Friday, 30 January 2015

January 29th Let's Talk Rash

I don't normally get into things too personal on my blog. A girl (?) has standards and they have to be met. I am going to cross the line, so to speak, today. Only because I had a fairly crapola type of day and my only photo is medical related.

Yes, the above is what I returned home with after a Doctor's visit today. What is wrong you may well ask? I have a rash. What started out as an innocent looking rash nearly 2 weeks ago.  My first thought was the dreaded Chicken Pox.  The Grandies have just been through this, and we steered clear of them, due to us both never having had the dreaded Pox as children. We didn't see them again until they were well clear and out of the infectious period.

But I had this rash. Just a simple rash on one arm initially, that soon spread to the other,and soon spread to ... you get my drift.  So I immediately went and saw my Doctor.  His response - no, definitely not Chicken Pox Not sure, but nothing to worry about.

Nothing to worry about! A couple of days later my arms were covered, as were my thighs and everywhere else. Back to the Doctor, who wasn't available, so I saw a Drop In Doctor. After much mmmm's and aaaaaah's - the same response. Not an allergy Irene, I agree definitely not Chicken Pox. Let's interrupt your Doctor and get him in here again. They concurred and whispered and touched and prodded - and the verdict (at this stage)... Irene, we know you like to be different just by looking at your pink hair for instance. But why, do you have to be different when it comes to illnesses? Why can't you just have the same as everyone else. Here, try some Calamine Lotion and some Prednisone tablets. Give it a few days and there should be nothing to worry about.

Nothing to worry about!  Nothing to worry about! Nothing to worry about! By this week the rashes had converged into huge welts, unlike nothing seen before. Calamine was as useless as tits on a bull, to be frank. Prednisone had the same effect as sugar free lollies on a hyperactive kid, and my rash was converging from little islands in the sea to one big huge forking land mass!

So back I trotted.  I now hopefully have a name. But why do I have to be different. I can understand my brain rebelling at conformity. But my body (ok looking at the extra rolls, it doesn't conform does it!!), but my body also doesn't like conforming when it comes to illnesses, and won't go for the everyday common variety. I have a rash that is known as (I am going to bore you with the medical details)..Pityriasis Rosea. It is a Virus, that is dormant within the body from childhood. If it does decide to come out as an adult, it is 'commonly' (get the word commonly) seen in adults from aged 18 to 35. Hello, 35!!! 35!!!  I am well over that landmark by a couple of decades The good news is that it rarely affects the face. Watch this space.

Can someone please tell this body of mine that sometimes conforming is good.  Give me up to six months and I apparently will be rash free. They doubt the above creams/tablets in the photo will help but they may ease the constant itching.

So please if you see me and I am scratching, I have washed. I am clean. I am just being rash!

ps It is NOT infectious, NOT, NOT, NOT!!!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

January 28th You Know You're A Nana When (Part II)

You know you're a Nana when your granddaughter says she wants to bake Muffins. Savoury Muffins won't do, it has to be Chocolate Muffins please Nana.

Out come the recipe books and Alison Holst very 'kindly' has a Double Chocolate Muffin recipe in her Marvellous Muffins Book. So Double Chocolate it was. And then we couldn't have plain ones, oh no! Pink Icing just had to complete them.

Actually as an aside, this is seriously a good recipe if anyone wants it. The recipe called for Yoghurt which I didn't have, so I substituted Sour Cream. These were more of a cupcake consistency and very yummy and moist. However in the best interest of my tummy rolls and calorie counting, all the cupcakes not eaten, were frozen for said Granddaughters next visit/sleepover.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

January 27th You Know You're A Nana When.....

An afternoon puppet show, being held in your spare bedroom, is the most amazing show ever put on. It hands down beats Hollywood, Broadway and any other show I have seen. Thank Goodness for Granddaughters who know how to put on a blockbuster

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

January 24th, 25th and 26th - An Anniversary and A Birthday

We had a Long Weekend here. I live in the Waikato region of New Zealand and one thing I have never been able to comprehend is why, when we are not part of the Auckland region, we celebrate Auckland Anniversary Day. Well actually the entire top half of the North Island of New Zealand does. We are not that small that we have to be swept under the same bush, but it does happen. However, when all is said and done, who is going to complain when it means a lovely long weekend.

Saturday 24th - I was definitely in Long Weekend mode. The weather has been hot, hot and hotter. It is so lovely to not have to wear ten thousand layers of clothes and to feel warmth no matter what hour of the day. Being in Long Weekend mode, dinner had to be something easy. I raided the contents of the fridge that is our spare fridge, and a couple of oops were found, which I decided to transform into a Pizza.  We are still here to tell the tale. so the oops was just a minor oops (note to self - check contents of the 'other' fridge more regularly)

Firstly a lovely little piece of Salami - Let's just ignore the Best Before date - and after all it is Best Before and not Use By!

