Saturday, March 31, 2012

Taylor Swift Pictures

Going through the camera made me realise that I hadn't put up the pictures from the concert 2 weeks ago.
However there are not many so don't hold your breath.

Yes we were there

the arena filling up with people standing hoping to get up close and personal

the boys having a great time

Taylor Swift singing down below us

Friday, March 30, 2012

Blood Pressure

Do you have problems with your blood pressure?
It is a common enough problem.

As parents I am sure our pressure has risen higher than it should on occassions, but then they always do something to make it come back down again, got to love them!

Steve's is high, I mean way to take medication high!
However in the last 2 days if he could give me some of his high blood pressure then it would assist me with my rather too low blood pressure! The doctor laughed at this and said 'if only'

Yesterday morning my blood pressure decided that I had to have a close encounter with the wardrobe! I am fine I am not hurt, luckily the wardrobe made me sit back down on the bed where I was able to close my eyes until the room had stood still.
Once I was up and going I was fine for the rest of the day.
This morning when I lifted my head off the pillow the room was swirling not nicely, so I put it back down again.
This time I got Steve to check my BP before I even got out of bed.
He had trouble finding it at 90/60. It is usually 120/70 which is good by the way the other is too low.
So Alex kindly got mummy a drink and I decided that I would stay home, but half hour later I decided that I was fine for work and off we went.

I was however a good girl and made an appointment at the doctor.
He sent me for a whole heap of blood tests as when I saw him it was only just 102/65.

I feel sort of fine, a little light headed but able to carry on. I am tired so am resting when I feel like it.
When we got home from work it was 90/68 and I have a feeling that if I checked it again now it would be pretty much the same, I can tell by how wishy washy my head feels. Seems there is a reason to have a decent blood keeps you on your feet! Although the boys loved listening to my BP as because it was quite low it didn't get uncomfortable when Steve blew the cuff up each time so the boys could listen to my BP through the stethoscope.

What is funny is I found this next picture in Google images whilst searching for the above picture....

I am not exercising as much as 30 mins a day but I am loosing weight however if that is making my blood pressure go down then maybe I will love the weight I have and not complain!

Monday, March 26, 2012


Do you Pin, have you Pinned? Have you even checked it all out?

I have often wondered about Pinterest? What is it, why would anyone want to join, how does it work?
I have got the general jist of pin pictures to virtual noticeboards showing people what you like. Be it a picture of an ornament, postcard, book, dress pattern, fabric, bathroom accessory or anything for the house really, a design of wallpaper etc etc

I am just amazed that to have notice boards on Pinterest you have to be 'invited' yes you can not just create an account and away you go, you have to send for an invite!
An invite to what?
I sent for an invite last night. I have received an email back saying that I have been put on the waiting list and they'll be sure to send me an invite real soon.

I feel like I am waiting to join a country club or something so equally special.
I feel like I am almost waiting for someone else to quit Pinterest so I can then have noticeboards!

Are you on there?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What are you doing in April?

When I was blog surfing a few weeks ago, I came across a blog telling you about a challenge for the month of April.
Info about it as written below:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenges to post the letter of the alphabet every day during the month of April, with Sundays off for good behavior. Since April 1 falls on a Sunday, that will be the day we start with A. Whether you go with a theme or freestyle, your post must match the letter of the alphabet for that day. Add your name to the list, grab the badge in the right sidebar, and when the Challenge begins, start by visiting the blog immediately after your own.

So what do you need to do to join pop on over to the website for the challenge and you link your name in. Then everyday as they mentioned throughout April you post with the letter of the day. You also try and go and visit others to see what they are posting about.
The website gives you all the information you require to achieve this challenge. Lots of suggestions etc on what to blog about for the month, do you want to do a theme, a picture blog, a sewing related blog anything goes really in April.
Great way to find new friends etc

Will I maybe see you there?

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Here in New Zealand, as I am sure is happening in all countries, they are trying to get the young to realise that smoking is not cool, it is not friendly and it is not our future (as the campaign goes).

They have come up with several slogans and teamed these up with some famous New Zealanders to promote. Thus in turn hoping that if they see one of the sports stars or actors that they like promoting that smoking is not cool then maybe they will listen and not smoke.
These promotions are everywhere, adverts on buses, bus shelters, in magazines, on the radio and tv.

They have decided to put them on the back of the buses used by the bus company to move school children, again hoping that they will be more readily seen by this part of the population.
The buses used are normal everyday buses that just have a fold down sign on the back that then lets you know it is currently a 'school' bus.
The fold down sign is big and bright and yellow and clearly visable.
However what some one didn't think about is the effect of the 'not smoke campaign' and the word 'SCHOOL' when it was visable.

