Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tv Programming

On the fifth day of December I watched Dr Phil then wished that it wasn't yet another repeat.

I like to watch Dr Phil while I eat my lunch. I get a bit annoyed though when it is repeats. It's not going to be on much longer anyway because when the schools go on holiday they fill the time slot with kids movies. They could at least show new shows until they take it off the air. By the way it was a boring show about Sugar Daddies & Urban Cougars. I hope today's show will be a new one.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Food Confession

On the fourth day of December it occurred to me that I shouldn't have eaten potato crisps yesterday because I had been so good exercise wise why blow it like that?

I suppose I could blame it on my jog yesterday, I went faster than ever before so I thought I deserved it, but really why did I deserve to put such salty food into my body? I had a picnic lunch with the boys at school & that included chicken drumsticks, potato salad, hard boiled eggs, bananas & tomoatoes so why did I then eat potato crisps after dinner? I should have treated myself to something healthy but I admit it I am a potato crisp fiend. I love them & if I am sitting watching TV for 3 hours, icing my knee (yes all that exercise came back to hurt my knee) what else is there to do to treat myself but eat potato crisps. I think most of the programmes I watch on a Tuesday night finish in a couple of weeks so maybe in a couple of weeks I won't be sitting watching TV for 3 hours straight eating potato crisps. HA maybe I should just enjoy it while it lasts.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Love my iPod!

Can I just shout to the world that I love my iPod Shuffle!

Scott bought me this tiny peice of equipment last week for Christmas. It is just amazing to be able to jog with music in my ears. As a lot of you know I have a dodgy knee & jogging is usually quite uncomfortable. Today I tried out my iPod for the first time & I just love it! I was jogging with a smile on my face! I don't know if I have ever jogged with a smile on my face, let's face it my body isn't the right build for jogging, there are too many bouncy bits. Not only was I enjoying jogging but I jogged faster than normal, maybe because I was running in time to all my favourite 80s music. Another benefit is that I didn't think at all during the jog, I finally just turned my brain off for a good 26 minutes & just enjoyed moving to music.

Here's to music in my ears & a smile on my face when I am jogging!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Grateful for - Life

What are you thankful for that we haven’t mentioned this month?

I guess as I haven't done all the blog prompts for the month I don't really know what has been missed.

Here's a wrap up of the things I'm grateful for.

I'm grateful that I live in a country with plenty of opportunities & natural resources. I am grateful for the seasons & being in a place where I can experience them all, even if it is all 4 seasons in one day. I am grateful for my home with running water, internal plumbing & sound roof & walls. I am grateful for the inhabitants of my home & of my heart. I am grateful for my friends, both in real life & online. I am grateful for my family. Most of all I am grateful to be alive & healthy.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thankful for - Home

What places (in your home, or state, or country, or world) are you most thankful for?

The one place I am most thankful for is my own home. It stands on a nice 1/4 acre section so big enough to have a place for the boys to run around on, as well for me to have a vege garden & a flower garden. It is a lovely safe & secure house that gets all day sun. As I am a SAHM it is just as well that I love my home, there are things to be done on it but I still wake up each morning & think, I am glad that I get to spend the majority of the day here. I can't say that I really thought that about our previous house in Wellington.

Inside my home I am most thankful for my bathroom. This might sound bizarre but I love having the ensuite bathroom, it's the best money we ever spent on this place. That bathroom is known as "mum's bathroom." The best thing about it is that it has a door that locks! I can lock my bathroom door & hey presto at least there is privacy from little eyes. The room however is not soundproof, so I can still hear little voices whining at the door "muuuummm" but in a house full of males, a nice clean smelling, clean looking bathroom is my little peace of paradise.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thankful for - Nature

What things in nature are you most thankful for and why?

I love plants. I love the sight of their range of colours & their scents & what could possibly be better than actually growing some of them just for food.

Of course I can't really grow anything without water. Luckily where I live we don't have water restrictions but if there was one thing that I absolutely am thankful for, it is pure clean water & rainfall. I remember we used to have to livve on rain water collected off the roof of our bach in the summer time when we lived at the bach for a good couple of months. Living like that really made you appreciate the scarcity of water & how precious each drop really is.

Is sunlight part of nature? I have decided that I need to see the sun on a regular basis. I get very down & moody if I don't see the sun at least twice a week. Now I don't mean I go out & bask in it, I don't do that anymore, but if the sun is shining I will be jogging outside, not in & I will be gardening, not cleaning up the house. I love the warmth of the sun so on a cold but sunny day nothing is better than curling up inside in the sunny spot, that's if I can lay claim to it before Mo.

That brings me to animals. They definitely are nature & I love animals. I am not vegetarian so I appreciate the animals bred for meat but the ones bred for fibre, wool, milk etc also make up a large part of my thankful list. The one animal that is highest on the thankful list must be Mo, our cat. She's a wonderful companion, we can carry on conversations with each other, she helps warm up my side of the bed, she's the grand old girl of the house & we all love her immensely.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Grateful for - sight

Which one of your 5 senses are you most thankful for and why?

I often wonder to myself which of my senses I would miss the most if I had to loose one & I have never worked out which sense would be worst to loose.

My first thought is always thank goodness I have my sense of sight. I love being able to see my boys grow, reading, cooking, scrapping, watching my favourite TV programs. I know you can get books on cd now, but it wouldn't be the same as reading them & mentally inserting my own voice to the voices of the characters. I wouldn't be able to scrap or take photographs. I think it is my sight that I really am most thankful for.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Grateful for - Entertainment

What sources of entertainment are you thankful for?

1. The first thing on my list would have to be books, I just love reading books. I have just started reading Lord John & the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon.

2. I love my computer. I use it most of the day for keeping in touch with friends all around the world. I also use it for my digi scrapping & the occasional game of solataire.

3. The TV. I have some favourite shows that I watch, there is nearly one a night although at the moment my Monday nights are for scrapping as there is nothing on the box.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thankful for - comfort

What things that comfort you are you thankful for?

I suppose one of my greatest things that comfort me is my husband. He has been there through thick & thin & he provides me with a lot of comfort.

When I am feeling down nothing is more comforting to me than curling up, reading a book with a mug of chicken soup. There really is something comforting in the chicken soup, maybe it harks back to when I was younger & having chicken soup when I got sick. I am very thankful for the ability to read & the love of reading. There is just nothing better than to loose myself in a book, however I have to say that because I loose myself in a book I can never read the same book twice, it looses its magic the second time through.

Another thing that comforts me is the fact that my family is healthy. Yes we all get the colds & flu that does the circut but essentially my family is healthy & vibrant & for that I am very thankful.

Monday, November 19, 2007

New music, new look

I thought it was about time to give the blog a bit of a fresh look. It's not much at the moment but I hope to come back with a nicer looking header soon.

I have also put on a new video clip. Brooke Fraser is from Wellington, New Zealand & she is currently touring the US. Her latest album, Albertine is available on iTunes. This is the title track of her album.

Here is a link to her website

Grateful for - Traits

What things or traits you have inherited are you thankful for?

With both my parents being alive still I have not inherited many "things" yet, so we will have to talk about traits.

I have got determination & a strong work ethic, but is that really inherited or is it taught to a person? Whether inherited or created by me I am thankful that I have those traits.

I have inherited my father's eyebrows that join on my nose. On a girl it is not a good look but for some odd reason I am made thankful for it, because I see that James has that too. In fact I did a layout a few years ago about his eyebrows. I see James & can see the link that links him, me & my father together. I am also thankful for it because really Brent looks nothing like me, his personality is more like mine, but to any stranger Brent would not look like my child. It is nice to know that at least one child has something physical that has a bit of a resemblance to me.

The journalling reads:

Your eyes are a link to the past.

Those bushy eyebrows that join on the bridge of you nose are a legacy from your grandfather & me.

You may get teased.

You may get told that eyebrows joining together are a sign of evil.

Don't believe a word of it.

