Friday, 28 February 2014

February 27th It's Not Irrelephant

A lovely, lovely evening with Cristina and Crae. Their thoughtfulness of a gift, just really blew me away. It was totally unexpected. When I heard the lengths they went to, this gorgeous elephant will always hold a special place in my heart.

The people in our lives are like a Crystal Prism. When the sun shines through, this is the warmth of love and friendship. Then the colours like a rainbow  are the variety of the type of people we encounter in our lives. They come and they go. Some will come back again. However no matter how long the colour is in your life for, it will always be magical and a friendship that is dear to you.  Just as when I look at the magical colours coming from my Crystal Prism - I am still in awe of the beauty that shines from it when the warmth of the sun glows through.  It is magic, and so are the people in our lives

Thursday, 27 February 2014

February 26th Yikes - Where Did That Go?

I don't know, you don't drive through a particular part of the City for a wee while, and the next time you do a whole building has been demolished. Finito, Gone.

The funny thing is we were dining in a restaurant across the road, and had to Google Earth so we could see what used to be there.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

February 25th As Cool As A Cucumber

Do you suffer from a glut of Cucumbers? Oh how I wish I did. We were gifted some very large cucumbers and I didn't want them to go to waste.

Then on Foodlovers, the wonderful NZ foodie website, someone was asking about uses for a surplus of Mint.  And a recipe for Cucumber Soup was shared. Yes, you are reading that correctly, Cucumber Soup. How could anyone not be interested in a recipe for Cucumber Soup! For it's uniqueness value and also if you have Cucumber to use up.

So last week I had this in my kitchen:

I know, I know. I am very immature and have silly artistic moments in the kitchen. This cucumber is now stripped of all it's dignity. Or should that be peeled?

It wasn't a case of out of the Fry Pan and into the Fire.  It was straight into the pot with some other ingredients for company, and in a witchy poo voice I chanted "Boil, Boil, Toil and Trouble"

Finally finishing up in the Blender

By the way, if you look on the left hand side of the Blender, on the inside down by the bottom of the handle - don't you think that looks like a compressed frog?  What is a frog is doing in my soup? Kermie?

On a more serious note - if you would like a link to the soup recipe, please ask. It is delicious.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

February 24th Walks with Minnie

A stunning day for a walk through the 'hood  
This usually is a long Green corridor - but summer is here so it's a tad dry

Can you believe that back in the 70s this was a Stock Car track? Right in the middle of suburbia.  Now it is home to Hamilton's netball courts

Monday, 24 February 2014

February 23rd By George

Good George Brewery is Hamilton based and expanding. A second outlet is due to open in Hamilton end of March and then they are spreading their tentacles into other centres.  We decided it was time to check their fare out, especially with them deciding to name their range after our very own George

Plum Cider and a Stout

Sunday, 23 February 2014

February 22nd A Day In The Life Of A Nana

This is the type of day I love the most. Havana came for a sleepover at Nana's.  George was away for the day fishing, so we had a girly girly day until the fisherman returned. It is very true I think that Grandparents make better parents as we don't have the pressures of parenthood.

First off we decided we should walk Minnie, well I decided and Havana agreed.  So down to the park we went

Home for a cold drink, and then we have to play Havana and Mummy.  With this game Havana is Mummy and I am Havana.  We have played this game forever. She goes off to work and usually I am consigned to sitting on the bath edge or in the spare bedroom here at home - as that is Kindy and she is in the lounge at her office.  One time she had me playing it at her own home - and I was stuck sitting on the stairwell. I asked if I could come home as I didn't like Day Care, and she told me no. Her words "Mummy has to go to Harvey Norman to buy a new bed"  I queried the Harvey Norman/new bed with Steph, and it hadn't even been a topic in the house. The power of subliminal advertising - I tell you! Back to today, and I asked her if I could pass on Kindy (it was a bit hot to be stuck in the bathroom for a good hour or so, there is a limit to Nana's patience). So Havana, in her role as Mummy decided we would 'stay home' and she would not go to work and instead would read me stories.  And to think I used to hate role plays in all the training courses attended over the years - in reality they were preparing me for my role as a Nana.

And moving on to modern technology.  Havana uses the laptop and I am on my computer in the office, and then we have to email each other. Her from my personal email, me using my work email.

The fisherman returned from the sea, very sunburnt and with a wonderful catch of Snapper.  Feet up and time for all of us to watch the movie 'Tangled' .   I know this is supposedly a kids' movie - but I love it, and still get teary eyed at the Happy Ever After ending.

