That strange thing.....

For those of you who knew what was going on with my succulent (click here for original post) (and for those who were as confused as I was!) I am delighted to show you the final blooming...


It sure photographs well, don't you think?!


Miners are feared dead

A second explosion at a New Zealand coal mine Wednesday wiped out all hope of rescuing the 29 miners missing after a powerful blast six days ago.
Police and mine bosses in the South Island town of Greymouth said that, just as a 16-man rescue team was preparing to enter the Pike River mine, a huge explosion ended all hope.
The blast, caused by a build-up of methane within the mine, made it "extremely unlikely" that anyone could have survived, bosses said.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/world/Second+blast+ends+hope+saving+miners+Zealand/3874784/story.html#ixzz16EatlG3z

Our prayers are with your families and friends.


NZ miners trapped

In case you haven't heard, NZ had a mine explosion last week and the miners are still trapped underground.  Please pray for them and their families.

Rescuers waiting for the all-clear to enter the Pike River mine face a harrowing two-hour walk, carrying up to 24 kilograms of equipment, to search for their trapped "brothers".
One of the missing men is one of their own – a Mines Rescue worker. But the situation is so dangerous that a worker taking samples from the surface of the mine on Saturday had to be evacuated.
As soon as the poisonous gases have reduced to safe levels in the chambers, the rescuers assembled at the mine entrance will make their painstaking descent.
"The logistics of deployment underground are quite vast," said Trevor Watt, general manager of NZ Mine Rescue.

You can read more here:

and here:


I suck at procrastination

I get livid with Hubby sometimes because he's a procrastinator. I don't say anything because it's not ever really important that he do those particular things right away. Nobody will die if he doesn't and we won't have to move or anything. It's just that I am the type to do things 'now' so you don't have to worry about them later. They will be be done and you don't have to think about them any more. I try to get this through to the kids, but they don't seem to be enthused about any sort of 'work'.

I just realized that my 'do it now' attitude might border on compulsion. Or might be a step across the line of being a compulsion. Here's the story, you decided.

I was putting away the dishes from the drainer when I notice that there were a few dirty dishes on the counter. Among them was a large cookie sheet that I had used to bake some potato wedges. I think to myself, 'Self, if you wash the cookie sheet, the counter will not look 'dirty' in the morning when you get up.' So I wash the cookie sheet.

Then I notice that both of the cups that Hubby uses for coffee were dirty. I think to myself, 'Self, if you wash one of them, Hubby will have a clean cup when he gets home from work in the morning. He would like that.' So I wash one of the cups.

Then I think to myself, 'Self, there are just a few dishes left, so you may as well wash them all and be done with it and the kitchen will be clean when  you come in for morning coffee.'

Yes, I did all the dishes. I suck at procrastination.


The truth about bacon

As a young 'un, the older generations of my family always served bacon with eggs, biscuits and gravy when we had large family breakfast occasions (like early-morning arrivals from out-of-town). They served lots of bacon. There was usually bacon left to nibble on when the meal was over.

I like bacon. I also like breakfast sausage with my eggs, sometimes. And a slice of nice smoked ham is good, too. But, the men in my life have always preferred bacon. They politely said 'No' when I suggested sausage patties or links. They just wanted bacon. I always thought it was because were stuck in a rut, but the fact of the matter is that they just want bacon. Period. Don't try to change their minds. Bacon is what holds male testosterone together.

Never would I have though that bacon was such a dramatic food until I moved to NZ. No, NZ bacon is not the same as American bacon. It gives me a headache trying to figure out how to explain it all, so if your world only included one type of bacon, click this link to see what I mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacon .

And with the bacon all figured out, I have tried to introduce actual ham to my new family. Hubby is always on board with different food, since he figured out I  know my way around the kitchen, and will enjoy just about anything I put in front of him.Except spinach, but that's another story....

The kids, on the other hand, are...well, I'm just glad that they don't pay much attention to things. Apparently, they decided they didn't like 'ham' at some point because they think all ham is 'pressed  ham' (I think that's what they mean), so I just serve them ham and let them assume it's bacon. That keeps everybody happy. And I don't have get a headache worrying about what kind of bacon to buy.

Bacon. What would the world be without it?


NZ school system sucks...still

A few months ago, I posted an article about the NZ school system (click here to read it) that suggested raising the bar to get into university. I don't know about other districts, but I do know I have a few suggestions about Stratford High School.

The first one would be to actually have classes for the whole school year. I realize that this is a radical idea, but it might just work. See if you follow my train of thought....

The school year, this year, is suppose to end on the 10th of December. Missy's last actual 'class' will be on Friday, the 12th of November, because she has final exams spread over the next few weeks. Apparently, the school is not equipped to actually keep her in class and give the tests at the same time, so her whole class has 'study leave' for almost a whole month. 

The 'seniors' (grades 11-13) 'prize-giving' (that's the equivalent of 'awards night' for those not familiar with the term) is Thursday. During school time. But only after having at least one 'practice' for it--making at least 2 days that Missy could be in class. 

Obviously, this schedule upset has thrown off the whole school because Otterboy and the other 'juniors' (grades 9-10) have the day off. I mean, gee, who would have seen this annual day coming?

My second suggestion for Stratford High School is yet another radical idea. It is to actually read the transcripts of the incoming students and use those to place the 9th graders juniors in the correct class. I'm pretty sure that the primary schools keep records. And, I'm equally sure that they are, for the most part, accurately kept. I think it would be a nice gesture to actually put them to use. I bet the teachers who wrote them would be thrilled to know they are used instead of simply taking up file drawer space. This would give the high school a whole extra year to actually teach the kids something instead of herding them all into classes for a year to babysit and then determine the classes they need.

I have another suggestion for teachers: Appreciate and encourage your students who are eager to learn more than the rest of the class. Otterboy is a typical teenage boy, but when he comes home and complains that he's bored because he's done all the work and the teacher doesn't take enough interest in him to keep him focused in the subject, it breaks my heart.

Now I know this is a lot for the school to comprehend--especially, when they can't even put enough effort into their permission slips to tell me everything I need to know before I turn my precious child over to their care. But, they need to start somewhere. Enough students have been cheated.


You never know...

I was shocked, confused, bewildered as I entered Heaven’s door--
not by the beauty of it all, nor the lights nor it’s décor,

But it was the folks in Heaven who made me sputter and gasp—
The thieves, the liars, the sinners, alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kids from seventh grade who swipe my
lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor who never said anything nice.

Bob, who I always thought was rotting away in hell,
was sitting pretty on cloud nine, looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, “What’s the deal? I’d love to hear Your take.
How ‘d all these sinners get in here? God must’ve made a mistake.
And why is everyone quiet, so somber? Give me a clue?”

“Hush, child,” He said, “They’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.”


Strange thing in my garden....

I have very little experience with succulents and was going to repot this one until I noticed that it was growing strangely. I left it to see what would happen and this is what happened! And, apparently, is still happening...

Is this normal?