They are a sign of your heritage, a link to the past.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Grateful for - pets

What pets or animals are you thankful for?
We have a gorgeous old tabby cat called Mo. We picked her up from the SPCA in Wellington in 1996 so in effect she was Scott's & my first baby. She was about 3 or 4 years old when we picked her up. In fact she actually picked us because when we went to see the cats at the SPCA she came up & brushed up & said hello to me. The SPCA people wanted us to take a very wild & mean looking cat but how can you say no to a cat that seems to choose you. She had been at the SPCA for a while & she was on their list to be put down so there was no way I was going to let that happen to her. When we brought her home (to Fitzpatrick St in Newlands) she spent a good part of the day just hiding under the furniture. A couple of days later she came out of hiding & we got to love her. She was young & playful & would catch birds, lizards & mice & bring them into the house.

Until Brent was born she was most definitely MY cat & rarely deigned to sit with Scott. When Brent was born her allegiances changed or maybe hers & mine both changed. She switched to being Scott's cat & I became Brent's mum. She seemed curious about Brent at first & while he was immobile she was happy to be around him. Then Brent became mobile & she was under fire from Brent. She taught Brent early on not to pull her tail & then she decided once he was a toddler that it really was better to stay away from him. His unpredictable actions seemed to worry her so she then became very much a less social cat.

In 2001 we brought her with us down to Christchurch, she never travels well so we had to drug her so she could be quiet on her flight down. She was very wobbly on her pins after she arrived at my mothers house & it was frightening to see. She moved to our current house with us & became very much an outdoor cat. There were now 2 young children so she kept her distance from them & really only came inside when she knew they were in bed for the night.

In the last couple of years she's been showing her age. She spends most of her time inside now where it is warm. She has stopped hunting although she will sit in the window & give a funny meow at birds that she can see. She is still Scott's cat but she is a much more sociable cat. She will come & say hello to the boys now & is actually quite affectionate to Brent. James still has that impulsive ability to unnerve her & send her running for the catflap.

She's been a wonderful companion to both Scott & I & it has been nice for both boys to grow up with her. I know that when her time comes she will be sorely missed by all of us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Grateful for - Friends

What friends are you thankful for and why?

My life is filled with a lot of what I would call "transient friends." They were friends at different times of my life but now we have gone our separate ways & have lost contact. Despite them being transient they were all important to me at that particular time in my life, so I am very thankful for them.

I won't name them all but there are some from school days, that helped me through maths with calculus & feeling outside of the cliques at the school.

There are friends from university days when I had to transform myself from a shy introverted soul to a less shy person. They helped fix up any home sickness, helped with relationship problems & were there when I needed help on any of my subjects I was studying.

Then there was my time at Wellington Newspapers (my first job) where I made a lot of friends. Those were the party days, single but with a partner, with money to burn. They were friends to hang out & have fun with.

Then there are those new breed of friends the "online friends." These are those wonderful women in America, New Zealand, Canada & England who I converse with everyday but not in person or by phone. These women are incredible & supportive & although I have met a few of them face to face there are even more that I have yet to meet. I can't wait to meet them all at some stage in my life. They are wonderful friends who just happen to reside somewhere on the other side of my computer screen (or that's how it seems to me). It's amazing that in my short life we can even have friends that are only a few keystrokes away but that we have never met.

Through most of that there has been one friend who stood out above all the rest. He is my best friend & I love him dearly. I met him at university & we have been together since our first year at university in 1988. He knows me very well & loves me despite my failings. He has been there through the tough times & the happy times, he knows my dreams, he knows my anger, he knows how to push my buttons & when to back off. He is my husband! He's my best friend & after all these years I don't think he's a transient one either.

Credits: Envelope - Melany Violette Designer and owner of

Red paper & playing card - Royal Hearts Created by Lauren Bavin

Fonts: ALS Script, Croobie & Frutiger

Monday, November 12, 2007

Grateful for - abilities

What things are you able to do are you thankful for?

I am grateful that I am able to be a SAHM. It means that I can help out at school & go on school trips & picnics whenever required. It also means that I can be the person to pick up the boys at the end of the day. It's me that James now, & Brent used to, runs up to with a huge grin on his face. That is priceless & I can tell you that when James stops doing that I will miss it. I already miss Brent doing this but he still has a smile when he comes to the car.

I am eternally grateful that I still have the full operation of all my senses. I rely on all of them everyday. I love the hugs, the smiles, the laughter & some of the smells of the boys. I love the taste of food & can't imagine what it must be like to not be able to taste what you eat.

I am grateful that I am still physically active. I imagine that this will not always be the case but I love being able to go for a swim, a walk along the beach or just to play kick about with the boys.

There are really a lot of things that I am able to do that I should be more grateful for. Next time I feel down on myself I think I will look back at this entry & think about what I have got & not what I haven't.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Altered photo layout

The dare at for this fortnight is to alter a photo digitally & to scrap it. I altered this photo a while ago in preparation for a long overdue layout about "pom pom".
I have retained the colour of the hat while making the rest of the photo black & white. I realise that there are cameras that can do this now days, but mine can't so I did this in PSE5.

Credit: Template provided by Eva Kipler of

Flower by Jodie Patterson

Friday, November 09, 2007

Thankful for Transport

What modes of transportation are you thankful for?

The first mode of transport I am thankful for is the motorcar. I seem to spend a long time in my car each day, dropping off & picking up children, getting to sporting & fitness activities, going shopping. Christchurch City Council would like me to bike or catch a bus, but in this city with the terrible drivers, biking is just putting your life in danger. Buses are never quite at the convenient times & it would take too much time out of my day to be catching them with the boys & then catching them back home again, just to repeat the process in the afternoon. I have thought about it, because only this morning I found out that where I go to do my gym, the carpark parking price has gone up from 60cents an hour to $2.50 an hour in the space of 2 days. I am still spitting tacks about that.

I have to say I love the airplane. In a country like NZ, which is split by a peice of water that takes a good 3 hours to cross by ferry, a plane is a god send. A flight to Wellington only takes 45 minutes, whereas driving would be 6 hours in the car followed by 3 on a ferry. You can't beat a plane for getting you across water fast. It has opened up a lot of places in the world that would normally be too difficult to get to.

The last mode of transport that I am thankful for is shipping. Without shipping there would not be the petrol to fuel my car that I love to drive. All the cars that come into our country come on ships, plus a lot of other imports, as well as a lot of exports. Without shipping NZ would become a 3rd world country & I am very grateful that we aren't living in a third world country.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Cleaning & housework

Think of all the new things on the market since our parents were young and what they had to work with. What cleaning supplies are you thankful for?

The number one thing I am thankful for is the dishwasher. Now I am not sure when these were first put on the market but I know growing up that we didn't have a dishwasher until I was a teenager. I really love my dishwasher & it gets a good workout at least twice a day by me.

I hate cleaning the toilets & having young boys just makes the whole thing seem a lot worse. I love that each day I can just wipe the cistern, seat, bowl & floor around it with a flushable wipe. I try & do that everyday. I know mum would wash it properly with a rag but I do it properly with a rag once a month, that's about all I can stomach. It still looks clean my way anyway.

I love the Chlorox Bleach pen for all the white school shirts. Mum would probably have used Janola from a big bottle, but just being able to precisely put the bleach just where I need it along the edge of a cuff or on the collar is just fantastic.

Other than that I really do think that I use the same products as my mum, probably not as often as I seem to remember her doing it. Then again she did all her housecleaning in one day, Thursday, where as I do a little every day. Our systems are different but I think we get just about the same result.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

2 Colours Dare

The latest dare on the is to create a layout using just two colours. The two colours I have used are shades of blue & yellow.

This is Brent experiencing his first spring, sitting in the daffodils in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. It has almost become a yearly event to take photos of my boys in those daffodils.

Bora Bora - Saturday 20 October

It took hardly any time at all to get to Bora Bora, in fact it can be seen from Raiatea.

Raiatea - Friday 19 October

My birthday! Happy birthday to me. The crew knew it was my birthday & when we out our cabin door there was a happy birthday sign stuck to the door as well as some balloons. What was a wonderful coincidence is that the ship had decided to put on a gourmet breakfast room service for that day. Every other breakfast we had gone up to the grill & had an omlette but when given the chance of having champagne, fresh fruit, croissants & a cooked portion of breakfast in bed for you birthday, well it would have been silly to pass up that offer. We were quite surprised when our breakfast arrived to find out that we would have to make room for 3 full sized trays of food. It was a huge breakfast, so big that we left the criossants & pastries to have as morning tea. There was champagne & coffee, fresh melon, strawberries & pineapple & blueberries served inside a rock melon. Then a cold main of smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese & a bun. The hot main was a crab quiche, a stuffed tomato & roasted potatoes. The pastries were croissants, muffins & danishes. What a way to start a day!

