Saturday, May 31, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Mountain climbing on my new house!
New coat looking fabulous! Weightwatchers starts again tonight. Good hair though.
New gumboots. These are really cute. I got them at The Warehouse, which I must say is up marketing itself quite successfully. My old ones are all split (plus I stood in a dog mine and haven't scrubbed them yet). These are for visiting the building site as it is rather muddy.
Tonight is the pudding-off challenge at Mrs CT's house. I have made a pavlova from the Weightwatchers cookbook. It has a meringue pavlova (rather than the recipe I usually use which has items in addition to the meringue egg white and sugar). Mum will know what I mean. Plus it has a ricotta and yoghurt whipped up topping (with icing sugar to sweeten), then it is topped with fruit. In my case boysenberries. Apparently we are having pizza, but because we are having puddings I am going to make myself a big salad to eat instead. See, told you I'm back on the Weightwatchers. Not going to the meetings though. Too many miserable looking plump people paying over cash to stand on scales and buy the overpriced, underflavoured Weightwatcher's food. My jeans are digging into my tummy and I've decided to make a stand. So Taming the Chocolate Baby will explore my lower calorie cooking experiments. Shame I'm so greedy. I'll set myself some goals tomorrow, and any fatties who want to join me confessing their sins and offering support will be most welcome.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Can I offer you a chocolate biscuit? Guaranteed to be real ones.
Digging the first hole where the front door will be. As you can see, velvet is suitable for all occasions.
Well, trying to dig the first hole where the front door will be. Call in reinforcements!
My hero! Victorious! After all of that great work building our house, let's go to brunch at The Thyme Cafe.
The big digger arrives to enlarge our hole tomorrow. Fortunately I will have nothing to do with it. The foundation should be poured within about 7 days. I started the rampage today, and have just been packing up the first box of clutter. Apparently when selling a house clutter is a bad thing. I attacked the garden with fervour too. Plus made a casserole for a couple of weeknight dinners when I'm too tired to think about cooking. Going out for tea tonight. I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and has a brilliant week. XXX
Ps. Thanks to Mr and Mrs CT and The Fergs for attending the non-picnic and having a few laughs over digging a very small hole! XXX (Next time I'll get twice as many choccy biscuits).
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I can't believe it. Our builder started work today. He has been building the boxing for the foundation. The photo above makes the section of land look quite small, but it is almost 800m2. Mr B and I are going to visit on Saturday so he can show me the progress.
I should be mega happy, but I had a day off school today because I have a bit of a cold, and I am soooo tired. I slept all morning. Very hard to keep my positive frame of mind when I am feeling crappy. I managed to work on a cushion. I made it out of two horrible skirts, one linen and the other a wool-angora blend, that I got from the second hand clothes shop. Will post photos once I have stuffed it.
Friday tomorrow! Thank goodness. XXX
Monday, May 12, 2008
I picked my entire crop of kiwifruit. Here they are:
Two perfect fruit. They looked so pretty inside that I had to show you. They are smaller than the shop-bought ones, but longer in proportion to their girth. I must say that kiwifruit are not something I will be growing in my next garden because they grow so huge, and you need a boy and a girl vine. You can get some sweet little ones that I think they call cocktail kiwifruit. If that doesn't grow too big it might be worth a try. They are horribly expensive in the shops. Regular kiwifruit are really economical to buy in season. I boycott the ones imported from Italy out of season. It seems utterly ridiculous to import them from around the world when the locally grown ones are so abundant for much of the year.
Look what I found in the mailbox today. A parcel from Meg.
Inside was the beautiful coat she got for me from the NZ auction site Trademe. Look at this amazing fabric!
I am going to wear it with all black and look very stylish indeed. And here are the long-awaited mint flavoured Kerstiens Dragon Drops. Meg was desperate for us to try them, but we got a bag and they were all fruit flavoured. Fruit was delicious, but it was the mint ones she was excited about. She had to do a special order. The Kerstiens people were very obliging. They were worth the wait. They have dark chocolate on the outside and peppermint fondant with chocolate fondant swirled through it, and just a hint of some kind of liqueur flavour. Utterly delicious.
I went for a look in Millers on the way home today. It is a furnishing shop, but, as I predicted, I left with no more ideas. It is a very middle-of-the road, rather boring shop. So I popped into Toffs, which is a second hand clothing shop. We call thrift shops op-shops over here. I popped into Toffs, which is a warehouse full of clothes and a few books and general crappy stuff, to look for some linen to craft with. Can't show you the clothes I found because they went straight into the wash. Lets just say Toffs appears to just take used clothing and hang it on coathangers without a wash. It has a horrible stale old clothing smell. I also found this Monica Dickens book. I read "Kate and Emma" up at the farm and loved it. Now I've got the complete versions of five books in this one big fat volume.
A Sad Postscript. Don't read if you don't want to hear about cruelty to animals.
