Yes, this is as exciting as it got for today. Isn't that what life is all about. Just a day prior I was on an outing, and then today it was back to reality. The big decision was how many potatoes do I peel? I always have this dilemma and end up with too many potatoes, but at least we have leftovers.
I know if you are catering finger food you allow so many pieces per head (4 or 5 I think is the equation), and I am not sure if there is some magic equation for potatoes per head? Actually if anyone knows, I would appreciate you sharing this information.
However if I start doing just enough, we will never have any leftovers. So maybe not!
This evening I attended a trade function up in Auckland, with suppliers from all over the US in attendance They were there to tell us the great things about their respective State, Hotel, Airline etc etc.
There is one family owned hotel in San Francisco that is extremely popular with the NZ market, The Handlery, and it was amazing to hear that the owner John has been coming to NZ for 30 years in a row now to promote his hotel.
We were encouraged to adorn fancy dress to reflect the USA. Transport was provided for us from Hamilton up to Auckland, and in our group we had Marilyn Monroe.
Officiating as MC was Jackie Clarke
Marilyn took out first prize, followed by Mrs USA, Pam (my roomie from my trip to Thailand last year) with a magnificent Golden Gate Bridge on her head (which unfortunately can't be seen here), the Statue of Liberty and Captain America
A wonderful evening up in Auckland. The only odd thing about the night? The function was held at the venue known as 'The Cloud' and is situated right there on Auckland Harbour at the wharf. Dinner was provided, and this was the offerings. I am still pondering beans and mash and these weird little chicken sausages?
I have been having a Spring clean. A very late Spring clean I admit, but there has been enough done to qualify as a Spring clean. Actually you could look at it the other way and call it a very, very early Spring clean.
For those in a hemisphere different to myself, we are on the doorstep to Autumn here.
In my cleaning travels, I came upon not only Wedding cards from our wedding day (awwww so nice to read again), but also the place cards. Instead of place cards as such, I had organza bags filled with home made (not by me) heart shaped chocolates. And the cards were tied to each bag, and placed where each guest was to sit.
I had forgotten all about these until I saw them today. What a pleasant memory to think back on
A quiet home based weekend for us. Friday started off with celebrating our nephew's birthday party. It was a low key party for a 15th, but the doggies in attendance made sure they got a sniff full of each others bums.
Saturday dawned and we were overwhelmed with stones.
Here's the reason why. If this doesn't slow down the Oxalis, we give up!
Finally on to Sunday, and with a bit of damp weather about earlier in the week, we stumbled upon some 'shrooms I would have taken the to eat, but with being in a park, along an access way frequented by lots of dogs, they most probably have been peed upon a multitude of times!
Wow to the dinner we had tonight. It was simple, easy to put together and very tasty. This is one of those recipes you see on Facebook, which I did some Irene tweaking to. Cut in half and deseed Capsicum (or Bell Peppers for people in other hemispheres). Brush olive oil on the inside of the peppers. Then put in finely chopped Basil, ham and grated cheese. Break an egg in and add salt & cracked black pepper. Into the oven until the egg is set.
The verdict - yum! I have no idea what they are called but I will definitely be making these again.
Don't panic people. Esme was only visiting and not in residence. If we were to have one of these gorgeous, sweet smelling little bundles in the house on a permanent basis I think MInnie might be a tad put out at not being the centre of attention. As it was she just had a sniff of Esme, and then totally ignored her, until it was time to leave. Minnie then decided Esme needed another sniff
The day dawned and Shelley knew something was amiss. That feeling you get when something just isn't right. Shelley knew today was one of those days. She felt a shell of her former self. It was like a weight had been lifted from her, but not in a good way. Her body felt ethereal and empty. What was going on? If only she could find a mirror, but she was stuck in this vast wasteland. From the corner of her eye she could glimpse some green beyond, but no matter how she tried she could not move. The realisation then struck her - this was the afterlife and she had been consigned to hell.