It took about 18 hours of cruising to get to Raiatea. This island is in the Society Islands & like a lot of islands in this group it is an island protected by a reef with a lagoon inside the reef & then the actual island.

As we were coming in to port the ships master sculpter showed us how he carved the beautiful ice sculptures that had been gracing the buffet daily. We sat out on the poolside & watched the sculpter take a 150lb block of ice & transform it in to 2 angel fish, within 30 minutes. He was Filipino & fruit & ice sculpturing are highly prized accomplishments in the Phillipines. He was the only food sculptor on board.

We had a busy day lined up for once we were ashore. Only a couple of days earlier we found out that the sunset cruise that we were waitlisted for was available for us. Because we were waitlisted when we booked the outings we decided we would do a all afternoon black pearl farm tour followed by snorkelling. That tour was due back at 4pm & the sunset cruise was due to leave at 5pm, so theoretically there should have been no problems.

Rangiroa- Thursday

Rangiroa is an atoll in the Tuamotu Islands. An atoll is a collection of low lying islands with a lagoon in the midlle. Rangiroa is the second biggest atoll in the world. As we cruised in the first thing I thought of was the fact that if there was a tsunami that hit this atoll it would disappear under the sea forever. It is hard to imagine what it must be like to live through cyclones on this island. The island we landed on is only 300 meters wide at its widest point, the tallest things on it were the coconut palms & it was the biggest of the islands that make up the atoll. The water is beautifully clear & has the most lovely blue to it, but it is quite shallow. We cruised up the Tiputa Pass (the locals know it as the Dolphin Pass) & then anchored inside the lagoon not far off the island of Reporepo, from there we had to catch the ships tender service to the island.

Our first trip of the day was a glass bottom boat. The owner talked in both English & French so it was nice to hear about her life on the island. She was originally from France but moved to this atoll quite a few years ago. She said that there were only 3,000 inhabitants of this atoll & only 300 of them had a job. Nearly all the jobs centre around tourism, as there are a couple of resorts on the atoll (a Japanese one & an American one) & then there are all the water based activities that also cater for tourists. The children of the island grow up with a very large extended family & a lot of cases grandparents, aunts, uncles as well as mothers & fathers all live together in the one house. There is only a primary school on the island so after primary school the children have to leave to Papeete (only a 1 hour flight away) to go to secondary school. She was asked what they do in storms & apparently they basically surround themselves in coconuts & pray because there really isn't much to save them. No vegetables grow on the island so the main diet is fish & coconuts although marijuana grows really well on the island & the young people indulge in it.

The glass bottom boat took us out to an area known as The Aquarium. It is a reef just inside the Tiputa pass & the numbers of fish are amazing. The locals have unwritten law that there is to be no fishing in this area so the fish are plentiful plus they get fed several times a day by the glass bottom boat owners as well as the people who run the snorkeling adventures. We dropped anchor & then one of the crew jumped over the size with what looked to be a spear gun. On the end of it he had a fish & then all the other fish came to take a bite. By holding it under the boat we were able to see, parrot fish, butterfly fish, red snapper, angel fish, surgeon fish & right at the bottom near the end of the trip we saw a black finned shark. The sharks in the lagoon are either white finned or black finned & the locals said they "only bite the white boys" so that gave me all the confidence in the world about our next adventure for the day, snorkelling.

We went back to shore & as we had time to kill before our next excursion we went for a walk to a lovely white beach to have a swim. I thought it would be a lovely sandy beach imagine mynsurprise when we got there & it was all just white coral. White coral is dead coral & the whole beach was made up of it. Once we got out into the water a little way there was a sandy bottom & along with the warm water, sandy bottom there was also stingrays basking. Luckily they kept away from us mainly but once I put my mask & snorkel on I decided to curb any possible attacks by keeping my feet off the bottom & just floating on the top of the water. We quickly found some little reef like outcrops & that was were the fish were. We just floated around them & saw all the brightly coloured fish. It really was amazing. Some funny things happened while we were out swimming. Firstly a woman got in the water & walks over to where there was an outcrop & starts yelling, "there's fish" & went back up on the beach, she didn't want to be in water that had fish in it apparently. A lot of people didn't realize that coral is very harsh to walk on & were in agony just trying to get to the water as they had bare feet. Others were determined to sunbathe & even Scott & I sitting in the shade managed to catch a tan. Those who sunbathed invariably got sunburnt & there were quite a few red bodies around the ship for days after. Mindful of the fact that we could get burnt from the reflection of the water we decided to walk to the other side of the island, the Pacific Ocean side. It was only 300 metres but it really was very hot in the middle of the island with the sun beaming straight down on to the hard earth. The ocean side of the island has rocks & had quite a swell coming up. There was really no safe beach to swim on that side at all. We walked back to the wharf & caught our boat for our snorkeling excursion.

The boat headed back out to The Aquarium where there were still a lot of other boats out there, the glass bottom one & the a couple more boats of snorkelers. I was just about to get into the water when one of the guides said "shark!" That made me stop in my tracks & ask Scott if there was a shark down there. It was a hoax so I jumped in & joined Scott & the guide. The guide had a bucket of food with him & he started by getting us all together & then he fed the fish. Occasionally he threw the food past us so the whole school of fish suddenly turned tail and en masse headed towards. The first time he did it, it scared me to suddenly have these masses of fish heading straight for me. Some of them banged into my mask & some of them swam under my belly & tickled me on the way past. After a while the guide took the better swimmers of us on a tour of The Aquarium. We got to see different corals, including beautiful fire coral as well as a couple of sharks on the bottom of the lagoon. Just to prove that the shark didn't really want a piece of us the guide dived down & went to touch it, the shark immediately swam away. We basically went right around the coral outcrop & then it was time to get back to the boat.

Once we were onboard we were told that when the tide is on the turn the dolphins come & play in the waves of Tiputa pass & if we wanted they would take us up the pass so we could see them. We all thought that was a wonderful idea so we headed up the pass. On the way up we didn't see any dolphins but as we turned around & came down sure enough the dolphins were there, jumping & surfing on the waves. I am so pleased that we did the snorkeling at this time of day because the people who snorkeled in the morning didn't get to see the dolphins. After doing another cruise up & down the pass we went back to shore. By then we had had our fill of water activities & as there was nothing else to do on the atoll we caught the tender back to the ship.

Here's the link for the slideshow

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Marquesas – Monday & Tuesday

After cruising for 2 days to get from Papeete we finally arrived in the Marquesa Islands on Monday 15 October. The days at sea had been rough, cloudy, rainy really not very nice. I went up to the Lotus Spa & had a massage & body wrap. We mainly spent time exploring the ship, eating & relaxing.

We downed anchor at Nuku Hiva on Monday & it was 29C & sunny. We watched the ship anchor out, all around us people were commenting on the beauty of the island. To me it looked a lot like the area around Banks Peninsula except the foliage is obviously different. There is probably a good reason for this sort of similarity & it is because Nuku Hiva is the result of two volcanoes that erupted. The locals make their living mainly by selling copra & noni. A lot of the women supplement their income by making & selling necklaces made of seeds, selling shells, noni juice & tapa hangings to the tourists that mainly come off the cruise ships. The island does have an airport & at the far end of Taiohae Bay there is the best hotel on the island, Keikahaunui Pearl Lodge. Our cruise ship is the first one that has been in for 4 months & they only get about 6 cruise ships a year.