So now we have ended up with the following happening.......
Take one campaign slogan........"What gave you the idea that smoking was cool?" then in bright letters you conveniently have the words "SCHOOL"

The 2nd campaign slogan was......"Take action, take control, quit"........."SCHOOL"

A few red faces at the moment as they realise what the back of the buses now say!
Apparently when they come up with more slogans they will try them on the back of the bus with the school sign first to ensure it reads ok.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Support Person

I have unexpected become a support person this week.
Sadly not for someone about to have a baby but for someone who is going through open heart surgery.

A dear friend of my mum's has come to Hamilton from Rotorua (only place to come) and today she went to surgery.
She came to Hamilton on Sunday and I got told she was here Tuesday. So I skipped and jumped as fast as I could to her ward and said 'hi'.
Now I have been visiting her everyday, supporting her through her stay and today I supported her all the way to theatre.
As I write this I am waiting for the call from the hospital to tell me she is out of theatre and that her triple bypass heart operation was successful. She does have relatives but as her brother lives on an island 30 East of Auckland he is not readily available to her and her Nephew is in Rotorua but he can not be here in Hamilton all the time to support her. So she asked me to be around if possible, I was more than happy to help her as I know she is very dear to mum and their friends in Rotorua.

We have a long road a head.
She will spend the weekend in Intensive Care, I will visit but she will hardly know I am there.
Then she will move to the Cardiac ward and I will visit her lots more there.
Eventually she will be able to return to Rotorua where she has many wonderful friends to support her through the next 3 months of her recovery period.

Definitely turning into a village supporting one of their own.

Things I am Loving....

Today I am reflecting on the things I am loving....

Rich Toffee Bars - yes I am loving food, well certain food anyway. I am trying to do Weight Watchers but without using too much of their own food. I want this weight lose to work with ordinary everyday food so when I stop I can continue with food I am use to, haing said that I ahve found their Toffee Bars and they are delish. They are sweet and gooey and just get you through that craving for chocolate you may have, but at just 2 points a bar they are well within the limits of my food for the day.

I am loving little children having a school disco - last night I got to help at the senior disco, it was so cute. All these little 9&10yr old girls out in their best little party frocks dancing away. I love the fact they wanted to wear their best dress to a disco, I know how soon that will change and they will flip to jeans and tops that are as tight as they are short! Ben wore long sleeves and got so hot he turned pink, but he had a blast and is already talking about when they might have another!

I am also loving home help - we got a new sitter this week who helps by collecting the boys from school and brings them home, does homework with them and feeds them dinner.
The boys are lobing her already and the chores are getting done and the homework complete. Life is back to running smoothly for then moment, so what's not to love.

Go check out over at Paisley Jade's what others are lobing loving this week
Have a great weekend

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Getting Older

Today the school are having some discos.
The junior disco will be straight after school and the senior disco will be at 6.30pm.

Alex will be attending the junior disco as this goes up to Yr 3 and therefore Ben will now be attending the senior disco!
Last night Alex negotiated all his money, we happily agreed to pay for the door entry and also a little towards some snacks. He then mentioned that he wanted to get some "Glow Glasses" like glow sticks but shaped as glasses, however we are well aware that he has money sitting in his wallet in his room, so we told him what we would pay for and that if he wanted anything extra he had to pay.
He happily got his money out and sorted what he was having and how much it would cost.
This morning he happily went to school with his wallet full of the money required to get him through his disco after school.

Ben on the other hand, will be collected at the end of school and taken home. He will then go back to school later tonight for his disco. He is more chuffed at the fact the disco does not finish until 8.30pm than about the actually disco.
As I am on the PTA then I have volunteered to help at the senior disco, so I will be there with him, to an extent. I will be helping in the kitchen with the food whilst he is out there sharing his stuff with his mates.
He is a very friendly outgoing person when he wants to be, so will be interesting to see how he handles being in a more relaxed enviroment and with older kids around. This disco goes up to Yr 8 (13yr old) Ben at present is Yr 4 and only just turning 9, so quite an age difference to contend with.
He too has to sort his money out before he goes tonight. We again have agreed to pay for the entry and towards snacks but any glow stick extras he wants, he will have to fund himself.

This was my decision to make them use their own money, when I mentioned it to Steve he agreed and said they had to understand that money wasn't just there for them to use whenever they felt like it.
We currently do not do pocket money and I am not sure when we might start it, but at least they are getting some understanding of money.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Journey Home

Auckland is dominated by a motorway system.
Although New Zealand has not quite learnt the correct way to handle a large mass of traffic but they are trying.
Having come from Europe myself, I have seen large systems in place and know how they should work!

