2/27/2009

Just a few things that cross my mind

I blog for my friends to keep up with my new life and have only discovered the addicting side of blogging about a month ago.  So I was very pleasantly surprised when I found that I was listed as a nominee for POTD on authorblog!   Thanks, Dave.

The Maori's have 4 seats in Parliment here in NZ.  There are many Maori names of towns and rivers and mountains.  Most welcome signs to towns are in English and Maori. There are several Maori tv stations. I wonder how that would play out in America with all the Native American dialects...*shudder*
Students get free dental care through the 8th grade here.

I never in a million years thought I'd ever drive a Mitsubishi.  Heck, I didn't know they made station wagons until we bought one!  That goes for Fuji Cameras, too.  Not the station wagon part.

I've lost a few pounds lately, but don't know exactly how much.  I'm too cheap to pay $30 for a scale, knowing they aren't over $10 in Topeka (or thereabouts, before I left), so my plan is to pop into the doctor's clinic and sneak a weigh there.  Or maybe I can just be content knowing I'm getting lighter.

I wonder occasionally what US TV lineups are like.  Here we have lots of BBC stuff and I am actually glad for a lot of it.  Of course, years ago I had to watch it on PBS to get a good dose of English humor.  But I do enjoy an occasional 'Vicar of Dibley' or 'Waiting for God' and there is plenty of 'Dr. Who'.

The Discovery Channel is through Australia, so there's a lot of English stuff, which is cool.  And there's quite a bit of WWII stuff on History Channel--not quite as exciting.

But, I have to admit that I have learned a lot of English history, which is quite fascinating.  I'm more than a little embarassed that I wasn't taught more of it in school.

2/26/2009

Maori potatoes


These are one type of Maori potatoes that my hubby thought would be fun to grow.  They are purple, inside and out, and make very interesting potato salad!  They are called 'roke kuri' .  The literal translation is 'dog poo' (well, not exactly 'poo', but this is a G-rated blog).  Gotta love the Maori language.
There seems to be a trend in food color here.  You can read about purple carrots here. I found them quite tasty, a bit sweeter than orange ones.
And we have some purple cauliflower seed to plant later in the fall.

The food may be boring, as I have blogged about before, but it is colorful.

2/21/2009

I always wanted to be like Mom

When I was little, I was always in awe of my mom.  She could just look at somebody and tell that they were pregnant or how old their kids are or if people were not telling the whole story.  She had lots of intuition and I couldn't wait to grow up to have it too.  I mean, as a youngster I figure it should be genetic, right?

Well, time went by, I grew up, started my own family.  And I waited....
Nothing!
OK, if it's not genetic and automatically transferred, then I'll have to have my own references.  But checking height as a reference for age was out because I was six feet tall by the time I got done growing.
Hrumph.
I know, when I have my own baby, I'll at least be able to have a working idea of how old kids are by looking at my own.  Wrong.  My one and only natural child weighed 12 lb 7.5 oz at birth!!!
And now, all those years later, without the magical genetic conferring of wisdom, I am still trying to figure the world out.  Since I took up gardening, I thought I'd be able to say (at least, with a modicom of assurance) "it's getting to be spring"or "autumn is on it's way" by the flowers.
Wrong again, cursed weather patterns! 
We have 'naked ladies'  (see photo stolen from internet) growing in our garden.  

They are gorgeous flowers that got their name because in the autumn, the flowers grow tall without leaves.  The leaves come in the spring.  
Or, at least, that's how it's suppose to work.
We have a patch of these planted.  Here we are in the middle of summer.  
There are flowers poking through the soil in some spots.... 
and leaves in others.
I can't catch a break. 
  

2/20/2009

Skywatch Friday


Check out more skywatch photos over at their blog!

2/18/2009

before your teenagers drive you crazy....

Hubby and I picked this book up on a whim a few weeks ago and it's the best book I've ever read!  Well, ok, the plot is a bit predictable, but it's really got good info in it!

