Monday, November 26, 2007

Home-grown

When Tommy arrived back from the Barrier the other week he brought back a wee surprise....




... Potatoes!! The garden had been trampled as work started on building the deck so unless it recovers from the beating (and it may yet) there won't be any vege ready for the holiday at New Year. Luckily Tommy decided to see if there was actually anything under the soil and found some lovely tatties under the ruins... Our first Barrier crop!!


And they were delicious!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Random acts of …

Driving to work this morning, feeling very pleased with myself achieving so much over the weekend, I spotted something… er... unusual.
I was in a queue of traffic waiting for the lights. A few spots ahead of me there was a bus and someone standing on the pavement beside it. I thought perhaps she was waiting to cross the road and wondered why she didn’t cross while the traffic was at a stand still. Then as the bus started moving of she started waving madly at the bus… ah… she’s waving someone off… a friend or perhaps a child on their way to school. But then as the next car moved forward she turned and waved at it too. I could see the driver stiffen up with shock.
As I passed she looked me in the eye, her face was beaming a happy smile,eyes twinkling merrily, and as she waved at me I couldn’t help but smile and wave back. I looked in the rear view mirror as the traffic moved slowly forward and could see her waving at every single car that passed.
I wonder how many people waved back?
Was she a bit loopy? Had she “escaped” the hospital? Or was she just spreading the luuurrrve?
Whatever the motivation it gave me the warm fuzzies and I can’t help but quietly smile each time I think of it... I hope that my smile and wave does the same for her!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Home alone...

Early Thursday morning Tom left to catch the ferry over to Great Barrier for four days. I heard from him in the evening with very exciting news… the deck is under way and will be finished in the next week or so!! Very cool, I can’t wait to see it! Tommy suggested I fly over for the weekend… damn… that was a tough one. I tossed it up, live for the moment and go over to hell with the housework. The problem was I had planned to do stuff around the house and I knew if I went away then I’d be thinking about what wasn’t getting done. I decided not to go…
When Friday dawned grey and bleak so my decision was sealed… the housework would get done after all. I had hoped to get away from work a bit earlier so I could get a head start on the tasks I’d set for myself. Unfortunately a couple of key people were away so I stayed on in case anything came up that I could help with. After that I didn’t much feel like doing anything but I cleared the dining table and tidied the lounge before I sat down to upload the duck video in the last entry…. Bloody thing kept falling over and I got interested in a late movie so it was 2:00am before I finally went to bed.
The sun streaming in the window woke me … or rather pierced my eyelids around 8am… Gaaah!! Lots to do… gimme coffee!
I rearranged the closet in Libby’s room, cleared the laundry, put a couple of loads of washing through the machine and hung them out… Did the dishes, scrubbed out the kitchen sink and laundry tub… screwed the seat back onto one of the dining chairs, re-attached the drawer handle in the bathroom and Libby’s dressing table, and a few other small chores. I’ve been wanting to make another batch of apricot and chilli jam for ages so that was next on the list. This time I pureed a can of mango and added that to. When I added the sugar it looked like a lot more than normal but it was already mixed in… turned out okay though so I guess I’ve “improved” the recipe again… happy accident!
With all that out of the way I decided I should tackle the digital photos. This is a job I sort of started quite a while ago after we had a bit of scare with the computer but had lost momentum on. My plan was to format the external drive we already have and move all the photos over to there as well as having CD/DVD backups. With Tommy away it was the perfect opportunity but first I had to try and create a logical way to file everything. Everything that was taken since I went digital was pretty much in chronological order but Tom’s photos taken prior to that weren’t really in any sort of system. It took a while to knock them into shape but I got there in the end. Everything got copied over to the external drive and then deleted from the PC as I also made DVD copies of everything. After that I found some random CDs with photos on from various sources so they also got copied to the external drive… Yeehaaa!! All done now so I’m very happy about that!!
I headed off to bed earlier than the previous night but hard a hard time getting to sleep and then dreamt crazy dreams all night…
I was up and on my way to the markets by 7am. I did both Takapuna and Browns bay and stopped in at a temporary clothing sale and scored some bargains… Xmas party dress for $15!! Score!!
Back from the markets, I made a quick coffee while I sprayed the oven then went next door to see Eunice and drop her washing basket back to her (she saved my washing from the rain earlier in the week – what a love!). I also took her over a small jar of my apricot/chilli jam. I spent about an hour chatting with her and by the time I got back the oven was ready for wiping out and rinsing. Then I put the new cushion covers I picked up from the dollar shop on my old cushions … instant makeover! I had “discovered” the curtains for the dining area when I clearing Lib’s room on Saturday so the next thing to tackle was putting them back up! They came down a year ago when we were having the house painted so it was well over-due getting them back up.
It’s been a busy weekend and I’m really pleased with what I’ve achieved. It’s also been quite weird having the house to myself for a whole weekend… It seems like a very long time since it last happened! I’ve really enjoyed being able to do things in my own time without having to think about anyone else. I really has been very productive and yet very relaxing. I’ve been able to get stuck into my list early in the day which has left time for more relaxing pursuits in the afternoons. At the same time it’s been very odd going to bed knowing Tommy won’t be there when I wake up. I have to say that I’m looking forward to him getting home in a couple of hours…. He’s on the ferry back right now. It feels that he’s been away much longer three nights!! We have so much to catch up on!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mid-week Oasis