Coming home we went past a huge amount of roadworks, now I know this was to be expected as it was almost midnight on a Sunday night, so they don't expect a lot of traffic and thus making it a prime time to fix roads.
However not long out of town we got dropped from 3 lanes down to 1, this was because they were preparing for the work they were going to do later. It caused a lot of traffic build up. In my eyes they could so easily have waited half an hour, let the majority of the concert traffic go past on the motorway and then set up their cones without too much disruption!
I know the concert didn't cause that much traffic but it definitely caused more than your usual amount at this time on a Sunday evening.

However the best was yet to come.
Just as we were getting to the main out of South Auckland suburd area we got warned that the motorway ahead was closed and therefore we were getting diverted off the motorway.
I quickly worked out where we were and reassured Steve that this was actually an easy detour because they could take us off at the junction, take us cross country and bring us back on 2 junctions south. It meant a little detour through Takanini and Papakura but would only add an extra 10 mins at most. I didn't however actually know how to do the route so we followed the detour signs like good people.
So we followed the detour through Takanini and into Papakura. At the main lights in town this convoy of traffic (about 30-40 odd cars) turned right and then left and then left again and then surprise surprise left again, suddenly we were going back down where we had come from!
Steve questioned this but this was exactly what the signs had said.
We then turned left again a little further down the road and we guessed that they had wanted to keep the traffic flowing so had you do this crazy loop around Papakura centre.
However then suddenly we were at a set of lights and back in the centre of town again.
I very quickly realised, as did all the other traffic that if we followed the signs we would happily spend midnight going in a loop around Papakura.

Now you have to remember that most of the people in this convoy were trying to go south out of Auckland and for most this area was somewhere they had never been before, so here we are at midnight stuck in the centre of a town that we don't know with no idea as to which way the motorway was.

So I did the next best thing, I got my mobile out and called *555 which takes you through to the transport police. I happily explained the situation and told them they had better get someone into Papakura PDQ as there was a convoy of very annoyed travellers just trying to get home.
He guessed someone had been playing with the signs and said they would get it looked at.
We told him where we were currently sitting and he happily directed us to the motorway on ramp, which was still 2ks away from where we were!
By the time we got to the motorway, we were actually the only car out there, so what happened to the other 30-40 I have no idea, probably still going round and round Papakura town centre.

Luckily for us from there it was a free drive home for the next hour with no more troubles or roadworks!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Taylor Swift

We went, we saw, we enjoyed.

Yes we made it to the concert with the 50 thousand other screaming young girls.
I think this concert was 'the man upstairs' way of showing Steve and I why we are truely blessed with the 2 little boys we have. Our boys don't scream, well Alex does but minor detail now when we think about it, man can girls scream and I mean high piercing, get right to the middle part of your brain type scream.

The concert itself was a wonderful stage show, she really thought about how to give the crowd a show.
The stage was well designed and the costumes well planned.
It was obvious that we were seeing a brave well brought up 22 yr old because the whole show had a young feel to it, but it was delightful to see.
Yes, as mentioned in the press, she had many changes of clothes, and yes she played many an instrument along the way.

The way she was able to make the audience scream just by standing there and looking first left, then centre and then right. She did it with a simple smile on her face and made sure she looked in every direction. It was effective and simple.

The trap doors all over the stage. Several times throughout numbers, she would start on the stage solo and then suddenly her dancers would just spring up to life from underneath, with quite a height too. Again very effective. There were many acrobatic sequences within the show and the dancers had great range of style that was effective.

Twice she brought the show to the back of the venue from the stage. The first time she actually walked off the stage and wandered down an aisle past the pit, this caused total bedlum, but I got the feeling that people loved that she came close to them. She then sat on a platform with a tree lit up behind her and sang 2 songs at this end of the venue. It meant all who were not sat close to the stage actually got to see her closer and it too was effective.
The other time was in the finalie when she sang her Romeo and Juliet Song and she actually got into a balcony shaped basket and floated around the venue, with limitations, over the pit crowd and just to the edge of the seated areas. The people at the back were very happy she came forward to them.

I guess the other time that made all happy was when she came up on a settee, singing a song in this beautiful pink dress but the top half was covered with an All Blacks Rugby shirt. The crowd went wild. When she had finished the song she again just sat there with that simple smile on her face looking in all directions again, getting the reaction she intended to get for it. Simply done and very effective, very well planned on their part.

The boys, well they were some of the only males in the venue. Ben got into the show a lot more than Alex did but they both sang along to songs they knew.
There was never really a time when the whole venue was stood dancing, it just wasn't that type of show, although there were those that did stand and sway to the whole show.
There were the ones who, when it got quiet, yelled out 'we love you Taylor!' however what made this really funny was in one of the quiet moments, someone yelled this out, and someone else in the area was able to fit in "we love you more" it was a perfect moment that everyone laughed at.

