7/14/2017

A wild night

No, it wasn't a partying night, it was a winter storm with horrendous rain and winds that blew rain three feet through the cat flap even with the back door not lined up with the porch doorway!

Yesterday from early afternoon, our house had no lights and only had power in the one lounge outlet and all the kitchen outlets--for which I was wonderfully grateful with so many in the area having no power at all, as you can see by the map below. (We live slightly below 'New Plymouth').


Cooking by night-light, was a new experience :) but I was glad that I could do that because I didn't want us going out for take-outs in the awful weather.

The lounge outlet was a blessing to have. It kept the TV going and could be used for charging phones and laptops, if needed. When it was bedtime, Hubby ran a power cord from the lounge to our bedroom for heat and clocks.

When I woke up about 5AM, I tried some light switches and some of the lights came on a bit dimly, so it seemed that things were getting back to normal although it wasn't all fixed at that time. Later when I did get up things were a lot better, although not quite totally to normal, yet.

Through it all, I was very grateful for a fireplace with plenty of wood to burn along with the layers of clothes and socks!

I want to say a big 'Thank you!' to all those that worked so hard overnight and are still working in the wind and rain to get power back on across the country. Be safe out there.

7/01/2017

After 10 years....

After 10 years in New Zealand, I thought I had experienced all the things that would just throw me for a loop. As it turns out, I was wrong.

Yesterday, I found another one of those 'English' words that don't mean the same thing everywhere that English is spoken.  When I first got here, I saw these little square cakes called 'Lamingtons' in the bakery display cases at grocery stores with the little signs that explained that they are 'sponge' cake covered in coconut flakes.

Well, my idea of 'sponge' cake is 'sponge cake', aka Angel Food Cake.  It's fluffy and great with fruit but there's not a lot of texture to it. So, I imagined Lamingtons being Angel Food Cake covered with coconut and I really didn't think Lamingtons would impress me.


When Hubby came home from work, he had stopped for milk. Very rarely does he actually only come home with milk... because 'it was on special'!! And one of the things he bought was a pack of Lemony Lamingtons that were, of course, on special!

I tried one just out of curiosity and, lo and behold, they are not Angel Food cake but regular 'cake'. Tasty cake! I'm not a huge fan of coconut but I think I might have to try different flavors now, just to satisfy my curiosity.

5/15/2017

Where did it go????

Over the years, I've had a few 'favorite' things disappear from the store shelves. Most were just a favorite flavor or scent here and there, but I always took it personally :) even though there wasn't much I could do about it.

A few weeks ago, I sent Hubby to the store for my favorite spot remover that I use for his work clothes and the occasional coffee drip or food spot. He went to our favorite store, Countdown.
bring back vanish direct

I love using this stuff because it got every little stain out of every kind of fabric. And the best part is that I can rub the stuff all over the stains and not have to wash it for up to seven days. That works great for me since there are only the two of us and laundry is two loads a week, at the most.

Well, he came home with something different because my 'usual' wasn't on the shelf. Same company, but different product. I was wary, but I used it.  It didn't work. At all. Not on the pen marks where hubby put his pen back in pocket a hundred times a day. Not on the coffee stain on my shirt. NOTHING! UGH!

So, the next weekend, we went looking at New World, the other major chain that usually carries it. Again, nothing. Just the replacement stuff that didn't work.

I decided to write an email to both stores to tell them to put it back but before I got started, I thought I'd send them a photo of what I was talking about so there would be no question about the subject.

Well, lo and behold, all I could find was this:
bring back vanish direct

Unavailable in your area. Noooooo!!!! 
OK, now it's personal.

What to do? What to do? Hubby to the rescue! There's a chain of small grocery stores that have a store in most of the small towns in Taranaki that would never support one of the larger stores. According to their website, there are sixteen of them in Taranaki and Hubby started stopping at the ones he encountered in the northern part of the district on his truck-driving job and brought home one, three, one...five! I was ecstatic!

So, we spent Mother's Day driving to the stores in the south of Taranaki and scored six at one store and one or two at some others! The cashiers looked at us funny and we explained it to a couple of them but I now have a collection that will last me quite a while. I do hope I can eventually find a suitable replacement before it runs out!

Just for the record, the company that makes Vanish products has been advertising quite aggressively with their 'stain removing' technique of using their power to make a paste and rub gently. I'm sure that works just fine for those that have one grass stain a week. I have 5 sets of work clothes to get clean every week and can't imagine how much 'paste' I'd have to make to cover man-size shirts and pants. And with a product that is easy to use, why would I want to make more work for myself?

I did email the company but haven't heard back. But I did find this review from last year: Click here to read how it earned a Shonky Award!

4/27/2017

Mickey

I have been remiss in introducing our new cat.
This is Mickey (originally called Mickey Mouse, but what do cats care?!).

Sadly, Sox disappeared last October, I assume with the same ending as his predecessor, Grace. Since we got Sox and Garfield at the same time, Garfield was a bit off kilter after that. Hubby says he was acting like a spoiled child more than a cat, whining and expecting lots of attention. So, after out holiday in February we found Mickey and Garfield started acting like a cat again!


When he was first let outside, he would go out when Hubby went to work and come home at 8PM every night, almost on the dot! Eventually, he spent more and more time inside and now he acts like a normal house cat.



Garfield is a little senile and hard of hearing so sometimes Mickey's attempt to play and be affectionate startles him and he's not quite as appreciative as he could be.