 For a Pizza, you have to have Cheese. I found an unopened wheel of Pecorino (Sheep's Milk Cheese) in the same fridge. I had lovely Italian customers (now residing permanently back in Italy) who made their own Cheese and would sell it to me. This one was labelled "For Irene - July 2010"

All good in the end and it all came together in this wonderful home made Pizza

Sunday 25th - A Birthday to celebrate. I have two of the most adorable, lovable, wonderful, beautiful, delectable granddaughters possible. Me biased? No way!  Little Samara turned two on Friday and we celebrated her birthday. You know you are a Nana when you are up to play with Doc McStuffin, Lambie Boo Boo, Dora, Boots and the never aging Minnie Mouse (I must find out how she manages to stay wrinkle free and not gain any poundage after all these years?)

We definitely can't overlook the star of the day

and her equally adorable big sis


Monday 26th Honey I'm Home!!  Yes it was the Return of the Elephants. They are finally all home and settled into their rightful places. Unpacked, no laundry required and everyone is back  - for 10 months that is (pssst... this is only one cabinet. If you haven't been to our house before there are many, and I mean many, many others!)

Saturday, 24 January 2015

January 23rd T.G.I.F.

Yes, yes, yes - T G I F, which stands for Thin Girls I Faffle!   Obviously not and there is no such word as Faffle.  Today is Friday, Friday, yes it's Friday.

And so upon us Friday did descend
Yes we are about to nose into a weekend
But wait there is nothing special planned
Unless holding a glass at sometime, which has to be manned

So here I am at the end of a week
Thinking as I walk upon my feet
Then night came, and also a quarter moon
Yes it was the end of day and much too soon

One Park all to ourselves

Stand Up Straight!

The Moon, a solitary Star and  one very big spotlight

Friday, 23 January 2015

January 22nd A Tedious And Not Titillating Thursday

Today was a Thursday like any other. I kid you not. But then my philosophy is that if every day were exciting and full of wow moments, we wouldn't appreciate them. Life has it's flat planes, its uphills, its downhills. So why kid you and try and make out that my Thursday was something it was not - because it wasn't :)

First up was work. Followed by a walk with Minnie - I wanted to get that done early as the thermometer was tipped to to top the very late 20s, so we could not subject her delicate royal paws to burning asphalt. Our dog who is the most intelligent canine in the universe is a whizz at finding shady spots to stop and smell the individual blades of grass

The Park we walk though has a full time Council employed Gardener. And we walk past his dumping spot for pruning. (I will not recall the time a Cockroach jumped up my dress from this spot - I presume - and I found it touching an upper extremity. Best to lay that memory to bed). Anyway back to the pile of cuttings, and there was this tree I have never seen before with these weird berries or fruit - some were turning red. Can anyone identify this for me?

I don't know if you recall a solitary shoe located on the side of the road a couple of weeks ago? It obviously still hasn't left this earthly plane as socks do. Well good news for our solitary shoe. It has a partner. A bit of an oddball but at least someone he can chew the rubber with on a daily basis. They appear the unlikeliest couple but are making a go of it

Then the day drew to a close. As usual, a spectacular sunset, with a pink jetstream thrown in for a different daily effect. Thank you to whomever or whatever causes these sunsets, for throwing in one this evening to match my hair colour. That was much appreciated!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

January 21st Comparing Of The Spuds

Because we only  have a handkerchief sized section, our garden is minimal as well. Therefore if we want to grow Potatoes, our only option is to grow them in a bag. We have two of these bags. The first bag we harvested for Xmas Day, and for yesterday's dinner, the 2nd bag was harvested.

I remembered that I had a photo of Harvest number one, so I decided to compare the two harvests and to see how the same crop of potatoes compared with the passing of 4 weeks?

On the left is 25th December and on the right is 21st January. Obviously a larger size which is to be expected, but a different colour? Are there any scientific boffins out there who can explain why the colour change (the potatoes decided to match my hair?) and even more so, why when we boil these, the colour totally disappears?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

January 20th Dipping Our Toes Into Cambodian

Tonight our dining choice was at a Cambodian dining house, and a very wise choice it was. They also offered a choice of Thai and Malay, so every taste bud can be satisified. If you are in Hamilton, get yourself along to Khmer Noodle House.

You know you're eating Cambodian when your dinner plates look like this!