I have been keeping one eye on "Border Security," which is a television programme about customs and immigration in Australia. I just saw a horrible feature about snakes that were imported illegally from Thailand. It makes me so angry that someone would put living creatures in little boxes and send them in the mail. Wildlife smuggling. Just awful. Another display of disgusting human greed. I'm terribly sorry to say that the snakes had to be euthanased because of the risk to Australia's reptiles, which I can understand. But what a awful, awful waste. I love snakes. So many people shudder at the thought of them, but they are so beautiful and elegant. We don't have snakes here, so I've only seen them in captivity in Australia, sadly. I send out my love to all of the snakes in the world. May you be left to live your lives in peace. XXX
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Today I watched The Secret on DVD. Have any of you seen it, or read the book? I guess some people might think it is all hogwash, but it is such an amazing positive way of thinking. That's just what I need. It can't do any harm. More on Taming the Chocolate Baby as I get the time. I had a great example of the thinking today. I decided to be really positive about performing today. At the end I was calm and happy. I'd hashed up some notes, but played lots of the piece really well. A friend of mine also played in a group. She was wonderful to listen to, and I really enjoyed her performance. I had noticed a bit of a mess up at one stage, but it made no difference to me. When we left together she was berating herself madly for playing "the worst performance ever" and sounded so annoyed with herself. Actually, she had arrived at the same time as me and already had a bee in her bonnet that she went on and on about. I had a great afternoon with lots of learning and laughs. My guess is that she went home and thought what a terrible time she had had, and how badly she had done. Maybe The Secret is going to work for me! It is all about thinking positive thoughts.
Enough ranting on. I've got a few jobs to do and they WILL be fun! XXX
Friday, May 9, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
It is always exciting to get a subscription magazine in the mail. Well, unless it was Hunter Monthly, or Diesel Mechanic Weekly. Actually, one of my lovely students often brings hunting magazines to school. Their editors' ideas of a good cover is a dead animal picture with the (usually hairy and unkempt looking) man and the weapon that took its life. Don't you worry, NZ House and Garden readers. There wont be any hairy men with tools, working on a house or garden, featured on the cover.
I feel like I've won a prize! I really thought I could be a great member of the Reader Panel when I wrote the answer to the selection questions. Maybe that positive attitude helped along the way. I'm a happy chicken :) .
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
This was taken in the Botanical Gardens when we decided to recreate the famous photo of us as little people riding the 4 seater rocking horse. Unfortunately our search for the horsey was fruitless, and we ended up looking like a bunch of weirdos in the children's playground with no children. The boys couldn't wait to get out of there. Actually Meg and I couldn't wait to get away from the hoards of small children.
Oh, by the way, sorry none of us have given you grandchildren. Just granddogs, grandcats, grandguineapigs and a grandrabbit. You know the situation is pretty hopeless when one of your daughters says she couldn't possibly love a baby as much as she loves her dog. That wasn't me, by the way. I've already got 7 giant babies, and I don't need any more. There's always the seedlings.
For anyone who doesn't know my mum, she is an outstanding daffodil breeder and grower. She was even asked to judge a very important class in an Irish show recently. She is an international daffodil judge. I grew up with the annual daffodil season. During Spring, the only way to spend quality time with Mum was to go out to the daffodil patch and help her to hunt for show quality flowers. There was a brief time when I looked like a promising candidate to take over the empire. I won the Champion Bloom at the Christchurch Daffodil Show on my first attempt. I promptly retired from showing, having reached the pinnacle of success (in my opinion). Of course Mum has reached much loftier heights, and has created some absolutely amazing seedlings.
So dearest Mummy, I am so lucky to have you as my mum. May we have many more years of birthdays, the Crazy Snake, and the best pavlovas in the world. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Look! Our builder put his sign up on our land today. Pretty exciting. Mr B is talking with him about access, driveways, munching up the land with heavy equipment etc. I will really believe it is going to happen once the land gets dug up. Plus we are meeting with the kitchen people on Saturday. I wonder if they can make my Country Living kitchen?
I have to say thank you to all of the lovely people who have left me comments. I was so thrilled to get 8 today (and I had only written one myself). I am feeling pretty crappy with my awful ongoing headache, and my students were a bit of a challenge today. I don't usually write anything about them, but one of them was howling repeatedly for long periods (kind of like a scream- that loud) today. It is hard when they can't tell you what is wrong, and you have to just keep on running the class programme with the noise. Anyway, I love them all to bits, and a bit of screaming is hardly worth getting my knickers in a twist about. It is just that with one eye feeling like it is going to pop out of my head with pain, and feeling kind of sick at the same time, it is hard work. I love my evenings 'cause they are my creative time. I get disappointed when I can't do anything but do a bit of blogging and lie down. I've got another brilliant plan for a skirt (if I might say so myself). XXX
Monday, May 5, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
- I'm much better on the computer and working with photos.
- I got a new sewing machine and use it regularly (I made a skirt today).
