Advice from a tree

taken at Hollard Gardens, Kaponga, Taranaki


Wise words from a NZ judge

FEBRUARY 13, 2012


Some things you might not know about NZ

  • It was probably a New Zealander, Richard William Pearse, who took the world's first flight near Timaru - nearly two years before the Wright Brothers in the United States (this however cannot be proven) .
  • Auckland has the largest number of boats per capita than any other city in the world.
  • William Hamilton developed the propellerless jet boat, the hay-lift, an advanced air compressor, an advanced air conditioner, a machine to smooth ice on skating ponds, the water sprinkler and also contributed to the improvements of hydro-power.
  • A New Zealander, Sir Edmund Hillary, was the first person to climb Mount Everest with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953.
  • New Zealand is the first country in the world to see each new day.
  • Baron Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealander, was the first person in the world to split the atom in 1919. Rutherford also succeeded in transmitting and detecting ‘wireless waves' a year before Marconi.
  • Curio Bay in Southland is one of the world's most extensive and least disturbed examples of a petrified forest.
  • New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote (1893).
  • New Zealand is the birthplace of the meringue dessert known as the ‘Pavlova', named after the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova.
  • Tongariro National Park was the fourth national park to be established in the world and the first in New Zealand, in 1887. 
  • The Hector's Dolphin,the world's smallest marine dolphin, and the world's rarest sea lion, the Hooker's sea lion, are only found in New Zealand waters.
  • New Zealand is home to the world's only flightless parrot, the Kakapo, as well as the Kea - the only alpine parrot in the world.
  • The oldest living genus of reptile is the native New Zealand Tuatara. Tuataras have a life expectancy of 300 years. 
  • A New Zealander invented the tear back velcro-strip, the pop-lid on a self sealing paint tin, the child-proof pill bottle and the crinkle in your hairpins so that they don't fall out!
  • Nancy Wake,born in Wellington in 1912, was the Allies' most decorated servicewoman in WWII, and the Gestapo's most-wanted person.  They code-named her 'The White Mouse'.
  • Alan MacDiarmid discovered that plastics could conduct electricity, leading to the development of information technology as we have come to know it today. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry for this discovery.
  • Joseph Nathan was a New Zealand entrepreneur that, in 1906,  produced  dried milk
  • Arthur Lydiard invented jogging - the method of building physical fitness by gradually increasing stamina.
  • Nobel Price winner in physiology and medicine, New Zealander Maurice Wilkins helped lead to the discovery in 1953 of the DNA molecule structure.
  • The man behind the launch of Sputnik in 1957 was William Pickering from Wellington, New Zealand.
  • NZ has 27 mountains over 3050 metres, with Mount Cook being the highest mountain in Australasia at 3755 metres. 
  • NZ has 14 persons per square kilometre (very small compared to UK with 240, Germany 230 and Japan 330 persons per square km). 
  • Close to 75% of the population live in the North Island, 25% in the South Island.
  • Almost three quarters of New Zealand’s electricity is generated by renewable methods, specifically hydro-electricity, wind and geothermal energy.
  • If you’re injured in New Zealand, regardless of cause or blame, the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) entitles you to free medical care. The ACC replaces the right to sue someone for causing you injury.
  • All forms of tobacco promotion, advertising and sponsorship are banned in New Zealand.
  • New Zealand has the second highest number of golf courses per capita in the world, behind Scotland.
  • Tipping is not expected in New Zealand, but is not unwelcome.
  • Two thirds of New Zealand 's Asians and two thirds of New Zealand 's Pacific Islanders live in the Auckland region.


cat collar

We've had Wheelie for about 5 months now and, as you can see, she has acclimated herself to our home quite nicely!


Caramel popcorn, take 2

I really love popcorn and used to make flavored corn. I can't remember where I got the recipe, but I would make it for holidays and pass out popcorn balls to coworkers and friends. That recipe was simple:
1 c corn syrup
1 c sugar
1 box jello (jelly for the Brit side of the world)
Bring to boil over medium heat, pour over popcorn, stir. Butter your hands and form balls. Cool on waxed paper (baking paper) on counter.

But, since I had no idea what corn syrup was called here and had to be lucky to find it (once I discovered it is called glucose syrup), I moved on to actual Caramel Corn recipes. My first recipe is here.

I have found another recipe that doesn't use condensed milk and am very happy with it. And here it is:

Caramel popcorn2

Pop 1/2 c popping corn and put into large bowl. (I just make 2 large pans full.)

1/2 c butter, chopped
3/4 c sugar
2 T honey
1 c chopped pecans, if desired
Combine over medium heat; bring to boil; boil uncovered, without stirring for 6-8 minutes, until light golden brown. Remove from heat, add pecans.
Pour over popcorn and stir until coated. Spread over tray lined with baking (waxed) paper until cool.

Enjoy while you can because it doesn't last long!