Tuesday, 21 April 2015

April 21st I Am Leaving You.........

But in the words of the famous Arnie... "I'll be buck".  I am heading out into the wide world on my own. I have been thoroughly taken care of in the last few years during my travels, as I have completed them with a loving husband by my side. George is an absolute gentleman, and looks after the suitcases, lifts carry bags into those impossibly high (when you are 5 foot 1, believe me they are impossibly high) overhead cabins, and I am generally spoilt. It also goes without saying of course, that he is an absolute delight to travel with and I enjoy our time together.

I have decided this year I had better spread my wings from a work perspective, and applied for an educational.  So watch out the U S of A - here I come. We have time in Seattle, where I have never been - forget the Starbucks, we are having a visit to the Boeing factory and Space Needle. Finishing with some time in Honolulu. I am not going to divulge the last time I was there - in case some of my customers read my blog. It was (place hand over mouth and cough) cough cough years ago.

I know by the end of my trip, I will be thoroughly homesick and just want to be back home with George, Minnie and see the kids and Grandies. But for my loyal customers, I will put myself out there and go where this Irene Field has never been before, and explore.

So no Blogging. Of course I will still take my Photo of the Day. That has become a serious addiction. And I will catch up with you all on my return. 

In the interim, my biggest decision. Do I take the Black that resembles every other man and women's suitcases, or the obviously belongs to me suitcase? I am guessing 99.9999999% of you know the answer to that dilemma! Actually a change of plans.... after seeing the websites for not one, but two Outlet stores we will be visiting in Seattle - I am taking both of them. With a generous luggage allowance of 2 pieces at 30kg per piece, with Hawaiian Airlines  it's a no brainer!

I bid Adieu, Farewell and Good Bye to you my loyal reader(s). See you when I get back!

Monday, 20 April 2015

April 20th Alphabetical Fungi & A Green Creature

I noticed on today's walk, the weekend's torrential rain brought out a lot of Fungi. In what I think is entirely coincidental circumstances, some of them have been marked with a letter from the alphabet

X marks the spot

You have to have the initial S to claim this one

W or V?

A Virgin Mushroom

Without any more Fungi encounters, it was time to head home. Don't you think Praying Mantis' resemble some bug eyed space creature with their odd eyes? Maybe they are Aliens in disguise?

April 18th - 19th The Rain Did Go Away and some Kaffir Limes

The weekend got off to a very wet start. And I must stress the words VERY WET!  I believe on Saturday, we received one month's rainfall in a twelve hour period. So if you thought you were going to be treated to very pretty pictures for Saturday, think again. No way was I dipping my toes out into that weather. Our back path was flooded. George had been away for work and had a very bumpy flight getting back and it was more than just your average rainfall. This is the closest I got to an outside perspective - ie looking out our bedroom window

 Sunday loomed, and as Black is a total contrast to White, so the day was sunny and dry as opposed to the previous. With the previous day's bad weather knocking some Kaffir Limes off our tree, we decided a harvest might be in order. Both the leaves and fruit freeze well, and are good to go for Asian cooking supplies over the winter months. Because we are in a frost prone area, the tree will soon be wrapped in frost cloth to protect it from the weather, I also pick a supply of leaves so the tree won't have to be unwrapped and exposed to Winter elements.

 And to end the day? Well if you are going to pick Kaffir Limes, it stands to reason that one has to make oneself a compulsory Gin & Tonic, and what better garnish is possible, other than a Kaffir Lime?

Saturday, 18 April 2015

April 17th Can You Help Me?????

A house that is on one of our common walking routes, has this large tree out front. The fruit looks like apples, but they actually are small (like a big Cherry Tomato) and never really get any bigger or change colour. Every year the tree bears prolific fruit and no one seems to pick them - they all end up on the grass. 

Does anyone know what they are?  I go through this puzzle now on an annual basis. This time I decided to take a photo and use the possible powers of the web to solve my problem.  Help please and save this old girl from racking what brain cells she has left


Friday, 17 April 2015

April 16th Looking In The Mirror

I wonder if I should make this my Facebook profile? It is certainly how I feel some days. Brains hanging out, not working to full capacity and sometimes not at all. My current 'unique' dental problems are well documented. As for the eyes - yep that's me most days. Skin problems - nahhhh. Ok yeah but nahhhhhhhhhh

Thursday, 16 April 2015

April 15th A Zig and A Zag And Pub Grub

Today there was a bit of zig zagging - on my head!  Nadia, my hairdresser is coming up with whackier and whackier ideas every time I go, and who am I to argue. She is already working on her plan for next time!

In the evening we did something we have not done for a very long time. We took ourselves off to ye good ole English Pub for a meal. I can safely say we came away with full bellies, rested and in general we were happy little chappies.