Yesterday I went to the Ellerslie Flower Show with Mum and some of her friends. It was a bit of a treat to have a day off work in the middle of the week!

Mum and co had left Dargaville early and arrived to pick me up - or rather get me to drive - around 9:30. It had beed raining so the traffic was pretty congested and we copped a few showers of rain on the way over. Still, we had a really good time. I don't know whether the weather had put people off going or if perhaps being midweek not as many people could go on that day but whatever the cause there weren't any great crowds there. This meant that we didn't have to queue for any of the exhibitions which was a blessing. I reckon going on the first day was a great idea... thanks Mum!

It was a real feast of colour, shapes and ideas. I tucked a few ideas away and managed to restrain my plant buying to three small pots of Bower Beauty... I couldn't resist the lushness of it!! I also treated myself to some smoked garlic and smoked/spiced salt... mmmm!

We were pretty lucky with the weather... well mostly... it rained a few times while we in the exhibition marquees but when we all meet up for lunch it faired hosed down!! We raced to get shelter under a tent near the entrance. It eased (but didn't stop) after a while and we all had coats or umbrellas so we decided to carry on and meet up in another hour. By this stage we'd seen most of the show and what was left was essentially just stalls... still... you never know what you might have missed....


video

Ha!! Those little fellas sure were having a blast!!

It cleared up not long after this so we went back and revisited some stalls to buy goodies ... I try to leave the actual buying part until just before leaving so that there's less to lug around the show and it also means I've got time to decide if I really do want those things and avoid impulse purchases!

All in all a good day... will have to do it again next year!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Crackers!

We were invited to a BBQ dinner and fireworks on Monday (Guy Fawkes) with friends. They have two young children that were very excited about the prospect of seeing their crackers going off. We had a nice meal and as it got dark we started making preparations, filling a large bin with compost as a base to sit the fireworks in and taking everything down to the back of the section.
I had taken my camera so that I could play about with the settings and try to get some photos. I'm trying to learn a bit more about the multitude of features on the camera each time I use it so it was an interesting experiment. A lot of the photos I took were duds... blurry, over exposed, under exposed, or just plain missed the action. There were a few that have escaped the delete key... the sparkler photos turned out kind of cool.

It seems to me that the crackers aren't as spectactular, don't last as long and the sparklers burn too quickly now. Everything seemed so much more magical when I was a kid. They can't have changed too much though because the kids still obviously enjoyed themselves as much as I used to.
I feel quite sad at the prospect that fireworks may be banned in the future because of accidents that occur or the down-right stupidity of some of the people that use them or the poor (dangerous) quality of some brands. Why does the majority have to miss out because of the actions of a few? Every year it seems we get closer to losing this. There are reports of burns and fires caused by fireworks. I find it a bit strange how around Guy Fawkes the media reports on fires more (even though many of these aren't necessarily firework related) but they are really more interested in ratings so fuelling the fire with sensational reporting is the name of the game. Grrrr!
There are so many things out there in far more use and causing far more damage on a more regular basis than fireworks... cars.... alcohol... just for starters. Both individually and in conjunction with one another cause more havoc on a daily basis than fireworks do but I don't think they'll be getting banned anytime soon!
Like I said ... crackers!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

New Addition...

Meet Lululoo... my new laptop!! We haven't really gotten to know much about each other yet although I suspect she already knows more about me than I do her!!

Do you think you'll hear from me a bit more often now?