to be a support for her. I hope she finds a job soon even though it will most likely mean she will have to head to another country.

DS wasn't that impressed about having this photo - he is more interested in looking at his Thomas book that he had just got from Borders.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Like I mentioned in my last post, life has been very busy this past week or two. It's time for an update!

DS started kindy last week. He liked it so much he didn't want to come home! I only needed to stay the first morning with him. The next time he dropped his bag at the gate and was off. He was totally committed to getting on with the activities and Mum was no longer of interest. :-)

I am so glad to announce that we've finally got the potty thing sorted. True we have occasional accidents when he gets busy but he only needs nappies at night now. Yay! Big relief for me who had visions of school days with pull ups.

DD has started teething poor girl. You can just see the offending article peeking through in this picture. She got the first two in a space of 2 days. Goodbye gummy smile! :-( Hello Bonjela.

She is 4 months now and weighed 6.5kg at her last Plunket visit.

DH has gone to the States for a week to do some training and I'm ready for him to be back already! I can cope pretty well but it's so much nicer to have a second parent, not least because it's another adult to talk to! I find my patience is so thin these days I need time out myself. I just hate myself when I don't respond well to my children's behaviour. DH's presence keeps me on an even keel.

He was told on Tuesday last week that he would be flying out on Sunday (4 days notice). We had to rush out and get some new work trousers for him because 2 pairs disintegrated at the same time. Luckily Farmers were having 30% off men's clothing and we found some that passed the "Crouch Test". This is an important test. DH does a bit of lifting in his job and some trousers don't stand up to it. He's had to come home for repairs to the crutch... most amusing for me to see him arrive with his undies flashing! LOL!

We are busy doing painting. Both DH and I love the Karen Walker range of paints so we're doing our bathroom/shower/toilet in Froth Green. We're getting a new vanity and mirror cabinet too. Our bedroom is going to have a feature wall of Sanguine Brown (a kind of red) and the rest in Sandspit Brown. The "spare room" has had a revamp in the form of a new corner computer desk and a removal of junk. I spent most of one Saturday morning shredding old bills and papers. We dismantled the old bed that was in there and replaced it with a sofa bed so it takes up less room. Now DS's toys can be in there instead of the living room. Well that is the theory. The reality is they are spread from one end of the house to the other!

Thoughts about ANZAC Day

The past week has just been insane so I didn't post this on the day, but in the spirit of Amy's honest blogging I wanted to write a little about my ANZAC Day thoughts even though the 25th April has gone.

That's DH's grandad in the picture. He was a rifleman in WWI. He and his brother came back. He was fine but his brother suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder for the rest of his life and spent some time in Carrington Hospital.

My grandfathers were considered "vital to the war effort" because they were farmers and therefore didn't go to war. My great-uncle did and was a POW who had to work on the Burma Railway. Regrettably, his experience coloured my grandparent's views of Japanese people to this day.

I struggle with ANZAC Day because I'm of two minds about it. On one hand I feel a great thankfulness for people who were willing to fight for the freedom and peace we know today in this country. I don't wish to belittle the efforts made by those who died. Many who went did so because of their strong belief in the "rightness" of their calling. They shouldn't be forgotten, and I believe that's what ANZAC Day is about. That and Never Again.

On the other hand, I know that if war should occur again I would feel uncomfortable with the idea of going to fight because of my personal beliefs. I've actually known some men who were willing to be despised and rejected by society because they stood up for those same beliefs. They have no memorial day and their sacrifice is more poignant to me because it isn't recognised by most. True, those in NZ didn't die (AFAIK) because they were conscientious objectors. (Those in Germany were sent to Dachau and most didn't survive). They suffered a loss of freedom, loss of community status and some I know suffered physically (healthwise) and mentally.

I think it is part of becoming an adult that one can have this friction of feelings about some things. When you're a child, things tend to be black and white. As a teenager, you feel things passionately and can argue either side with conviction. As an adult, the areas of "grey" become evident to you.