The show finished quite late, we got back to the car for about 11pm. Alex started to slow right down at about 10pm and Ben started complaining about a headache not long after this, however I soon realised that he winced when the girls screamed more than when the music was actually playing, but then I was wincing when they screamed too. So whenever I could tell they were about to scream within the audience I quickly put my hands over his ears, just wish there had been someone there to do the same for me!
We were sensible and took their pyj's with us and a blanket, so once back at the car we got them changed and they were both asleep in the car before we had left the last Auckland suburd on the motorway.
This was useful because I wish we could say we had an uneventful journey back.

I will post about this later.......!
I do have some pictures that I took in the arena on the night, but nothing fabulous, I will add them to the post later

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Steve and I both brought a different aray of music to this relationship.
We both have different taste although we also have quite a lot in common.
The boys don't really stand a chance of not liking something we both like.
We listen to Classic Hits on the radio, quite a gentle radio station in that they play hits from 70's, 80's, 90's and today.
Steve, I know, would prefer to listen to something a little more heavier, More FM or The Rock, but I can't say that the presenters language etc are really great for the boys at this stage. Yes I like the songs but not the other areas.
However we seem this year to not be depriving our boys of listening to live music.

It use to be The Funky Monkeys we took them to and now suddenly we are on our way to Auckland to see Taylor Swift.
Yes you read correctly, we are one of those lucky people to have tickets to her world tour in Auckland on Sunday evening. In fact I have just read somewhere that this concert is in fact her very last of the tour. I think we are going to be in for a rather spectacular evening.
Her show has been described as:

"A two-hour theatrical presentation reminiscent of a Broadway experience, featuring elaborate costumes, dancers, aerialists, changing sets, innovative choreography and instrumentation on a multi-level stage."

Apparently she moves around the venue and uses different stages, giving every audience member a great view and she plays five different guitars in the show, including electric, acoustic and 12-string. She also plays two banjos, the ukulele and the piano, and changes costumes nine times.

When I brought the tickets last year (in August) I knew the boys would enjoy it, but we never told them about it until about 2 months ago. For a little while I thought maybe it was going to be too overwhelming for them, but now I think we are in for an amazing night out that will go in their memory bank for a little while to go.

It turns out that in the last few months they have managed to go and see the following people live in concert:
  • Gin Wigmore
  • The Mutton Birds
  • Avalanch City
They have sat (more times than I wish to count) and watched my DVD I have of Celine Dion's concert in Las Vegas and we are for ever playing Lady Antebellum on the stereo and also Adele, Bruno Mars, Def Lepherd and Guns 'n' Roses.

Lady Antebellum actually came to New Zealand this time last year. I got myself a ticket and actually drove up one evening to watch them and then drive home. Not really Steve's cup of tea but I think the boys would have loved them, however it was way loud but then no louder than Taylor Swift is going to be on Sunday evening! I loved their concert and had a blast, in fact I could rate it as one of those nights I will remember for a while.

So our boys are getting a rather varied mixture of music played to them and I think they are doing well with it.
Although we still have the teenage years to go through with them in their own rooms and listening to their own music. Maybe ask me again in 10 years time whether I am happy with what they are listening too then!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Things I'm Loving....

As Paisley Jade says every Friday.....

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something that you can be thankful for... no matter how simple it is.

Today I am loving the weather.
It was one of those days where when you wake it is a little cool and foggy but once the sun comes up the fog disperses and suddenly you are left with this glorious day.
The sky is blue and the sun is shinning.
Now I remember why I love living in New Zealand. This is one of those beautiful left over summer days that pop up at the beginning of autumn.

I am loving surprises too.
Well surprises for the children are even more fun. This morning when we dropped the boys at school there were 2 hot air balloons launching from the school grounds. I have never seen the boys run into school that fast before, they were so eager to see the balloons.
Once I got to work I nipped back to school to find out what was happening.
Turns out one of the parent's father's owns one of the balloons and decided to go flying today. So they cleared it with the Principle to be able to launch from the school. Well we had the sun and the glorious skies but sadly no wind once the balloon was blown up.
1 of the balloons did just manage to lift off, with one of the teachers inside, and then headed out over Hamilton, unfortunately when the bell went to start school we actually had no idea as to when that teacher was going to be back as we could all see the balloon gently floating over Hamilton heading north!
The children thought this was wonderful that their teacher had floated away and was coming back anytime soon.
The balloons totally disrupted school though because when the bell went at 9, no one wanted to move, they were giving up and down rides to the kids if they had parents there at the time, so many of the classes stood around and watched the balloons and then about 9.20 the balloon finally ran out of gas so they had to fold it down, the kids loved watching how fast they grounded the balloon and folded the canvas up, it was fascinating to watch.
think there will be many stories written today at school about how the balloons came to the school.
Such fun, thanks to Rebecca's dad for giving the school such joy on a glorious Friday morning.