Time for bed for our cheeky little Monkey - and Minnie decided she too had had a very long day, and she needed to catch up on some rest.

And the above is why I love being a Nana.  Growing up we only had immediate family, and I remember as a child being envious of the other kids with their Grandparents.  I may not have had that privilege when I was young, but it doesn't mean that now I am at the other end of the spectrum, I cannot absolutely delight in the time spent with my two gorgeous grandchildren. We just have to wait for Samara to get older so she can join us and imagine the mischief all of us can get into!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

February 21st Home Grown Gift

They may be small, but they are juicy and delicious.  With thanks to our neighbour Brian once again. Although he did catch me in the act of having a nana nap on the sofa and the front door was wide open. I only have to hope I was not in snoring mode

Friday, 21 February 2014

February 20th Boring

Just the usual run of the mill day here. Work, work and more work. I actually was quite busy, so MinniĆ©'s walk didn't feature on today's calendar.  So the only photo I can show you - is my main course for dinner. George hankered after a Steak on the BBQ, and when that hankering happens I have the alternative - Prawns.

George ends up with a Surf and Turf Meal, and I end up with dinner and tomorrow's lunch

Thursday, 20 February 2014

February 19th A Birthday and a Swimming Lesson

Happy Birthday to my nephew Trent, who is 13 today.  I can remember holding Tent in my one arm as a baby, he was a prem baby and so tiny. Now, at age 13 he towers over me (but then, so does everybody else in this world apart from dwarfs). No photo though, as he is camera shy but we enjoyed a lovely birthday meal

I did however, manage to get a photo of one of my beautiful granddaughters - at her swimming lesson, and she was so excited as she had just advanced to the next level today and wanted me to be there.  Yay, go Havana - you already excel me in swimming skills

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

February 18th Raglan at Dusk

A perfect summer's evening. Fish 'n Chips from the wharf for dinner. Oh and for anyone heading out to dinner at the Raglan Wharf  - just a reminder, this is a Fish 'n Chip shop - as per this sign

And this is what makes Raglan special
(well secondary to family that we visited of course)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

February 17th A Prickly Subject

Requiem for a Hedgehog

Oh Hedgehog, lying dead in the grass
How did this come to pass
Was it a cat or a dog that caused this
Or did you decide to part from this earth that is
And tell me is there a Hedgehog Heaven
Or do the gates close there at eleven?

Apologies for the photographic quality -  I took this quickly before a certain dog I was walking noticed it!

Monday, 17 February 2014

February 16th Sunday, Sunday

I am always appreciative of this view as we walk down towards the lake. As to Minnie's impression... as long as there are things to smell and things to pee on, she couldn't give a hoot as to where we walk

Sunday, 16 February 2014

February 15th Sunny Saturday

Now I wonder whose house this is at?

I call these 'Fluffy Flower' If anyone can enlighten me as to the plant's name it would be appreciated

Friday, 14 February 2014

February 14th Valentine's Day

And look what I found in our mailbox. A lovely surprise from two gorgeous girls who live next door. Lavinia and Siena gave us a wonderful surprise

February 13th There's A Man In My Kitchen

There's a man in my kitchen, dear bloggee, dear bloggee,
There's a man in my kitchen, oh what shall I do

Let him cook oh dear Irene, dear Irene, dear Irene
Oh let him cook dear Irene and see what you get

I let him cook, dear bloggee, dear bloggee, dear bloggee,
I let him cook dear bloggee, and now I am full

Tonight's Dinner was Chiftele cu mazare (Meatballs with Peas)
and a bit of homegrown Basil thrown in

Thursday, 13 February 2014

February 12th It's Not Irrelephant

To quote my favourite saying "Anything unrelated to elephants is irrelephant". My 'phantom' elephant gifter has struck again, with these arriving in the post

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

February 11th Money and a Tree?

If superstition is right, my cashflow may be due for a boost I hope. The money tree is healthy and look at all the new buds coming through. Even the ladybird looks hopeful.. Let's hope each bud equates to many, many dollars - yeah right

Monday, 10 February 2014

February 9th Sunday Shenanigans


On one of my walking routes with Minnie, this is one house we regularly pass. I have never seen any sign of life. No letterbox, however the lawn does get cut. I took this photo today as I was shocked to see a window open


Time to enjoy a purchase from the Gordonton Market. The Licorice Man was there, and nothing could soften a Licorice lover's heart more than a whole role of uncut Licorice. Believe me I will be savouring strips of this for a while to come. Yum yum.