It's by Nigel Latta and it's funny as can be! Like this 'note': 
"The details of the individuals and families I talk about in this book have been changed so that they are not identifiable.  Not even the great Sherlock Holmes himself would be able to trace these stories back to their source.
That said, Danger Mouse probably could find the real families, but then he's just a cartoon character so no one's going to take anything he says very seriously.  My advice would be that if Danger Mouse shows up at your house and starts asking personal questions, you should  probably just slip him some rat poison.
No one ever went to jail for killing a cartoon
character."

Two thumbs up for anyone who has, or will soon have, teenagers!
  

2/13/2009

Dougie

This is Dougie. He is a wild duckling.  My hubby named him.
When I inquired about the name, he said,  "You know", then  he sang, "Rubber Dougie, you're the one..."  See what I have to live with...

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If  you haven't read the saga of the wild ducks in our fish pond, you can catch up here and here.

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Here's Dougie's story...       
All of the ducklings--all 70+ of them-- eventually quit showing up at our pond a few weeks back and we were surprised but happy about that. But, now and again,  I still can't help but wonder where they go and if they survived because the smaller broods tend to be abandoned.
Well,  a few days ago, Dougie showed up all alone.  I was actually kinda excited since we think he is the very last one brought here and he was on  'only duckling'. This time, we actually didn't mind that he was there because he can't quack.  He opens his mouth over and over and over again, but nothing comes out.
It seems that Dougie's parents followed him back, too.  They show up sporatically, and this makes him happy for a while, but they eventually leave again to do whatever it is that ducks do. 
But Dougie stays. 
And, although we haven't said it out loud, I guess we will let him stay... since he's all alone and just getting his adult feathers (so he needs just another month to be able to fly).  And he's so cute.  And sad. But mostly because he's so quiet. 

2/12/2009

2/11/2009

Finally...

I have some food that tastes like I remember it did in the States! It's a wonderful, vine-ripened tomato! I had to grow the tomatoes myself, but I have such a feeling of accomplishment now. I didn't realize how boring 'store bought' ones were until I picked my first cherry tomato off the vine and popped it into my mouth. Yum!

That may not sound very important to blog about to some, but if you knew that I have never even mowed a lawn in my life [well, now you do...] you could appreciate how un-horticulturally inclined I am. Does that make me horticulturally challenged? Hmm...But I digress...
Anyway, a few months ago, Hubby bought me 4 seedlings, we popped them into the ground and voile! There they are!
This may not be an exciting thing for you to read about, but for anyone who has ever left the comfort of 'civilization' with 24/7 stores within a few miles, you can understand a little of what I am feeling. I think I'll go have another 'mater sammich now.

2/09/2009

Just smile and nod....

There are a couple of new ads for the lottery that are just...strange, to say the least. They feature a guy (who never speaks), his conscience (in the form of a latino guy with a mexican accent) and a gnome (named terry).
In one ad, the conscience tells the guy to take a break from his job and off he goes. Then the phone rings and the conscience says, "I think you should probably get that, terry." The camera pans back to see the gnome sitting on the counter, then cuts to the lotto logo.
That's the whole ad.
Well, several times a day, my family develops mexican accents and everybody seems to be named 'terry'.... this is where you just smile and nod and pretend everything is ok.
It's pretty cool around our house.

2/05/2009

My 'down under' garden


I know that for most of you, it's the middle of winter, but here in the southern hemisphere, it's the middle of summer. And my garden is looking soooo good!

So, in the spirit of sharing [and the spirit of giggling because you could be knee-deep in snow  ], I thought I'd give you a peek at the blooms in my yard.












We rent a house whose [obviously well-established] garden had been neglected for quite a while. Whoever planted it put a lot of care and love into it and we are proud to be able to restore it to some extent.  
We aren't gardeners--or I guess I should say that we weren't gardeners before we moved into this place.  But now the 'bug' has bitten us and we are loving planting seedlings,  pulling weeds and moving plants until we find the best place for them.  It's amazing how much joy we get from such a simple pastime.
I hope you enjoy the pics.  I know I will be flipping through these when it's your turn to giggle at me because it's cold!