I am also loving my weight lose.
Yes I lost another 500g (1.1lb) this week taking my total to 2kg (4.4lb).
Slow and steady still working and that is all I wanted.

Why don't you pop over to Paisley Jade where she is hosting this weeks Things I'm Loving for us to all join in with. Always great to get a boost of good feelings from others.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Keep Calm

Did you ever wonder where this came from?
Well pop over to Paisley Jade, she has a little history lesson about it and it is really quite interesting.

I am amazed at the way this saying has gone global, it has been used by many and adapted by more.

Blogs of Note

Do you ever take the time to visit the 'Blogs of Note' on the dashboard?
Occassionally I do, although I have to admit to having not looked for the last year or so!
A few weeks ago I actually took another look and I found some great blogs to read.

How about this one 366 Random Acts of Kindness. A guy based in Chicago, US who is taking a journey to give back through random acts of kindness every day of the year.
Some of the things he has done are so simple, others are a little bigger and only special to the city he lives in, but it sure does make you think about all the little things we could be doing to help others just because we can not because we have to. Almost like a pay it forward situation although in this instance the payment is just that feel good factor of having helped others in some way.

Do you have chickens or are you considering having chickens, then maybe you might want to check out Tilly's Nest a blog a Cap Cod family of four have put together to detail their journey as they keep backyard chickens. They offer creative solutions, handy tips, helpful information, recipes (yes even recipes for chicken) and just plain chicken talk. There are 8 chickens in the family and they all have names from Tilly (Head hen), Feathers, Autumn, Dolly, Sunshine and many others.

The last blog I came across was a challenge, a challenge that runs just through April, so actually still time for you all to consider whether you would be interested in joining in. The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is about writing a post for 26 of the days in April (every day except Sunday give or take) but following the letters of the alphabet as you post. So start with A and head towards Z.
This looks interesting and I have already starting thnking about my posts for April. What am I going to write about, am I doing a picture post, am I following a theme? So many options and so little time.

So there you have it, my take on the blogs of note that I have found interesting. I do so like it when people recommend blogs to check out. The blogging world is so wide and wonderful and I am always looking for new things to read and check out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Let's Get Stitched

A wonderful group of people over here at Designs by Fee decided to hold a Stitching Get Together in Tassie.
They have been planning it for the last year and it all came together this last weekend.
Apparently, from what I can read and see they had an awesome time.

So much so they are doing it all again next year in Adelaide.

I would love to go to Adelaide, I have seen and heard so much about it. It is one of those places I just want to visit.
Sadly I know it won't happen, next year is going to be a busy year if I go and do my teacher training. I won't be able to take 4-5 days out, in fact make that a week, to travel over there and really enjoy myself. So as much as I would love to be involved I know realistical it just will not be happening.

But on the bright side.....2014 is being held in NEW ZEALAND
Miche'le from By Hoki Quilts is taking that honour
And that one I know I can make, no worries about too much travelling time, it will be here right on my door step, because lets face it, New Zealand is small, nowhere is really that too far away, might have to drive a little because it may be the only way of getting to some places but who cares, I can drive. In fact I know that Michele lives in the South Island, so maybe a little plane ride and then a big drive!

So 2014 here I come, I will be joining in the Stitching Together Weekend

Monday, March 12, 2012

Little Visitor

Sadly, I was right.
Our own little Tiggy-Winkle was still in exactly the same place as we left it this morning.
So we put our bags away and then the boys and Steve set about digging a deep hole for it in the back garden.

The boys were not bothered at.
In fact I said to Steve that they seemed so excited about it I was worried about what would happen if one of the cats died? Probably find the boys would be racing to see who could dig the hole first!

Steve got the hedgehog from the front garden and as we put it in the hole, Alex said "Goodbye Hedgehog" and our little service was complete.

Mrs Tiggy-Winkle

A little girl named Lucie lives on a farm called Little-town. She is a good little girl, but has lost three handkerchiefs and a pinafore. She questions Tabby Kitten and Sally Henny-penny about them, but they know nothing. Lucie mounts a stile and spies some white cloths lying in the grass high on a hill behind the farm. She scrambles up the hill along a steep path-way which ends under a big rock. She finds a little door in the hillside, and hears someone singing behind it:

Lily-white and clean, oh!
With little frills between, oh!
Smooth and hot – red rusty spot
Never here be seen, oh!