From across the road, Riff Raff is keeping an eye on you and making sure you behave

But you are being watched even more closely by this little Asian Princess, who is making sure you eat all your greens, that you don't pinch all the King Prawns, and she will let you have the Scallops (with the loveliest big roes attached ever)

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

January 19th Power To The People

We received our latest power bill for the month of December 2014. Of course over this month is when our power usage is assumed to be high, due to Xmas lights lighting up our little piece of earth - which I am sure can be seen from the moon at a sideways glance and reversing ten paces.

The Power company very kindly give you a comparison of your usage going back over a twelve month period. So it was an interesting comparison for us as last year we had no lighting display.

Here I give you the printed proof on paper. Xmas Lighting Power usage vs Non Xmas Lighting Power usage

Interesting isn't it? And a good plug (pardon the pun) for LED lighting.

Monday, 19 January 2015

January 16th to 18th - The Unexpected and Spontaneous Weekend

Friday January 16th started off with the expectation that we would have a quiet weekend at home. Just the two of us, just unpacking elephants (I still haven't started on that one after they have been away for Xmas), just gardening. I thought this was going to be my photo of the day

This was taken where I had the best Thai massage ever that wasn't in Thailand. A local business has set up and she really went to work on me, with her elbows and all.  After that effort I made my way home late afternoon, to discover an unexpected invite to head over to Whitianga for the weekend, and a spot of game fishing. Those that know me are fully aware that I don't fish. But who is going to turn down the chance of heading out on the deep blue yonder - and it doesn't mean I personally have to wield a fishing rod does it?

Whitianga is a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive away. I had to find out if there was room at the inn for Minnie (that is at her doggy motel), I had to pack, oops better ask George if he is up to a weekend away that involved a day's fishing. That is like asking the Pope if he wants to wear his funny hat, if a bear wants to do his business in the woods, and did a certain President have sex with that woman?

So it was all very rushed, but it came together and off we set. Guided by the rays of wisdom

A no brainer which way to turn here - left it was and to Coromandel Peninsula we go

This was dessert - Who stole the chocolates? Who? Who? Oops that was a song about dogs wasn't it?

Serenaded into the night by the Piper of Pipes

Saturday 17th January - Up with the larks as this fishing business is serious and you have to head out early. Coffee is a must to start the day and it was enjoyed along with this beautiful sunrise

There was a bit of cloud cover as we sailed out. I had enough sense to not start singing out loud:
 "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man,
 I'm Popeye the Sailor Man,
 I can't abide Spinach,
 but will eat it to the finish,
 I'm Popeye the Sailor Man"

A bit of low cloud as we headed out, but as we set out for sea the cloud cover was all on land

What was the highlight of our day fishing. To be followed by a pod of Dolphins, which almost seemed like a nursery. There were baby dolphins in there. It was amazing. Impossible to catch a photo however as they are so fast. I wanted to enjoy the moment as opposed to try and catch a snap of them.  However I did catch this visual sight

That black mass around that boat is a huge flock of birds!  I have never seen anything like this. They appeared calm and weren't in a frenzy.  Alfred Hitchock would have loved this bird scene

Sunday 18th January Time to wind down and stop and smell the fresh air when we awoke

Then with a lurch back to reality, driving home we were reminded what traffic was

And of totally no relevance here is a cute little Bus Stop across the road from our Ice Cream stop

Friday, 16 January 2015

January 15th Memories of Jumbo The Elephant, who was renamed Mila and Killed her Keeper

In local news I see the Big Top has risen, and the Circus is in town.  Fortunately this circus does not have an elephant in its show - and is entirely animal free.

There used to be a Circus touring NZ and they had the one elephant named Jumbo, an African elephant, and Jumbo was in its show for over thirty years. It used to upset me as when they were in town, this poor elephant was tethered to a post, by her leg, and would just rock back and forth continually. No matter what time of day I would drive past, this poor elephant was just swaying. I could not avoid that route either as I needed to get my mail.That was so upsetting.

Eventually I was pleased to hear that Jumbo was retired and her care was initially taken over by the SPCA and then she was transferred to a small zoo in 2012, and renamed Mila. There she learnt to do what should have been natural elephant behaviour and life was going well.

Unfortunately tragedy decided to cast it's gloomy cloud again, when Mila crushed her keeper to death at the zoo.  The assumption was made that because Mila had been trained in her circus life to assume the sitting position, that that is what she had done in her enclosure, with tragic consequences for the keeper.

Funds were raised and Mila was relocated once again at the beginning of 2014. She is now in a much more natural environment and overseas at San Diego Zoo, where they care for aging elephants. Mila is now 41 years old and it took her nearly all of her lifetime to meet another elephant.