Just to clarify regarding this meal - the top half is George's. Feed the man Beef.  You can always tell when he is in ravenous mode as he orders sides. The bottom half is mine - a lovely warming Seafood Chowder.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

April 14th Give Me MOR, MOR, MOR

I had a pleasant surprise when the courier knocked on my door this morning. Actually just to digress, I think the Courier had an even more of a surprise and not so pleasant when I opened the door. I had spent all morning sitting at my desk, as you do when you work from home, I was still in 'Big Red' (my dressing gown), with hair pointing in every direction and the worst confession of all, with no teeth in - and this was at 11:30am. I had a mountain of work to get through and descended on the office in a billow of red at a very early hour, I lost track of time, and hence my appearance when I opened the front door.

Slightly mortifying but let's concentrate on what he was delivering. It was a small box of goodies, courtesy of a competition for Travel Agents, run by Lufthansa.  I have to be honest and I have never heard of MOR Apothecary, but these products smell just like fluffy Marshmallow - which is why I guess, they are called Marshmallow!  The gift included both a Cosmetics and Make Up Bag, A Roll On Perfume Oil, Lip Balm and Hand Cream

Thank You Lufthansa and MOR

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

April 13th European River Cruise Anyone?

I had reason to be at the Waikato Stadium, home of all things Rugby, today.

Except I wasn't there for Rugby reasons and here instead for an update on European waterways and River cruising on those waterways.  Which would be a pretty cool way to see a lot of Europe and European cities. Instead of being on a large ocean liner you would be on a boat with a maximum of 166 passengers.

Bucket List anyone?

Monday, 13 April 2015

April 10th - 12th Nana and Poppa Duties

We were on Nana and Poppa duties from Friday. Although I should not label it a duty, but an absolute pleasure. Yay for school holidays and Havana can come and stay. When here little sister is older we will have two of the cheeky monkeys. Yes they are exhausting but an absolute pleasure to have around.

Friday of course was a working day. But I made sure we escaped for some Cafe Girly time. The evening was spent playing Monopoly - and we are both still in shock that Havana won!  What happened to the rule that Grandparents had to win every game, especially Nana?

Saturday dawned and it was a full on day. Havana joined us in the weekly ritual of Grandparents who work and who must do their supermarket visit on a Saturday morning. Home to unpack, and then out the door for a lovely long forest walk. It definitely is Autumn and Chestnuts abounded

Minnie joined us for this outing of course, and she knew the way - to chase the chickens

Home for a spot of sitting outside and chalk drawing

Saturday still wasn't done with. I managed to persuade little Miss H that she really should try and have a bit of a nap before we headed to the night markets for a stroll through the stalls and to enjoy our dinner - ps to Hamilton locals, the Creamed Paua is the best! Finally we made it home, with our feet up to spend our Saturday night watching a Tinkerbell movie - and then to bed at 8:30pm for a very tired Nana and Little Miss H  (it was a full on day - even for this particular Nana!!).

Sunday dawned and time for our princess to depart. However she was heading to swimming lessons, so I took the opportunity to go and watch - and was pleased I did, as she was told she was progressing to the next level from her next lesson.

By Sunday afternoon, when the house was back to normal, George & I both agreed that nothing beats being on Nana and Poppa duties.

Friday, 10 April 2015

April 9th Wham Bam - Thank You Mam!!

If Minnie saw this photographic evidence, she would most probably murder me in my sleep. I was fraternizing with the enemy, that is a cat, aka Bam.

Although I was innocent, Bam just wanted to photo bomb my selfies. Forget the Raglan coastline and scenery - today had to be about The Bam

Thursday, 9 April 2015

April 8th Sleep - Wonderful Sleep

Back in November or December of last year, I purchased a Fitbit. Well I didn't really purchase it - as I used Loyalty points to get one. They measure your steps during the day, track your exercise etc etc etc.  One of the supposed great features of the Fitbit, is that you can measure your sleep and sleep quality. You do a tap on the Bit at bedtime and two lights glow, and then when you wake up more tapping is required to say 'Hello World, I'm awake' and this logs your sleep.

I seem to have spent my life tired. Add to the mix Insomnia and sleep actually is a problem for me. I don't know if the Fitbit is actually good for me, as it is only confirming that I do not enjoy quality sleep. For instance I can be in bed for 8 hours, and out of that 8 hours in bed - my average sleep ranges from 2 1/2 hours on a bad night, up to a good (?) night, which can be 5 1/2 hours tops?

To give you an idea here is a photo of a not so good night

So as you can see from being in bed for just over 7 hours, only nearly 4 hours of that 7 was spent asleep. The dark blue is actual sleep, the light green is me tossing and turning and god knows what else, and the pink lines are 'Hello World, I am wide awake'

The reason for today's blog/photo is not to induce sympathy. Actually if anything, it will most probably induce sleep in everyone else but me!!  But can you imagine my excitement when I had the following sleep, and I was so excited I had to take a photo of it, and broadcast it to George immediately via a photo text.I have not had this amount of sleep measured, since I had the Fitbit. Long may it continue

a ps... as this photo was taken on the morning of the 8th I did wonder about the next night's sleep. It appears normal transmission has resumed - ie 3 1/2 hrs sleep out of a total of 7 in bed. Such is life!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

April 7th A Confession to Make

I have a food confession to make. Overall most of the time our meals are healthy. They are made from scratch, that is packets and jars really don't exist in this house. But every now and then the thought of having something classed as trash by the food snobs really appeals.