She knocks. A frightened voice cries out, "Who's that?" Lucie opens the door, and discovers a low-ceilinged kitchen. Everything is tiny, even the pots and pans. At the table stands a short, stout person wearing a tucked-up print gown, an apron, and a striped petticoat. She is ironing. Her little black nose goes sniffle, sniffle, snuffle, and her eyes go twinkle, twinkle, and beneath her little white cap are prickles! She is Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, the animals' laundress and "an excellent clear-starcher". She keeps busy with her work.

The laundered clothing is tied up in bundles and Lucie's handkerchiefs are neatly folded into her clean pinafore. They set off together down the path to return the fresh laundry to the little animals and birds in the neighbourhood.

At the bottom of the hill, Lucie mounts the stile and turns to thank Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. "But what a very odd thing!" Mrs. Tiggy-winkle is "running running running up the hill". Her cap, shawl, and print gown are nowhere to be seen. How small and brown she has grown – and covered with prickles! "Why! Mrs. Tiggy-winkle is nothing but a HEDGEHOG!"

This weekend we found our own little Tiggy-Winkle, but alas there was no pinny, shawl or cap.
What we had instead was a very live hedgehog lying on the driveway by the car.
It still moved when touched and was sniffling around.

We do have hedgehogs in our garden, seeing as the garden has 2 great big hedges down either side, then it is not a shock to find one in the garden, usually we hear them scurrying around in the night.
However we were quite concerned as this was 4pm in broad daylight and that is unusual for these creatures.
We showed the boys and they were quite interested in our new found creature.
When Steve appeared from the garage with a large spade, I was quite shocked especially as he was in the process of telling us that "all these creatures need is a good whack with a spade!" turns out he was getting the spade to be able to move the hedgehog to the hedge in the garden.

It was fascinating to see the defensive mode it manages to go to when feeling under threat.
Its head and feet well protected under its spiky outer.
We moved the hedgehog but it still seemed a little unsure of where to go or what to do.

Eventually, after we had shoo'd the cat away several times, it scurried into the hedge and we left it to its own devises.

However this morning Steve informed us that our little friend was now curled up in a ball, still breathing, on the front lawn.
It strikes me as very odd and weird.
I myself sadly do not think that it will be alive when we get home. I do not think the cats will get it, but for it to be out in the daytime and in the open space as well strikes me as not good. I think something is wrong and sadly it is dying.
So we may have to have a little burial in the back garden tonight, otherwise the cats (mainly the other ones not ours) may play and the last thing we need is a played with hedgehog on the front lawn.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I go in fazes where I get stuck in a book and woe behold anything get in my way.
Sometimes I can be strong and know that if I start a book I won't put it down so I don't start it until I know there is nothing going to get missed by me reading it.
Other times I can go weeks without reading a book!
However what I can't do is go to sleep at night without reading something.
Magazines work best, because books, as mentioned get addictive and suddenly I find myself still reading at midnight!

So I am always finding magazines to read. People bring them to Judo to share, there is the biggest pile of them in the reception at work, so I borrow the magazine and then return it 2 days later.
The ones I like the best and this may shock some of you is People's Friend.

The normal magazine comes weekly

Or you get a Fireside that is filled with extra stories every couple of months

Or you get a seasonal special
I know, I know, an old magazine, usually aimed at old people, but the little short stories in them are great. they are always feel good stories but they are just enough to read 1 or 2 of before falling asleep.
My mum seems to get them from friends and when she has finished with them she passes them on to me. I then in turn usually pass them on to a waiting room either at the hospital or the doctors surgery.
I happily enjoy reading the gossip magazines but sometimes there is nothing interesting in them to read and I really don't need to know what the Kardashien's are up to this week!

So I may be old before my time, but I will happily continue to read all and any People's Friends that come my way.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Change Time

Change of seasons that is.
Officially the 1st March is the change time from Summer to Autumn here in New Zealand.
However in normal true fashion, someone always forgets to inform the weather man that we have changed, and this usually leads to us having exceptionally good weather when it is meant to be getting cooler.

Sadly we are not having this this year. Instead we are having daily reports on the radio about how crap summer was this year, how we have had the cloudiest summer for a while, how the crops may not be so good due to lack of direct sunlight or even that they are having a good start with all the rain we have had etc.

The boys have been doing swimming at school since they went back, which is usual here as this is the summer time, but this week is the end, they have had swimming sports this week and it has been a struggle to get the children enthused for it because the water in the pool is so cold none of them want to get in! The swimming gear will be put away this weekend and not see again until November December time.

We have a heat pump in the house and we try our hardest to not use it until absolutely necessary. This means I will not consider even turning the heat on until after April 1, that way we then manage to have the heater not in use for at least 5-6 months of the year. My attitude is that if you are cold in the evening put a sweater on or wrap a blanket round you. We have the heater going permanently from May to October so every bit of time we don't have it going is saving us money towards when it is going.
Easter is in early April this year so with everything going on then maybe I can even stretch it out to beginning of May this year!