We took the tender ashore & then walked around through the town of Taiohae. The town really isn't all that big in fact we met some fellow tourists & they asked how far it was to the town & we told them they were walking through it. Really the town consisted of a general store, a bar, a cathedral, a market area, a bank, a primary school & a secondary school. That was it & they were all strung out along about 2kms of the shoreline. We walked the full 3.5kms of the shoreline to a lovely beach where it was safe to swim. The Marquesa Islands are different from the Society Islands in that they are not atolls, they don't have a protective reef from the ocean. This means that the swells straight from the ocean roll on to the beaches. This can make these beaches dangerous for swimming. The swell at Nuku Hiva was quite big but the beach at the end of the 3.5km Taiohae Bay was safe & a place where shells & coral could be found. Unfortunately it looked like the beach had been well & truly picked over for shells though. There is a beautiful cathedral ½ way along the stretch, Notre Dame Cathedral of the Marquesas Islands. It is made of stone from the 6 inhabited islands of the Marquesas. Inside the wood work is ornately carved & the roof is very high with a gap between the end of the roof & the walls to let a breeze flow around. Outside there are a couple of stone sculptures, one of the pope & the other of the Madonna & Child. It really was a lovely setting with an ornate arch marking its entrance. Further along the bay we came to Piki Vehine Pae Pae which is also known as Temehea. In this area there were a lot of stone ti'i. Ti'i are basically stone carvings of heads, in other areas of the South Pacific they are known as tiki.

At 12:30 we were back at the pier where we got into a 4WD vehicle for a scenic drive around the island. All the vehicles on the island seem to be either 4WD or mopeds. Unfortunately our driver, Katrin, only spoke French but luckily the English couple who were with us had some very good conversational French skills so we were able to communicate a bit with her. She lives in the village of Taipivai with her husband & one of her daughters. She has nine children the oldest is around 30 & the youngest is 17. Her husband is a fisherman, he catches the fish & she cleans them all & then together they sell them to the restaurants. When the tourists are around her husband will take them out on fishing charters & she drives tourists around the island sightseeing. She gets 30 thousand SP Francs for every 2 ships that come in that she shows people around. She drove us up to near the top of Mt Muake where we could look down over Taiohae Bay & see how small our ship really is in the scale of things. We were then driven down to the small village of Taipivai where we got to see the church. It is in a nicely landscaped area with neatly trimmed hibiscus bushes growing around the front. Like the cathedral the walls don't meet the eaves so that a cool breeze can flow through the church. Inside the wood carvings of the Madonna & Child & of Jesus were carved with more of the facial structure of the Marqueasan people. The carvings were very ornate. From Taipivai we headed along a dirt road to Hooumi. Hooumi is at the end of 3 inlets that make up Controleur Bay. The road ends at a beach that is sandy & has a lot of black coconut husks, coral & shells on it. I was very lucky to find quite a collection of shells so I've picked them up & will see if NZ Customs will let me bring them back into the country. The local women had a market set up where the selling necklaces, wood carvings & shells. They also had fresh coconut, pineapple & other fruit that we could taste. Unfortunately the prices were very expensive & after we got back in the car Katrin asked us if we had bought anything & then why not. We explained that we thought it was expensive & she quite agreed with us & suggested that the people would have been better to have lowered their prices & taken a possible loss rather than charging such high prices. She explained that most locals don't think that way & think that the tourists have so much money that they won't hesitate to spend it. I had seen the most beautifully carved pendant. It was part of an oyster shell, carved into a spiral. Part of the spiral was made out of the outside of the oyster shell & the other part of the spiral was the inside of the shell. Unfortunately at 13,000SPF it was way out of our price range. Scott told me that it was over $NZ200. There really was no way I could think of paying that much for the pendant despite it being so beautiful. We got back into the car & headed back up the hill where we stopped & looked over another inlet of Controleur Bay called Hakapaa Bay. This inlet was one of the bays that was used in the filming of Survivor Marquesas, now I want to watch that program again to see it all put in the place that I saw. After that it was time to head back to port & to catch our tender back to the ship.

We weighed anchor at 5pm & headed off to Hiva Oa. Nuku Hiva is in the Northern Maquesas at around 7 degrees latitude South. Hiva Oa is in the Southern Marquesas and sits at 8 degrees latitude South. We have now been as close to the equator as I have ever been & as close as we will get on this trip. After a cocktail & some late lunch (5pm) we decided to see if one of the specialty restaurants on board had room for us. The 2 specialty restaurants operate on different days & on Monday night it was Sabatini's night. Sabatini is an Italian restaurant that has lovely roman décor. The menu is interesting in that we only had to choose either a soup or salad & then the main course. All the rest which includes antipasti, pizza & pasta gets delived to you & you can choose to either eat it or not. The antipasti included, chargrilled vegetables, mozzeralla & tomatoes, prosciutto & melon, air dried beef & cheese, prawns, sevruga caviar, crab cake, anchovies & NZ green lip mussels. I then got to choose between a salmon, mushroom, ham & pineapple or anchovy pizza slice. I chose the mushroom pizza & Scott choose the salmon pizza. After pizza our choice of soup or salad arrived. I chose a seafood soup that had NZ mussels, prawns & fish in it. Scott had minestrone soup. It was then time for our pasta. We got potato gnocchi, spaghetti with a tomato sauce & cannelloni. By this time I was really starting to feel full. Then finally our main course came out. I had scallops & Scott had prawns in periperi sauce. Unfortunately neither of us could finish our mains but they were both delicious. I don't think the waiter understood that we couldn't fit anything else in because he came out with a tray of 5 desserts for us to choose from. There was icecream, tiramisu, semolina cake, panacotta & one other thing. We decided in the end to share a tiramisu & have an expresso.

This morning we woke up as we were entering the mouth of Tahauku Bay in Hiva Oa. This island also has steep cliffs & is at the mercy of the sea swells & today we were too. The swells at the moment are 2 to 3 metres which means that loading the tenders with passengers can be quite dangerous. This has meant that for the last 4 hours we have been at anchor but not been able to go to shore. We were informed about half an hour ago that the captain believes the conditions will continue like this so we have now weighed anchor & are cruising slowly around the island of Hiva Oa before heading off on an all day trip south to Rangiroa in the Tuamotus group of islands.

It's just past midday & the captain has told us his midday spiel which included how the saying "no room to swing a cat" came about. In the past the navy used to discipline it's crew by whipping the crewman at fault with a whip made of leather but with knots in it. This whip is called a cat of nine tails. So that all the crew realized what they were not allowed to do the whole crew had to watch this flogging & sometimes if there was a full crew loading there wasn't enough room for the whip (cat) to be swung around without lashing the innocent. So the saying not enough room to swing a cat really refers to a whip & not an animal.

It must be time for lunch & a sunbathe by the pool & then I'll connect up to the internet & send this to the blog.

Brent & James I hope you are having a wonderful time with nana. Good luck for your cricket game on Saturday, Brent. Lots of love to you both from me & dad.

Here is the link for Nuku Hiva slide show

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Friday 12th October – Moorea

I woke up with what felt like an earthquake shaking the bed. It took me a few moments to realize that I was on board a ship & probably not really likely to feel an earthquake. It was just the boat going through some sea that was obviously a bit rougher than before. It was 5:30 in the morning but I was excited to get up & moving. We were due to arrive at Moorea at 8am. Moorea was shrouded in low cloud & mist & other than the palms it looks a lot like the lush green Fiordland area of NZ. The temperature was decidedly warmer than in Fiordland though, about 26C. We went up & had a buffet breakfast & shared a table with the Canadians we saw at Auckland airport. They come from Vancouver & had had a long flight just to get on this cruise.

The Tahitian Princess is too big to actually dock at a wharf at most of the islands so today was our first day of seeing how the tender process worked. Along our side of the ship (starboard) there are two tenders (each holds 120 people unless it is to be used as a life raft & then it holds 150 people) & 2 motorised life boats. The crew unhooked & the winched down both of the tenders on our side of the ship. I think they must have lowered one on the other side too because during the day there was 3 tenders making constant trips from the ship to the wharf. We were supposed to have been having a full on day but we found out that the whale & dolphin watching had been cancelled (never mind we can do that at Kaikoura, NZ anyway). We were still able to have a dolphin encounter in the morning though.