Sunday, 9 February 2014

February 8th To Market, To Market and a Garden Centre as well

Now what did they say the name of this market was?

This goes into the category of 'Hug a Tree' tree

George salivated when he saw the Hungarian delights these were for

A little teaser of what to expect

And after this - into the oven they go

Lovebirds greeted us at Wairere Garden Centre

We were invited to tour the garden

A miniscule part of what has to be the best garden I have seen

Peek A Boo - I see you

A Busy Little Bee

Topiary with a twirl

Spank Spank

Saturday, 8 February 2014

February 7th A Nice Surprise

An extremely day and I didn't get to pop my nose outside once. Which made me appreciate this wonderful gift more

Friday, 7 February 2014

February 6th A Round of Applause

I like the owner of our local corner shop. Unlike the majority of Indian owned shops, this man sets his own hours to suit himself and his family. He isn't opening early for anyone, and it's usually 7:30am to 8:00 am that he opens up the shop. Likewise for closing - you know to get in there by 6:30pm or it's all over Rover. Yesterday when walking Minnie early afternoon, he was closed, obviously for a siesta or maybe he was being naughty and it was a bit of nudge, nudge, wink, wink!. And today, a Public Holiday - I don't know if this was the case all day - but this photo was taken just after 5:00pm.

He and George have become buddies. One day, only his wife was behind the counter and he was obviously out. She looked at George very worried and raised her eyebrows, and there was a dodgy customer lurking. George stayed and stayed in the shop for ages - checking out every possible shelf item until the dodgy customer left and actually went to his car and drove off - without buying anything.

It is now a couple of years ago that Minnie was attacked about 300 metres from this shop (the dog jumped out of an open car window, whilst the driver was stopped at the intersection). The shopkeeper came outside after hearing the aftermath of me in hysterics,  the dog's owner swearing - and was able to tell us exactly who the guy was and where he lived locally, so we could tell the Council.

When he discovered we were holidaying in Fiji, he provided George with some very handy local knowledge for arriving in Nadi (ie where to purchase some nice cool beers on arrival, and to have for our stay).

Yay and praise for the local corner shop and those who work within - long may they continue!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

February 4th Pass The Napalm Please

OK this photo isn't very clear. But with two of my biggest enemies lurking within, believe me I was not going to get up close and personal to give you, my audience, the advantage of a great shot.

Cockroaches are vile, hideous and make my skin crawl. I have had a giant one land on me in Papua New Guinea - I am sure the cursing and screaming could be heard all the way to the Northern Hemisphere. Family and close friends are well aware of how creepy crawlies find their way to invade my personal comfort zone. Extremely large tropical spiders, another spider in Australia that bit me which required a hospital visit to Emergency. Unfortunately I stomped on the spider so hard the hospital could not identify it, so I had to stay in the Emergency Department for several hours. Geckos liking my leg, an unidentified large flying black creature landed on my arm in a 5star hotel restaurant in Fiji. You name it, they have attacked me.

In the last few years I have notice these malignant pieces of nature, ie large black cockroaches, have started turning up with regularity in my home. Supposedly from Gisborne, they have somehow navigated their way to the Waikato. How do we personally combat them? We nuke the bastards. Well not to the full extent but every three months we let off bombs in the home.

This isn't always 100% perfect. I can sense one of these vile creatures the minute I walk in a room. With George away from home last week, I was sure one would decide to enter my enclave. Yes sure enough it did, but he made the mistake of staying too long as by the time I got to him - he was flat on his back, his vile legs waving in the air, gasping his final breath. I could almost hear the words 'I'm dying, I'm dying, please let my last moments on this earth be treasured'  So I decided to give him a little wash.I grabbed him with a hunk of toilet paper (embalming anyone?) and proceeded to flush him down the toilet to drains unknown. Begone you black beast.

So can you imagine how I felt today? Studiously working at my desk, sending Mr A to B and Mrs B to C etc at the least possible cost.  I needed to rest my eyes and took a moment to breathe in the glorious colours in abundance in our garden. Eyes up to check the temperature on our outdoor weather thermometer - and what did I spy? Not one, but two of these vile creatures.They had the gall to invade MY weather thermometer - which isn't quite accurate anymore and now I know why!

Hence my need for Napalm. A little Agent Orange wouldn't hurt them would it? Although the neighbours on the other side of the fence may not be so grateful

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

February 3rd Colours of Italy

Fresh Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella. Later to be drizzled with Olive Oil. A perfect taste of Italy. Every time we have Insalata Caprese, we are transported back to the wonderful time we spent there.