Well I am going to have to start my photos of the weekend backwards. I was witness to a murder in our garden. A Spider invited a Cicada into it's parlour (for a Valentine's meal perhaps?), and then trapped it in it's web. The Cicada discovered to its dismay, that there was to be no three course dinner, it had flown into a trap, was caught up in a web of deceit, and instead of being the lucky recipient of a sumptuous Valentine's Day feast, it itself was the meal.
As for our Valentine's Day gift. Well we (and our creaky bones and aches and pains every morning) decided that we were in need of a new bed. We actually set out to complete this purchase last year, but came home with a new lounge suite instead. When it comes to shopping, George and I are perfectly in sync and our brains work in mysterious ways together!
This time we made our way to a bedding store so our eyes wouldn't wander (curved HD Smart LED/LEC TV is on the wishlist). And here is our successful outcome. Now we just have to wait for it to be manufactured and delivered
Life has been revolving around Minnie for the last couple of days. A bee sting yesterday, had us watching her for any reactions. Today it was time to take her to the Vets for her annual check up.
Here is the procedure and it is not entirely stress free, I tell you! The car journey there is fine. But once I park outside, she recognises the place and knows there are lovely animal smells in there and just wants to get out of the car and get in there. All this is happening whilst I am trying to retrieve my handbag and get the car keys. Hop out of the car and try and look composed, but I have had a dog bouncing on my boobs, she is on the leash but just wants to get inside and my clothes are every which way but how they should be.
Enter the veterinary clinic. Minnie doesn't meekly want to go to the reception counter Oh no, she turns the other way because there are smells to be smelt. Oh look another dog - whose owner informs me that her little precious gets upset easy with other dogs, and please can we keep a distance. A distance - yeah right. Tell that to Minnie, who just sees a delicious doggy bum to smell.
Yank her back to Reception and announce our reason for being there. Try and get Minnie to stand on the scales, but she does a quick run over them, twice for good measure and we can ascertain that she is at her normal weight that she has been practically all her life (I mumble under my breath - bitch).
Then we wait, with Minnie smelling every smell and still spotting that other delectable little doggy bum she just wants to sniff. Finally Minnie is called.
We are informed that she is heading into her twilight years. Her eyes are showing signs of age, her teeth are in damned good condition, and unlike me, she is nice and lean. She should be with us for a few more years yet. She gets the sign off and her annual vaccinations.
Back out to Reception. For Gods Sake! Precious is still out there. I try and retrieve my credit card from my purse, which is deep in my handbag, while trying to keep Minnie away from Precious.
Finally exit the Vets. Put Minnie in the car, remove the leash - and she returns to her normal respectable self!
Well not really. But when I first get up and am in Zombie and chill mode, I am relaxed. Especially when I peek out our back window and this sight greets me every morning
The day is definitely not relaxing, especially on a working day. But you get to end of day. Seeing this view calms the nerves, and just between you and me (but I won't tell anyone else) a glass or two of Red certainly helps
And even Minnie is in agreement that now is the time to go ahhh and let the stresses of the day melt away. Although her stress amounts to when am I going to have my walk, is my water bowl full, is there a bit of dry on hand if I get the munchies?
I don't know if I alone suffer this problem, but child proof locks! I dread when I have to open a new container and it is one of these ridiculous 'squeeze here, and turn at the same time' child proof locks. They not only are child proof, but they are Irene proof locks.
I went to clean the toilet today (even a domestic goddess has to stoop to the mundane), and do you think I could open this one. I even walked away and came back and still couldn't open it. How ridiculous, but I had to wait for George to come home. Imagine if I lived on my own - I would have to go to the neighbours to get them to open my bottle of toilet cleaner. Or why can't manufacturers make two lots. One with child proof locks for small children in the house and one without child proof locks.
Do you want to pee me off in 5 seconds and give me a present at the same time? Buy me a bottle of toilet cleaner!
Happy Chinese New Year to all, as we head into the Year of the Monkey. In Chinese Astrology, I was born in a Monkey year, and I am what is known as a Fire Monkey. Having just read that Monkey years can be unlucky for those who are a Monkey - I won't delve any further, and will just take my Chinese Year of the Monkey as it comes.