- I made it to Orchestra 3 with my cello, and got to play on the stage in the Town Hall.
- I joined a chamber group.
- I have started making quilts.
- I started making more presents, rather than buying them.
- I went to Australia and had an amazing holiday.
- We bought a piece of land and are about to start building on it (about 3 weeks and we will be underway).
- I'm working on being a more organised housekeeper.
- I'm developing my cooking skills.
- I'm improving my management and leadership skills at school.
Best of all, I'm excited about what I could achieve during the next 100 posts. Time to set some new goals I think. I want to:
- Develop my sewing skills by learning some new quilting techniques with each quilt I make.
- Design and make some clothes for myself, including an item made of Merino jersey fabric ('cause it comes in such lovely colours).
- Make Christmas presents (starting early).
- Move into my new house.
- Paint some of our old furniture rather than buying new stuff for the new house.
- Make some of the curtains and blinds for our new house.
- Be a frugal food shopper and make some fabric shopping bags.
- Learn more about food, where it comes from, how it is produced, and what I could do with it.
- Reduce my waste production.
- Use my slow cooker.
- Make the majority of the food I eat from scratch (reducing processed foods).
- Think about crafted products I could make to sell.
Hopefully the next 100 posts will see me being more self-confident. And I really want to have less down days. Plus I hate to say it, but for my health, I've got to lose weight. But I'm not going to obsess about it. I'm just going to work on my cooking skills and fight those anxious times when I'm dying to buy a king sized block of Cadbury chocolate and eat the lot (believe me- I've done it many times). I'm going to get out walking lots too.
So, even though I haven't got one, a toast with a lovely glass of Midori and lemonade, or a frozen strawberry margarita is in order. You know, it doesn't matter, I've had a great day living life how I want to, and that is enough for me!
A wee peek at the skirt I made today in production. I hate mucking around with patterns, so didn't use one for this. That fantastic fabric was in another teacher's rag bag! I'll get Mr B to take a photo of me in it and I'll post it if it looks ok. I've used a light-weight denim on the back and the print on the front. XXX
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Have a cup of tea. I found this dear wee cup and saucer at the Motueka Hospice Shop. It was among the brown and fawn items and had to be rescued.
Have a nap. Monty has taken possession of my my almost-finished square quilt. No chance of getting my hands on it now!
Miss Dog thinks having a nap is a very good idea too. Look at that shiny coat!
Stoke up the fire. Mr B got a big basket of wood in and we are lovely and warm. I should roast some chestnuts.
Admire other purchases from the Hospice Shop. They were pleased with themselves when I left! I was pleased to be able to spend money to support such a good cause (plus Mum is out of the country and I had to make up for all the trips she would make in there if she was home). I was also pleased to find some bits and pieces of vintage fabrics to create with. The green napkin is a very unusual colour and the most beautiful linen. I will probably embroider onto it. The embroidered tray cloth is so pretty. I think I might set up my sewing table again shortly. Plus I am making pumpkin soup for tea. Probably curried pumpkin soup 'cause I don't have any bacon to give it some extra flavour. Since I don't usually follow recipes a disaster may follow. I'll be happy to share it with you (in writing - I wouldn't make you eat my disaster). XXX
Friday, May 2, 2008
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
What I was doing 10 years ago:
I was living in a small apartment with Mr B. I was attending the Christchurch College of Education. I think that's right! We hadn't moved into our house here yet.
Five Snacks I enjoy:In a perfect, non weight-gaining world
Chocolate, chips, biscuits, ice-cream, cake.
In the real world:
Cherries, watermelon, crunchy apples, nashis, nuts.
Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Invest money so I always had an income. Set up an organic farm with a house for each family member that wanted to join in. Have a craft, plant and antique shop with a cafe and farm shop. Spend my time crafting and farming.
Five jobs that I have had:
Raspberry picker, retail work in a bookshop, gift and interior shop and flower and garden shop, primary school teacher and special needs teacher.
Three of my habits:
Worrying, making messes, procrastinating.
Five place I have lived:
Ngatimoti, Waimairi Road, Bealey Ave, here.
Five people I Want to Get to Know Better: (a nice way of saying TAG!) But don't feel obligated! Just do it if you want to.
Consider yourself tagged if you read this! :)
Take a look at these stormy pictures! The weather turned bad when we were driving through the Lewis Pass, and there was steady snowfall by the time we reached the Canterbury side. It was starting to settle. I am rather fond of snow because we only get it in small doses here. We were sad to say goodbye to Nanny, Daisy and the cats. We had such a lovely time with Nanny because we don't see her as much as we used to. We had a couple of her famous lamb roasts. We used to go around to her place most Thursdays for a roast when she lived in Christchurch. Nanny is really tricky about having her photo taken. I managed to get a few pictures of her and Daisy, when she didn't realise I was snapping away, but when she saw them she made such funny comments about how they made her look old that I wouldn't dream of putting them on my blog.