Maybe this autumn we will get one of those lovely warm ones where the colours are all alive and vibrant and you ahve some lovely crisp days walking in the forest watching the world change once again, who knows?

Friday, March 09, 2012

Weight Lose

Although it is not been mentioned much I am making an effort to loose some weight.
I have joined Weight Watchers at work and am plodding along slow and steady.
But then in my mind it needs to be slow and steady to maintain, I find if you have a huge blow out of weight loss then you tend to put it back on again the next few weeks because you go back to eating normal again.
That is also why I am doing WW, I want to see how I am loosing weight whilst still eating normal everyday food, whether it be in the same portion as before or by making the portions slightly smaller. That way I know what is working and am not stressed out about having just had a chocolate bar or 3 lollies from the packet.

I am in awe of anyone who can loose weight via shakes and soups and then maintain that when they stop eating those set items.
I couldn't and that was a strength I recognised straight away.
This week I have still had a loss but not as great as previous weeks, but then I know there have been a few influencing factors and maybe next week will be different.
Seeing as this has only been a 3-4 week journey so far then I am not worried, I think you need that first month to encounter all the challenges that life throws your way. You see the differences in weight loss for each week and now know how to deal with it in the coming weeks/months.

So I am expecting nice things for the week a head, a nice weight loss and steady going. I know what went wrong in the last week and now what is good. So slow and steady will continue on, little steps by little steps.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

New Design?

Are you happy with the new blogger interface?
Do you use the new design?

By accident a few weeks ago I changed over to the new blogger interface and I am not sure about it. It has taken time to get use to, I do like the layout of the new post page, having everything across the top of the page is working but the rest of the website I am finding difficult to use.

It won't work at work anymore because it doesn't mix with basic google nor does my lap top seem to like the new interface.
However last night I found a button that allowed me to revert back to the old blogger interface and suddenly I feel like I am home again.

I want to keep moving with the times but at the same time I wish the move wasn't so drastic.
Am I the only one struggling with this change, is it something I will have to bite the bullet on sooner or later as it will be the only interface available?
Honestly I am trying, really hard, I just wish all my computers were accepting of it!

How are you finding it?


Last week we woke to find the Police in our street doing random breath testing! At 7am.

Apparently they still have a very high success rate of catching people over the limit the next morning!

I pointed it out to the boys and explained what they were doing. The boys were quite fascinated about this and carried on the conversation for most of the time whilst getting ready.
They asked all sorts of questions to get an understanding about alcohol and why they were testing people.

When the boys were ready they went outside to watch some more.
Firstly they went out on the pavement on their bikes but one of the Police Officers asked them where their helmets were so they sheepishly came back in again! You must wear a helmet when riding a bike here.
I then went out to them and we stood watching for a while. It was very quiet so I actually walked the boys over to the Officer and asked to look at what they were doing. She gladly obliged and even went so far as to let the boys both be breathalysed.

They thought this was so cool.

When we left the house, I got stopped because I was the driver and consequently was breathalysed, which showed "No Alcohol Present". I would expect nothing less.
Because it was quiet I also asked if she could do Steve as well, I knew he had had some wine after Judo the night before, so was interested to find out if any was still present 11 hours later.
Hey, better to find these things out when in safe conditions than when driving and being pulled over!
She happily obliged to this as well and his too showed "No Alcohol Present".
Just nice to know the effect of a certain amount of wine the night before on your abilities the next morning.

The boys on the other hand were well chuffed that all of the family got breathalysed and passed!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Relay for Life

At the weekend I had the greatest pleasure of being part of the Cancer Society "Relay for Life".

If you don't know what this is then I will explain.
It involves teams of people spending 22 hours walking round a set track. It is done in a relay, so you are only required to have someone from your team on the track at all times, you don't have to walk for the whole time.
You then raise money by getting people to support you in this process, so people give you money for the fact you team is there not for a set amount of laps or anything.
You start the relay at 2pm on Saturday and it continues until 12 on Sunday. You of course pray for nice weather.
You pitch a tent and gazebo for the team and this is where you spend your time when not walking. The tent is used for sleeping because you are, after all, there all night, and let me tell you a few hours sleep is greatly received.

I got involved as it was something I had heard about and had at one time decided it was something I wanted to complete.
So this year I managed to get involved at an early enough time to be part of a team. I joined a team that was made up of lots of individual people who all wanted to take part. A lot of teams are made up of people who all work together, are friends, or even families.
The only requirement I had as a team member was that I had to raise $100, as each team must have a minimum of 10 people and then this way each team would raise minimum of $1000. Seemed fair enough to me.