We had to make our own way to the Beachcomber Intercontinental Hotel, so we caught a taxi that sped past roadside fruit & vege sellers & dogs that looked very unloved & possibly disease ridden. We arrived very early for our encounter so we spent time drinking coffee in the bar. It really is a lovely setup there. They have a section of the lagoon roped off & there are lots of colourful fish right near the water edge. They had little boats to hire as well as running whale watching, diving & snorkeling tours. We were really there to see the dolphins so after we checked in we walked to a totally separate area where they have a dolphin area. These dolphins have been given to them by the US Navy. There are 4 dolphins, one female who rules the roost & 3 males. We watched them for a while & then we got into our swim gear & were given water shoes so that we could start our encounter. Just as we started our encounter it started pouring with rain. We were standing hearing about the dolphins & getting soaking wet before we even got into the water with the dolphin. Eventually we got to go in the water. Our dolphin was Aito, which translates from Tahitian into Warrior. He was given the name because he got lost for 48 days out in the islands. While he was out there he lost 80kgs of weight because he didn't know how to live in the wild. This dolphin came from captivity to the centre so he had never had to live in the wild. When he came home they found marks across his back where a tiger shark & tried to maul him. The markings of the teeth are still there on him as are the ones from the sharks that kind of grab hold & twist a little piece out of his body. He lived through all that so he got called Aito. We were allowed to touch Aito everywhere except his face although we did get a photo taken with me giving him a kiss on his nose. It really was fantastic getting to be in the water with him & being allowed to stroke him. All through this time the rain was pouring down. We got out of the water & of course the rain stopped. We dried off, got dressed & watched the dolphins for a while & then went to pick up the photos they had taken of us & Aito.

We caught our taxi back to the wharf to find it bucketing down with rain there so we boarded our tender & headed back to the ship. Apparently the people who did the island tour saw the whole island in the rain, so in some ways we were lucky as we got to see some sunshine. We then stayed on board ship & did a tour of the ship with the entertainment officer, partook in a cocktail & headed to dinner. It was about then that we headed out into the open sea & Scott started to go pale. The boat was not quite broadside on to a lot of the waves, with us taking a NE direction & the wind blowing in an E direction. It has made for a very rocky journey for the rest of the evening & even now we are still rocking about a lot. We have been allocated our table now, & our fellow table mates are from Maloolaba & Auckland. We have a wonderful little Italian man called Roberto as our waiter. He looks & seems to act a lot like Manual off Fawlty Towers. We have not worked out if that is because he is like that naturally or because he knows that we think that & plays up to it. His helper is a man from Portugal. The meal itself was a lot better. Scott didn't eat anything but I had a prawn cocktail, that actually had 5 prawns in it. I followed that up with a seafood turnover that was just beautiful. We left as soon as it was polite & went back to the room. Scott went straight to sleep but I tossed & turned all night. Just as I was getting used to the motion of the ship going one way it would change & rock another & then there were always the funny earthquake like shakes of the bed as well. We woke up at 6:30 to find that the weather is awful, 43mile per hour winds from the East, rain or drizzle & clouds all the time. The temperature is a balmy 26C but with no sun out & the rain it does make enjoying things a bit hard. We have found a chart of our route that we will be taking & on it a weather map, with a satellite picture of the weather patterns in our area. We have found out that we are actually on the outer edge of some kind of depression, cyclone, anticyclone thing so that must be why the sailing is quite rough.

We are at sea until Monday our time when we will be in the Marquesa Island of Niku Hiva. Now I will see if I can get an internet connection to post these to my blog.

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend & Brent if you are reading this I hope that your cricket game went well.

Here's a link to the photos of Moorea

Thursday 11 October – Catching a Ship

We had dinner on Wednesday night at the Sheraton's Maeve Restaurant. It was 6:30 & it was already dark, but the nightlife was out. On the way to the restaurant we saw a lot of lizards that obviously hide away in the daylight hours. The restaurant sits out over the water & we were able to get a table by a window. There were a lot of fish just swimming in the shallows waiting to get any stray crumbs of bread that might fall their way. The meal was nothing exceptional, I had a prawn risotto which was lots of rice, one prawn & maybe another prawn chopped up in amongst the rice. Scott had a plate of grilled prawns which really was only grilled prawns, no vegetables. We finished off the night at the bar & learnt the Tahitain word for thankyou, maururu.

On Thursday we packed our luggage & then headed to the reception to see if we could get a late check out. We weren't able to get a late checkout because the hotel was full. Instead we checked out & then left our big luggage at reception & then spent a couple of hours by the pool. We decided to have lunch & then catch our taxi to the ship at 1pm. We arrived at the ship slightly after 1pm & checked in. She looks a really big ship but in reality she is one of the smaller ships in the Princess cruise line. We got welcomed aboard & then told to proceed to level 9 & the Panaroma Buffet where we could eat our lunch. If only we had known that before we had paid for lunch at the Sheraton. Our room wasn't ready until 1:30 & then our bags didn't arrive until around 6pm. We have been assigned a room steward who always seems to be out in the corridor everytime we are going out of our room. She is really nice & bubbly & very happy to help us. She comes from Mexico. A lot of the crew working in the restaurant seem to come from either Romania or Hungary. The men working on the tenders seem to come from the Phillipines. They all speak English but interestingly (after staying at the Sheraton where they speak French, Tahitian & English if you are lucky) not many of them seem to be able to speak much French & they don't speak Tahitian. We found out that the ship wasn't actually leaving port until 4:30am so we decided to leave our baggage in our room & to head off into the city of Papeete to see some shops. We came back aboard around 5pm & decided it was time to look around the ship & then went & watched the movie "The Queen" that was playing in one of the lounges.

After the movie it was time to dress in a smart casual attire for dinner in the dining room. Our dinner sitting is the second sitting at 8:15. The first sitting is at 6pm. All of the second sitting people were queuing to get in while all the first sitting people all seemed to be coming out with wine in hand. I thought it was odd until it occurred to me that they had to feed & get the tables cleared ready for the next sitting in the space of 2 ¼ hours. I was hoping that maybe with our sitting being the last sitting we wouldn't be so rushed. What an eye opener it was. We finally get to the front of the queue & are asked if we are just a couple. Yes we are so we follow a waiter around the dining room. The waiter was looking around & trying to find a table where 2 people could sit & then we were put at a table set for 6 people. There was already a couple at the table. They were from Paris (knew of the All Blacks, & wasn't it a wonderful game?) & they didn't know much English. In fact the husband didn't know any English & the wife's English was just as good as my school cert level French. We were introduced to our waiter, Christian from Romania & he had a person to help him, also from Romania. Neither boy could speak French so they really had a hard time trying to get menu orders from the French couple. Christian was waiting on our table (only a 4 as it turned out), a table of 6 & then another French only speaking table of 6. The poor boy had to try & help our French couple understand that just because the menu says, starter, soup, appetizer, salad & entrée( which we found out was a main) you didn't actually have to order something from each section. I asked him what the vegetables were & he said, whatever you want. We finally managed to make sense of the menu & then he got rarked up for not getting the orders in quick enough. He then had a problem trying to understand how our French gentleman wanted his steak cooked. The French man said the term for it in French, it sounded like nothing we know in English so then between me, Scott & the waiter we worked out that a flip on this side & then a flip on that side equals rare. Christian then told me that the chef won't cook a rare steak because by health standards it's not fully cooked. We placed our orders & then next thing we know Christian comes back into the dining room with a huge tray with covered plates on it. That was our first course. Scott & the French couple had soup but mine was salad. The salad was not what I would call a salad at all. It was ¼ of an iceberg lettuce literally the lettuce was cut into ¼ & then ¼ dumped on my plate, no real cutting or anything to disguise that is what it was. I was also lucky enough to get 2 ¼ pieces of tomato. That was my salad. Then no sooner had the other 3 finished their soups & the bowls were whisked away from them & they got their salads, just like mine. I wonder why I was not allowed to wait to have my salad with them? Then no sooner had everyone finished with the salad than the plates were whisked away & the mains arrived. Luckily the French man got the steak cooked to how he liked it. I had a Louisiana crayfish tail. I mean no disrespect to Louisiana crayfish but please if anyone want to try a real crayfish NZ is the place to do it. I got the tiniest little crayfish (probably the size of the NZ Koura) & the taste was insipid, in fact I would say it was tasteless. I have never had anything so pitiful & unfortunately the rest of my dish was rice with a few shrimps (& I mean shrimps out of a can) in it. I was very disappointed. Yet again no sooner had we finished our mains than the plates were taken away. I did have a dessert & I chose a gelato. Yet again another disappointment, it was just 2 small scoops of gelato in a metal dish. There was no attempt to even tart it up with some cherry or orange slice on a stick, or even some green herb (angelica or something). Yet again after finishing the plates were whisked away. It appeared the whole time like there was a race against the clock, it really wasn't at all relaxing. There was no staying & finishing your bottle of wine quietly & relaxing, it was in & out as fast as you can. The waiters work very hard & fast & it would appear that they are under orders to work as fast as possible. Scott & I ended up thinking that the whole dining room episode was actually quite funny & we have now nicknamed the dining room the "beehive" & the waiters the "bees".