One example is (and Kiwis will be more aware of this product) the packets of Rice Risotto. Into the microwave and 20 minutes later you have a fairly good Rice meal (definitely not a Risotto by any means of the imagination), but they are quite tasty. We don't have them often but I do keep a packet in the pantry.

When I was supermarket shopping for the week ahead, my beady little eyes sighted Chicken Sausages. You may think there is nothing wrong with Chicken Sausages - but with a Chicken content of 65%, one has to wonder what the other 35% masked under the chemical names really is.  But I came, I saw and I conquered.

Guess what we had for dinner last night. Not a great photo sorry - as it had been a busy day and I was late cooking dinner.

These were served with the best mashed potato in the world (aka George's creamy mashed potatoes), peas and gravy. Oh and that's another confession. The plan was to make a gravy from scratch, but somehow there was one of those packets in the pantry that matched this dinner perfectly.

Massive apologies to the food snobs out there - ummm, not really. This was comfort food after a hectic, busy day at its best! 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

April 2nd to April 6th Birthdays, Buns and Easter

Well... for a Holiday and Easter weekend that wasn't particularly busy, there was a mix of full on and not full on for the weekend.  It started busy as it was my oldest Granddaughter's 6th Birthday and festivities were in order, starting on Thursday evening, the day of her actual birthday. As the main party wasn't until Friday, cupcakes were decjded upon to help celebrate her actual birthday.

I cannot understand the particular nuance of this rabbit which is effectively a cupcake with a rabbit's bum sticking up in the air? This did take some figuring out as at first we thought it was two funny bear faces on the edge of a white blob. What do you think?

On to the next day, and shall we just sing together 'Let It Go, Let It Go......' especially with regards to the above cupcake and on to the actual birthday cake.  We celebrated with a kids only party (with parents and a Nana being the exception) at 'Leap' - a trampoline wonderland.  I don't know what is wrong with my face but one particular demon child at the party - who would not have been more than 3 years old? - was giving me the evils. I have never had a kid stare me down to this extent! It got to the stage where I wondered if I had a large zit on the end of my nose or lipstick smeared over my teeth. But no, she was just a demon child giving me the evils. As the song goes however 'Let It Go'  and here is the Birthday cake with Elsa or Anna - I never know which is which

With birthday celebrations out of the way, Saturday dawned and the news that we could expect a Blood Moon and a Lunar Eclipse, and also Daylight Saving was ending this very day. With a sky like this, I didn't expect a very clear moon, but very late that evening I was proven wrong and I did see the eclipse - but didn't stick around for the Blood Red Moon

On to Sunday, and by this time we both were in burn out mode and recovering from what had been a fairly hectic and stressful few days earlier in the week. Our only human interaction was with our lovely neighbour and his gorgeous daughter bringing us a gift of Hot Cross Buns

Monday dawned and it was out of Burn Out mode and on to the chores that beckoned. George finished rebuilding a fence and I admired Dandelions - they may be a weed in the eyes of many, but they are always so delicately formed and beautiful to me.

On that note, I bid you Adieu. Farewell to Easter 2015. My oldest Granddaughter is another year older and now 6 years old and these are the Days of Our Lives!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

April 1st No Fools

I was discussing with a friend today that April 1st isn't quite the jokes that it used to be. Or maybe it is just us and with age it has changed?  No tomfoolery in this sphere for me and it was a busy day. We decided to eat out tonight as it has been a very long time since we have enjoyed a Thai meal, so Thai it was. You can never go wrong with Thai food. However there is a reason as to why I enjoy this particular Thai restaurant. We have a Thai grocery store here and it is full of all things wonderfully Thai. One day the owner, a lovely lady, was sharing a recipe with me and we were having a general chit chat, and I asked her out of all the Thai restaurants here in Hamilton,did she have a favourite?  Yes she did, and if it is good enough for this lovely lady it is good enough for us.

Needless to say with the amount served here for the two of us, a doggy bag was requested and George has lunch for today!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

March 31st A.T.M.


Can be an abbreviation for At The Moment. Or as in my case today Automatic Teller Machine. Why they just didn't call them MM I don't know. M M for Money Machine. But then I guess a certain musical artist known as Eminem would be confused and a certain brand of candy wouldn't appreciate it. So ATM it is.

I had heard that the ANZ Bank had put a pretty front on one of on their ATM machines. I thought this was up in Auckland only, and the machine was branded in rainbow colours to mark Gay Pride Week. It was a pleasant surprise therefore to find a local machine branded with Red Poppies to mark ANZAC Day which is approaching.

Allow me to present our local ATM machine, suitably attired for the occasion