So on Saturday I turned up at the field with my bag in tow. You have to remember you are walking all night, or at least some of the night, and the temperature can drop big time. So extra layers are well adviced, so is a wooly hat, gloves, extra socks, blanket, sleeping bag and pillow. I also took extra snacks even though the team were providing dinner and breakfast and some nibbles, and also some exciting drinks so I didn't have to keep buying things there.
We had a roster to follow as to who was walking at what time, in half hour slots, although you were able to walk whenever you wanted to, this roster just meant that we always had someone from the team on the track at all times.
My walking time varied but I got to walk at the following times 5, 8 and 11pm and then 3.30, 5.30, 7.30 and 11.30am
Although I happily walked at other times for the odd laps just because you either sit and watch everyone go by or you join in and walk a little for something to do.

They even had themed laps. Yes this was where you were expected to dress up for the laps. The themes for this year were

• Superheros
• Olympic Glory
• Night at the Oscars
• Around the World
• Raindrops keep Falling on my Head
• Circus
• Uniforms
• Jazzercise

I happily dressed up when it fell on one of my laps, which was Oscars, so the 2 of us pulled on pretty black dresses over the tops of our clothes because it was 11pm at night by this stage and it was cold! Although once you got walking you in fact stayed really warm. (Sadly I never took any pictures of the themed laps, but then I never really took too many pictures the whole time I was there!)

The walking itself was easy, you just plodded round the set track for the allocated time. All the tents from the other teams were set up inside the track all facing the track so everyone got to see you walking past. This caused quite a bit of noise because people were cheering at different times for different things.
At one stage there was a lone fire-fighter walking round the track in his full gear (All 22kg of it, with tank). I got talking to him and discovered that apparently his team had ditched him but because people had supported him to walk he decided to turn up and walk for a couple of hours anyway, honour his agreement with them etc. So I told him we had food and a seat if he required it and then everytime he passed by our tent we clapped and cheered for him, he would wave and smile. This went on for about 3 hours and I am sure it helped him keep going. I even got it annouced over the loudspeaker that there was a lone fire-fighter out there and I think he then got heaps more cheers as he walked round from the other teams.

The relay started with the first lap being completed by survivors, it was a special time having all these cancer survivors, of all ages, walking round the track. A very special moment.
The other special moment was the Candlelight Lap at 9pm. All these paper bags were decorated in memory of someone lost and then a tea light candle placed inside and lit. We then all walked round the track in the dark with the candles burning. That too was very special. The boys and Steve managed to stay around for that and it was very difficult to explain to Ben what we were doing without getting emotional, even though I didn't have anyone really close to remember. However the boys did help decorate a bag for me and we did it in honour of a school friend, Alex, who died 22 years ago at age 19 of bone cancer.

The set up of the whole thing was very well done. They had coffee carts servicing our needs the whole time, yes they were there in the middle of the night, but then so was Subway too.
For $10 for 10 mins you could book a massage at certain times and I must admit that was lovely at 9.30pm to have a lovely quick leg massage to keep you going. They even had a group come and supply us with a free breakfast on the Sunday morning. Nothing better in life than walking round the track at 7.30am eating corn fritters and baked beans on toast, even though it wasn't piping hot, it went down so well.

The whole event was well coordinated and we were lucky enough to have good weather, although the rain stayed away the wind decided it wanted to join in and that made for a slight chill in the air.
The husbands of some of the team were wonderful coming in and cooking dinner and breakfast for us. Nothing better than suddenly being told that food was ready and not having to actually do anything to get to that point.
The boys and Steve were able to join in for the time that they visited with me but they went home for the night and then came back the next morning. However the boys were really excited about being there and would love to do it all next year. Having done it this year now, I can see how it would work with them present for the whole 22 hours and I am sure we can work something out for next year, even if it is in Grandma's camper van for the sleeping part during the night.

He loved every minute of being there, from joining in to playing ball with other kids/adults

So if you want to do something like this, then go check out the Relay for Life website and see if there is an event close to you. If the Hamilton one turns out to be your local one and you want to join in then let me know because I will be looking for team members for next year at some stage!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Study Time

So once again my study has commenced!

I am bound by deadlines and essays, research and commitments.
I am heaving my brain into an area it doesn't like to go too often but in fact once it gets there it actually enjoys what it is doing.

I had my first trip to Rotorua which consisted of being there by 9am for a 2 hour lecture and then turning round and driving straight back again so I could finish my day at work!
It was a busy morning, but not one I will have to repeat too often as I feel that I do not need to attend all of the tutorials available and in fact I am not expected to either, so any I do attend are a bonus.

But I do know the goal at the end and that is that come November I will have a Degree in Nursing and that in itself will be one of the biggest things for me to have achieved presently. I will attend my graduation ceremony with much pride and celebration next year, so watch this space.