We ended the night by watching a Tahitian dancing show. It was quite interesting more from the point of view that a lot of the language used had a very Maori sound to it.

Here's a link to this day's slideshow

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday 10 October – Ground hog Day!

If you have ever seen the movie Ground Hog Day you will realize what I am talking about. We have lived October 10th twice. We spent the first October 10 mainly in airports or on planes & then the second one we have spent in sunny Papeete.

The trip to get here was largely uneventful. We arrived at Christchurch domestic airport after sitting in a queue of traffic. The traffic was because the All Blacks were due to land at the airport around the time we needed to check in. We were lucky enough to get our luggage checked straight through to the Papeete flight so that was one less thing we had to do at Auckland. As we were taxiing to our disembarking spot we saw the Air Tahiti Nui flight arrive so we knew that the flight was at least going to be departing on time. We taxied to our spot & were quite surprised to find ourselves bundled down the stairs & into a bus to get to the airport terminal. I suppose I thought that being the flagship airport of NZ there would be no need to go back to those times in the distant past where you actually had to get off a plane without using an airbridge. Unfortunately we went past the International terminal on the drive through to the domestic terminal so no sooner had we got off our bus than we were walking back the way we came to get to the international terminal. Along the way it started to drizzle but the temperature was quite mild. The Pohutakwa trees along the walk were just starting to come out into flower.

We got to the International Terminal in plenty of time so we managed to grab a panini & cake for lunch before waiting around for our flight. We walked up & down the terminal & took some photos of the Tahiti Nui plane parked off on the tarmac away from the airbridge.

My first thought was "oh more of the same we will have to board via bus & stairs too." Eventually the plane was pushed to a gate & we were able to use an airbridge to get on the plane. It was a lovely plane that was done up in green & blue. The configuration in economy class was 2 4 2 & Scott & I were lucky enough to get one of the 2 on the side. Once we were in the air the air hostess came through the plane & gave each passenger a frangipani flower. It was still closed up but it had the most divine scent even when closed. We then got the arrival cards that have to be filled out for arriving in French Polynesia. The crew messages were each repeated three times. Once in French, once in Japanese or the native Polynesian language (sounds a lot like Maori) & of course last of all it was repeated in English. There were individual screens in the back of the seats so that you could watch a choice of 5 different movies, it looks like 10 but ½ of them are broadcast in French. It really is very interesting that the whole service was bilingual & sometimes multilingual. Sitting in the airport at Auckland I can understand why it is so multilingual. There were people boarding this flight from French Polynesia, Argentina, New Zealand, Canada & America. I have really never noticed so many different languages spoken in one departure lounge before. It really was fascinating. The age range was equally as fascinating, there was really no typical age other than the fact that there were hardly any children, there was a baby though. There were people younger than me that look like they are into adventure, people same age & then the American's & Canadians looked more like the bronzed retired couples that seem to travel the world following the sun. This flight was also heading to LAX after Papeete & then on to New York. I have kept a note of that for future trips that we might do to LAX. The flight to Papeete was 4.5 hours & they served a dinner. It started with a salad, then either a choice of fish or chicken & then a strawberry /champagne mousse. It really was a good flight they only downside was the absolute pain that shot through my head on the descent. It felt like my head was going to split in 2. We landed at the airport & the steps came out to the plane & you guessed it we were walking along the tarmac to get to the terminal. We were greeted by a woman presenting us with a frangipani flower. We then had to stand in a long line for a very long time for the officious little French customs officer to do his job. I worked out that it took 5 minutes for him to process every couple that went through. Of course I didn't know this when I chose his queue I should have chosen the queue that had what looked like the French Polynesian darker skinned people working it. At least they were quick about processing you. We picked up our bags & found it quite surprising that we didn't have to put them through a xray machine & the quarantine people were quite willing to take our word that we weren't bringing any contraband into the islands. We found the Tahiti Tours that were shuttling us off to the Sheraton & this time we were given a frangipani lei. We got to the Sheraton around 11:30pm & after taking a panadol I eventually went to sleep.

I woke up to a new day but the same day, Wednesday 10 October all over again. We went to breakfast at the restaurant that overlooks the beautiful clear blue waters. The rest of the time we have spent lounging by the pool enjoying lying in the sun, having some one run around & get us our drinks & our lunch.

It really has been really peaceful. I did swim in the pool a bit. Interestingly I did a duck dive & that horrible splitting headache thing happened again. I think I must have really hurt my ears when I came back from the Gold Coast a couple of weeks ago. I came back home from the Gold Coast with a cold & ears that wouldn't equalize them selves for days. Scott thinks that I might have some sort of pressure equalization problem at the moment, maybe left over from the Gold Coast trip. The good thing is that we weren't going to learn to SCUBA dive over here anyway so really I won't miss out on anything. Hopefully over the next 14 days the problem will correct itself so that on the descent back home my ears won't be so bad.

Tonight we are having dinner in the restaurant & then tomorrow we go aboard the cruise ship.

For those of you interested in seeing more photos about this day follow this link

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It’s early but I can’t sleep!

I've been awake since at least 5:45 listening to a noisey bird chirping. Unfortunately I can't get back to sleep because I am very excited. Today I head off with Scott to Tahiti! I am taking my laptop & the ship has a wireless network so I am working out how to send messages to my blog from my Word program. I thought it might be nice to keep the boys updated with where we are. What this program may not be able to do is send photos to the blog so the text might be on the blog before photos appear. This is my first test run so let's see if this has worked. Hopefully if this works I won't run up too big a user bill while on board ship.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

James' friends birthday party - 9/9/07

This is the invite that we sent out to James' classmates. We were very surprised to have nearly every boy in the class turn up. It meant that there were 14 boys at Science Alive. It was a wonderful place for a party because there was a lot of hands on interactive things for the boys to do. A big favourite was the "vertical slide". A lot of boys enjoyed going down that including James.

This was James after he came down the slide. They also had a climbing wall & Brent & Scott both decided to go up it.
Science Alive work in conjunction with Burger King & Divine Cakes for the catering of the parties. At 3:30 it was food time & that was the time that the boys really started getting a bit rowdy. James wanted a chocolate cake so he had a beautiful chocolate cake from Divine Cakes for his birthday cake.

It was a wonderful party & having these sort of parties is definitely more relaxing than having everyone over to our house to play.

Where do I start?

Maybe I'll start by listing what we have done since the last blog update.

We have had James' party with his friends.
We have had the school junior cross country.
We have had R & P up to stay to celebrate James' birthday the weekend before his birthday.
We have had the boys break up from school.
We have received their effort cards which both look good. They have been doing hard work through the term.
We have had James' birthday.
We have been to Australia where we stayed with my dad & saw Australia Zoo & Seaworld.
We are back home now & it is still school holidays.

Hopefully I can update each of those events one by one in the next entries.

I'm beginning to think that the daily cards were a good idea because at least I could keep track of what I was up to each day.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


I've been tagged by Becky, ! So I guess that means, I have to tell you 6 interesting facts about myself, and then tag 6 new people! I can't wait to tag YOU!!!

1. I just love chocolate
2. Not any kind of chocolate though, only the dark variety.
3. I don't like pumpkin
4. But I will eat mashed butternut squash
5. However I won't eat just a hunk of butternut squash, it has to be mashed
6. I've just been on a clothes shopping spree!

So with that I will tag Glenda, Jenn, Rosemary, Dee, Jenny & Roo.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Stuck in a rut?

Self-motivation. Ever get in a rut and didn't feel like you would ever get out? What did you do to pull yourself up and out?

Yes, that happened to me just a few weeks ago. I felt stuck in a rut & wanted to just pull back from life. I did pull back. I didn't read my emails, I didn't answer the phone, I didn't log on to the internet, I took the time to just relax, do the things that I love doing. I slowed down on the housework, only did the required stuff, & then sat down & read. I needed a break, some silence, some peace.