Isn't the above facts enough proof that animals do not belong in a circus?

Thursday, 15 January 2015

January 14th Wacky and Wild

We have an aspiring Giver of Inspirational Messages, often seen on a local church''s notice board - and often they are more wacky then inspirational. Here is the latest offering

Sorry folks! I have tried praying to God for a better body and it hasn't worked.

Now the following flower is an absolute pest. We hate them and successfully managed to rid a large portion of our garden of them. They are now in full bloom everywhere, and this time of year is when their bloom is at its prettiest. I guess the Agapanthus is like the murderer who is smiling as they wield a knife?


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

January 13th Paws and Smell the Power Poles

Greetings to you all my loyal fans. Yes, it is I, Minnie. I have been slightly remiss at making this blog what it should be, ie all about me. Well today I have my chance as I can just tell She is just totally not motivated. What is wrong with her? There are so many sights, so many smells. I could fill a blog every day, actually I could add to this blog three times a day! When you add food in to the mix of sights and sounds. Oh and yesterday, one of those dastardly furry creatures called Cats had the gall to enter our yard. I soon sorted that one out. These little upstarts think they can come in to my territory. Who do they think they are? This is my home, my yard and I will not have any other four legged creatures crossing these boundaries. Unless they are other canines of course and visiting only. I don't want She and He having to share the love around. God intended I be the sole recipient of their affections.

Back to the Blog. We are in the middle of a gorgeous summer and the days are hot and balmy. Don't you think I am extremely descriptive? That is especially important for a blog writer to hold your interest. Back to the weather.. hot, hot and hot.  The other day we were walking and I got a quarter of the way up our driveway and couldn't budge. I stopped, as it was so, so hot. I made her carry me the rest of the way up. Ha that was a sight to behold.  The last couple of day's temperatures have increased even more, so we set out in the mornings now for our walks. This sign has always got me on our walks and I really can't understand it?

Do you mean some dogs have to pay to run in their own homes?  I can tell you now if they ever started charging me to run in my own home and within my own boundaries, I would be out of there so fast you would think my name was ''SuperDog - from the Planet of Krypton''  

As I said it is hot. This was me at 5:00pm - it was hot and fortunately the house is lovely and cool with breezes gently wafting through. Time to put the paws up for my late afternoon siesta, which followed my afternoon siesta, which followed my after lunch siesta, which followed the late morning, after walk siesta. You get my drift.

Hasta La Vista fans, a big woof woof and remember in life, you must 'Paws and Smell the Power Poles'

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

January 12th Feeling Deflated?

Is life getting you down? Summertime blues hit you, when you look outside and the sun is shining, the sky is at it's bluest, and you have to work? Or maybe you are in another part of the world and Winter is wearing you down (I am not going to go there with descriptions as Winter will be upon us once again, as surely as the world turns).

Spare a thought for the humble road cone.  Stuck outside all the time in all weathers. Kicked and  hit by cars. You are even too big to disguise yourself as a Witches hat.  It obviously got all too much for these two fellows. I wonder if there are Road Cone Counselling Classes?

Monday, 12 January 2015

January 10th and 11th Another Weekend Bites The Dust

A quiet Weekend on the Western Front here. George went off to play Fisherman on Saturday, so I was left to hold the fort and it was a day like any other.  On the up side it was a glorious Summer's Day and the weather was stunning. You know it is Summertime when beautiful South Island Cherries are in abundance

And you know it is a tad hot when you get home from your walk, and for the first time ever a quarter way up the driveway to our home, Minnie stops and assumes statue position. She would not budge or move an inch. Which meant I had the honours of carrying her up. I am so glad she didn't decide to take this stance earlier on our walk!

Saturday finished off with our evening meal at the Night Market. I may change my food choices when we visit, but one thing I always am consistent with purchasing is my Bubblee Tea. Papaya and Double Bubbles are my request.

This was the temperature at 7:30pm
Onwards and Forwards to Sunday.  I was about to relax in the garden. The umbrella went up for a spot of shade and we found we had a nest of visitors. I don't mind visitors, but these ones I am allergic to. Here we have the start of a Wasp Nest - horrible blighters. They were sprayed and sent to Wasp Hell immediately.

Time to enjoy basking in the beautiful outdoor weather, with George's wonderful home made Cider

Dinner of course was fresh fish fillets, BBQ'd with a Moroccan Rub. Extremely tasty. Accompanied by Garlic Green Beans (for a non bean lover - ie myself - to eat these, means the recipe is worth salivating over) and a lovely salad reflecting the colours of Italy