That being said however, it won't stop me wishing you all a very Happy Chinese New Year.
A very quiet weekend on the home front. It is also a long weekend, and Monday is a Public Holiday thanks to Saturday being Waitangi Weekend.
It was the first time in a long time that Minnie and I have walked together in the neighbourhood. We have both been spoilt and Johnny has been taking her out, when we were at home for the day during their stay Actually in all truth he didn't have much choice, as everyday at 11am Minnie would walk up to Johnny and give him 'The Look'. This is the quiet intense stare she gives you when she has decided it would be a good time of day to get out and about and for her to stretch her paws and smell a few leaves of grass.
We ventured out before I got 'The Look'. And it is amazing how in a few short weeks, the changes that have happened in our hood! Firstly Husky House where the adorable Husky resides behind a very long fence and peers at us through the gate, was empty. All outside furniture gone, it was totally empty. No sign of Husky or human habitation, so we won't be able to say hello to Husky anymore.
Next up, the little flat where the courier driver resided, also cleaned up and empty. There was a very creepy and emotional movie released a couple of years ago called 'There's Something About Kevin' - and this driver's name (on his van door) is Kevin, and he moved in around the time we watched the movie. I know I sound (and most probably am) a total nut job, but everytime I walked past his flat, saw his van there - I couldn't resist saying to myself "There's Something About Kevin". Not out loud of course but it really became such a habit.
So there's a couple of residents moved from the 'hood. Next up were the houses on the market. 'Reclusive Pigeon People's House' has a For Sale Sign on it. You always saw the pigeons but never saw any humans around.
Finally the 'Nice House That Has Just Been Painted' is also on the market. I can never understand why people do up a house when they are ready to sell. You ning nongs! You do it up so you get to enjoy it whilst you are there, so you get some enjoyment of living in a nice home. That way it is in a good condition if the time comes and you either have to, or decide to sell.
That actually was Sunday's photos, as I am writing in reverse mode. As for Saturday? Well I made this lovely Guacamole with beautiful new season Avocados purchased when we were staying over at the beach. One Avocado surprised me however, I have never seen one with a stone this small. And yet the Avocado itself was beautiful and wonderful and buttery. This was a little surprising!
OK so my score may have been 1, but to show I am a not a sore loser, I am willing to publicize the results. I guess I also should mention that as this game was the first, I insisted we make it out of 3. Happy to say I redeemed myself. Not that I am pointing the finger or anything at you Bryan?
All I can say is Wow! Look what was gifted to me today
This is a Pewter hip flask made in Thailand. It is very old and extremely heavy. Now you may wonder as to the reason why I said Wow. Well have a look at the front and you will see why this is so precious to me
We purchased this wonderful large framed poster when we were visiting Rotorua. Absolutely love it. The colour is perfect for our kitchen/dining room wall and most importantly it is so true with the statement: NZ - Wonderland of the Pacific
Well life is definitely back on an even keel. Nothing exciting going on in this part of the 'hood. In fact with it being my first day back at work after a break for a week, it was a matter of head down, other end of the anatomy pointing to the ceiling, don't poke your head outside for much of the day.
I must have had wind of the day ahead (no I am definitely not talking flatulence here!), and knew normal transmission had resumed, as the only photo I took today was of my bowl of porridge. Which constitutes the beginning of my work day routine - after one very hot black coffee that is.
Two days ago we were sitting looking at the ocean on the East Coast of New Zealand. Now we are back home and life is returning to normal, it was time to head to the West Coast to Raglan. The purpose being to deliver a belated birthday present, to our granddaughter Samara, who turned three whilst we were away from home.
Raglan isn't all seaside and surf. For a start there is Karioi Mountain - which on a clear day we can see from our front deck at home in Hamilton - approximately a 45 minute drive away
There is a one way bridge heading back into town. You can guarantee that no matter which way you head, you will usually have a wait, the length of which is determined by the season. There is always something interesting to look at, especially from the passenger seat of a vehicle.