Sometimes I just need a break, I really do like being alone sometimes, I like my own company. I like to have a hole to hide in when I feel that everything is getting on top of me.

I have learnt that I am allowed to just back out sometimes & that really I need to. It's not very often, it happens a lot around September/October & I haven't worked out why. Maybe it is because we are finally coming out of winter, new life is bursting everywhere & I need to take stock of my own life before I can burst on with my new life. It has always been a tough term with the children, it is a 10 week school term with no public holidays to break it up. They have been sick, cold, cranky & it just builds up in me until I need to recuperate my soul before the 3 week holiday, which BTW starts tomorrow.

So that was a long winded way of saying, yes I get stuck in ruts & usually I pull back from life a bit & take time to do the things that I enjoy doing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Real Finds

Real Finds. Have you ever bought anything on the spur of the moment, something you weren't sure you would ever use, then realized you came home with a gem?

I have to say that I really don't buy much on the spur of the moment except maybe scrapbooking supplies. I have a few lanterns around the house, because I like the look of them but so far I haven't really needed them. They will turn out to be gems if we have a power cut though.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Attention to Detail

Attention to Detail. When people come to your home what is the first thing you want them to see and why?

I would like them to see that the house is generally tidy. There are a few things lying around but the house really isn't grubby. When people arrive at my front door they are actually stepping straight into the dining/living/kitchen area of the house. It is the main living area so it is hard to keep it spotless, but I try my best to keep it looking at least partially tidy.

Before they get to my front door they have walked up a path past some gardens & on to a patio. I try to keep these gardens well weeded & looking nice. The patio needs a bit of tidying at the moment but soon I will be out there sweeping it off & cleaning it all up ready for summer.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sports Bras

Fashion Facts. Over the centuries, fashions have taken dramatic changes. Do you know of any obscure fashion facts to add to our knowledge?

Have you ever wondered what you must look like while jogging? I have been tooted at & it makes me feel very self conscious. When it is such nice weather why can't I just run around the block without feeling self conscious, why do I start thinking that maybe I should just resort to a treadmill indoors at a gym. At least at a gym everyone is doing much the same thing & really don't care how high breasts might be rising & falling. Which brings me to the blog prompt.

Did you know that unsupported breast bounce whilst running is 8cm for a ‘B’ cup. A ‘D’ cup’s unsupported breast bounce increases to 9.3cm.

That is why a sports bra was invented but it wasn't invented until 1977.
Who invented the sports bra?In 1977 University of Vermont student Lisa Lindahl was running 30 miles a week — and her bra wasn’t holding up. With the help of two classmates, Lindahl sewed together two jock straps and — presto! — the sports bra was born. The coeds founded the company Jogbra a year later, garnering eternal gratitude from exercise-loving women everywhere. Almost 40,000 sports bras are now sold annually.

Did you also know that sport bras worn cross-back improved bounce reduction over bras worn in the traditional bra setting in both the ‘B’ cup and ‘D’ cup tests.

So although I do wear sports bras I think I might be in need of some cross back ones & then maybe I won't get tooted at.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Shoe Closet

Shoes make the woman. Give us an insight into your closet. Your shoes closet that is.

I have counted my pairs of shoes & I have 14 pairs + 1 pair of gumboots for gardening.

I have
3 pairs black sandals: 1 casual pair & 2 dressy pairs. One of those dressy pairs has a higher heel than the other & hurts my feet to wear for too long.

3 pairs boots: 1 pair is for tramping, 1 pair is casual black & the other pair is high heeled pointy toed black & I found out last night that standing in them for 2 hours can just about maim my feet.

2 pairs running shoes: 1 pair is for running, weights etc, the other pair is for squash (a clear soled shoe that won't leave marks on the court). Not that I have played squash for ages LOL.

2 pairs of slippers: 1 pair is a nice warm sheepskin pair for winter. The other pair are scuffs that I was given for the cruise.

1 pair of croc flip flops that I just love

1 pair of nothingz (like crocs) that I wear everyday around the house.

1 pair of shoes for boating & walking in water.

1 pair of black pumps.

That is the full extent of the shoes that I own.

I would also like it to be noted that I have exactly the same number of shoes as my husband.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Fashionably Correct. In years past one would not be seen without a hat to complete your ensemble. Not so much these days. When and where do you think it is fashionably correct to wear a hat?

The first thing I think of is the horse races. The Melbourne Cup, in Australia, the New Zealand Trotting Cup, Ascot all seem to have women out in their finery with big hats on. Another time would be at a wedding cerermony, especially if it is an outdoors one.

Here in New Zealand the Cancer Society advise people to wear hats whenever they are outside in the summer months. My children have to wear a sunhat (regulation of course) at school in the 2 summer terms. They are not allowed to go outside if they don't have their sunhats on. I am lucky in that James seems to adore hats so it is fairly easy to get him to wear hat. Brent is not so happy to wear a hat but if it gets him outside he will wear it.

I try to wear a baseball cap when I am outside in summer but I have a horrible heat problem. With my hair being so thick & dark coloured my head seems to get very hot, very quickly under a hat. I have a few straw hats that I sometimes wear to the beach only problem is that they blow away too easily. I suppose a cap should probably come with me on the cruise or maybe they will sell a cheap sun hat in Tahiti so that I don't need to try & fit one in my luggage.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Yay! I've finally done some creating

As you may have noticed those little cards haven't been done for a week. Last week I was really feeling quite down so I pulled myself back from a few things including creating.

Over the last few days I've been trying to get it back together again & the result is this layout.

No this is not usually the size of layout I do but I really enjoyed creating the layout & doing it in a different orientation.

The lifecycle of my dishbrush

Simplify life. We all have them, those household items that we purchase for one thing and then end up using them for another. What items do you have that serve double duty?

This is a hard one for me to answer. I have just read through all the other blog responses to this & it is obviously the little things that serve a double purpose.

My dish brush starts out as dishbrush major. Dishbrush major is the brush that cleans all the pre rinsed pots & pans & things that can't fit in the dishwasher. After about a month it becomes dishbrush minor. Dishbrush minor is the brush that rinses off all the plates & pots, pans & Mo's food dish. It starts to get very mucky & it then graduates to a brush that I use to clean around taps & plug holes. After that it gets it's final use as a brush to really scrub off the stubborn soap scum that is on the floor & walls of the shower cabinets. It then ends it's life in the rubbish.

Monday, September 03, 2007

This month's music clip

This month's music clip is from The Black Seeds. They are a Wellington band that started in 1998. Here's a bigraphy about them

This is their website

Take a look at their myspace account to hear more of their music & see their videos

I chose this clip (So True) for it's reggae feel which just makes me think of warm days & nights, summer by a beach. I'm dreaming of warm weather & sunshine & according to my counter it is not long to go now.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Freezer contents

Blog Prompt: Just call me nosy Rosy! I had to defrost my freezer this month in hopes of repairing it, which we did. It amazed me to find stuff in there that I had forgotten about! Name 5 things in your freezer right now.

I have a freezer as well as the fridge/freezer.

5 things in my freezer are:
Slica pads - never know when I am going to need them for a picnic.
Toast bread - always good to have a backup supply
Chicken stock - ready for soup
Croissants - a nice standby to have for a breakfast
Stewed rhubarb - for the boys breakfasts

In the fridge/freezer I have
Frozen vegetables
Hash browns
Toast bread

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Bog builder prompt: I love ________________ because it reminds me of_________________.

I love the smell of freesias because they remind me of Church Bay. We used to have a bach (holiday home) at a place called Church Bay. It was a little place beside the sea in a bay that had a safe swimming beach. We would spend all our summers there roaming free, enjoying the sea, sand & exploring. I loved the place & still do. Anyway along the paths at our bach there were freesias. I am not sure who planted them but I am assuming that it was my grandmother, I don't think they would have grown wild. Every spring they would flower & they had the most beautiful scent. Some of the freesias that you buy in the shops today have hardly any scent but the ones at Church Bay had a beautiful scent.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday 27 August

Both boys stayed home from school today. James' cough is still just as bad as yesterday but Brent is slowly getting better. What do you know, today they both had a sleep in the afternoon. It leaves me wondering what would have happened if I had sent them to school. We drove into town to pick up Scott after work & we were surprised to see the first cherry blossoms out & the green tinges of leaves on the willows by the Avon. Spring is really starting to make a dainty appearance in the city.

Sunday 26 August

R & P left in the morning so it was then time to get the boys to wind down from the hype of being the centre of attention for 3 days. Both boys have come down with a cold, James has a terrible wracking cough so we trird to get them to have a rest in the afternoon. That didn't happen so we put them to bed at 7.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Saturday 25 August

While Brent was playing his second last soccer game I took James out shopping. For brief moments I was allowed to hold his hand, but it didn't last long. I miss that wee guy putting his hand into mine. He is growing up very quickly & it seems to be just the little things, like holding his hand that reminds me of it.
Brent was in a round robin tournament with the other 3 bottom places teams. They played 10 minute games & did quite well with a draw & 2 close losses.

Friday 24 August

Putiputi is a Maori craft of making flowers out of flax leaves.

That link shows you how to do it.

I didn't make this putiputi, Brent did. Brent's topic this term has been Maori & as well as learning a haka he got to make some putiputi. I went along on Friday afternoon to take a look at what the boys were learning to do. There was a fearsome haka & then the boys split into 2 groups & did a haka to each other. One group had also learnt how to do a poi dance so we got shown that. Then imagine my surprise when I got asked to go up & do a poi dance with Brent & the other group of boys. I have swung pois long ago but it really was a very long time ago. It was actually quite fun. I think the best thing though was turning up to watch & seeing Brent's surprised expression on his face. Unfortunately not many parents came to watch mainly because we got a notice home on Thursday night saying it was on the next day. Thursday night was a rush because of the music evening so it was a bit sad we didn't get more notice. The boys looked as though they had had a fun day though. Something nice & light after the late night the night before.

Thursday 23 August - AKA the Music Evening

R & P arrived at about 1 o'clock especially for this event. It is a fantastic event that is the culmination of all this term's early starts & practicing & learning of tunes & words. Both boys did really well. The "house" started by singing the hymn first & they performed that really well. Then it was on to the "house" song. Their house chose to sing "A Nightingale sang in Berkley Square." That is a very difficult song to sing with lots of high notes as well as a lot of different words to learn. Their song didn't seem quite as good as their hymn.

All the other houses followed on from the boy's house (Clyde) & as the show went on it was easy to see that Clyde had sung the hymn far better than any other house, but their song wasn't as good. So it was quite a surprise when at the end of the evening the ajudicator said that Clyde won. The boys were thrilled & for Brent it has been a threepeat. He has come to the conclusion that it is his singing that wins it, because before that Hamilton was always winning, LOL. You just have to love the egocentricity of little kids.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I went to the supermarket & saw a lovely display of jonquils & freesias so I bought some just to make the house look more cheerful. I love the yellowness of them & the scent of course.

Why is it that it is when visitors are due to stay that the kids decide to do whatever they can to make the workload more than the usual amount. It started off with Brent wetting his bed in the early hours of tuesday morning. That was a sheet, matress protector & pjs. Then this morning he puts all his weight on the towel rail that was screwed into the bathroom wall. He managed to get it pulled off the wall. Really I am at my wits end with his behaviour, but if I ask him to do anything or not do something he always retorts "I know, I know". He obviously doesn't because otherwise he wouldn't have pushed down on it. I was so cross that I just told him to sit in the car & then i turned my timer on for 15 minutes & did some laundry while trying to calm down.
Scott managed to get it screwed back into the wall tonight but we did charge Brent for the screws & the thingys that are needed to hold the screws in the wall since the holes are bigger than the thread. It only came to about 10 cents but I hope Brent has learnt a lesson.


Blog Prompt: What are you putting off right now?


I really don't like doing housework but it has to be done & really I need the majority of it done before tomorrow afternoon when my in laws arrive for the weekend. Hopefully today I can get their bed made up & the house vacuumed along with the 3 loads of laundry that always seem to need to be done a day.

I suppose I better jump to it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Emails I have sent

Blog Prompt: Name three people you last e-mailed, and why.

My last three emails were sent to my NZScrappers group.

The last three individuals I emailed were
1. Jennifer the owner of ScrapTown. I was sending her my input for the next newsletter.
2. A woman called Maritza to thank her for her kind comments on one of my layouts I posted on a yahoo group
3. A woman called Hetty for the same reason above.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday 20 August

Yay! Today I managed to book James' birthday party. I have even had mothers asking me when his party was going to be. Today I finally booked it. James went to a party a few weeks ago at Science Alive & really enjoyed it & wanted his party to be there so that is where the party will be. Just the thought of 15 boys running around our house made me veto that idea. It was alright for Brent's class because it was smaller but James' class is a bit bigger.
This is the invite that I made for him. He was very excited to get them all printed off so he can give them to everyone in his class tomorrow.

Stuff on my desk

Blog Prompt: Name five things lying around your computer.

I have a glass of Mizone because I have just got in from teh gym.
My Tonic guillatine is at my right hand side.
My diary is on the left hand side.
A Pringles container has been sawn in half & both halves are holding my pens, scissors & things.
A box full of memorabillia, that needs to be sorted through.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


It has been a nice relaxing weekend. In the end I didn't go clothes shopping on Friday because really it was cold & grey, not at all conducive to buying clothes to wear in the tropics.

Saturday morning I was able to sit with a cup of coffee & complete a whole Sudoku puzzle before having to head off to soccer. James' team only had 5 players this week & was up against a team of 6. All season we have had too many players & have been subbing our boys off & on so that both teams have even numbers. It would appear that when the shoe is on the other foot the other teams don't sub off & on. Maybe next season we can play all our games with 9 members in the team & too bad about the other teams. James team lost but only by 3-0.
Brent's team was playing a team that beat them 10-0 last round. This time they only got beaten 3-0. Brent got player of the day for saving two stinging attacks on goal despite not being in goal.

Today I decided that I would bring some daphne inside my craft room. I just love the scent of daphne. I did a bit of laundry & then spent some time tidying up my craft room & nearly finishing off a father's day project.

It's going to be a busy week coming up. Monday & Tuesday the boys need to be at school early to practice for their music evening. Thursday is the music evening & we have R & P coming up to stay with us & to watch the boys. Saturday Brent has a round robin soccer tournament & James has a party to go to. Sunday R & P head back home & Scott will be packing for his week long stay in Wellington.

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

New layout

The scan on this one is very good but I am really chuffed with my pocket page of this layout. The pocket had to be very sturdy as it is holding all Brent's reports & certificates from year 1. I folded a 12*12 cardstock over the bottom half of the background cardstock & then put eyelets down both sides. I threaded ribbon through those eyelets to create some extra strength & I think it worked really well.
This prototype worked so well that I think the same format will be used for both boys Medbury albums from now on.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Blog Prompt: Aug 16 is the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. Do you know who Elvis is? If so, what was your favorite movie? Are you a big fan of his? Why or why not?

I am 37 so I was only 7 when he died. I know of Elvis & I have watched one of his movies, he was a GI in Hawaii. I think that is the only movie of his I have seen. I did hear a lot of his music though because my mum loved Elvis' music. No I am not a big fan because when you are only 7 when he died & movies aren't a huge thing in the family it's just another celebrity. I do think though that he was hot when he was younger it is just so sad what he did to his body in his later life.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It is starting to get exciting when you can print off boarding passes for the ship! I printed mine off last night & Scott printed his off this morning.

Today was rather cold but at least the sun was shining, it meant that I was in the mood for a run. It was nice to get out & enjoy the sun again. I even managed to run for 25 minutes non stop so I am getting fitter.

After a bit of housework I was able to sit down & finally knock together a layout. It should be in the post below this one. This page was the easy one, I think the next one with the pocket is going to be a bit more difficult.

Tomorrow is errand day & I am hoping to have coffee with Scott after going to the gym & then back home briefly before heading out to some fashion shops & see if the summer stuff has arrived. I am desparate for a couple of pairs of capris for the cruise as well as some smart casual skirts & maybe some sandals. Also want to see if I can find a nice dressy little black dress for those formal evenings on board the ship.

Yay tomorrow is Friday have a great weekend everyone!